Climbers Allowed on Mt. Everest for the First Time Since Nepal Earthquake
Photo courtesy of Thinkstock
If all goes to plan, Mount Everest, the world’s highest mountain, will be summited in mid-September.
Nepal has reopened the peak, and this latest expedition will be the first since April, when a deadly earthquake caused an avalanche at Everest, killing 19 mountaineers, the Associated Press reported.
Japanese climber Nobukazu Kuriki is the first to be granted permission to scale the mountain, the AP said, and was presented his climbing permit by Nepal's tourism minister, Kripasur Sherpa in a ceremony at the country’s capital of Kathmandu Sunday.
"The main purpose of my climb is to spread the message that Nepal was safe for climbers and trekkers even after the earthquake," Kuriki told reporters, the AP said.
Kuriki will head for the mountain on Tuesday by helicopter to begin his September summit push. According to the AP, the popular time to climb is spring; mountaineers don’t plan climbs for the fall, as the conditions are seen as too difficult that time of year.
The Japanese climber has tried four times before to reach the top of Everest without success, the AP said. His last attempt in 2012 resulted in the loss of nine fingers to frostbite.
Since April’s quake, which killed almost 9,000, the AP said Nepal is “desperate to bring back the tens of thousands of tourists who enjoy trekking the country's mountain trails and climbing its Himalayan peaks.”
A recent story by TravelPulse’s David Cogswell on the safety of the Everest area for travelers and trekkers reveals positive findings.
A report commissioned by the Nepalese government said there is “minimal damage” to most of the trails and accommodations in the Everest region.
Cogswell noted that “nine important bridges were assessed and no earthquake damage was discovered. More than 700 buildings in 15 villages were assessed and 83 percent of them were found to be safe and sound. Those that are damaged are seen to be reparable.”
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