Two injured as ice collapse hits Mt Everest route

KATHMANDU: At least two climbing Sherpas were injured when the icefall section of the Mt Everest witnessed an ice collapse early this morning, according to the expedition officials.

The incident occurred at around 4:00 am when a group of climbing Sherpas headed for Camp I from the base camp for acclimatisation, Rishi Bhandari, Managing Director at Satori Adventures Pvt Ltd said.

Ngima Sherpa who suffered severe injury on his back has been airlifted to Kathmandu for treatment while Dendi Sherpa is undergoing treatment at base camp clinic set up by Himalayan Rescue Association, he shared. “Sherpa is undergoing treatment at Norvic International Hospital in Kathmandu,” he said, adding that his condition was out of danger.

According to Ang Dorjee Sherpa, Chairman at Sagarmatha Pollution Control Committee, icefall doctors took nearly two hours to reopen the route. “Now, the icefall route is open as incidents like an ice collapse or small avalanches are normal on the mountains,” Sherpa told THT from Namche Bazaar. Icefall section is considered as one of the riskiest areas on the way to Mt Everest summit.

The trained Sherpa climbers have already fixed ropes to the yellow band near the Geneva Spur above Camp III, Mingma Sherpa, Managing Director at Imagine Treks, said. “Depending upon the weather condition, our team plans to make summit push on Mt Lhotse in a couple of days,” he added.

Dendi Sherpa of Tag Nepal who is now at the base camp said that his team safely returned to the base camp today after spending two nights at Camp I for acclimatisation. “Climbers have already started making acclimatisation rotation along the high camps,” he added. According to him, most of the expeditions have already set up their tents at Camp I ferrying loads to the high camps. The base camp is being crowded with climbers and their support staff.

Tilak Ram Pandey, an official at the Department of Tourism said that at least 347 members of 38 teams, including 20 Nepali female climbers, obtained climbing permits to attempt to climb Mt Everest till date while over 1,000 Nepali support staff would accompany world climbers in the Mt Everest region. Additionally, three Nepali women have also headed to the Mt Everest region to work as climbing guide this season, he said.

“The DoT also issued climbing permits to 88 climbers of eight different teams for Mt Lhotse,” he said, adding that there were 574 climbers who obtained climbing permits for different mountains including Mt Kanchenjunga (42) and Mt Makalu (36) in the spring season. “Twenty six climbers including Spanish climber Carlos Soria Fontan (79) have obtained permits for Mt Dhaulagiri.”