News / Asia

Nepal's Everest Season in Jeopardy as More Teams Withdraw

Smoke rises from the cremation pyre of mountaineers, killed in an avalanche on Mount Everest, during a funeral ceremony in Katmandu, Nepal, Monday, April 21, 2014.
Smoke rises from the cremation pyre of mountaineers, killed in an avalanche on Mount Everest, during a funeral ceremony in Katmandu, Nepal, Monday, April 21, 2014.
Reuters
Several foreign climbing expeditions have called off attempts to scale Everest following an avalanche that killed at least 13 local guides, meaning Nepal faces an entire season without a single ascent of the mountain for the first time in decades.
 
The toll from last Friday's accident was the highest in a single day in Everest history, and many Sherpas who are angry over their treatment at the hands of foreign mountaineers and the government have refused to guide visitors up the climb.
 
Three Sherpas are still missing since an avalanche struck while they were fixing ropes and cracking snow and ice to carve out a route for foreign climbers through the Icefall, near the base camp for most climbs on the Nepali side of the mountain.
 
The U.S.-based International Mountain Guides (IMG) became the largest team to pull out in response to the tragedy. It had around 40 climbers in three teams on the mountain.
 
“The Icefall route is currently unsafe for climbing without repairs by the Icefall doctors, who will not be able to resume their work this season,” the group said on its website.
 
“We have explored every option and can find no way to safely continue the expedition.”
 
The Peak Freaks Everest 2014 expedition also pulled out for safety reasons, and said that the Nepalese government had officially closed Everest for the season.
 
But Sushil Ghimire, a senior bureaucrat at the tourism ministry, said some teams may yet decide to attempt to scale the summit. Foreign expeditions on the Tibetan side of the mountain remained unaffected.
 
Permit extended
 
Ghimire told Reuters that the government would extend the climbing permit for five years to climbers who withdrew after the accident, meaning they can return without paying twice.
 
“This is a special concession from the government,” he told Reuters, after returning from a meeting with the Sherpa guides at the base camp.
 
“Some teams may withdraw while some may climb. It has been agreed that no one will stop those mountaineers who want to climb Everest in the current season itself.”
 
Vern Tejas of the Seattle-based Alpine Ascents, which lost five of its guides in the accident, said the group was coming back out of respect to the guides who lost their lives.
 
Also returning was New Zealand's Adventure Consultants team  that lost three guides.
 
The mountaineering season lasts until the end of May, when cloud from the rainy season pushes up from the south making climbing the world's highest mountain virtually impossible.
 
With such a small window of opportunity for the climbers to reach the top, mountaineering experts believe Nepal's Everest season is effectively over before a single successful ascent has been completed.
 
Earlier this week, the government said it would raise the minimum insurance cover for Everest guides by 50 percent, set up a relief fund for the welfare of the victims' families and pay for the education of their children.
 
The accident has shocked the international mountaineering community and highlighted the risks that Nepalese guides run to help foreign climbers scale Everest.
 
It has also provoked criticism that the government takes hefty fees for climbing permits but does little for the guides themselves.
 
Guiding foreign climbers is the main livelihood for Sherpas, helping them make up to $7,000 - and some even more - each year in a country with an average annual income of just over $700.

You May Like

Photogallery Americans Celebrate Thanksgiving With Feasts, Festivities

Holiday traditions include turkey dinners, 'turkey trots,' American-style football and New York parade with giant balloons More

Video For Obama, Ferguson Violence is a Personal Issue

With two years left in term, analysts say, president has less to lose by taking conversation on race further More

Video Italian Espresso Expands Into Space

When Italian astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti headed for the ISS, her countrymen worried how she would survive six months drinking only instant coffee More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
South Africa Sees Male Circumcision as Way to Reduce HIV Infectionsi
X
November 28, 2014 3:31 PM
South Africa remains plagued by AIDS despite massive government and NGO efforts on prevention and life-sustaining Anti-Retro-Viral programs. But the country has opened up another front to reduce new HIV infections: promoting circumcision. Emilie Iob reports for VOA News from a pioneering circumcision center in Orange Farm, Johannesburg.
Video

