Mountain Power is a sport for development and peace program, building transboundary highland-lowland cooperation among women for challenging recreation, responsible tourism, health, entrepreneurial leadership, and sustainable stewardship of the natural and cultural legacy of mountains. Painting by Tenzin Norbu, who also designed the obverse of the Sir Edmund Hillary Mountain Legacy Medal.

Harshwanti Bisht

Above and far right: Dr. Harshwanti Bisht. Photos courtesy of Dr. Bisht.

Hillary Medal Presentation

Above, left to right: Mrs. Uma Khakurel of Mountain Excursions (liaison for Sue Badyari, CEO of World Expeditions); Peter Hillary; Dr. Bisht, on receiving the Sir Edmund Hillary Mountain Legacy Medal; Kumar P. Mainali, president of Mountain Legacy.

breakfast workshop

Breakfast workshop at Radisson Hotel to discuss Mountain Power. More photos of workshop

We're organizing a Women's Mountaineering Alliance

Namaste! My name is Dr. Harshwanti Bisht. I am a mountaineer, a professor of tourism economics, and an activist for conservation and sustainable development in India's Garhwal Himalaya. In collaboration with Mountain Legacy, I am organizing an association of women's mountaineering clubs in colleges and universities throughout the Himalayan region.

Harshwanti Bisht

Empowerment of women is vital to our region, especially in poor mountain communities. Women need the confidence and the skills to become entrepreneurs, leaders, and policy makers. As mountaineers, they will combine sports with practical work in recreation planning and economic development. They will undertake projects of their own choosing, whether waste management, or afforestation, or trail improvement, or infrastructure design, or whatever seems useful, always mindful of the objectives of gender equity and responsible stewardship.

The central rationale of Mountain Power, which is also the theme of the United Nations Sport for Development and Peace program, is that sports are useful for the development of the individual, for interpersonal relations, and for larger social constructs. Sports opportunities for women have lagged far behind those for men, particularly in developing regions, depriving women of recreation, physical challenges, and leadership training. Mountain Power clubs will not only provide girls and young women experience in sports such as climbing, trekking, skiing, and rafting, but will also foment interest in conserving nature, protecting cultural sites, and developing economic opportunities in remote communities. The implementation of an international network of such clubs will allow for safe and economical exchange excursions by individuals or teams, as well as collaborative projects bringing together clubs from many schools.

Mountain Power Steering Committee

If you are interested in joining this effort, please contact me at

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