Kapu is a Finnish charity project which combines both charity and adventure. The project consists of 15 participants who collect money for pre-defined project, and then climb a mountain in the assisted area. This year’s Kapu project was the fourth project in a row and was focused to Nepal. All contributions will go to the WWF (World Wildlife Fund) and FPANs (Family Planning Association) in southern Nepal (Terai Arc area), where their work focuses on family health and reducing the growing population’s pressure on nature. Since the project started in 1st April 2011, the 15 participants have raised over € 88,000.
On 11th April, we went from Fort Helsing to Kathmandu. I was very grateful that HiNation lent me a HiLight. This meant that I could use my Contour camera and smartphone without worrying about the batteries going flat. I was actually one of the few who had solar charger, so I had a hunch that I would become popular with the other photography enthusiasts in our group.
During the first week we visited FPANs and WWF project sites in the tropical southern Nepal. We visited the medical clinics for women in Dang, and saw the work WWF is doing to preserve endangered animals in Chitwan National Park. At the project sites, we participated in practical work. This includes painting a clinic, planting flowers, clearing the forests and participating in the hunt for poachers.
After our first week in southern Nepal, it was time to head back to Kathmandu for our flight to Lukla and from there begin the trek to Peak Mera (6462 m). Due to the bad weather, our flight could not land at Lukla airport and we had to turn back to Kathmandu and come up with a plan “B”. Plan “B” turned out to be a 12-hrs bus ride and 6-days hike. Due to time constraint, we decided to climb up Island Peak (6189 m) instead. A interesting thing about our plan was that Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay made the same trip when they were practicing for their Everest expedition in 1953.
During our expedition, HiLight has withstood the highly unpredictable climate and harsh conditions; from Chitwan tropical landscape, through the ball fields in central Nepal, to the magnificent peaks around the Khumbu Valley in the Himalayas. During the climb up, however, HiLight was left to stay in base camp (5100m) to charge my smartphone so it would be ready for me when I came down from the top.
Photograph in courtesy and by Johannes Paloheimo
Climbing for Charity – Kapua