Mount Everest climbers in dilemma as climbing season draws closer in Nepal
(Seychelles News Agency) - Mountaineering workers and climbers are passing through a great dilemma about going up Mount Everest as the climbing season gets underway, following what is being considered the deadliest avalanche to hit the world’s highest mountain. The climbing season begins from the first week of May through to the last week.
The avalanche hit the Everest on April 18, killing sixteen Sherpa guides and supporting staff of climbing expeditions. Thirteen bodies have been recovered, but three are still missing.
"We cannot directly say that this is because of the effects of the climate change. The avalanche occurred due to the accumulated amount of snow and subsequent increase in temperature,” associate professor Rijan Bhakta Kaystha at Kathmandu University who teaches on the issue of climate change and disaster issues told SNA.
“It is a natural phenomenon and such incidents take place in pre monsoon season."
Nepal’s government is trying to convince the local workers and climbers to resume the preparations to scale the Everest as the climbing season draws closer.
But, Sherpa guides and other supporting staff who lost their colleagues still remain undecided. Over 300 climbers from the different countries had already reached Mount Everest, but over 80 percent of the expedition teams have already cancelled their plans to climb, while others have not made a decision.
"We have not decided to cancel the expeditions, it will depend on the personal choice of foreign climbers," said Ang Kaji Sherpa, President of Nepal Mountaineering Association.
Earlier, Sherpa guides demanded that 2014 is declared a black Everest year and that all expedition activities are cancelled for this season.
In an attempt to resume the expeditions, Nepal's Tourism Minister Bhim Prasad Acharya held discussions with the mountaineering guides and climbers. Climbers who had already been granted permission have asked the government to extend the climbing permit of foreign mountaineers to five years.
Such a demand was made in view that if they quit this season, they could scale the Everest in the five year period as they have already paid a huge amount of money as Royalty. Nepal’s government is yet to respond to their demands.
"I have asked the concerned stakeholders to start the expedition's activities. We should not cancel all the climbing activities due to one avalanche," Minister Acharya said in Nepal's Parliament Friday April 25.
Nepal’s government has already decided to increase the amount for insurance and provide relief packages to the families of avalanche victims as demanded by Sherpa guides. Minister Acharya also announced that the government would arrange facilities of free education to the children of mountaineering guides who lost their lives.