Kathmandu, March 26
With icefall doctors struggling to fix ropes and ladders in the treacherous section above Everest base camp, the first batch of climbers is all set to head towards Khumbu region tomorrow morning to begin this season’s climbing activities on Mt Everest.
Being the first to obtain climbing permits for Mt Everest this season, three expeditions comprising 34 mountaineers today attended a briefing at the Department of Tourism to begin their attempt to climb the world’s highest peak, Gyanendra Shrestha, an official at DoT said. According to him, an eight-member team of foreign climbers also obtained permit today for Mt Lhotse.
Ang Jangbu Sherpa of International Mountain Guides said that all four expeditions, including three for Mt Everest, locally managed by Beyul Adventure Pvt Ltd, would leave for Khumbu region tomorrow morning to begin acclimatisation.
A 15-member team led by American mountaineer Justine Reese Merle comprises 11 US climbers and one each from Germany, Morocco, Australia and Italy, while another 10-member expedition is being led by Jonathan Floyd Schrock with eight members from the US and two from Australia and Brazil. “Nine climbers of another team led by Joshna Tyler reused their individual climbing permits issued in 2014,” Sherpa said.
DOT has received applications from 18 teams including a 14-member NCC Girls Indian Everest Expedition seeking climbing permits for more than 125 climbers till date.
According to Shrestha, DoT expects more expeditions to seek climbing permits in the coming days as the government has decide to extend permits issued in 2015 by two more years to welcome world climbers, who abandoned their bids last spring due to the earthquake that struck parts of the nation killing nearly 9,000 people.
Mingma Sherpa, managing director of Seven Summits Treks, told this daily that his company would be leading 12 expedition,s including five on Mt Everest this season. “At least 45 climbers will attempt Mt Everest while more than 100 others will be on other peaks including Mt Makalu, Mt Lhotse, Mt Nuptse, Mt Annapurna and Mt Dhaulagiri this season,” he said.
Jiban Ghimire, MD at Shangri-La Nepal Treks informed he will lead expeditions on Mt Everest, Mt Lhotse and Mt Annapurna III this season.
Navin Trital, MD at Expedition Himalaya said that apart from Mt Everest and Lhotse, his company will also organise a memorial trip to Langtang Valley to revive tourism in the Valley, which was devastated by the April earthquake.
According to an icefall doctor Gelje Sherpa, his team has been struggling hard to fix route on Mt Everest this season. “We aim to reach to Camp I after fixing ladders and ropes along the icefall section by Monday,” he told this daily over phone, adding that they had already used 13 ladders along the section that witnessed more cracks and holes than in the past seasons due to an avalanche triggered by April earthquake.
SPCC, which mobilizes icefall doctors, has already placed 76 garbage bins at various resting points along the major trekking rails of Everest region while vice chair of the National Tourism Promotion Committee Lhakpa Sonam Sherpa also announced that Tara Air under its corporate social responsibility would ferry the collected garbage from Khumbu region free of cost.