Nepal | July 14, 2020

Icefall doctors open Everest route using 20 ladders

Rajan Pokhrel
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An icefall doctor placing aluminium ladders and black diamond static ropes while preparing a climbing route along the treacherous section above the Base Camp on the way to Mt Everest for spring climbing. Photo courtesy: Nishan Shrestha / SPCC

FILE: An icefall doctor placing aluminium ladders and black diamond static ropes while preparing a climbing route along the treacherous section above the Base Camp on the way to Mt Everest for spring climbing. Photo courtesy: Nishan Shrestha / SPCC

KATHMANDU: As the world mountaineers started heading towards the Mt Everest region for acclimatisation, the icefall doctors have opened a climbing route from the Base Camp to Camp II.

A team of eight icefall doctors finally opened the climbing route by placing ropes and ladders on the treacherous section of the Khumbu icefall last night, Kapindra Rai, an official at the Namche-based Sagarmatha Pollution Control Committee, confirmed.

The SPCC has been assigned to handle icefall doctors and garbage in the Everest region by the government.

As per the information received from the icefall doctors, at least 20 ladders were placed to open the traditional route, he told THT Online over the telephone from Namche Bazaar.

Icefall doctors believed that the route, the climb from the Base Camp to Camp I in the Western Cwm, which is the glacial valley basin at the foot of Mt Everest’s Lhotse Face, was considered to be safer, according to him.

The team of icefall doctors led by Ang Kami Sherpa (67) of Chaurikharka, includes Ang Sarki Sherpa, Mingma Temba Sherpa, Dawa Jangbu Sherpa, Dawa Nuru Sherpa, Pasang Tshering Sherpa, Nima Ongchu Sherpa and Ngawang Paljor Sherpa.  There are two base camp support staffs — Ngawang Thanten Sherpa and Mingma Dorjee Sherpa — along with the team, he added.

The team of trained icefall doctors has only been assigned to fix a route up to Camp II and the government has allowed the Expedition Operators Association Nepal to fix the ropes on their own to the summit points on Mt Everest and Mt Lhotse from Camp II.

Iswari Poudel, Managing Director at Himalayan Guides, informed that most of the expedition operating agencies had already sent their support staff to the base camp to place tents and manage the logistics for the world climbers.

Till date, the Department of Tourism has issued climbing permits for 18 expeditions comprising 180 foreign climbers on Mt Everest.

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