Ladakh will soon have South East Asia's first Night Sky Sanctuary, Union Minister Dr Jitendra Singh, said.
Lieutenant Governor of Ladakh RK Mathur on Wednesday called on mountaineering and trekking enthusiasts to step forward and make the mountain peaks in Ladakh popular in India and other countries.
Mathus was inaugurating the 4th edition of the Ladakh Ice Climbing Festival organised by Ladakh Mountain Guides Association (LMGA) at Gangles.
Lauding the members of the LMGA for their professionalism, sincerity and enthusiasm for the development and promotion of winter sports in Ladakh, the LG said the association has contributed a lot during various rescue operations, particularly at Chadar Trek.
Ladakh has opened more than 100 mountain peaks in Karakoram and other mountain ranges for climbing. Praising mountaineers and Everesters from Ladakh for bringing laurels to the region, the LG stressed the need for mountaineering and trekking enthusiasts from Ladakh to make the mountain peaks in Ladakh popular among enthusiasts from India and abroad.
He urged the ITBP, the Army, the Ladakh Police, the International Federation of Mountain Guide Associations (IFMGA) and the Indian Mountaineering Foundation (IMF) to push for more trekking and mountaineering enthusiasts towards the mountains of Ladakh.
LG Mathur appreciated the steps taken by the LMGA to develop professional manpower in Ladakh through mountaineering courses in association with IFMGA and assured of support to the LMGA to develop professional mountaineering manpower in Ladakh.
Stating that mountain rescue operations have the potential to grow more in Ladakh, he asked the ITBP and the Ladakh Police to develop their own strength by purchasing their own equipment and providing training to personnel to empower them to rescue trekkers in case the need arises. He also handed over mountaineering gears/equipment to LMGA.
Earlier, president of the LMGA Skalzang Rigzin spoke about the objective behind organising the festival and shared that their main dream is to see someone from Ladakh representing India at the Winter Olympics. He thanked the Administration and the Hill Council for their support in promoting winter sports in Ladakh. The members of LMGA gave a demonstration of ice climbing, including fixing the rope on the ice wall.