Appa joins Eco Everest Expedition at Khumbu

Kathmandu, May 13:

Record-holder climber Appa Sherpa has joined the Eco Everest Expedition at the Khumbu region and is likely to accompany the team to the top of the world.

“Appa did not have any plan to scale Mt Everest this season but when he heard of the Eco Everest Expedition and its objective of highlighting the threats posed by Glacier Lake Outburst Flooding (GLOF) and creating awareness about the importance of environmental conservation of mountain ecosystems among the locals in the Sagarmatha area, he said he would join the team and their cause,” Ang Chhering Sherpa, the chairman of Asian Trekking Pvt Ltd, which is managing the expedition, told this daily.

Appa reached Khumbu region to support the team with their Dig Tsho Field Expedition mission that started on April 6.

Appa lost his property in the flooding resulted by Dig Tsho glacier burst in 1985 and is sentimentally attached to the expedition.

“But I cannot say right now whether Appa, who has already scaled Mt Everest 17 times, has also decided to climb up to the summit,” Ang Chhering said.

Ang Chhering’s son Dawa Stevan Sherpa is leading the 62-day Eco Expedition with renowned international mountaineers, including Japanese climber Ken Noguchi.

In addition to this expedition with a cause, there are some 300 others scaling their way to the top of the world. The government had until May 9 restricted any expedition from scaling Mt Everest to facilitate Chinese plan to take the Olympic relay torch atop the Everest.

Most of the summitters are now between Camp II at 6,500 metres and Camp III at 7,200 metres.

Ang Chhering also said all climbers would have to reach the summit by May 27 because weather after that might not be favourable for climbers.

Quoting his son, who is now near South Col, Ang Chhering said the weather was now clear and the first team may reach the top on May 17.

Ramesh KC, an officer at Tourism Promotion Division, said 32 teams with seven to 12 members each had received the government permission to climb Everest this year.

Among others, 77-year-old Min Bahadur Sherchan is likely to set a record of being the oldest man on Mt Everest and 10 Nepali women are venturing for the first inclusive Nepali women’s expedition.