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History of trekking in Nepal

The first trekker in Nepal was Bill Tilman, who somehow wrangled permission from the maharaja in 1949 to make several treks, including the Kali Gandaki, Helambu and Everest. His exploits are described in Nepal Himalaya, reprinted  by the Seattle Mountaineers as part of a Tilman collection. Another early visitor was Mourice Herzog, who led a French expedition to Annapurna in 1950.

During King Tribhuwan’s visits to India, the king met Boris Lissannivich, a Russian ballet dancer who was running a club in Calcutta. Boris convinced the King that people would like to visit Nepal and would actually pay for the experiences. Soon a few well – heeled ladies flew from Patna to Kathmandu’s Gaucher (cowfield) Airport in an Indian Airlines Dakota. Boris accommodated then in his new establishment, the Royal Hotel. The women were charmed by Boris and the exotic kingdom of Nepal. Thus Nepalese tourism was born. The Royal Hotel and its Yak & Yeti bar became the meeting place for climbers from the 1950s until 1971 when the Royal Hotel was closed.

Colonel James O. M. Roberts was the first person to realize the trekking would appeal to tourists. ‘Jimmy’ Roberts spent years  in Nepal attached to the British residency and accompanied Tilman on his first trek. In 1965 he took a group of ladies up the Kali Gandaki and founded Mountain Travel Source: Stan Armington

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