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Spring climbing kick-starts in style

KATHMANDU: With the start of the year’s spring climbing season, Mt Everest is all set to draw over 300 climbers.Officials confirmed that most of the mountaineers have already reached Khumbu region for acclimatisation.

According to Gyanendra Shrestha, an official at the Department of Tourism, 287 foreign climbers representing 30 different expedition obtained Everest climbing permits till yesterday. The expeditions, except David Breashears’ single-member team from the US, represent teams comprising four to 14 members, he said.

“Hordes of climbers will be spending nearly two months scaling different peaks, including Mt Everest,” Ang Tashi Sherpa from Lukla told THT.

Though, a very few of the 325 Everest climbers who abandoned their expeditions last year have been able to reutilise their old permits this year due to delay caused by government indecisiveness, there will be more groups applying for climbing permit. “DoT expects more than 300 foreign climbers on Everest.”

Trekking Camp Nepal informed that visually-impaired South Korean climber Song Kyung-tae, 54, has joined an expedition to the summit of Mount Everest to inspire the handicapped and the youth.

Double amputee Xia Boyu, 64, from China is also attempting to scale the world’s highest peak; while Nepali climber Lila Bahadur Basnet said he was in a bid to summit Mt Everest in 10 days. “Basnet is one of the climbers of a 13-member British Gurkha team.

US Marine veteran Staff Sergeant Charlie Linville, 29, who lost a leg in an IED attack in Afghanistan is also attempting to plant a flag bearing the names of those who died in Iraq and Afghanistan, according to operators.

Spanish mountaineer Kilian Jornet is attempting to set a speed record without using supplemental oxygen, while Kenton Cool, Rupert Jones-Warner and Ralf Dujmovits will attempt to create new records on Everest.

An Indian Army team led by Major Ranveer Singh Jamwal, who has scaled Everest twice, is attempting to scale the peak to mark the 50th anniversary of India’s first ascent of the world’s highest peak. Two teams of the Indian Army — 14 members for Mt Everest and nine for Mt Lhotse — have obtained climbing permits. They are also bringing 4,000 kg garbage back from the top as part of their sanitation drive.

According to operators, female climber Chhurim Sherpa is all set to carry Australian cricketer Phillip Hughes’ bat and jersey to the top of Mt Everest, while Phurba Sherpa is climbing the peak with flags of 193 countries. He is on a world peace mission.

“Climbers are attempting numerous Nepali peaks including Mt Everest in style,” Alan Arnette, renowned climber and mountain blogger told this daily before leaving for Lukla in an attempt on Mt Lhotse, the world’s fourth highest peak.

Everest base Camp Manager Tshering Sherpa of Sagarmatha Pollution Control Committee informed that icefall doctors have already constructed a new route up to Camp 1.

The Department of Tourism has also established a contact office and deputed two officials at the base camp.

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.

Source : thehimalayantimes.com

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