KATHMANDU (AFP) – Nine Nepalis reached the summit of Mount Everest yesterday, opening the route for hundreds of climbers expected to scale the world’s highest mountain in the coming weeks.
Weather cleared up for the nine to fix ropes to the top of the 8,849-metre mountain, which will be used by Everest hopefuls. Every year, the first summit of Everest is by a team from one of Nepal’s expedition organising companies, who prepare the way for hundreds of paying customers to follow.
“The team safely reached the summit of Everest today,” coordinator Mingma Gyalje Sherpa of Imagine Nepal Trek and Expeditions told AFP. The team was led by mountain guide Dawa Gyalje Sherpa, who already had 12 Everest summits to his name. Early Friday, a trail of headlights snaked up Everest’s Khumbu icefall as hundreds followed the footsteps of the rope-fixing team to try to reach the summit in the coming days.
“Climbers are going up as the weather is expected to be favourable for a summit for a few days,” Tashi Sherpa of expedition organiser Seven Summit Treks said from base camp. Nepal has issued at least 466 permits to foreign climbers this year, the USD11,000 fee part of total costs for a summit ranging from USD45,000 to USD200,000.