Nepal awaits a busy mountaineering season as 'Everest permits' scale new heights

There are many who wonder whether climbing the highest peak would be safe this year, because of the effects of climate change on Khumbu Glacier. Representative image/Shutterstock/Vixit

2023 is scaring us already with rising Covid-19 numbers, repeated earthquakes across countries and other natural calamities.

But, that hasn't dampened the spirit of the increasing number of mountaineering enthusiasts across the world.

As per reports, more than 500 climbers might attempt to scale the Himalayas this year. In 2021, 409 permits were issued and apparently it was considered a record number.

In 2022, it was 325 due to tensions in European countries due to war. But this year again, the mountaineers have decided to come back strong.

Mountaineers from China
Various organisers are reportedly worried that the rising COVID numbers might affect the turnout, but the Seven Summit Treks, the largest expedition organiser in Nepal reportedly claimed that they have so far received more than one hundred confirmed bookings.

On March 15, China had lifted a three-year-old ban to allow its citizens to visit Nepal again. But Beijing has not opened its side of the Everest to foreign climbers for the fourth consecutive year.

China has also passed a new rule which requires its citizens to climb an 8,000 metre peak before making an attempt on the Everest, which might bring Chinese climbers to Nepal in large numbers. The organisers expect more than one hundred climbers from China alone.

Safety concerns
Adventure lovers and mountaineers who reach the base camp in the Khumbu region, with hopes and enthusiasm, spend millions of rupees to fulfill their dream of successfully climbing Mount Everest.

However, there are many who wonder whether climbing the highest peak would be safe this year, because of the effects of climate change on Khumbu Glacier.

Just a few days ago, three mountaineers were trapped in the massive ice movement in the region and they are feared dead.

There were also reports that as the Khumbu Glacier is rapidly thinning out, Nepal is planning to relocate the Everest base camp from here.

Tourism department's arrangements
The tourism department here reportedly said recently that a nine-member-committee has been formed to help the mountaineers, oversee the activities and preparations at the base camp.

The department would also coordinate with the Meteorological Department to provide weather data. Arrangements have been made to ensure that the climbers would get data about the weather conditions at least three days before an expedition begins.

Besides, measures would be taken to avoid long queues on the way to the summit. In order to avoid long queues and delays, only a fixed number of climbers would be allowed on a particular day.

Guide mandatory
The reports suggest that the authorities have collected up to 1.84 million dollars as climbing fees from 178 applicants until 7 April. Usually, the permits are issued until the end of April.

The authorities, meanwhile, are issuing safety guidelines in the light of avalanches in the mountain range.

On 1 April, the tourism board has passed a law that makes it mandatory for a guide to accompany the trekking parties in Nepal.

However, the local authorities in the Everest region hasn’t executed it yet.  

The comments posted here/below/in the given space are not on behalf of Onmanorama. The person posting the comment will be in sole ownership of its responsibility. According to the central government's IT rules, obscene or offensive statement made against a person, religion, community or nation is a punishable offense, and legal action would be taken against people who indulge in such activities.