KATHAMNDU: At least 449 climbers including 190 foreigners successfully scaled the world’s highest peak in the spring climbing season after a team of rope-fixing climbers opened a climbing route to the Mt Everest summit on May 15.
With the closure of the climbing season, the world’s highest mountain also recorded five deaths this spring, officials said.
According to the Department of Tourism under the Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation, at least 164 foreign climbers who obtained climbing permits for Mt Everest, however, failed to make it to the summit.
“The season ran well though the climbers got a very short window to make final summit pushes on Mt Everest,” Khem Raj Aryal, an official at DoT said. According to him, the department issued 375 climbing permits representing 42 teams for Mt Everest in the spring season. “There were 21 Nepali expedition members including five team leaders,” he added.
With 449 standing atop the roof of the world this year, the world’s highest peak recorded at least 5,328 summits till date after Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay become the first to reach the summit of Mt Everest on 29 May, 1953. Last year, at least 452 climbers including 197 foreigners scaled Mt Everest, according to the data compiled by DoT.
The DoT issues Mt Everest permit to the foreign climbers charging US$ 11,000 each as royalty. “Roland Yearwood, Vladimir Strba, Ravi Kumar, Min Bahadur Sherchan and Ueli Steck died while attempting to climb Mt Everest this spring,” Aryal said.
The DoT record shows that there were 109 expeditions comprising 840 members obtained climbing permits for different mountains in the spring season. Among the expedition members, 113 climbers obtained permits for Mt Lhotse, 77 for Mt Dhaulagiri, 45 for Mt Makalu and 14 for Mt Annapurna, Aryal shared.
“This season, Mt Lhotse also recorded 95 summits in three years as the fourth highest mountain in the world drew the blank following the back-to-back disasters that hit the Mt Everest region in the previous years.”
High winds as well as technical and logistic issues also barred at least 29 expedition members along with their support staff from standing atop Mt Kanchenjunga (Main – 8,586 m and South – 8,476 m), Mt Manaslu (8,163 m) and Mt Yalung Kang (8,505 m), the DoT official added.