Nepal decided this Friday to extend the deadline to climb the Everest until June 3 for the first time in more than fifteen years, since bad weather and snowfall associated with cyclone Yaas have caused hundreds of climbers to continue waiting their turn.
“There are many mountaineers who have completed acclimatization and are waiting for the good weather at Camp 2. We have decided to give them a chance since we estimate that the weather is favorable at the end of May“The director of the Nepalese Tourism Department, Mira Acharya, told Efe.
The Sagarmatha Pollution Control Committee (SPCC), which is in charge of opening the Everest route every year, stated that the region has experienced heavy snowfall due to cyclone Yaas, which hit the east coast of India last Wednesday. This circumstance has prevented the mountaineers from completing the ascent.
“The decision has been made after consultation with the Department of Tourism and the Association of Expedition Operators taking into account the adverse effects in the Everest region due to the effects of Cyclone Yaas“the committee said Friday in a statement.
The ascents to Everest in the month of June are infrequent, and according to data from the Ministry of Tourism the last time a group of mountaineers crowned the highest peak in the world that month was in 2005.
Ang Tshering Sherpa, former president of the Nepal Mountaineers Association, told Efe that a team of experienced Sherpas usually dismantle the ladders and ropes that guide mountaineers to the summit of Everest at the end of May. The route is too dangerous in June.
“When the ice melts in the Khumbu waterfall due to the summer heat, the stairs begin to be removed and the risk of an avalanche increases.“He said. However, the heavy snowfall in recent days has helped to minimize the risks.
The country has registered a number record number of climbers to climb Everest during the spring season: in total 408 compared to 381 in 2019.
This record comes despite the fact that Nepal has seen a rapid increase in coronavirus cases in recent weeks, forcing authorities to impose local restrictions and suspend international flights.