Nepal says climbers re­turn­ing to climb Mount Ever­est

The China Post - - GUIDE POST - BY BI­NAJ GU­RUBACHARYA

Climbers are re­turn­ing to Mount Ever­est as the climb­ing in­dus­try re­cov­ers from last year’s deadly dis­as­ter on the world’s high­est peak, a Nepalese moun­taineer­ing of­fi­cial said Wed­nes­day.

Climbers from four teams have al­ready been is­sued per­mits al­low­ing them to climb the 8,850-me­ter peak, an­other 11 writ­ten ap­pli­ca­tions are pending and more ap­pli­ca­tions are ex­pected in the next few days, said Gya­nen­dra Shrestha, an of­fi­cial at Nepal’s Moun­taineer­ing Depart­ment.

The popular spring climb­ing sea­son be­gan last month and runs un­til the end of May.

“Last year’s dis­as­ter has not de­terred the climbers from com­ing back, in­stead, we are ex­pect­ing more than 40 teams dur­ing the sea­son,” Shrestha said. That com­pares with 31 teams last year.

It was feared that the deaths of 16 lo­cal Sherpa guides in an avalanche that led to the early end of the 2014 climb­ing sea­son would keep climbers away. Fol­low­ing the ac­ci­dent, other guides re­fused to work and climbers had to aban­don their bids.

Nepal’s gov­ern­ment, which makes mil- li­ons in per­mit fees, has been at­tempt­ing to lure the climbers back. It re­cently said that moun­taineers forced to aban­don last year’s climb would have their per­mits ex­tended to 2019.

As well, moun­taineer­ing au­thor­i­ties have pledged to im­prove weather fore­cast­ing, se­cu­rity and res­cue ef­forts. More med­i­cal staff has been placed at Mount Ever­est’s base camp, and the gov­ern­ment has set up a full-time of­fice tent at the camp, with of­fi­cials pro­vid­ing se­cu­rity, set­tling dis­putes among climbers and mon­i­tor­ing the ac­tiv­i­ties of the hun­dreds of climbers and guides at the camp.

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