In an historic first in Himalayan mountaineering, four eight-thousanders in Nepal recorded their first summit of the season on the same day on Tuesday.
According to the Department of Tourism, the 2019 spring climbing season officially began on Everest (8,848 metres), Kanchenjunga (8,586 metres), Lhotse (8,516 metres) and Makalu (8,463 metres) on Tuesday.
“It’s an historic day to record the first seasonal summit on four eight-thousanders on the same day,” said Surendra Thapa, spokesperson for the department. There are 14 peaks in the world that are more than 8,000 metres high known as the eight-thousanders. Eight of them are located in Nepal.
According to Thapa, eight rope fixing guides reached the top of Everest at 1:45pm. Five climbers reached the summit of Lhotse at 9:47am and six climbers reached the summit of Kanchenjunga at 3:15pm. Five climbing guides made it to the summit of Makalu at 8:45am on Tuesday.
“Historically important day in 8000m,” climber Mingma Sherpa and director of Imagine Nepal wrote on his Facebook page. Experienced climbing guides prepare a safe route up the mountain and climbers follow it.
This season, the Department of Tourism which issues climbing permits has granted permission to a record 378 fee-paying climbers to mount their bids on the world’s tallest peak.
With each climber hiring at least one local high altitude climbing guide, the total number of individuals on the mountain may reach 1,000 this season. The highest number of climbing permits issued for Everest is 371 in 2017.
“Nearly 50 individuals have lined up to head for the Everest summit on Tuesday night,” said Shrestha. Team leader Siddhi Bahadur Tamang along with Pasdawa Sherpa, Dorji Gyalgen Sherpa, Pasang Dawa Sherpa, Dawa Nurbu Sherpa, Ming Dorje Sherpa, Aang Phurba Sherpa and Sangbu Bhote Lama became the first Everest summiteers of the season.
According to Thapa, weathermen have forecast good weather for the next four days. “The weather has been forecast to be disturbed on May 18 and 19,” he said.
“We expect a large number of climbers to make their bids within the next four days.”
Last year, climbing permits were issued to 349 fee-paying climbers.
There were 514 high-altitude climbing guides, who are not required to pay climbing fees, assisting the climbers last year. A record 563 people, including 261 fee-paying climbers, stood atop the hallowed peak. There were no Everest bids in the spring of 2015 due to the earthquake even though 356 mountaineers had acquired climbing permits.
Avalanches set off by the devastating April 25 tremor killed 20 climbers, including guides and helpers at base camp. Foreigners pay $11,000 each to obtain a climbing permit and spend between $40,000 and $90,000 to climb Everest.
The climbing permit fee for Nepalis is Rs75,000 each.
The government has collected around $4 million by issuing Everest climbing permits this season.
22-time summiteer Kami Rita back on Everest
KATHMANDU: Kami Rita Sherpa, who has climbed Everest a record 22 times, is planning to make his push for the top on Tuesday night and try to break his own record. According to sources at Everest Base Camp, Kami Rita is among 50 climbers waiting to mount their bids from Camp IV. They will begin their final ascent to the summit between 9 and 10pm on Tuesday night.
Published: 15-05-2019 08:34