With the beginning of autumn climbing season, world climbers have set out to climb mountains in Nepal to support the country’s tourism economy, which has been adversely affected by the devastating April earthquake and its aftershocks.
According to Gyanendra Shrestha, an official at the Department of Tourism, more than 230 climbers from across the world have so far applied for climbing permits representing 36 expedition teams.
“Fifty per cent of the total climbers have set out to climb Mt Manaslu (8,163m), eighth highest mountain in the world,” he said, adding that there was only one Japanese team attempting to summit Mt Everest this season, while others will try to climb different 22 peaks ranging from Mt Aichyn (6,055m) to Makalu I (8,463m). A six-member South Korean team also obtained permit for Mt Lhotse (8,516m), fourth highest peak in the world, he added.
From Claudia Camila Lopez from the US to Swedish mountaineer Lars Daniel Sebastian, who obtained climbing permits for Mt Manaslu, said they were also eager to interact with the communities along the expedition trail to know the rebuilding process at grassroots level in the aftermath of earthquake. “We’ve come here to support rebuilding process after getting assurance from the stakeholders that the country’s tourist destinations were safe,” Claudia told this daily.
Swedish climber claimed that there was little impact of earthquake on Nepali tourism products. “Being a mountain lover, I choose to climb Mt Manaslu this autumn as country needs more tourists now than ever,” he added. DoT’s data shows it has issued climbing permits to 106 climbers for Mt Manaslu, while renowned climber Adrian John Ballinger has been leading a five-member expedition on Mt Makalu.
Noted mountaineers, including Peter Athans, Dominick Michael Muller, Arnold Coster, Ryan Powers Waters, Russel Brice, David Klein, Philip Crampton, and James Ryrie Norton are here to lead autumn expeditions, according to Shrestha. “More teams will be coming in the next couple of weeks,” he claimed.