220 scale Everest as season nears end

Kathmandu, May 28:

The short spring season for climbing Mount Everest is going to end soon as the government has issued permission for climbing only till May 31.

The Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation said nobody scaled the world’s tallest peak today. “Probably, the season has come to an end,” Ramesh KC, a tourism ministry official, said.

Namgya Sherpa of Taplejung was the first to scale Everest this season. He reached the top of the world on May 21. Till the date, at least 220 people have scaled the peak from the normal route and nobody except the 19-member Olympic torch expedition scaled Everest on May 7 from the Chinese side.

Talking to this daily, president of Nepal Mountaineering Association Ang Tshering Sherpa said the number of Everest climbers did not rise this year. Last year, 254 people had scaled the Everest from the Nepali side and 303 from the Chinese side.

Sherpa said climbing Everest from the Nepali side has become more expensive than climbing it from the Chinese side. He added the season remained normal except for tensions for a few days at the beginning of the season when the government banned expeditions till May 10.

Sherpa said only one climber, a Swiss mountaineer, died on Everest this season. The number of accidents and deaths on Everest went drastically down this season, thanks to the modern technologies and experience of the climbers, he said.