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Sikkim govt-sponsored Everest expedition runs into trouble

Monday, 8 April 20130 comments

Darjeeling April 8:The Sikkim government- sponsored Everest expedition in Nepal has run into rough weather as mountaineering associations have demanded that the trek be postponed in order to ensure all climbers get equal opportunity for selection.

Seven mountaineers have been selected by the Indian Himalayan Centre for Adventure and Ecotourism (IHCAE) for the Rs 1.4 crore expedition scheduled to commence from the first week of this month.

The IHCAE is a division under the Sikkim Tourism department and is based in Chemchey, South district.

Top mountaineering associations claim that qualified and veteran mountaineers were kept in the dark about the selection process, and thereby denied rightful opportunity to be considered by the IHCAE.

The mountaineering associations include Sikkim Mountaineering Association, Sikkim Amateur Mountaineering Association, Travel Agents Association of Sikkim and Sikkim Association of Adventure Tour Operators.

"Everest expedition is like Olympics for a mountaineer. While we thank the state government for providing this opportunity, we are sad to see that experienced and qualified mountaineers were kept in the dark about the selection process," heads of the organisations said.

The associations argued that a pre-Everest expedition within Sikkim could have been conducted by the organisers to select the best mountaineers available in the state.

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