Pakistan poised to attract major chunk of Winter Mountaineering Expeditions with the reduced Royalty fee
Winter mountaineering is back in the limelight, all set to carve an altogether new episode of human endurance in the world of mountaineering. Pakistan, with her five mighty 8000ers in the rugged Karakorum and Himalayas, is again leading the table with the lowest royalty fee on these snow caps, attracting hordes of ambitious climbers.
Bracing the bloody War on Terror for more than a whole decade, the Tourism Ministry which comes along with her own lacunae, has tried yet again to lure in the mighty climbers to the three horrendous challenges, the K-2, Broad Peak and the Nanga Parbat, the only three 8000ers in the world which have not been climbed in the winters.
The Gilgit-Baltistan Council, which is now managing the tourism in the province on its own, has announced zero percent Royalty fee in winters on all 6500m peaks in the region, many of which are still virgin and unnamed.
Apart from that, the Council has upheld the reduced Royalty fee on all five 8000ers, which is significantly lower than what is being offered in Nepal and China for that matter.
K-2 is now available for Summer Expeditions of a full seven-member team for 7200 US$ while those who dare to attempt this deadly peak in winters, will only have to pay five percent of the Royalty fee given that the expedition is undertaken strictly following the rules of Winter Mountaineering from December-February.
Remaining four 8000ers are available for just 5400US$ in summers and for five percent Royalty fee of the same in winters.
The new breakdown has gathered interest of the mountaineers from all over the world as the fee being offered is significantly lower than what is offered by Nepal, for instance, a whooping 16000US$ for Everest and around 14500US$ for the rest of the 8000ers.
The reduced royalty fee for the five 8000ers have been effective since 2001 when the government decided to improve the inflow of mountaineering in the region which has been defamed by the International media but has proven to be relatively safe and benign in the following years.
Several high-profile winter expeditions have already arrived in Islamabad and are proceeding to Skardu to undertake the unthinkable.
Nanga Parbat, the 8,125m peak in the western off-shoot of Himalayas, has attracted the most number of expeditions and will take the center stage in the coming months.