KATHMANDU, April 1: The number of people climbing Mt Sagarmatha from Nepal has been increasing this year as there will be no climbing from China in the spring this year. Officials at the Department of Tourism (DoT) are optimistic that this could greatly help revive the mountaineering sector that suffered huge loss last year due to the pandemic.
According to the DoT, as many as 86 climbers from 11 expedition teams have been allowed to climb the mountains, including Mt. Sagarmatha, as of Wednesday. The number includes 31 people from three groups aspiring to climb Sagarmatha this spring season.
Similarly, 44 people have been allowed to climb Mt Annapurna, five Mt Lhotse, four Mt Nuptse, one each to Mt Manaslu and Mt Tukuche. Of the total climbers, 64 are men and 22 are women. The department has collected Rs 49.29 million as royalty from the mountaineers.
According to the Expedition Operator’s Association, a team of Icefall Doctors (Sherpas who put ropes and ladders in the mountains) has been deployed to pave the way for climbers. The association has stated that the route to the first camp of Sagarmatha at an altitude of 6,000 meters has been prepared. A team deployed in the mountains is currently setting up a route to the second camp (Khumbu). The preparation of the route to Khumbu is the responsibility of the Sagarmatha Pollution Control Committee and the construction of the route above it is the responsibility of the EOA.
According to the Sagarmatha Pollution Control Committee, Mingma Temba, Dawa Jangbu, Nigma Wangchu, Palden Namgyel, Aang Sarki, Fuchhetar and Dawanuru Sherpa are currently at work preparing the route to Camp 2. The team is being supported by the team at the Sagarmatha Base Camp, the committee said.
The EOA, which has been given the responsibility to prepare the route from Camp 2, has given the responsibility to Seven Summit Treks this year.
According to Seven Summit Treks, a team of Icefall Doctors is currently preparing the way for Khumbu. “If the weather is good, the team will complete the work within this week. After which the way to the summit will be prepared,” it said.
According to Mingma Sherpa, chairman of Seven Summit Treks, the number of climbers from Nepal may increase this year as there is only one group that will attempt to climb Sagarmatha from the Chinese side. “About 350 climbers will be able to climb Sagarmatha from Nepal this year,” he told Republica.
“Once the Icefall Doctor's team prepares the way to Camp 2, it will be easier to get the goods there,” he said. “The way will be prepared so that climbers can complete their ascent within the first week of June.” As per the current situation, climbers can take to the Sagarmatha by last week of April. This will be the first expedition to Sagarmatha after Nepal and China jointly announced a new height of 8884.86 meters last year.