The Himalayan village of Kalinchowk, sitting at an altitude of about 12,000 feet in eastern Nepal and known for its temple to the Hindu goddess Kali, gets snow every year. After a recent storm, the town's young people flock to wooden lodges and dance around campfires.
Utsav Pathak is determined to get some of them on skis.
"In Nepal, nobody skis, I think," says Pathak.
But he does. The 23-year-old entrepreneur — who started skiing in Nepal two years ago after seeing pictures on Facebook of a German friend skiing — is trying to encourage more people to try the sport through his Kathmandu-based nonprofit, the Nepal Ski and Snowboard Foundation. He has arrived from Kathmandu with skis and other equipment, and two busloads of people, to try to hook them on skiing here — the closest spot with some snow.
Nepal is home to many of the world's highest snow-capped peaks, but downhill skiing is not a popular or well-known sport. The snowline is extremely high — somewhere around 15,000 feet, an altitude that carries health risks — and skiing requires either a lot of effort or a lot of money, more than most Nepalese can afford, especially for a recreational activity.