Dahal at Everest base camp as climbers prepare summitting

KATHMANDU: With mountaineers making final preparations to make an attempt to summit the world’s highest peak, Chairman of the UCPN-Maoist Pushpa Kamal Dahal on Sunday morning landed at the Mt Everest base camp and interacted with the climbers and icefall doctors.

According to a liaison officer Shiva Sapkota from the Everest Summiteers’ Association, the Maoist leader congratulated the icefall doctors who worked hard to prepare a route up to the camp II from the base camp this spring season.

Dahal who reached Namche Bazaar on Saturday had flown to the base camp on an Air Dynasty helicopter.

According to Sapkota, Dahal was accompanied by his son Prakash and Yeti Airlines Managing Director Ang Tshering Sherpa.

During a 15-minute event, the UCPN-M Chairperson also expressed his best wishes to the world climbers who have been waiting for a fair window to make a final summit push on the mountains while the icefall doctors briefed him about the latest situation in the Khumbu region.

Senior Vice-President of the Trekking Agents Association of Nepal Tashi Lakpa Sherpa and members of the Seven Summit Treks were also present on the occasion, he added.

According to climbers, a climbing route upto the South Col was opened on Friday while rope fixing to the summit of Mt Everest and Mt Lhotse will commence from Tuesday and expected to be finished by a day after.

The International Mountain Guides has taken over the responsibility of fixing the summit route of Mt Everest in which 10 Sherpas will be fixing the ropes, according to them.

“The Indian Army Expedition team has taken the responsibility of fixing the summit route of Mt Lhotse by employing four Sherpas.”

Most of the teams are fully acclimatised and are waiting for the summit rope fixing as well as good weather window to plan their move further.

“Sherpas have started dropping loads at the South Col while most of the teams plan to make a final summit push by the third week of May,” a team leader shared.

Depending upon the weather pattern, some of the climbers would try to head to the summit from May 13, he added. “The weather is looking good all the way from now up until May 20.”

The Department of Tourism under the Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation has issued climbing permits to over 400 climbers for various mountains this season, including 289 (34 teams) for the Mt Everest.

More than 500 high altitude workers and base camp staff have also joined the teams attempting to climb the Mt Everest, the Mt Lhotse and the Mt Nuptse this season.

The world climbers have returned to the mountains this spring while the stakeholders have been struggling hard to revive the tourism industry which was worst hit by back-to-back disasters in the last two years.