World canyoning event to start on April 7 in Nepal


The Nepal Canyoning Association (NCA) is scheduled to organize the International Canyoning Rendezvous (ICR) from April 7-13 at Syange, Germau in the Marsyangdi Valley in Nepal which lies on the Annapurna trekking trail in Lamjung. Canyoning is travelling in canyons by walking, climbing, swimming and using other methods.

The NCA said that the event had been planned to lure adventure lovers as tourist tastes were changing and Nepal needed to be competitive in the international market. The association added that it aimed to bring 200 professional canyoneers from 12 countries.

“So far, 135 canyoneers from Europe and the US have registered for the event,” said NCA president Tilak Lama.

The week-long event will be conducted at Ghopte Khola, Kabindra Khola, Rundu Khola, Syange Khola and Sanche Phu.

“The ICR will be one of the highlighted products for Nepal Tourism Year 2011,” said Prachanda Man Shrestha, chief executive officer of the Nepal Tourism Board.

Shrestha added that the country would be organizing two-three international events each month to mark NTY, and that the ICR would be the April highlight. “Canyoning is one of the niche products of Nepal; and if properly managed, our country could be established as a canyoning destination.”

The NCA seeks to establish Nepal as a Himalayan canyoning destination and package it with other adventure activities like trekking, rafting, rock climbing and mountaineering.

The NCA has conducted canyoning exploration at what is probably the highest altitude in the world. A Nepali team explored the Lhayju River (480m) at Nar Phu, Manang in the Annapurna Himal where the base camp was situated at an altitude of 4,660 m and the canyon head was 5,200 m high.

The Bhote Koshi, Sun Koshi, Kakani and Manaslu are the major commercial canyoning destinations. Canyoning is an extreme adventure sport that involves abseiling, sliding, jumping into deep pools, swimming and climbing down waterfalls on steep canyon cliffs.