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Skidmore College

Publication Date

Spring 2015

Program Name

Nepal: Tibetan and Himalayan Peoples


For a long time, Nepal has been an exotic destination for adventurers and spiritual wanderers. Geographically, there are no comparisons. “The country is vertical,” said Jagan Biswarka as he pointed across Phewa Lake to the snow-capped mountains. “You can see the 8000 meter from 800 meter. This will be one of the best playgrounds in the world. Nowhere in Nepal. Nowhere in the world.” Mads Mathiasen, a Danish expatriate agrees. “I think very few people realizes how big a contrast there is in Nepal from seventy-one meters above sea level – the lowest place in Nepal – to eight-thousand eight-hundred and fifty meters above sea level – the top of the world on Everest. You have every climate zone imaginable, from sub-tropical to fully active.” The mountain bike community’s worldwide following has always been characterized as niche and passionate. And in Nepal, this is no exception. “Fifteen years ago I could name you every rider in Nepal,” said Mads. “But today it’s... everywhere.” “Mountain Biking is starting to pick up pace,” observed Tashi Bista, an Upper Mustang resident. “More and more tourism – hopefully involving local people increasing.” “Ten years ago there was nothing. This is only the beginning.” Said Tangi Rebours, a French expat and professional mountain biker. “Before, the bicycle was just a means of transportation. Now it has become multi-dimension. Recreation, environment, health, and adventure tourism.” Explained Jagan Biswarka, “I think in ten years we will be booming. Definitely.”


Arts and Humanities | Asian Studies | Community-Based Research | East Asian Languages and Societies | Family, Life Course, and Society | International and Intercultural Communication | Mass Communication | Organizational Communication | Place and Environment | Sociology of Culture | Tourism


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