Avalanches hamper mountaineers' preparations

Kathmandu, April 5

With the avalanches and bad weather scaring all above the height of 5,000 metres since the last few days, the icefall doctors halted the construction of climbing route on Mt Everest while base camp workers said they were also struggling hard to set up tents at the base camp.

Two avalanches had already occurred each on Mt Pumori and Mt Nuptse in the last three days, Nima Gyalzen Sherpa, who is now at base camp, told this daily over phone. “We felt the windy blow of avalanches at base camp but stayed safe,” a nine-time Everest summiteer said.


According to him, it seems like the range (Mahalangur) is still not as safe as they had thought.

“We have halted our work for two days due to unfavourable weather condition,” an icefall doctor Gelje Sherpa said, adding that the team of eight trained icefall doctors would try to fix ropes and ladders up to Camp II tomorrow.

According to him, at least 20 ladders were used to complete a route up to Camp I that passes through the treacherous icefall section above the base camp.

Karma Sherpa, a mountain guide at the base camp, said the support staff had been struggling to set up tents for more than 30 expeditions, while most of the climbers had already reached Khumbu region for acclimatisation. “The Everest base camp is slowly turning into a global village,” he said.

Everest ER, in collaboration with Himalayan Rescue Association, has also started setting up a medical clinic at the base camp. “Our doctors started unpacking and organising medication and equipment while our first patient arrived shortly thereafter and was evacuated later in the day,” the team said.

The team of medical doctors includes Tash Pirie-Burley, Rachel Tullet, Tatiana Havryliuk, Yogesh Subedi and Lakpa Norbu Sherpa, according to the organisation. “A team of Wilderness Medical Society led by Luanne Freer will also join Everest ER medical efforts during its trek to base camp.”

According to Gyanendra Shrestha, an official at DoT, at least 275 climbing permits have been issued for 31 Everest expedition teams till date. “Among them, female climber Marin Minamiya, 19, is headed towards Mt Everest aiming to be the youngest Japanese to conquer world’s highest mountain,” he added.