Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Nepal is reopening Mt. Everest for mountaineers after a massive earthquake hit the country in April.

Japanese alpinist Nobukazu Kuriki is making his fifth bid to climb Mt. Everest in mid-September which, if successful, will be the first ascent of the peak since devastating quakes this year hammered the Himalayan nation’s tourism and mountaineering industries.

Tourism Minister Kripashur Sherpa handed over a climbing permit and Nepal’s national flag to Kuriki at a function organised in Kathmandu yesterday.

Kuriki will be attempting to scale Everest during the fall, considered by climbers to be a difficult season compared to spring. “The main purpose of my climb is to spread the message that Nepal was safe for climbers and trekkers even after the earthquake,” Kuriki said, according to the Associated Press.
Kuriki said he is climbing the mountain to spread the message that Nepal poses no danger to tourists.

Kuriki will be flying by helicopter to Pheriche on Tuesday, from where he will set out on foot hoping to reach the top of the 8,848-metre mountain on September 15. He will take the normal South Col. Route for the ascent.

When asked why he chose autumn instead of the more popular spring season to climb the mountain, he said: “Mt. Everest is crowded in spring. I want to climb it when there are fewer people and less noise.”

So far, Kuriki is the only climber to have been granted a permit to climb Mt. Everest this autumn, according to Govinda Bahadur Karki, a senior tourism ministry official. However, 10 teams have been given permits to climb smaller mountains in the season, and four teams are in the process of being awarded permits.

Kuriki has climbed the highest peaks of six continents but Mt. Everest has denied him glory four times, of which two attempts were made from Nepal and two from Tibet.

“Many climbers visit Nepal in spring, not in autumn. We are happy that Mr. Kuriki has decided to climb the mountain in autumn and after the devastation caused by the recent earthquakes. We wish him success and will support him in every way we can,” Karki of the Tourism Ministry said.

To climb Mt. Everest, most mountaineers prefer spring when the weather is more favorable and conditions less risky.

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