Climbing of the world’s tallest mountain, Sagarmatha or Mt Everest, is to go ahead despite the April 18 disaster which claimed the lives of 13 people, the deadliest mountaineering disaster so far.
Organisations concerned with mountaineering stated this, refuting the media reports that said the mountaineering guides who were accompanying various expedition teams had started returning following this tragedy.
It is said the rumours spread by the media were not true and that many mountaineering expedition teams were camped at the Base Camp waiting to set out at the right time.
Wangchu Sherpa, President of Nepal Mountaineering Association, said, ‘ Nobody can stop the ascent of Mt Everest. Only the small teams have returned after the disastrous avalanche but the big expedition teams have not made such decision.”
It is said all the climbers who had set out for climbing the world’s highest mountain have now assembled at the Base Camp. Around 16 mountaineers are said to be at a spot at an altitude of 6500 metres, above the place of the avalanche. Sherpa said they have also returned towards the Base Camp today.
According to him, some 3500 Sherpas, foreign climbers and guides are camped at the Base Camp while about 1500 others have returned.
NMA president Sherpa thanked the government for providing Rs 40,000 as compensation to the families of the people killed in the avalanche. “Although this amount is not adequate, it would be better if the state could add some amount and provide support for the education of the children of the victims and give employment to them. The families of those killed are in great hardship,” he said.
He said no one is to blame for the disaster as it is the work of nature and no scientist in the world could prevent it.
Earlier in the 1974 avalanche on Mt. Everest, twenty people had lost their lives. Similarly, eight foreign climbers had died in the 1996 avalanche on the peak. A total of 260 expedition teams have got permission for mountain climbing in Nepal in the past nine months of the current fiscal year. Of them, 31 have been allowed for climbing the Mt Everest, according to the Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation.
The Mt Everest is the central attraction for many climbers in the world and the Ministry has expressed its commitments to make the mountain climbing safer, more reliable and attractive.
The Ministry has also requested all the bodies concerned including Sherpa guides and mountaineering entrepreneurs to take safety measures for climbing. The Friday’s catastrophe on the world’s highest peak (8,848 meters) is described as the ‘deadliest one’ in the country’s mountaineering history. The incident occurred in an altitude of around 5,900 meters along the Khumbu Icefall which is near to the Camp I.