Latest news from the Himalaya and Karakoram

Friday, 27 November 2009

The Colonel arrives to Kathmandu!

Photo: KFC on Durbar Marg, Kathmandu

The big news in Kathmandu this week is the arrival to Nepal of KFC and Pizza Hut, the new restaurants opened their doors on Durbar Marg on November 25th for the first time. For purely research purposes I went to visit yesterday and can confirm that the chicken at KFC tastes very similar to the last one I had in Rawalpindi last year!

It seems that Kathmanduites are pleased with the new arrivals and there was a long queue out of the door onto the street. It looks like Pizza Hut will give the established pizza restaurants in Kathmandu like Fire and Ice, Dolce Vita and The Road House a run for their money.

Roland Hunter

Thursday, 26 November 2009

Narayanhiti Palace Museum in Kathmandu

Photo: Narayanhiti Palace Museum

I have just come back from an interesting afternoon visiting the old Royal Palace in Kathmandu. This was the scene of the royal massacre on June 1st 2001 and is now called the Narayanhiti Palace Museum.

The buildings where the killings took place have been knocked down however it is chilling to still see the bullet holes in the walls and markers showing where various members of the Royal family were shot. I remember that day well as I had just come back from an expedition to Everest and was shocked to read about the massacre in the Himalayan Times over breakfast in my hotel in Kathmandu.

The palace opened to visitors on February 26th, 2009 when Nepal became a Republic. The entrance fee for foreigners is 500 rupees and the ticket office is open from 11am to 2pm. It is not possible to take photographs in the museum so cameras and bags have to be left in the locker room near the entrance.

For an interesting article on the museum written by Ed Douglas for the Guardian website please take a look at

The Mountain Company will include an option to visit the Narayanhiti Palace Museum during our sightseeing tour of Kathmandu before or after your trek in Nepal.

Roland Hunter

Wednesday, 25 November 2009

Our November '09 group successfully reach Everest Base Camp

The Mountain Company's November '09 Everest Base Camp group arrived safely back to Kathmandu after a successful trek where seven people reached Base Camp.

I met the group yesterday in Kathmandu to hear more about the trek, I gather they experienced similar weather conditions as my group on Mera Peak however they had a sunny and clear day for the walk to Everest Base Camp. Many thanks to their Sirdar Jhire Rai for his help in leading this trek.

The Mountain Company has four Everest Base Camp treks scheduled for 2010 (March, April, October and November), please get in touch if you would like to join any of these groups. For more information please take a look on our website at

Roland Hunter

Sunday, 22 November 2009

An evening with Ian Parnell at RGS, London

We have just received an email from Porters Progress about their annual lecture, this year it will be given by leading alpinist Ian Parnell. If you are in London on November 24th then I highly recommend attending. I have copied the details below:

British style mountaineering: from Ben Nevis to the Himalaya Mountaineer and photographer Ian Parnell is probably best known for accompanying Sir Ranulph Fiennes on his successful ascent of the North Face of the Eiger, but he is one of Britain's leading alpinists, whose own climbs have attracted international praise, including an impressive four nominations for the world's most coveted mountaineering award, the Piolet D'or.

At this year's PPUK annual lecture, Ian will share the idiosyncratic secrets of 'British style mountaineering' and tell tales of his adventures on some of the world's toughest peaks (and worst campsites) accompanied by video footage and his outstanding photographs.

Fellow alpinist Andy Kirkpatrick describes Ian's approach: "I've seen Ian trim his mountain gear to the minimum, chucking out his sleeping bag just to squeeze in extra camera equipment. The fact that he's will to suffer for his ar means he brings back photos that few others can achieve."

Date: Tuesday 24 November
Time: Exhibition Road Doors open at 6.00pm. Talk from 7.00-8.30pm.
Where: Royal Geographical Society, 1 Kensington Gore, London SW7 2AR (nearest tube: South Kensington)
Pay bar: Before and after the talk in the Map Room

Fundraising event in aid of Porters' Progress UK
Tickets: £10 each from World Expeditions (£2 refunded on the door for PPUK members)

Friday, 20 November 2009

Our November '09 group successfully summit Mera Peak

The Mountain Company November '09 Mera Peak expedition arrived safely back to Kathmandu this morning. Congratulations to the five members of the team (Ian O, Greg, Ian H, Richard and Karen) who successfully climbed to the summit of Mera Peak while experiencing very strong winds and cold conditions. A full expedition report will follow in due course.

Roland will lead his fifth consecutive Mera Peak expedition in November '10, please get in touch if you would like to join the group. For more information take a look at our website at

The Mountain Company