Why Nepal government open five more peaks above 8000 m

Mt. Kanchenjunga, file photo.
Mt. Kanchenjunga, file photo.

KATHMANDU, Nepal-The government of Nepal announced this week that five more peaks above 8,000 meters (26,250 feet) would be open to mountaineers for expeditions with the onset of this autumn climbing season.

The government decided to open the peaks in a bid to garner more foreign revenue and prevent the dangerous crowd in the mountains especially in Mt. Everest, the world’s highest peak.

With the government decision the climbers will have access to three new peaks in the Kanchenjunga region and two in the Everest region, pending approval in October from the International Mountaineering and Climbing Federation (UIAA).

The new peaks include Lhotse Middle, Lhotse Shar, Kanchenjunga South, Kanchenjunga Central and Kanchenjunga West — all measuring above 8,400 metres (27,559 feet).

‘Recognizing these five new 8,000-meter peaks would bring in ‘a new era of inspirational mountaineering campaigns’ that could lure back veterans and stir the imaginations of new climbers’, Ang Tshering Sherpa, senior vice-president of the International Mountaineers Association and UIAA honorary member mentioned in his Asian Trekking website.

‘It is important to keep a distinction between the historically recognized peaks and that of newly recognized peaks,’ the website further reads, ‘it is necessary for the Nepalese delegation to campaign strongly and persuade UIAA member federation delegates to approve the recognition of these new 8,000-meter peaks at the UIAA General Assembly.

According to him, recognizing new peaks will also mean that a larger number of expeditions will visit Nepal for mountaineering.

‘As mountaineers and mountain lovers, we all love that climbers are doing new adventures, making new routes,’ he said.

While the new peaks could help increase revenue collection and job opportunity in Himalayan Kingdom, they could help in mitigating traffic jam on Mt. Everest that witnessed a high altitude brawl between three European climbers and a team of Sherpa guides.

“By the time the climbers descended back to Camp 2, some 100 Sherpas had grouped together and attacked,” Italian climber Simone Moro had said in a statement issued on his website soon after the brawl.

Experts have of the opinion that there will be less traffic jam in other peaks as well with the opening of  additional five peaks above 8000 meter for expeditions. ‘It is no doubt that Everest won’t see see any brawl and jam hence onwards’, an official at Tourism Ministry said.

Earlier this month, the government had announced to set up a government information center at the base camp of Mt. Everest, an initial step toward tightening regulations.

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

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