KATHMANDU, June 14: A total of 659 people including Sherpa guides successfully climbed Mount Everest, the world's highest peak, in 2019's spring. According to the data given by the Department of Tourism (DoT), of the number scaling the peak, 378 were guides.
The permission was given in accordance with the Tourism Act- 2035 BS and the Mountaineering Expeditions Rule- 2059 BS. A total of 44 teams comprising 1,023 members which included climbers, leaders and guides, took the expedition permit for Everest this time. Similarly, eight people had died and one has been missing in course of Everest climbing this spring, the Department said quoting several agencies.
The Department criticising the media report that a traffic jam and a high number of route permits caused the fatalities in Everest this time, made it clear that on the basis of statements given by liaison officers deputed for expeditions and other agencies, it could be said the deaths were due to high-altitude sickness, adverse weather, a sudden loss of consciousness and physical weakness. Only 35 more (a total of 381 climbers besides their guides) people were given the permission for Everest expedition this time and this number was 366 in 2017 and 346 in 2018.
The Department said the facts denied a report that excessive permits resulted in the deaths of climbers and leader guides. A five-member team was formed on June 7 under the convenorship of chief of Human Resource Management and Tourism Promotion Division, the Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation to study about the missing and death cases related to Everest expedition and give recommendations to the government for policy-level, legal, structure and other reforms in the mountaineering sector. The committee is said to have been studying the issues seriously.