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Nepal likely to suspend Mt Everest climbing season

Nepal likely to suspend Mt Everest climbing season
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Nepal Likely To Suspend Mt Everest Climbing Season. Nepal could call off expeditions to Mount Everest this year after mountaineering authorities advised the government not to take further risks as the climbing route has been destroyed by the earthquake-triggered avalanche that killed over 20 mountaineers.

Kathmandu: Nepal could call off expeditions to Mount Everest this year after mountaineering authorities advised the government not to take further risks as the climbing route has been destroyed by the earthquake-triggered avalanche that killed over 20 mountaineers.

If the expedition is suspended, it would be the second consecutive year that the climbing season has been called off because of deaths on the world's highest peak. Last year, the government had to suspend trekking activities following an avalanche that killed 16 Sherpa guides.

After the thorough assessment of the damage at Base Camp and the Icefall caused by the devastating earthquake and avalanche of April 25, Icefall Doctors team and the Sagarmatha Pollution Control Committee (SPCC) have advised the Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation not to proceed with further expeditions.

SPCC told the government that the "risk of setting a route in the current situation cannot be taken". "SPCC Chairperson Ang Dorjee Sherpa conducted a survey of the situation at Everest Base Camp and the Khumbu Icefall, and have now advised the Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation and stakeholders concerned not to take further risks by continuing work on the mountain," said a statement by the SPCC.

However, the government is yet to take any decision in this regard and the climbing permits are valid until the end of May, said a spokesperson for the tourism board. The SPCC and the Icefall Doctors team prepare route for the Everest expedition every year. Trekking groups also have to take permission from the SPCC before starting their treks.

Many of the Icefall doctors and the support staff have also lost their relatives and friends in the earthquake and they require time to resume work. The group said any possible efforts on the Icefall would take a minimum of two weeks from commencement of work to even establish the route to Camp II.

"Given the narrow window of time before rising temperatures and early monsoon weather conditions make Everest climbing impossible, it seems unlikely that the route could be set in time to enable summits. Historically, in most Spring seasons by this point climbers would already have been approaching the South Col (usually refers to the sharp-edged notch or pass between Mount Everest and Lhotse)," the statement said.

All medical teams, including the Himalayan Rescue Association, have already left Base Camp for the season, and it is inadvisable to carry on with work given the increased risk of aftershocks and an exceptionally unstable Icefall without medical support in case of emergencies, it said.

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