KATHMANDU, May 14: An eight-member team of guides recorded the first summit of Mount Everest (8848 m) for this spring season of 2018 on Sunday. The team which started fixing the ropes on the way to the mountain’s top from mid-April scaled it on Sunday, opening the route for this season. The team includes eight guides–Pasang Tenjing Sherpa, Pasdawa Sherpa, Lakpa Dendi Sherpa, Jen Jen Lama, Siddi Bahadur Tamang, Pemba Chhiri Sherpa, Tenzing Gyaljen Sherpa and Datuk Bhote. This is the first summit of this spring season.
The rope-fixing team was deployed by Himalayan Guides Nepal (HGN) which has been assigned by the Expedition Operators Association Nepal to fix the ropes on the route from Nepal side to Mt Everest. According to Ishwari Poudel, general manager of HGN, the team reached the top of Mt Everest at 3:30 pm on Sunday.
“The rope fixing team has successfully scaled Mt Everest, fixing the ropes on the way for this season,” Poudel said adding, “Starting from the Southern side, the team reached the top of the mountain this Sunday at 3:30 pm.” He further said that the team will return to Everest Base Camp on Monday. “With this, now the route has been cleared for the climbers who are going to scale Mt Everest this season,” Poudel added.
He however said that bad weather had affected the work for four to five days last week. “This caused a little delay in the work. However, the team has successfully completed the work,” Poudel told Republica.
According to the Department of Tourism (DoT), a total of 326 climbers of 34 expedition teams have received permits to climb Mt Everest this spring season. Around 5,000 climbers have reached the summit of Mt Everest so far, DoT says. In the spring season of last year, the department had issued climbing permits to a total of 834 mountaineers of 107 expedition teams for climbing various peaks. Of them, 375 mountaineers from 42 expedition teams had received the permit to climb Mt Everest.
Based on the data compiled by the department up to May 4, 2018, a total of 838 members of 104 teams have received expedition permits for the spring season this year so far.
The government levies a climbing permit fee of US$ 11,000 per climber for foreigners interested in climbing Mt Everest. Such fee for Nepali climbers is Rs 75,000 per climber. The government mobilized a revenue of Rs 389.5 million from the permit fee in 2017 – a growth of 27.61 percent compared to revenue figures of 2016. Figures compiled by the department, however, exclude the royalty collected by Nepal Mountaineering Association (NMA) from 27 small peaks. Nepal government has opened 414 peaks so far for mountaineering. Of them, 92 peaks are yet to be climbed.