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Nepal Opens Everest for First Time Since Quakes

  • VOA News

A helicopter prepares to rescue people at Everest Base Camp, which had been struck Saturday by an avalanche triggered by a massive earthquake in Nepal, on April, 27, 2015.

A helicopter prepares to rescue people at Everest Base Camp, which had been struck Saturday by an avalanche triggered by a massive earthquake in Nepal, on April, 27, 2015.

Nepal has opened Mount Everest to climbers for the autumn season, the first time since a deadly earthquake triggered an avalanche that killed 18 climbers earlier this year.

Japanese climber Nobukazu Kuriki will be the first person to make a solo attempt at reaching the 8,850-meter summit. It will be his fifth attempt at climbing Everest. His four previous bids were unsuccessful. His last, in 2012, ended him with losing 9 fingers to frostbite.

His climb will take place in the autumn season, which is not a popular time for trekkers due to extreme temperatures and less daylight.

During a ceremony Sunday in Katmandu, Kuriki said he wanted to give a positive message about Nepal and spread the word that the country was safe for climbers and trekkers.

More than 400 teams were forced to abandon their attempts after the earthquake-triggered avalanche destroyed a popular trekking route.

The devastating April 25 earthquake left nearly 9,000 people dead.

Nepal has since been struggling to draw tourists and trekkers back to the country. Mountaineering and tourism accounts for a significant percentage of the country's gross domestic product.

Nepal is home to eight of the world's 14 peaks measuring at over 8,000 meters.

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