Kathmandu, April 9
Everest climbers in figures
No. of climbers
With icefall doctors completing the construction of a climbing route up to Camp II by today afternoon, at least 279 mountaineers from 38 countries can now attempt to climb the world’s highest peak this spring season .
“We have constructed a route starting from base camp (5,335m) to camp II (6,400m) by placing 23 aluminium ladders and ropes along the icefall section,” Gelje Sherpa, an icefall doctor told this daily over phone from base camp.
Sagarmatha Pollution Control Committee had mobilised a team of eight icefall doctors to build a climbing path more than a month ago.
The committee charges each climber with US$ 600 for using an icefall route in the spring season.
Mountaineers attempting to climb Mt Everest, Mt Lhotse and Mt Nuptse need to pass through the newly constructed route on their way to the top of the mountains.
“At least 385 climbers, including 72 on Mt Lhotse and 34 on Mt Nuptse, will use the icefall route. The department of tourism issued climbing permits to 32 expedition teams for Mt Everest, nine teams for Mt Lhotse and five expeditions to Mt Nuptse,” Gyanendra Shrestha, an official at DoT, said.
According to him, more than 500 support staff, including climbing guides, sirdars and kitchen workers also headed towards the Everest region to facilitate the world climbers. Anish Luitel is the sole Nepali climber who obtained permit to climb Mt Everest this season.
Alan Arnette, a climber from Colorado, informed that tea houses were almost empty with fewer trekkers on the Everest region this season.
Karma Sherpa, a mountain guide, said climbers would arrive at base camp in a day or two while most of the expeditions had already set up their tents. “Climbers usually need to spend nearly four weeks in the Everest region to acclimatise and prepare for a final summit push,” he added.
Nearly 40 per cent of the climbers have reused the permits issued in 2014 and 2015 this season as an avalanche and the devastating earthquake had forced them to abandon climbing activities in the Khumbu region, Shrestha added.
DoT had issued 265 fresh permits last spring while 109 had reused the permits issued in 2014 for Mt Everest.
A version of this article appears in print on April 10, 2016 of The Himalayan Times.