With the closure of the climbing season, at least 456 climbers, including 199 foreigners, stood atop Mt Everest from Nepal side while the world’s highest mountain also recorded five deaths this spring.
Data compiled by the Department of Tourism states that 199 foreigners from 29 countries and 257 Nepali climbers successfully scaled Mt Everest after nine rope-fixing Sherpas first stood atop the mountain on May 11.
DoT had issued climbing permits to 289 expedition members, along with 457 high-altitude workers representing 34 teams in the season.
Two Indian climbers – Balkar Singh, 19, and Stanzin Laskit, 18, were the youngest male and female summiteers this season, respectively, the DoT data shows. Youngho Heo, 62, from South Korea and New Zealander Lydia Margarate Bradey, 55, became the season’s oldest summiteers in male and female categories, respectively.
There were 45 female climbers who made it to the summit while Maya Sherpa became the only woman summiteer of the season from Nepal.
“The season also saw the longest summit window (May 11-16 and May 19-23) while all expeditions except a team of two Slovakians have their members on top of the summit,” DoT’s official Gyanendra Shrestha said.
On May 19, as many as 209 climbers scaled the mountain on a single day, he added. According to him, DoT collected Rs 177 million as Everest royalty after 129 expedition members used their extended permits of 2014/15.
Country Climbers Summiters
Nepal 449 258
India 64 52
US 58 39
China 20 18
UK 29 15
Australia 15 11
Others 111 63
TOTAL 746 456
It was a successful season for the mountaineering fraternity with over 60 per cent success, as back-to-back disasters in the last two years had no impact on climber count, Damber Parajuli, President of Expedition Operators Association of Nepal said, adding that the success rate on Mt Everest was also quite impressive.
Saying that there was an unvoiced pressure on operators to have a successful season, owner of the Himalayan Experience Russell Brice understood that Everest expeditions were still the flagship of Nepal tourist industry as this was what the international media focus on.
So to have a successful season on Everest also gives confidence to trekkers to also return to Nepal in the future, he told this daily.
“It is a pity that the latter part of the season saw so many fatalities as this unfortunately detracted from the early success. If we had a season with no deaths then the season would have had more positive impact,” Brice, who has also been leading expeditions since 1974 in Nepal, added.
The season witnessed the death of five climbers including three from India above higher camps.
The Everest/ER which runs an aid-post at Everest base camp stated that it saw nearly 300 patients including 65 per cent Nepalis followed by patients from US, India and UK, while 15 per cent of them requiring evacuation after stabilisation.
“The vast majority of visits were related to cough (27%) with gastrointestinal complaints coming in a close second.”