Video South Africa Sees Male Circumcision as Way to Reduce HIV Infections

South Africa remains plagued by AIDS despite massive government and NGO efforts on prevention and life-sustaining Anti-Retro-Viral programs. But the country has opened up another front to reduce new HIV infections: promoting circumcision. Emilie Iob reports for VOA News from a pioneering circumcision center in Orange Farm, Johannesburg.
Video

Video To Make A Living, Nairobi Street Vendors Face Legal Hurdles, Physical Violence

The Nairobi City Council has been accused of brutality in dealing with hawkers in the Central Business District - in order to stop them from illegally selling their wares on the streets. Lenny Ruvaga has more for VOA News from the Kenyan capital.
Video

Video For Obama, Ferguson Violence is a Personal Issue

Throughout the crisis in Ferguson, Missouri, President Barack Obama has urged calm, restraint and respect for the rule of law. But the events in Ferguson have prompted him to call — more openly than he has before — for profound changes to end the racism and distrust that he believes still exists between whites and blacks in the United States. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video Online Magazine Gets Kids Discussing Big Questions

Teen culture in America is often criticized for being superficial. But an online magazine has been encouraging some teenagers to explore deeper issues, and rewarding their efforts. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky went to this year’s Kidspirit awards ceremony in New York.
Video

Video US Community Kicks Off Thanksgiving With Parade

Thursday is Thanksgiving in the United States, a holiday whose roots go back to the country's earliest days as a British colony. One way Americans celebrate the occasion is with parades. Anush Avetisyan takes us to one such event on the day before Thanksgiving near Washington, where a community's diversity is on display. Joy Wagner narrates
Video

Video Aung San Suu Kyi: Myanmar Opposition to Keep Pushing for Constitutional Change

Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi says she and her supporters will continue pushing to amend a constitutional clause that bars her from running for president next year. VOA's Than Lwin Htun reports from the capital Naypyitaw in this report narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video Mali Attempts to Shut Down Ebola Transmission Chain

Senegal and Nigeria were able to stop small Ebola outbreaks by closely monitoring those who had contact with the sick person and quickly isolating anyone with symptoms. Mali is now scrambling to do the same. VOA’s Anne Look reports from Mali on what the country is doing to shut down the chain of transmission.
Video

Video Ukraine Marks Anniversary of Deadly 1930s Famine

During a commemoration for millions who died of starvation in Ukraine in the early 1930s, President Petro Poroshenko lashed out at Soviet-era totalitarianism for causing the deaths and accused today’s Russian-backed rebels in the east of using similar tactics. VOA’s Daniel Shearf reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video Hong Kong Protests at a Crossroads

New public opinion polls in Hong Kong indicate declining support for pro-democracy demonstrations after weeks of street protests. VOA’s Bill Ide in Guangzhou and Pros Laput in Hong Kong spoke with protesters and observers about whether demonstrators have been too aggressive in pushing for change.
Video

Video US Immigration Relief Imminent for Mixed-Status Families

Tens of thousands of undocumented immigrants in the Washington, D.C., area may benefit from a controversial presidential order announced this week. It's not a path to citizenship, as some activists hoped. But it will allow more immigrants who arrived as children or who have citizen children, to avoid deportation and work legally. VOA's Victoria Macchi talks with one young man who benefited from an earlier presidential order, and whose parents may now benefit after years of living in fear.
Video

Video New Skateboard Defies Gravity

A futuristic dream only a couple of decades ago, the hoverboard – a skateboard that floats above the ground - has finally been made possible. While still not ready for mass production, it promises to become a cool mode of transport... at least over some surfaces. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Impact US Oil Extraction

With the price of oil now less than $80 a barrel, motorists throughout the United States are benefiting from gas prices below $3 a gallon. But as VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the decreasing price of petroleum has a downside for the hydraulic fracturing industry in the United States.

All About America

AppleAndroid