Nepal | April 05, 2020

Icefall doctors leave for base camp to open Everest route

Rajan Pokhrel

KATHMANDU: With the start of main climbing season, an eight-member team of icefall doctors today left for the Mt Everest base camp from Namche Bazaar to fix a climbing route up to Camp II in the world’s highest peak.

The team led by Ang Sarki Sherpa along with two kitchen staff would reach the base camp in a couple of days, Nishan Shrestha, an official at the Sagarmatha Pollution Control Committee, said.

SPCC has been assigned to handle icefall doctors and garbage in the Everest region by the government. Annually, SPCC deploys a team of icefall doctors at the base camp to fix a climbing route after world climbers planned to summit different peaks, including Mt Everest, in the spring climbing season.

The experienced ice doctors will start opening climbing routes by fixing ladders and ropes for the main climbing season, Shrestha informed. “The team will begin rope fixing work in the treacherous icefall section after conducting a ground survey by early next week,” he added.

SPCC charges each foreign climber attempting to climb Mt Everest, Nuptse and Lhotse a sum of US$ 600 in spring season for the same task.

Though many climbers from Coronavirus-hit countries have already cancelled their bookings for different expeditions in Nepal this season, expedition operators said that there would be a significant presence of the world climbers as many will also be switching to Nepal route from Tibet this season. “Amid COVID-19 scare, there will be more than 30 teams in the world’s highest peak this season,” they claimed.

Expedition Operators Association of Nepal informed that different agencies have already started dropping loads in the Khumbu region.

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