Govt ‘positive’ on extending permits

  • 62nd everest day
- POST REPORT, Kathmandu

May 29, 2015-

Newly-appointed Tourism Ministry Kripasur Sherpa on Friday said the government was positive on extending the Everest climbing permit for the next year, after avalanches triggered by the April 25 earthquake forced hundreds of climbers to abandon their missions this year.

Eighteen people were killed at the Base Camp and the Khumbu Icefall. After the earthquake and the frequent aftershocks, the Icefall Doctors -- who prepare the climbing routes up to Everest -- officially stopped their work, stating it would be risky, given the short window of time available to prepare the routes.

“We have not received any request for extending the climbing permits yet. But I am positive on extending the permit for the next year if anyone makes such requests,” Sherpa said, addressing the 62nd International Sagarmatha Day programme on Friday.

May 29 marks the first successful ascent of Everest by Tenzing Norgay Sherpa and Edmund Hillary.

Last year too, the climbing season was cancelled after an avalanche on April 18 killed 16 high-altitude guides.

The disaster forced the guides to boycott expeditions and launch strikes. The government then had extended the validity of the permits to five years for foreigners.

The government charges $11,000 per climber and earns nearly $3.5 million in permit fees every year.  The Tourism Department had issued permits to 340 foreigners and 18 Nepalis this year, including 118 permits to those who were forced to abandon slast year’s expeditions.

Meanwhile, Sherpa said many trekking routes are safe and requested the media to disseminate positive message of Nepal.  

The government also nominated 18 mountaineers as the Honorary Goodwill Ambassadors to promote Nepal in the national and international arenas.  They include Peter Hillary (New Zealand), son of late Hillary, Jamling Tenzing, son of late Tenzing Norgey, Junko Tabei (Japan), the first woman to scale the Everest, and Reindhold Messner (Italy) who for the first time scaled the Everest without oxygen.

Other nominated are Tashi Tenjing, granddaughter of Tenzing Norgay, mountaineers Peter Athens (US), Um Hong-gill (South Korea), Idurne Pasaban (Spain), Jean Michel Asselin (France) Wolfgang Nairz (Austria), Ralf Dujmovits (Germany) and Switzerland’s first woman guide Nichole Nikki, Katja Starrtjes (the Netherland) and Doc Mc Karr ( Britain).

Nepali women mountaineers Mingma Sherpa, Lyakpa Rita Sherpa, Susmita Maskey, Lyakpa Sherpa and Shaille Basnet have also been picked as goodwill ambassadors.

Published: 30-05-2015 07:59

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