Nepal extends Everest climbing date as hundreds await turn

Kathmandu, May 28 (EFE).- Nepal Friday extended the closing date for Everest climbers until June 3 due to bad weather that has forced hundreds of mountaineers to wait for their turn to reach the tallest peak.

The extension for the climb on the Khumbu Icefall route for climbers attempting the Everest peak is the first since 2005.

Director tourism Mira Acharya told EFE that the government allowed the Sagarmatha Pollution Control Committee (SPCC) to extend the closing date to facilitate climbers.

“There are many climbers who have completed their acclimatization and are waiting for good weather. We have decided to give them a chance as we deemed the weather to be favorable at the end of May.”

In Nepal, the monsoon begins in June. It is highly risky to walk around the Khumbu Icefall route in the rainy season because of melting ice.

According to the tourism ministry, there has been a rare climb in June on Everest.

There have been four climbs on June 2, 2005.

American David C. Morton, Brazilians Waldemar Niclevicz and Iravan Gustavo Burda, and a Nepali Pemba Chhori Sherpa scaled the peak that day.

On June 5 that year, Claybourne Fox Clarke and Daniel Lee Mazur from the United States and two Nepalese, Tenji Sherpa and Lakpa Sherpa, reached the summit.

“The decision was made in consultation with the Department of Tourism and Expedition Operator’s Association considering the adverse weather conditions due to Cyclone Yaas,” the committee said in its notice issued Friday.

The tourism ministry contracted the committee in 1997 to prepare the climbing route through the Khumbu Icefall.

The route between the Everest base camp and Camp 2 passes over deep and dangerous crevasses and is used to climb Mt Everest, Mt Nuptse, and Mt Lhotse.

In every climbing season, highly skilled and experienced Sherpas of the committee prepare the route by fixing ropes and aluminum ladders.

Ang Tshering Sherpa, former president of Nepal Mountaineering Association, told EFE that the sherpas dismantle the route by May end.

“When the ice melts due to summer heat, there are high chances of the avalanche when the lower part of the icefall develops cracks.”

He, however, said since there has been a heavy snowfall on Everest, the Icefall route would not be affected.

This year, amid the Covid-19 pandemic, Nepal issued a record 408 climbing permits.

With each climber hiring one guide, the total number attempting Everest would be more than 800.

According to expedition outfitters, around 350 climbers have reached the summit so far.

There are around 250 climbers left waiting at the base camp and Camp 2.

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