Kathmandu, Sept 9: At least 10 climbers are preparing to make a bid to scale Everest this autumn, breaking a 10-year hiatus in climbing during this season.
Four American, four Polish, one British and one Spanish climber have been granted permission to climb Everest this autumn, according to the Department of Tourism that issues climbing permits.
Spanish ultra marathoner Kilian Jornet, who reached the Everest summit twice within a week, first on May 22 and again on May 27 from the Chinese side without the use of supplemental oxygen and fixed ropes, is also looking to make a bid, his agency Everest Parivar Expedition said.
Japanese climber Nobukazu Kuriki, who died on his eighth attempt to summit Everest last year, had made six unsuccessful autumn climbing attempts. The government charges only $5,500 as royalty to climb Everest in autumn, half of the amount charged for spring Everest expeditions.
“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.
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.
Larsen who reached the top on October 15 carried a banner reading “Save the Poles”. He was supported by five Nepali guides—Chhering Dorje Sherpa, Nima Dorje Tamang, Pasang Temba Sherpa, Dawa Gyaljen Sherpa and Pasang Dawa Sherpa. Before Larsen, in 2000, a South Korean and two Slovenian groups had climbed Everest in October.
“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 made of fresh now,” said Niroula.
The temperature on the summit is around -36 degrees Celsius.