Despite the suggested recognition of five further 8,000m-plus peaks in Nepal by the International Mountaineering and Climbing Federation (UIAA) earlier this year, indecision between India and Pakistan has now seen the process put on hold.
Currently recognised as the home of eight 8,000m-plus peaks, Nepal has been campaigning since 2012 to gain international recognition for five others, in the hope of boosting income from tourism by opening up these summits to climbers, but also to lessen overcrowding on popular routes such as those leading to the summit of Mount Everest.
Following an annual meeting held in Switzerland last week by the UIAA, it was discovered that China is also in favour of these plans going ahead. Ang Thsering Sherpa, honorary member of the UIAA said: ‘’India and Pakistan are also quite positive but they said they needed more time to get this approved by their mountaineering bodies’ general assemblies and therefore it could not happen during this meeting.’’
The five new peaks would include three on Kanchenjunga, the world’s third highest mountain – of which two lie on the Nepal-India border, and the other in Nepal itself – and two would form part of the Lhotse massif on the Nepal-China border.
The ARUGA project was set up by the UIAA last year with the intention of identifying new 8,000m peaks and bringing them forward to achieve international status.