February 2, 2023, Thursday
Nepal 1:37:26 pm

‘Snow-capped mountains turning black’

The Nepal Weekly
January 24, 2023

Until few years back, the mountainous ridges were seen snow-capped during the winter season.     

There used to be a huge inflow of foreign visitors here to take joy in the majestic beauty of the Himalayas and play with the snow. But, the silver-like glittering mountains are now turning to black rocks undoubtely due to the effects of climate change. Consequently, the popular tourist hotspots like Sindhupalchowk – Helambu and Panchpokhari – are losing their identity as prime tourist destinations.     

Sindhupalchowk’s Upper Helambu, Panchpokhari and Jugal ridge zone used to be appeared snow-capped from mid-November onward. But, in recent years, snowfall has become a rare event in the mountains that has a direct bearing on the inflow of foreign visitors.     

The number of domestic and international visitors turning up here for snow fun with sightseeing has declined of late. It has continued to trigger the displacement of people relying on tourism business.     

According to Topden Sherpa of Helambu-4 tourism entrepreneurship had been affected when snowfall was becoming a rare incident in the Helambu region. “It has been a long while since snowfall did not occur in Panchpokhari, Nagitham, Chyochyodanda, Amayangri, Kutumasang, Melamchichyang and Sermathang among others in the district”.     

There used to be a huge flow of tourists to the snow-capped areas at Helambu, Panchpokhari and Mude of the district due to geographical diversity.  Surprisingly, Helambu rural municipality has set a goal of producing artificial snow so as to reduce the negative effects of climate change. Helambu Chairperson Neema Gyaljen Sherpa said they would pilot this initiative in one place. In recent years, the rise in temperature coupled with climate change effects has invariably melted snow in the region. The phenomenon has also placed the indigenous farming of the area in crisis. Last year’s destructive flood can be taken as an example of the effect manifested in the high-hill region. Environment expert Prabhu Budhathoki said it was an indication of something risk to the human community in the long run.