With Mt Everest shut down by Nepal, climbers dejected

Nepal government’s decision to shut down Mt Everest for climbing has left dejected several Indian mountaineers, who paid huge sums of money for an opportunity to scale the world’s tallest peak.

The decision to close climbing was taken after an avalanche triggered by the deadly April 25 temblor swept down the 8,848-metre peak killing 22 climbers and leaving climbers from various nationalities stranded at the Everest Base Camp.

Pradeep Chandra Sahoo and wife Chetana from Jamshedpur in Jharkhand faced disappointment for the second time when their attempts to conquer the peak were thwarted again this year.

Trained and mentored by Bachendri Pal, the first Indian woman to scale Everest, the climber couple’s previous attempt last April was foiled when an avalanche killed sherpas and left others missing, possibly dead.

“It’s a sad situation for mountaineers right now, especially for Indian mountaineers. Many of them take loans from the market or sell off their properties to climb Everest because funds and sponsorship for mountaineering is difficult to get,” Pal told PTI on phone from Jamshedpur.

The Sahoo couple along with two climbers from Assam have now begun their descent from the mountain, she said.

“There are so many such mountaineers who must be heart broken with the decision of the Nepal government. But, safety is the main priority right now. My personal advice to the mountaineers will be to get down as soon as they can. Lives cannot be risked,” Pal, who heads Tata Steel Adventure Foundation said.

Hopes have been dashed also for Anshu Jamsenpa from Arunachal Pradesh who hoped to set a Guinness Record for her attempts to ascend Everest twice within a span of 7 days.

The 35-year-old holds the world record of climbing the Everest thrice.

“Closing down expeditions to the summit is a loss for mountaineers. Anshu had given a royalty money of 2200 dollars for her double ascent permit. Till a few days back they were waiting to head up to the summit, but now are making an ascent down to Kathmandu,” says Tsering Wange, President of Arunachal Mountaineering and Adventure Sports Association.

The total expedition cost for Jansenpa was Rs. 35 lakh of which 14 lakhs was paid to the Nepal government for permit and liaison charges.

“We hope that the permit will be carried forward to the next season and we don’t have to pay again. This decision will hit the sherpas second time in a row. The money which they make during the season sustains their families till the next season. So it is again a big loss for them,” Wange said.

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Printable version | Jan 20, 2021 6:36:00 AM |

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