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Kathmandu Nepal during everest base camp trek with Mountain Madness

Nepal Everest Base Camp Treks & Climbing Trips Cancelled — fundraiser set-up

After dili­gent and exten­sive research, dis­cus­sions with physi­cians and pub­lic health experts, as well as a great deal of soul-search­ing, Moun­tain Mad­ness has offi­cial­ly can­celled all Spring 2021 Nepal treks and climbs.

The ongo­ing and evolv­ing COVID-19 pan­dem­ic cou­pled with the scarci­ty of test­ing, treat­ment, and vac­cine dis­tri­b­u­tion in Nepal, par­tic­u­lar­ly in remote regions, all cre­ate a sit­u­a­tion where vis­i­tors are poten­tial threats to Nepali communities. 

Instead of just stand­ing by though, we are set­ting a tar­get of rais­ing $20,000 for local vac­ci­na­tion efforts, as well as Moun­tain Mad­ness staff in the Mount Ever­est region.

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At Moun­tain Mad­ness, we take great care to ensure the health, well-being, and safe­ty of our guests, but also of the peo­ple and places which we vis­it. Hav­ing worked in the Solukhum­bu region of Nepal for decades, we have deep per­son­al and trust­ed rela­tion­ships with many peo­ple there — and high­ly regard them as an impor­tant part of the Moun­tain Mad­ness family. 

Nepal April 17 May7 2013 607
Nepal kids in the Everest region with Mountain Madness school computer donation project
Scott Fischer Memorial near Everest Base Camp with mountain madness

THE SIT­U­A­TION IN NEPAL

Try­ing to bal­ance what is best for adven­ture trav­el and what is best for Nepal are not mutu­al­ly exclu­sive. The imme­di­ate pri­or­i­ties are to both lim­it any addi­tion­al pos­si­bil­i­ties of expo­sure to at-risk peo­ple of the Khum­bu region and to pro­vide sup­port in the effort to test, vac­ci­nate and treat COVID-19.

COVID-19 data from Nepal mea­sur­ing the preva­lence and impacts of dis­ease are cur­rent­ly either incom­plete or unavail­able. Test­ing capa­bil­i­ty and treat­ment options in more remote regions are inad­e­quate in the face of a high­ly con­ta­gious and dan­ger­ous virus. 

How­ev­er, test­ing alone is not the per­fect solu­tion, and the rush to give a boost to the econ­o­my of Nepal will like­ly cause reg­u­la­tions to be relaxed. Encour­ag­ing tourist vis­its seems a dan­ger­ous gam­ble, and not one that Moun­tain Mad­ness will take. 

A gov­ern­ment-dri­ven cam­paign of vac­ci­na­tion in Nepal start­ed on Jan­u­ary 20 with 1 mil­lion dos­es donat­ed by India (pho­to shown here by NDTV). There are over 28 mil­lion res­i­dents of Nepal and avail­abil­i­ty of test­ing and vac­cines in remote regions will like­ly take a very long time. With­out a suc­cess­ful effort to com­bat this virus, the impact on the peo­ple of the Khum­bu will be devastating. 

Rpjf89o4 nepal covid vaccination 625x300 27 January 21
Remote Lukla hospital in the Everest region of Nepal
Local Nepal people near village of Thame Mark Gunlogson photo

CON­TRI­BU­TIONS TO VAC­CI­NA­TION EFFORT

To help in vac­ci­na­tions, Moun­tain Mad­ness is fundrais­ing to pro­vide direct finan­cial sup­port for the fol­low­ing: social mobi­liza­tion, com­mu­ni­ty out­reach, vac­ci­na­tion sup­plies and equip­ment, cold chain capa­bil­i­ties, vac­ci­na­tion pro­gram staff and train­ing, and oth­er mass vac­ci­na­tion pro­gram needs. 

Through­out our decades of work in the Khum­bu, we have estab­lished rela­tion­ships with effi­cient and high­ly com­pe­tent local net­works. And, we under­stand and appre­ci­ate the high­ly-skilled logis­tics and sup­ply chain suit­ed for this par­tic­u­lar envi­ron­ment that will see vac­ci­na­tion through to the fin­ish line. We can think of no bet­ter or more high­ly skilled logis­tics and sup­ply experts than the Sher­pa of the Khumbu. 

While we rec­og­nize that a few thou­sand dol­lars is but a drop in the buck­et of over­all need, it is a place to start and a seed plant­ed for growth. We encour­age indi­vid­u­als and oth­er guide ser­vices to donate or cre­ate their own relief effort and in sol­i­dar­i­ty we can all improve the sit­u­a­tion for the peo­ple of Nepal. Col­lec­tive­ly focused efforts can and do make a difference. 

HELP­ING OUT STAFF

In addi­tion to assist­ing the vac­ci­na­tion effort, Moun­tain Mad­ness is donat­ing $100 for each of our Nepal Khum­bu trip reg­is­trants who are post­pon­ing their Ever­est Base Camp Trek, Ama Dablam, and Island Peak trips with us this spring. This mon­ey will be dis­trib­uted to our Nepal staff to help off­set the work the spring sea­son pro­vid­ed would have oth­er­wise pro­vid­ed. As there are no charges for post­pon­ing and all trip mon­ey is moved for­ward, we will also be con­tact­ing all our cus­tomers to invite them to con­tribute to our larg­er efforts, as they have so gen­er­ous­ly done fol­low­ing the earth­quakes in 2015 and Spring 2020 when the pan­dem­ic first arrived. 

Some of the Mountain Madness Everest Base Camp staff in Nepal
Namche Bazaar in the Everest region on base camp trek with Mountain Madness
Perhaps our best jumping photo

THE GOAL

Help reach our tar­get of $20,000 toward vac­ci­na­tion efforts in Nepal and sup­port­ing Moun­tain Mad­ness Nepal staff. Final amounts allo­cat­ed to each of these two needs will be deter­mined upon con­clu­sion of the fundrais­ing effort.

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If you have any ques­tions, please do not hes­i­tate to con­tact our office. Call our office at 800−328−5925 or email com­pa­ny own­er Mark Gun­log­son at markg@​mountainmadness.​com