Nepali mountain guides have asked the government to ensure social security for them.
As mountain guides are the backbone of mountaineering industry, the government must work for the betterment of their profession, the guides said during a program held in Kathmandu today to mark the 14th National Mountain Guide Day.
President of Nepal National Mountain Guide Association (NNMGA) Ang Norbu Sherpa said that mountain guides often work with meager income and without any guarantee of their social security.
“The guides risk their lives to support the expedition members on different mountains so their contribution to the climbing industry must be honored,” Sherpa said.
On the occasion, NNMGA also awarded certificates to five new IFMGA mountain guides and four aspirant guides who successfully completed the 11th batch of NNMGA course in 2019.
Similarly, Secretary at the Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation Kedar Bahadur Adhikari, Director General at the Department of Tourism Dandu Raj Ghimire and NNMGA President Sherpa jointly awarded certificates to 11 guides who completed the level IV of the National Skill Testing Board exams under CTEVT.
NNMGA has also signed a memorandum of understanding with Nepal Mountaineering Association to jointly conduct mountain and aspirant guides training courses for five years.
According to Sherpa, Aspirant Guide Course consists of three components spread over a span of 10 months and incorporates a total of 47 training days. It is the first step to pursue advanced International Mountain Guide – IFMGA.
After completing two years in the guiding field, aspirant guides can take IFMGA exam by fulfilling additional criteria. Two trekking peak ascents, one expedition style ascent with at least two camps in altitude and eight days of ascents (without clients) on all type of terrain are other criteria for aspirant guides to take part in IFMGA course.
According to Sobit Kuwar, Chief Administrative Officer at NNMGA, there are now 63 IFMGA-accredited Nepali mountain guides in the country while NNMGA has eight more trained aspirant mountain guides who are working in the field of mountaineering till date.