Five more peaks above 8,000 meters open for expedition

Mt. Everest, file photo.
Mt. Everest, file photo.

KATHMANDU, Nepal-Nepal is planning to open five more peaks above 8,000 metres for expeditions with the onset of  this autumn climbing season, an official at the Ministry of Culture Tourism and Civil Aviation (MoCTCA) said Tuesday. Along with this, there would be 13 peaks above 8000 meters for the expedition in Nepal.

Currently, eight mountains above 8,000 metres, including the world’s tallest peak, Mt Everest are allowed for the climbers for expedition.

According to Purna Chandra Bhattarai, joint-secretary at the ministry, the new peaks include three in the Kanchenjunga region and two from the Everest region. Lhotse Middle, Lhotse Shar, Kanchenjunga South, Kanchenjunga Central and Kanchenjunga West — all measuring above 8,400 metres (27,559 feet) — will soon be open for expeditions, pending approval from the International Mountaineering and Climbing Federation (UIAA).

“Of course, it will increase the revenue. But we would also like to encourage people to explore and climb these other mountains, apart from the world’s eight highest peaks,” Agency France Press quoted Bhattarai as saying.

At a time experts were warning that overcrowding on the mountain was causing heavy traffic jam on Everest thereby polluting its  environment during the peak season, the government’s plan to open five more peaks above 8000 meters floated Tuesday.

Bhattarai told that the Switzerland-based organisation, which represents climbers and mountaineers from around the world, would likely make a decision at its annual meeting in early October.

Earlier this month, the government had announced to set up a information center comprising government officials to keep a close surveillance on expeditions to Mt. Everest to assure that mountaineers keep the famous peak neat and clean, beside avoiding frequent disputes.

More than 300 snow cap peaks are open for expeditions in Nepal so far and the ministry has succeeded to garner 35 million rupees ($344,000)  in revenue from mountaineering this season.

Altogether 384,436 mountaineers have successfully scaled Mt. Everest till December 2012 since Tenzing Norgey Sherpa and Sir Edmund Hillary atop it for the first time in May 29, 1953.

According to the latest version of ‘Mountaineering in Nepal Facts & Figures’ made public by Tourism Industry Division under the Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation, a total of 35 different types of world record have been made in the highest peak in the world till date. Among 384, 436 successful mountaineer, 220 of them are female.

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