Despite the 7.8 magnitude earthquake that created an avalanche at Mt. Everest basecamp, climbers in Nepal may still have the chance to scale the mountain this season. On Thursday, Nepal officials announced that the conditions on the mountain may be safe enough for climbers to proceed if they still wish to. Tulsi Prasad Gautam, a spokesman from Nepal’s Tourism Department, also states that Everest’s climbing routes could be repaired in as little as a week, even after the devastating aftermath of the Nepal earthquake, which killed 19 people.
“The time for the expedition teams can be extended to June if necessary. Most of the teams are still in the region and many are still undecided if they are going to abandon,” Gautam said to the Associated Press.
The Aftermath Of The Nepal Earthquake
There may still be time to summit the mountain because good weather on Everest typically lasts until the end of May. China has officially closed its climbing season, meaning that climbers scaling the north face of Everest have had to pack up and return home. While it’s still unclear how many will push on in light of the recent tragedy, many Sherpas and the Nepal Mountaineering Association are both still concerned about the safety of climbing Everest this season after the Nepal earthquake. They are warning climbers that the assent will be much more difficult than normal, because so much of the route has been completely destroyed by the avalanche.
While there’s no denying that the climbers near the base camp are some of the toughest in the world, this last chance for a summit could prove to be the most difficult challenge yet. Nepal does desperately need to keep its tourism industry strong. Travelers to Everest every year provide Nepal with one of its largest sources of tourism revenue, and have helped the Sherpa community near the mountain rise into a solid middle class economy. This tourism income will be vital for Nepal as it continues its recovery from the earthquake’s devastation. Over 5,000 people have been reported dead throughout Nepal so far, and recovery for the small nation is just getting started.
Climbing to the top of Mount Everest might be one of the toughest things to accomplish. In light of the Nepal Earthquake, visitors may be further be deterred by the feat. Here is a look at what it takes: