| September 25, 2018

Over 400 climbers scale Mt Everest as expedition season comes to end

KATHMANDU, June 1: Around 400 climbers have scaled up the Mount Everest this climbing season after the world's tallest peak was opened following a two-year gap of expedition.

While Department of Tourism (DoT) is still compiling the data and issuing certificate to the climbers, an official told Republica that nearly 160 foreigners and 240 Sherpa have climbed the world's tallest peak this season.
The spring summit of the Mount Everest has almost come to an end for this year.

In an average, 33 climbers put their foothold in a day at the peak of the Everest that was opened for the climbing on April 11 this year after nine Sherpa fixed the rope to the summit. Nearly 22 climbers made it to the Everest on May 23, probably the last day of the summit for this season.

The Everest was shut in April 2014 following the deadly avalanche that killed 16 Nepali Sherpa guides. And in April last year, a devastating earthquake hit the country including the Everest region affecting expeditions to the mountain.

"We are still collecting reports about the climbers from the expedition companies who managed their expedition. So far we have got an informal reporting that 400 climbers have scaled the Mount Everest this year. Among them, 160 are foreigners," Gyanendra Shrestha of Mountaineering Section at DoT at the Ministry of Civil Aviation and Tourism told Republica.

According to the DoT, four climbers have lost their lives this year while ascending the Everest. Two Indians, one Australian and one Dutch climber have lost their lives during the summit. Similarly, one Indian climber is missing while returning from the peak.

While fatalities have occurred in almost every expedition year, the casualties this year is not so higher compared that those of previous years, say leaders of the mountaineering. "Though death of the mountaineers is a tragic loss, it seems resulting largely from the human errors or lack of proper management," Ang Tshering Sherpa, president of Nepal Mountaineering Association, told Republica. Most of the deaths this year are attributed to altitude sickness, frost bite or exposure.

DoT estimates that nearly 3.5 tons of garbage has been collected from the Mount Everest this year. A climber is required to collect and bring 8 KGs of garbage to Lukla. Sagarmatha Pollution Control Committee (SPCC) collects the garbage from climbers in Lukla and hands it over to the Kathmandu Metropolitan City in Kathmandu for disposal. Climbers get back their deposit of $ 4,000 only after the SPCC issues garbage clearance certificate certifying that the climber has brought back 8 Kg of garbage, according to officials of the DoT.

A total of 289 climbers including one Nepali have acquired permit from the department to climb Mount Everest, according to the department. Earlier on February 29, the government had decided to extend the climbing permits of those climbers whose expeditions were affected by last year's earthquake for two successive years. The two disasters had forced all the aspiring climbers to abandon or delay their expedition plans.
Sagar Ghimire

Ghimire is associated with Republica, English National Daily, since November 2013. He reports and writes on banking, financial, cooperatives, labor and foreign employment issues.


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