Icefall doctors, who are installing ropes and aluminium ladders in the icefall region for 2016 spring Everest climbing, have reported several cracks and holes along the route.
Although a week has passed since they began their work, the high-altitude specialists have not yet reached Camp 1 due to difficulties in installing the equipment. “There are several cracks and holes along the Everest route this year,” said Ang Kami Sherpa, adding last year’s earthquake might have resulted in the cracks. “As a result, we need more aluminium ladders this year compared to previous years to navigate through the cracks and holes.”
According to Sagarmatha Pollution Control Committee (SPCC), more than 40 ladders have been installed below Camp 1, and the number could hit 200 by the time the Icefall doctors reach Camp 2.
Meanwhile, the icefall doctors are making a two-way route to prevent overcrowding. “The move is aimed at reducing crowds and ensuring safety of climbers,” said Nishan Shrestha, administrator of SPCC.
Seven icefall doctors have been mobilised to set the spring expedition routes. They said the cracks and holes are less visible after Camp 2.
SPCC said it would take at least a month for the climbing to begin after the routes are prepared. “Climbing will probably begin by the first week of May,” the SPCC said. Some climbers’ groups who have obtained the permits have started setting up camps at the Everest Base Camp.
This March, the government extended the climbing permits of hundreds of mountaineers who had been forced to abandon their expeditions last year due to avalanche on the Himalaya triggered by the April 25 earthquake. The permits have been extended for two years, until 2017.
Last year, 103 teams consisting of 801 individuals had received the permits to climb various peaks in the Himalayas. Among them, 357 mountaineers, including 18 Nepalis, had obtained permits to climb the Everest.
Normally, Everest aspirants apply for climbing permits between mid-March and April-end.