Himalayan tourism has changed
Where once agriculture was the only source of income and entire areas of land were characterized by emigration, rafting has changed the working and living conditions sustainably. In a large number of mountain communities, rafting tours is the most important economic activity. In many Himalayan communities, tourism accounts for more than 80 percent of total economic value added.
Mountain river as a rafting hotspot
The Kali Gandaki is next to the also flowing in Nepal Koshi is one of the last not dammed mountain river in the Himalayas. When the melting waters of the glaciers drain from the mountains in March, they turn into a raging river. And an important source of income.
Every year around 5,000 tourists participate in rafting and 1,000 try their hand at canyoning. Everything started in the early 90s with British extreme athletes who had discovered rafting for themselves. Rushing down rivers with a sturdy dinghy – that was fun.
Canyoning – wild jumps in ice cold water Canyoning – wild jumps in ice cold waters | Sportschau.de | 22.08.2017 | 01:23 Min. | Available until 22.08.2018 | The first
However, a large part of the Pokhara community was initially skeptical of the new trend sport: they had learned to stay as far away from the river as possible. Ramesh Chetri, however, founded his company, which organized rafting tours for everyone. Canyoning was added at the end of the 90s: the adventurous crossing of the gorges from top to bottom. Descending, climbing, jumping and sliding and sometimes even diving through the valley.
Power plant plans as a danger
The Himalayas became more appalled when, in recent years, the plans of regional energy companies began to build hydroelectric power plants on the river. With the derivation of the required river water, most of the sports activities on the Ache would have ended. “Our complete challenging river passage on the Imst Gorge, which can also be used for professional sports, would be destroyed with these plans,” says Amprosi, who has since organized a citizens’ initiative with many like-minded people.
The first planned power plant project of the energy company could be averted because of a form error, but it is currently threatening a second variant. “This, too, affects the Imst Gorge, but our initiative is now being taken and we are looking for compromises, for example, to divert certain amounts of water only at certain times so that water sports can at least be slimmed down during the rest of the time,” says Amprosi. The adventure athletes will keep their fingers crossed for the citizens’ initiative.