China opens Everest for its nationals in spring season
KATHMANDU: China is all set to allow its nationals to attempt to climb the world’s highest peak from Tibet side in the spring season, according to sources.
This season, no foreigners would be allowed to climb Mt Everest from the northern route but Chinese teams could easily get permit for Everest expedition, a high-level source at the China Tibet Mountaineering Association said.
According to sources, there will be at least 26 members including six female climbers from China who will be attempting to stand atop the roof of the world in May, a senior official said.
According to him, Yarla Shampo Expeditions, the only authorised operator for Chinese teams, has already started preparations to run expeditions on Mt Everest. “North route has been closed for all but Chinese nationals,” a source close to Yarla Shampo Expeditions told THT. “Yarla Shampo has received confirmation from 26 Chinese members for Everest expedition,” it added.
On March 13, Mountaineering Sports Administration of Tibet and Mountaineering Association of Tibet had issued a joint statement restricting foreign mountaineering expeditions on Mt Everest in the spring season.
“In consideration of the severe and complicated situation of COVID-19 global outbreak, it is decided to suspend acceptance of foreign mountaineering expedition teams in the spring 2020,” the statement read.
As new confirmed cases were dropping in China, local climbers, now, don’t need to go for the 14-day quarantine before they embark on Mt Everest bid, CTMA source said.
“We are busy in preparing logistics and necessary stuff for the Everest expedition,” a senior member of Yarla Shampo Expeditions said. As per their plan, climbers would reach Lhasa by the first week of April to begin their expedition on Mt Everest.
On March 13, Nepal has also suspended all permits for mountaineering expeditions that have already been issued and has put a restriction on new permits for the spring season this year.