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Mountaineering

Nepal braces for ‘traffic jam’ at Mt Everest

Apr 16 2017 | 09:12 pm
KATHMANDU: Nepalese officials are bracing for a “traffic jam” at Mount Everest this season due to a surge in the number of climbers eyeing to conquer the world’s tallest peak.

This time, there would be around 400 climbers who will embark on the journey to scale the 8,848-metre-high Mt Everest from mid-May, according to the Department of Tourism.

As climbers are accompanied by high altitude workers, whose number is usually more than that of climbers, there could be around 1,000 individuals on their way to the summit, creating a queue whose snail-paced movement will be punctuated by frequent halts, The Kathmandu Post reported.

Expedition teams have started arriving at the base camp a month before the start of the season to acclimatise.

“Everyone will be in a hurry to reach the peak when the weather clears; there is no management up there to fix turns for the climbers,” said Sonam Sherpa, who has scaled Mt Everest five times as an aide to climbers.

So there is a possibility of a traffic jam this year. Returning climbers in general have depleted stock of oxygen with them and they are exhausted, which means life hangs in the balance,” he said.

A good weather means expedition teams will start climbing up from camps two, three and four, resulting in “traffic jam”, the report said.

Those with 2014 permission are likely to return to scale the peak this year as in 2015, the government introduced a new law allowing climbers a three years’ window to scale Mt Everest with a single permit and fare. PTI

Panipokhari

Kathmandu, Nepal

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