UK’s Citibank chief among 374 heads for Everest bid

April 19, 2019

Rajan Pokharel, The Himalayan Times, April 18, 2019

KATHMANDU: Managing director at Citibank in the United Kingdom among 374 climbers from 47 countries will be attempting to climb the world’s highest peak in the spring season.

“As of today, 374 world climbers including 12 Nepalis obtained climbing permits for Mt Everest,” Rameshwor Niraula, an official at the Department of Tourism, said, adding that at least 73 women climbers  would be attempting to climb the world’s highest peak. “DoT has collected more than 420 million rupees as royalty by issuing permits to the Everest climbers till date.”

This season, the Citibank’s MD Michael Lavelle who also heads the corporate and investment banking for UK and Ireland at Citigroup Inc, has also joined the elite groups of climbers on Mt Everest as the experienced cyclist has been accompanied by the record-holder British mountaineer Kenton Cool, according to Iswari Paudel, managing director at Himalayan Guides.

The DoT record shows Mrika Nikci, 18, from the Republic of Kosovo and Jaahnavi Sriperambuduru, 18, from Hyderabad, India – are the youngest members who obtained permits for Mt Everest this season. Michael Keane, 67, from Ireland was the eldest climber who would be leading a 13-member team to Mt Everest this season, DoT’s record added.

Women climbers including Saray Nkusi Khumalo and Ivonne Ouma Sekokole from South Africa, Khadija Mohammed Ali Turki Alblooshi from UAE, Nadhira Ahmed Abdullah Al Harthy from Oman and Roxane Lamon from Swaziland would be attempting to climb Mt Everest this season, Niraula informed.

At least 28 expedition teams have already arrived at the base camp to begin acclimatisation rotations, base camp officials said, adding that none of the 48 liaison officers, however, has reached the base camp yet. The DoT has assigned the LOs to Everest region to facilitate the climbers attempting to climb Mt Everest, Mt Lhotse, Mt Nuptse and Mt Pumori.

“Rope fixing equipment will be airlifted to Camp II tomorrow,” Paudel said. The Expedition Operators Association of Nepal has assigned Himalayan Guides to fix the route above Camp II this season. Icefall doctors assigned by Sagarmatha Pollution Control Committee have already opened the climbing route from the base camp to Camp II.