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Mountaineers throng Everest with onset of spring summit season


Mt Everest has drawn mountaineers from at least 41 countries to her cold embrace as the year’s spring climbing season begins.
Nearly 300 mountaineers including 16-year-old Mathew Momiz and William Mithcell Burkey, 73, from the US and female climbers Deerness Joy Christine, 65, from New Zealand and Australian Azer Alyssa Nicole, 18, have headed towards the Everest region, officials at the Mountaineering Department at the Ministry of Tourism and Civil Aviation said. The department has permitted 75 expeditions including 28 for Mt Everest, generating royalty worth more than US$ 3.32 million. US$ 2.9 million is from Everest alone.

Each climber will have to bring back eight kg garbage in addition to their own from the top of the world as per a new rule introduced to keep Everest clean. Going by the number of mountaineers headed for the summit, at least 2.4 metric tonnes of garbage will be collected from Everest this season.

“There is no excuse and it doesn’t matter who you are, where you are from, what your physical abilities or inabilities, as a climber you must submit the rubbish at the Base Camp,” Madhusudan Burlakoti, Ministry Spokesperson said.

According to DoM, five septuagenarians, 13 sexagenarians and three below 20 years will attempt the climb. Only 16 per cent of the mountaineers are female. “Teams comprising three members to 15 have been issued permit.” Among the mountaineers, 13 countries have one member each represented in their expeditions.

A contact office with 16 staffers will be opened at the base camp in the first week of May. Security personnel, ministry officials and support staff have reached the camp to facilitate climbers .

According to trekking entrepreneur Nima Nuru Sherpa, icefall doctors have already installed ropes up to Camp 2. Climbers are now acclimatising in the Khumbu region and expedition support staff are preparing the way by setting up camps, tents, food supply and other equipment. Generally, Mt Everest records its first spring summit in the second week of May and the climbing window closes roughly by the end of the first week of June.

As of 2013, there were 6,871 summits — Nepal side – 4,416; Tibet side-2,455 — by 4,042 summiteers. In 2013, 539 summits were recorded from Nepal side, while Tibet side recorded 119 summits. There were 248 casualties, including 161 of foreigners, according to Himalayan Database.

What’s trending

• Andy Holzer, 47, from Austria, blind by birth is in a bid to be the first blind European to summit the world’s highest peak

• Julian Mocklinghoff is filming a documentary on Holzer’s expedition titled ‘Andreas Osterreich to Everest’

• Steve Obbay, Nairobi-based entrepreneur, in bid to be the first Kenyan to summit Mt Everest

• Greg Paul, 59, from US, attempting to summit on two artificial knees

• Bill Burke, 72, from USA, climbing Everest from North Col in bid to be the oldest climber from a non-Asian country to reach the summit from both sides; he had climbed Everest from South Col in 2009

• Love birds from New Zealand Jim and Loretta got married at Everest base camp on April 8

• Google Inc shooting documentary ‘Everest Story Camp 2014’

Andrew Ivan Awes, USA, filming Khumbu region for his documentary ‘America Unearthed, Bigfoot Captured’ with approximate cost of US$ 45,000

• US$ 10 million documentary project ‘Everest Wingsuite Live’ launched by Peacock Productions, National Broadcasting Corporation, New York

• Discovery Channel is set to air first wingsuit flight off Everest by Joby Ogwyn live

• Russell Reginald Brice of New Zealand shooting documentary ‘Sherpa in the Shadow of the Mountains’ at an estimated cost of US$ 250,000

• Michael John Roberts of New Zealand, shooting a documentary called ‘Everest’

• Emma Louise Bernhard of UK, filming a documentary ‘One Planet Mountains’ in Everest region

source: Himalayan Times, 13 April 2014

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