With only 20 per cent of the climbers reaching the top of various Nepali peaks, most mountaineers from around the world failed to summit 26 peaks last autumn, which also witnessed the second worst mountain tragedy of the year.
According to Department of Tourism, which falls under the Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation, only 382 summits were successful on 16 mountains ranging from Nar phu (5,921 metres) to Mt Manaslu (8,163 metres) last autumn.
“A total of 1,385 foreign climbers representing 183 expedition teams obtained permits for 42 mountains. Only 242 climbers made it to the top of 16 peaks,” Gyanendra Shrestha, an official at DoT, said. According to him, 140 Nepalis also climbed different peaks while 63 foreign female climbers successfully summited 12 mountains in the season.
“DoT had issued 1,851 permits to climbers including to 387 foreign women. It collected a royalty of more than 32 million rupees,” he added.
Mt Amadablam (6,812 metres) recorded 145 summits followed by 114 on Mt Manaslu. Only Nangamari (6,547 metres) and Nar Phu peaks witnessed 100 per cent success with four and nine summits respectively, he said.
“Peaks above 8000 metres, including Mt Lhotse, Mt Dhaulagiri and Mt Makalu didn’t receive any climbers on their peaks. Sixty climbers had attempted these mountains in the season,” DOT statistics said.
Mt Makalu (8,463 metres), which 40 mountaineers had attempted saw no successful ascent, while climbers with permits for seven different mountains at altitudes from 6,501 to 6,999 metres conquered only Mt Amadablam and Nangamari peak.
The autumn season also witnessed a blizzard that struck the most popular trekking destination killing 43 trekkers and guides, in the vicinity of Thorang La pass and the Annapurna circuit as well as at the base camp of Mt Dhaulagiri in mid-October.
According to DoT, there were 448 successful summits in the autumn of 2013 in which 1,408 mountaineers from 168 teams had obtained climbing permits paying a sum of 33 million rupees in royalty to the government. Of the more than 1,900 identified mountains in the country, only 414 peaks are open for climbing.