Female climbers in mountain bid

Mt. Everest, file photo
Mt. Everest, file photo
KATHMANDU, Nepal–At a time most of the expedition members have already called off the season’s climbing due to the deadliest avalanche that killed 16 mountaineering support staff and guides on April 18, two legendary female mountaineers are on their way to conquer the two peaks.

Wang Jing, 40, from China and American climber Cleonice P Weidlich, 51, were on their way to Mt. Everest and Mt. Lhotse respectively.

Sources at the Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation (MoCTCA) confirmed that Chang who has hired seven local Sherpas headed for the Base Camp from Namche Bazaar, Thursday.

Cleonice, widely known as Cleo, has reached Camp 2 and she will try a solo attempt to atop the world’s fourth highest peak, source at MoCTCA confirmed.

In the meantime, expedition operators are worried that if the two women ascend the peaks, permits won’t be extended for other members of the team. A few members of Himalayan Experience Everest II expedition, of which Chang was a part, reached the Department of Mountaineering to raise the issue.

According to MoCTCA, Cleo was a part of11-member Summit Lhotse Expedition 2014 while Chang was part of the eight-member Himalayan Experience Everest II Expedition 2014 supported locally by Mountain Experience Pvt Ltd.

While the mountaineers were casting doubt about the fixation of ropes, Ministry officials informed that SPCC’s icefall doctors are in Everest region to fix ropes from the Base Camp to Camp 2.

The Ministry source further revealed that government officials have been deployed to get updates on the American and Chinese climbers.

Cleo, who climbed Mt Everest in May 2010, completed her eighth successful ascent of the 8,000m peaks by summitting Mt. Makalu in October 2012. Also the author of ‘Life at Altitude’ Wang is known as ‘alpine snow lotuses. She has climbed seven peaks up to 8,000 metres.

Most of the expedition members have already quit this season’s climbing after Everest tragedy. As many as 334 members from 31 expedition team have received permission to climb Mt Everest.

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