The slopes of Mt Everest are stirring.
It’s been more than two years since the world’s highest mountain has been climbed from the southern side. The 2014 climbing season was cancelled after the deaths of 16 Sherpas in an avalanche. Last year saw the climbing season called off again following Nepal’s devastating earthquake. You have to think that the mountain, at least, is probably the better for the break.
But within days it will be on again, as almost 300 people have obtained permits to climb towards the highest point on the planet this spring season. Over recent days, Sherpas have been fixing rope up the slopes towards Camp IV. Weather permitting, it’s expected that the first climbers will begin their attempts on Everest next week.
The Kathmandu Post reports that 289 permits have been granted, which suggests a slow return to business as usual on the mountain. In 2013, 658 climbers reached the summit of Everest – 539 of them from the southe side. When the avalanche hit in 2014, 326 climbing permits had already been issued. Last year it was up to more than 350 before the earthquake ended the season before it began.
Here’s hoping it’s a safe and respectful season on the mountain.