Mt Everest climbing route to South Col opens

KATHMANDU: A group of trained mountain guides successfully established a climbing route up to South Col on Mt Everest as hundreds of mountaineers are acclimatising in Khumbu region before starting climbing the world's highest peak.

According to climbers, the rope fixing team set up a route to Camp IV (8,000m) from Camp II crossing the iced Lhotse Face of Mt Everest.

After returning to the base camp from Camp III, Tashi Sherpa of Himalayan Trailblazer told THT Online over telephone that seven different expeditions were assigned to fix rope above Camp II.

“Himalayan Trailblazer, International Mountain Guide, Himalaya Experience, Jagged Globe, Alpine Ascent International, Adventure Consultant and Asian Trekking jointly have taken a responsibility to fix route above Camp II,” said Sherpa, who was also involved in rope fixing up to Lhotse Face.

According to him, the rope fixing team comprises two members from each expedition.

Lhotse South Face of Mt Everest as seen from Camp II. Photo: Tashi Sherpa/Himalayan Trailblazer
Lhotse South Face of Mt Everest as seen from Camp II. Photo: Tashi Sherpa/Himalayan Trailblazer

At least 376 world climbers including 20 Nepalis representing five teams obtained climbing permits for Mt Everest while the Department of Tourism issued permits to 100 climbers for Mt Lhotse and 30 for Mt Nuptse in the spring season.

Climbers and support staff have also been dropping loads in Camp II, according to Lakpa Sherpa of Pioneer Adventure.

“Mt Everest region, especially the base camp, is gradually turning into a global village where over 400 foreign climbers and above 600 Nepali climbers and support staff will make their abode for the next two months,” he added.

Chairman of Sagarmatha Pollution Control Committee Ang Dorjee Sherpa said from Namche Bazaar that the season’s adventure activities were steadily gaining momentum in the Khumbu region while most of the world climbers have already headed towards Mt Everest base camp.

SPCC has assigned eight icefall doctors on Mt Everest to prepare a route up to camp II on Mt Everest and the route passes through the treacherous icefall section above base camp.

This year too, the Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation allowed the Expedition Operators’ Association of Nepal to airlift the rope fixing gear from the base camp to Camp II. The same rope was used to fix a route to Camp IV, Sherpa informed.

Depending upon the favourable summit window, most of the teams will make a final summit push by third week of May.