With the mountaineers making final preparations for an attempt to summit the world’s highest peak, a group of trained mountain guides are all set to fix ropes from South Col to the summit of Mt Everest in the next two days.
“A climbing route till South Col (7,906 m) was opened on Friday, while rope fixing up to the summit of Mt Everest and Mt Lhotse will commence tomorrow,” Gyanendra Shrestha, an official at the Department of Tourism told this daily from base camp.
According to climbers, a group of 10 Sherpas selected from different expedition teams, including International Mountain Guides, Himalayan Experience, Madison Mountaineering, Adventure Consultants and Indian Army Everest Massif plan to leave for South Col and are expected to fix ropes up to balcony (8,400 m) tomorrow. “The team aims to fix ropes to the summit point from the balcony on Wednesday.”
IMG, along with other teams, has taken over the responsibility of fixing the summit route of Mt Everest, while the Indian Army team will be leading the rope fixing work along the summit route of Mt Lhotse. “For Lhotse, the team will deploy four trained Sherpas,” team leader Col Ranveer Jamwal said.
Sherpas also dropped the summit rope fixing gear at the South Col from Western Cwm where ropes, anchors and oxygen had been ferried from base camp using nine chopper flights in the last week of April.
The government had allowed the use of chopper to transport gear to Camp I for the first time for safety reason, as the mountaineering sector was worst hit by back-to-back disasters in the last two years.
Shiva Sapkota, a liaison officer from the Everest Summiteers’ Association, said most of the teams are fully acclimatised and are waiting for the summit rope fixing, as well as good weather window, to plan their next move.
“Sherpas have already started dropping loads at the South Col while most of the teams plan to make a final summit push by third week of May,” he added. Depending upon weather pattern, some of the climbers will first try to head to the summit on May 12-13, he added. “The weather looks good until May 20.”
The DoT issued climbing permits to over 400 climbers, including 289 (34 teams) for Mt Everest, while more than 500 high altitude workers and base camp staff also joined the teams attempting to climb Mt Everest, Mt Lhotse and Mt Nuptse this season.