Nepal treks to go on, say S'pore tour agencies

Nepal treks to go on, say S'pore tour agencies

SINGAPORE - Upcoming treks in Nepal will proceed as planned, said tour agencies in Singapore, following a snowstorm that ripped through the Himalayan region.

Agencies told The Straits Times that they do not know of any Singaporeans under their charge who were directly affected by the storm as they had been trekking at the lower altitudes.

The bad weather is said to have hit a resting place 4,500m above sea level, close to the Annapurna Circuit's highest point called the Thorong La pass.

They added that their staff in Nepal, who are guiding the groups still trekking there, said the weather has since cleared up with sunny skies.

Mr Ganga Budhathoki, owner of Brothers International Tours & Trading, said his agency will be leading a group of seven trekkers to the Annapurna region at the end of the month, this time to the higher altitudes.

He is confident that it is safe, he added. "Such snowstorms tend to happen in the winter months of December and January.

"The one we just experienced is unusual as this is a dry month and I am sure it will not happen again soon," he said.

Ms Joanne Soo, owner of Ace Adventure, does not have any treks planned for the rest of this month but will be leading a team to the Mount Everest region next month.

"Based on last year's weather patterns, the weather should be good next month," she said. This time last year, she was trekking in Nepal when she was affected by cyclone Phailin, so this year, she has deliberately decided to embark on the hike to Mount Everest later.

However, one tour agency, Singapore Trekker, is taking on a more cautious approach. Its spokesman, Mr Adrian Loh, said the agency will not be accepting any bookings for the Annapurna region until the situation improves.

This article was first published on October 18, 2014.
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