The Himalayan Times, Rajan Pokharel, 6th April 2017, Kathmandu
With the expedition operators expecting over 500 foreign climbers on the Mt Everest this spring, at least 250 foreign climbers representing 27 teams have already left for Khumbu region for acclimatisation till date.
“As of today, over 250 mountaineers from 28 countries obtained climbing permits for Mt Everest while more than 70 climbers reutilised their old permits issued in 2015,” an update prepared by the Department of Tourism shows.
The government had decided to extend the climbing permits of all 2015 spring expeditions by two years after the devastating earthquake struck the country killing nearly 9,000 people in April and May.
According to a DoT official, Gurkha Everest Expedition, AG Everest Expedition and Expedition Himalaya Mountain Trip among others have their members who utilised the old permits this season. The government has also collected Rs 190 million as royalty from 45 spring expeditions as the DoT issued climbing permits to more than 400 world mountaineers for different mountains including Mt Everest till date, he added.
According to Ang Dorjee Sherpa, Chairman of Sagarmatha Pollution Control Committee, the base camp has also been set up to accommodate the world mountaineers who will be attempting climb the Mt Everest, the Mt Lhotse and the Mt Nuptse.
The icefall doctors mobilised by the SPCC opened the route up to the Camp II from base camp and they have been monitoring the route on a daily basis,” he told this daily over phone from Namche Bazaaar.
According to the icefall doctors, they used black diamond static ropes along the treacherous icefall section this time replacing the previously used Korean ropes.
Meanwhile, Italian alpinist Simone Moro will be leading a four-member expedition to the Mt Kanchenjunga (8,476 m) while an all-women three-member expedition led by Maya Sherpa will also be attempting to climb the world’s third tallest peak in this spring season.
According to Cho Oyu Treks, Moro will also attempt to climb the Mt Yalung Kang (8,505 m).
Few climbers including Spanish climber Carlos Soria Fontan (78) have obtained permits for the Mt Dhaulagiri (8,167 m).
Till date, there is only one expedition which obtained climbing permits from the DoT for the Mt Manaslu (8,163 m). Spanish Basque climber Madariaga Abaitua Juan Ramon is leading a six-member team to the Mt Manaslu, according to Rishi Bhandari, Managing Director at Satori Adventure Pvt Ltd.
The DoT has also issued permits to climbers attempting to climb Mt Lhotse (8,516 m), Mt Makalu (8,463) and Mt Nuptse (7,855 m) among other peaks, the official added.