The first batch of climbers is all set to head towards Khumbu region tomorrow morning to begin climbing activities on Mt Everest and over 500 foreign climbers are expected to attempt to scale the world’s highest peak from Nepal side in the spring season.
Being the first to obtain climbing permit from the Department of Tourism for Mt Everest this climbing season, a 15-member team led by American mountaineer Dallas Glass of International Mountain Guides will leave for Lukla tomorrow to begin acclimatisation, Ang Jangbu Sherpa of Beyul Adventure Pvt Ltd said, adding that 17 more foreign climbers will obtain permits in a couple of days.
“I am happy to return to Mt Everest this season,” Jim Davidson, a seasoned mountaineer from Colorado, told this daily. Davidson, also co-author of The New York Times bestseller The Ledge is leaving for Lukla tomorrow and plans to be in Khumbu region for over two months. “The season will be quite interesting,” Davidson, who abandoned his last attempt on Mt Everest following the devastating April earthquake in 2015, added.
Mingma Sherpa, managing director of Seven Summits Treks, claimed that his company would be leading 15 expeditions including eight on Mt Everest this season. “At least 65 climbers will attempt Mt Everest from Nepal side while more than 100 others will be on other peaks, including Mt Kanchenjunga, Mt Makalu, Mt Lhotse, Mt Nuptse, Mt Annapurna and Mt Dhaulagiri, this season,” he said.
Himalayan Guides will also have four expeditions comprising over 50 climbers for Mt Everest,the company’s MD Iswari Paudel said, adding that his company would also run a few expeditions on other mountains.
“There will be more than 500 foreign climbers on Mt Everest this season,” Paudel, who is also secretary of the Expedition Operators Association Nepal, said.
There will be two expeditions of British Gurkhas, according to Summit Nepal Trek, which is also handling an expedition for Min Bahadur Sherchan, 85, this season. “Most of the companies have already transported logistics and gear to Khumbu region to set up base camp,” owner of Sherpa Khangri Outdoor Temba Tsheri Sherpa, who is also the youngest person to ever reach the summit of Mt Everest, said.
DoT has received applications from over 130 climbers representing 10 teams for Mt Everest till date and it expects more expeditions to seek climbing permits in the coming days.
This season too the government has failed to revise the existing act and regulations to make necessary improvement in the mountaineering sector. “Interestingly, none of the climbers will be getting a single GPS tracking device from DoT this season, as the department has done nothing in that
regard,” a senior DoT officer said, adding that liaison officers would also continue to enjoy impunity
According to Ang Dorjee Sherpa, chairman, Sagarmatha Pollution Control Committee, a team of eight icefall doctors has already reached the icefall section to fix the route up to Camp II. “The route fixing work is making steady progress,” he told THT over phone from Namche.
Global Rescue will also have its highly trained personnel on the ground, ready to perform life-saving rescue and evacuation missions.
“Physicians and paramedic rescue specialists are deployed in Nepal to assist climbers who are ill, injured or need to be evacuated,” Dan Richards, CEO and founder of Global Rescue, said in a statement.