The first summit success of the year on an eight-thousander in Nepal is perfect. The Nepalese expedition operator Seven Summit Treks let it be known via Facebook that the team of the Royal Guard from Bahrain reached the 8,163-meter-high summit of Manaslu this morning at 6:10 a.m. local time. Media reports citing the Ministry of Tourism in Kathmandu said that three Nepalese mountain guides had been on the summit with 14 climbers from the Bahrain team.
Training for Everest
The Royal Guard team, led by Sheikh Nasser bin Hamad Al Khalifa, the fourth-born son of the King of Bahrain, had received a special permit from the government of Nepal for the expedition. The ascent of the eighth-highest mountain on earth was in a way the overture for a planned expedition of the royal guard to Mount Everest next spring.
Sheikh Nasser is head of the National Olympic Committee of the Gulf State and has a passion for cycling and triathlon. Sheikh Nasser is said to have played a more than inglorious role during the “Arab Spring” in 2011, according to human rights organizations like Amnesty International. He was accused of not only ordering torture, but also of beating imprisoned opposition members himself.
Opening of the country only in mid-November?
Because of the corona pandemic, the spring season in the mountains of Nepal had been completely cancelled. And things look bad for the fall season as well. Actually, the government wanted to open the country – under strict conditions – to foreign tourists again from this Saturday on. The newspaper Kathmandu Post reported that the date should be postponed to mid-November because of the high number of infections in the Himalayan state. The government in Kathmandu has not yet officially confirmed this. In Nepal so far more than 120.000 infections with the coronavirus have been registered. At the end of last week, Minister of Tourism Yogesh Bhattarai was also tested positive for COVID-19.