KATHMANDU: The 2019 spring Everest climbing season officially began with eight high-altitude Nepali climbing guides reaching to the summit on Tuesday afternoon.
The experienced climbing guides prepare the 8,848-metre peak for hundreds of climbers.
Gyanendra Shrestha, a government liaison officer, said that eight rope fixing guides reached the top of Mt Everest at 1:45pm. They prepare safe path by fixing ropes and ladders from Camp II to the summit of Everest.
Team leader Siddhi Bahadur Tamang along with Pasdawa Sherpa, Dorji Gyalgen Sherpa, Pasang Dawa Sherpa, Dawa Nurbu Sherpa, Ming Dorje Sherpa, Aang Phurba Sherpa and Sangbu Bhote Lama became the first Everest summiteers of this season.
This season, the Department of Tourism, the government authority that issues climbing permits has cleared a record 378 fee-paying climbers to mount their bid on world’s tallest peak.
With each climber hiring at least one local high altitude climbing guide, the total number of individuals on the mountain may reach 1,000 this season, Surendra Thapa, spokesperson for the department said.
Earlier, according to the department, the highest numbers of climbing permits issued on Everest were 371 in 2017.
Last year, climbing permits were issued for 349 fee-paying climbers. There were 514 high-altitude climbing guides, who are not required to pay climbing fee, assisting the climber last year. A record 563 people, including 261 fee-paying climbers, stood atop the hallowed peak.
Foreigners pay $11,000 to obtain the climbing permit and spend between $40,000 and $90,000 to climb Everest. The government has collected around $4 million revenue by issuing the Everest climbing permits this season.