KATHMANDU: At least 10 mountaineers are preparing to make a bid to scale Mount Everest, breaking a nine-year hiatus in climbing the world’s highest peak during autumn.
Four American, four Polish, one British and one Spanish climber have been granted permission to climb Everest this autumn, according to Nepal’s Department of Tourism that issues climbing permits, the Kathmandu Post reported.
The world’s highest peak normally sees the highest number of climbers during the spring season. Very few have climbed it during the autumn.
According to the Department of Tourism, the last time Everest was climbed in the autumn season was in 2010, when American Eric Larsen achieved the feat.
“It’s difficult to climb Everest during the autumn because of post-monsoon and fresh snow,” said Rameshwor Niroula, an official of the department.
“The autumn season, when the monsoon ends, is regarded as more dangerous because there is typically a lot of new snow which can be unstable. The autumn also brings high winds and shorter days, making climbing difficult. Mostly, there are crevasses of fresh snow,” said Niroula.
The temperature on the summit is around minus 36 degrees Celsius.
Japanese climber Nobukazu Kuriki, who died on his eighth attempt to summit Everest last year, had made six unsuccessful autumn climbing attempts.
The climb in autumn is again seeing a revival with a team of dedicated climbers to make the bid.
“Our team of Polish climbers has reached Everest base camp,” said Mingma Sherpa, chairman of Seven Summit Treks. “They plan to climb Everest by September-end.” Sherpa said that success would depend on the weather.
Spanish ultramarathoner Kilian Jornet, who reached the Everest summit twice within a week, first on May 22 and again on May 27 in 2017 from the Chinese side without the use of supplemental oxygen and fixed ropes, is also looking to make a bid this autumn, his agency Everest Parivar Expedition said.
The Nepal government charges USD 5,500 as royalty to climb Everest in autumn, half of the amount charged for spring Everest expeditions.
The first ascent of Everest during the autumn was recorded in 1973 when two Japanese Yasuo Kato and Michio Yuasa achieved the feat on October 26, 1973.
Nepal has been receiving flak for the large number of permits it is issuing to people wanting to scale the highest peak in the world. In 2019, 11 people died on Everest during a record season with huge number of climbers.