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Nepal’s Department of Tourism permits 361 climbers to scale Mt. Everest

KATHMANDU: Nepal’s Department of Tourism (DoT), under the Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation permits 36 expedition teams and 361 climbers to climb Mt. Everest this spring season.
The number of climbers getting permission this year is higher than that of the same season last year, said Meera Acharya, director at the Mountaineering Section of DoT.
In spring of 2018, a total of 346 mountaineers of different 38 expedition teams were granted permission to scale the highest peak. Spring is the main season to climb Mt. Everest and other peaks of Nepal.
There is high possibility the number of climbers and expedition teams will increase as the deadline to apply for the permit has not expired yet, Acharya said. One additional group has already started process for getting the permission.
The path in the Icefall has already been set on April 1 by Sagarmatha Pollution Control Committee (SPCC) while Expedition Operators Association Nepal (EOAN) is working to fix the rope towards the summit, she said.
She said that the rope fixing works has so far reached near the Camp II. The rope fixing above the camp II will begin by considering the weather condition thereafter, she added.
Altogether, a total of 692 climbers belonging to 78 expedition teams have received permission to climb different 20 peaks including Everest this spring.
A total of 66 climbers in seven expedition teams are attempting Lhotse this spring where 53 climbers of four expedition teams have received permission to climb Makalu.
Similarly, a total of 49 climbers, 27 climbers and 23 climbers have received permission to climb Mt. Amadablam, Mt. Nuptse and Mt. Annapurna respectively.
By issuing permit to climb 20 different peaks, the DoT has collected around Rs. 466 million royalties this season so far. The DoT has deployed 78 liaison officers to coordinate the expedition teams.
“This year, we have strictly directed all liaison officers to go to the field to perform their duty,” said Dandu Raj Ghimire, director general of DoT.
In the past, only a few liaison officers used to reach up to the base camp to coordinate with their respective expedition teams.

(File Photo: The climbers are on the famous Hillary Step, on the way to summit  Mt. Everest. )

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