Traffic jam not connected to climber deaths, Department of Tourism says

Published On: May 27, 2019 10:05 AM NPT By: Republica


KATHMANDU, May 27: While national and international media reports connected the deaths of climbers on Mt Everest this season to overcrowding, the Department of Tourism on Sunday said such claims were misleading and unwarranted. 

Issuing a press statement, the department which is responsible for managing expeditions argued that since the causes of climbers’ death can be determined only through proper investigations, it is sad to see overcrowding alone being blamed for the climber deaths.

“Since the causes of the deaths can be ascertained only through a ‘scientific system’, I urge everyone to be careful while sharing views [on social media] on important and sensitive issues like mountaineering,” said the department’s director general Danduraj Ghimire in the press statement.

DG Ghimire said the ‘traffic jam’ on the world’s highest mountain was caused by the delay in fixing ropes due to short weather window this year. 

Eight climbers died on Everest although there were no major natural calamities such as avalanche, snowstorms and earthquake this season.  Of the total climber deaths four are connected to the traffic jam. The four had died last Wednesday and Thursday—when Everest witnessed massive traffic jam. 

On Wednesday, American climber Donald Lynn Cash had died at the Balcony of Everest while descending from the summit. Three Indian climbers—Anjali Sharad Kulkarni, Kalpana Das and Nimal Ashpak—died on Thursday.

As Nepal granted Everest expedition permits to a record 381 climbers this season, many climbers and Sherpas experienced hours-long traffic jam this year. 

The spring expedition of Everest begins in March and ends in late May. Climbers from various parts of the world gather at the Everest Base Camp for weeks seeking favorable weather condition for climbing Everest. Nepal, home to eight of the 14 mountains above 8000 meters, welcomes hundreds of climbers every year. 

At least 16 climbers and Sherpas have died on mountains of Nepal this season.


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