Kathmandu, May 12, 2016:Â Nine high-altitude mountain guides reached the top of Mount Everest on Wednesday, the first group to ascent the worldâ€™s highest mountain in two years after deadly disasters forced a closure.
The group of nine climbers reached the summit at 5:02 pm, Gyanendra Shrestha, an official at the Department of Tourism, told Post over phone from Everest Base Camp.
The ascent of these â€œIcefall Doctorsâ€ has opened the door for other climbers to scale the mountain, as it was part of the preparation of the final stretch to the 8,850-metre summit.
Shrestha said around 12 foreign mountaineers are preparing to scale Everest on Thursday. â€œWeather is good so far. If things go as planned, those climbers will be able to reach the summit on Thursday,â€ he said.
As many as 289 climbers are in bid to climb Mount Everest this season. The success rate of reaching the summit stands at 50-60 percent.
Foreign mountaineers will be accompanied by at least 400 Nepali high-altitude guides, hence the worldâ€™s tallest mountain is likely to see a footfall of more than 600 individuals this season.
According to Shrestha, Neema Chiri Sherpa, Aang Temba Sherpa, Pasang Tenji Sherpa, Mingma Chiri Sherpa, Gyaljen Dorje Sherpa, Aang Gyaljen Sherpa, Mingma Sherpa, Lakpa Chiri Sherpa and Shere Gyaljen Sherpa reached the top of Mount Everest on Wednesday.
A massive avalanche near Everest Base Camp in April 2014 killed 16 Nepali guides, following which expeditions were called off.
But on May 23, Chinese climber Wang Jing reached the summit of Everest. Her ascent, however, had sparked controversy as she had bypassed the Khumbu Icefall on a helicopter.
The government had extended the Everest climbing permits until 2019 of those climbers who were forced to abandon the mission in 2014.
That year, 326 mountaineers had received climbing permits.
But again in 2015, avalanches set off by the devastating April 25 quake killed 19 climbers, including high-altitude guides and helpers at the base camp and the Khumbu Icefall region, forcing authorities to shut down the expedition for a second year in a row.
There were no Everest bids in the spring of 2015.
This time, the government has extended permits to climb Everest for two years until 2017.
Last year, 356 mountaineers received climbing permits.
The government has collected more than Rs 210 million in royalties by issuing Everest permits this season. The government charges $11,000 per foreign climber.
Two guides die in Makalu
Two Sherpa guides have died while climbing Mt Makalu, the worldâ€™s fifth highest peak, in Sankhuwasabha district. Lakpa Sherpa, 55, of Nurpu-5 in Makalu, and Tenji Sherpa, 35, of Jubing-1 in Solukhumbu were found dead in the Camp II at an altitude of 8,300 meters, said Deputy Superintendent of Police Gautam Kumar KC. They were part of an expedition team of 11 Germans being managed by Thamserku Trekking Agency.
Snowfall has hampered rescue operation, said DSP KC. Mt The 8,485-metre Mt Makalu is considered one of the most difficult mountains to climb.