Nepal extends 2015 Everest climbing permits for two years

Submitted by alvin on Tue, 2016-03-01 20:31 Kathmandu: Nepal's government granted its tourism ministry's proposal to extend the climbing permits of hundreds of mountaineers whose expeditions were abandoned last year following avalanches on the Himalaya triggered by the April 25 earthquake. All the permits of the mountaineers were extended for two years. The cabinet meeting gave the green signal to the tourism ministry after the finance ministry's nod two weeks ago. About 103 teams consisting of 801 individuals had last year received permits to scale various peaks in the Himalayas. 357 among them,including 18 Nepalis had obtained climbing permits for the Mount Everest. Nepal's tourism department said that the mountaineers, including Everest aspirants, who had abandoned their summit bids last year, had been waiting for clearance to make fresh attempts this spring. Mount Everest, world's highest peak was closed for consecutive years in 2014 and 2015 due to deadly avalanches. A fatal avalanche near the base camp of Everest on April 18, 2014, killed 16 Nepali guides who were in the expedition. 13 bodies were rescued in the next few days, while three other were never recovered and search and rescue operations were finally called off. The government had extended the Everest climbing permits until 2019 for those climbers who were forced to abandon the mission in 2014. Nearly 334 mountaineers were issued climbing permits, and they have been allowed to return to the peak at any time until 2019. In April 25, 2015, another earthquake struck Nepal setting off avalanche killing at least 19 climbers. Following that no Everest bids were made in the spring of 2015.(ANI)