The 8th mountain festival, organized by the Nepal Mountaineering Association (NMA) on the premises of the International Mountain Museum (IMM), concluded with over 10 thousand people visiting the festival.
The Honorable Finance Minister of Gandaki Province, Mr. Jit Prakash Ale Magar, was the chief guest at the closing ceremony of the festival chaired by the Senior Vice President of NMA, Mr. Thakur Raj Pandey. The Honorable Minister promised to allocate an adequate budget for the promotion of IMM in the coming fiscal year.
"We are very near to the unprecedented consequences of global warming. We should have planned efforts to combat such issues," the Honorable Minister added. "NMA has been contributing to this from the very beginning. The Provincial Government will allocate an adequate budget for the promotion of IMM in the next fiscal year."
The five-day festival showcased a photo exhibition, documentary screening, organized sports activities, especially popular in mountain regions, such as Archery, Chhelo, Zip Line, performed theatrical play, and cultural programs. The photos of record holders-mountaineers, the tourist destination of Chumanuwri Rural Municipality, and the trial bridge evolution in Nepal attracted the visitors the most.
Among the sports activities, archery, a traditional mountain sport, emerged as a major crowd-puller throughout the festival, with the event unfolding from Friday through Sunday. Another highlight that left a lasting impression on the audience was a thought-provoking theatrical play about vultures, presented in collaboration with Bird Conservation Nepal (BCN). The play skillfully conveyed the vital role vultures play in our ecosystem and shed light on the alarming disappearance of these birds due to the misuse of harmful drugs in animals and their carcasses. The play graced the stage for the last time on Monday.
Visitors loved the documentary "Pasang: In the Shadow of Everest," the story of late Pasang Lhamu Sherpa, the 1st Nepali woman to have successfully summited Mount Everest.
Central to the event were two thought-provoking discussion sessions. The first session featured the renowned Austrian photographer, Ms. Irmtraud Hubatschek, who shared her rich experiences in capturing the essence of farming lives in the Alps.
In the second session, a panel of experts engaged in a discussion on a critical and timely topic: 'Why are mountains turning black, and are these changes related to our lives?' The discussion provided a platform for a comprehensive exploration of the environmental challenges impacting mountain ecosystems and their interconnectedness with our daily lives.
The cultural program was organized all day from 10 am to 5 pm during the festival, with various artists performing their hit numbers and entertaining the locals.
The NMA has been organizing the festival every year on the occasion of International Mountain Day to highlight the importance of preserving the mountain environment, mountain products, mountain culture, etc. This 8th mountain festival was sponsored by ICIMOD and WWF, Nepal and supported by Go Bunge and ACAP.