Brixen, Italy (05 Nov 10): Availability of Mountain Rescue Operation in the Nepal Himalaya was prime topic of discussion today at the International Mountain Summit held at Brixen in Italy. Mr. Suman Pandey, CEO of Fishtail Air addressed the gathering with his remarks on how the Alpine Rescue Operation technology is being transferred to Nepal by a Swiss company- Air Zermatt through Fishtail Air. Mr. Pandey also disclosed the fact that two Nepalese Everest summitters, Namgyal Sherpa and Chering Pande Bhote are in Zermatt, Switzerland receiving training on Human Cargo Sling Operation. Confirming the availability of missions above Base Camps for the next mountaineering season of Spring, 2011, he further informed, more pilots from Fishtail Air will be travelling to Zermatt for training and Swiss Rescue Pilots and Mountain Guides will be positioned at the bases in Lukla and Pokhara to meet up with SOS calls earliest as possible.
Mr. Gerold Biner, Chief Pilot and Operation Director of Air Zermatt and Mr.Bruno Yelk, renowned Rescue Mountain Guide from Switzerland also presented their reports. Their reports were based on the missions performed during the Spring of 2010 at Mt. Manaslu, Annapurna, Dhaulagiri and Everest in which several lives were saved. Accordingly, famous Italian climber, Mr. Simone Moro presented his experience of flying in the Nepal Himalaya together with Fishtail Air. Several other climbers expressed building of Mountain Rescue Operation system in Nepal as a positive step.
Italian climber and living legend of the mountaineering world, Reinhold Messner also expressed his thoughts on the subject. According to him, availability of the technology is a positive step but the Government of Nepal should make rules on who should be using these services. He elaborated that these services should be available only for those in need and not for sightseeing purposes. He also stressed that due to big budget required for the transfer of such kind of technology, big organizations like UIAA (International Mountaineering & Climbing Federation) and others from USA, Japan, European Union should help with the funding, so that within next five years, the facility could reach up to the local Nepalese people as well.
Simone Moro, a pilot and mountaineer, is new addition to Fishtail Air’s crew. We managed to ask Mr.Moro a couple of questions when he visited our office in Thamel on 28th October 2010.
Coming from Italy which lies close to the Mediterranean sea, he said his family members were into sailing as well as climbing. He chose the latter and he recollects that he did his first bit of serious climbing when he was 13. “It was just a small hill, a mound actually, but it felt good at that time!”. Since then Simeon has climbed many peaks in Asia, Europe and America. He has reached the summit of the world’s tallest mountain Mount Everest twice, the recent one in May this year, 2010. When asked about his experience, he said like a seasoned climber, “Nothing much happened. We climbed via the classic route. We went up stayed a bit at the Base Camp went up to the summit and climbed down. So nothing much happened”. The first peak he climbed in Nepal was Lhotse.
If mountaineering is his passion, flying is both his passion as well as profession. An experienced pilot, Simeon is the newest member of Fishtail Air’s distinguished flying crew. He has already been on a search & rescue mission with Fishtail Air’s pilot Captain Sabin Basnyat to Mt. Baruntse(7129m), to retrieve the body of 19 times Everest summiteer Chhewang Nima who lost his life in an avalanche at Baruntse on October 23rd, 2010. He said, “Unfortunately we could not find his body as there was too much snow”.
Talking about helicopter rescues in the mountains of Nepal, Simeon believes that, “Helicopter is the future of Nepal.” He adds,“ There are few places in Nepal like Kathmandu. Most of the country is covered by mountains. There are places which cannot be accessed by roads. Fishtail Air, I believe is the first company in Nepal to understand this and it has taken steps in the right direction. By partnering with Swiss and other European pilots who are experts in this field, they are taking helicopter operation in the Himalaya to a new level.”
He added, “For the development of the country, I think your government should introduce more helicopter flights in the remote areas. These could be used to carry essential commodities as well as passengers.”
Mr. Salah Salim Ahmed Al Habsi was handed over Nepal Mountaineering Association’s certificate of achievement for being the first climber from UAE to summit Mera Peak by Mr. Suman Pandey at Explore Himalaya’s office this afternoon.
A shield commemorating the climber’s achievement was also handed over to the climber from Explore Himalaya’s side by Everest Summitteer and pilot Simeon Moro from Italy.