KATHMANDU, Nepal — Climbers are returning to Mount Everest as the climbing industry recovers from last year’s deadly disaster on the world’s highest peak, a Nepalese mountaineering official said.
Climbers from four teams have already been issued permits allowing them to climb the 29,035-foot peak, another 11 written applications are pending and more applications are expected in the next few days, said Gyanendra Shrestha, an official at Nepal’s Mountaineering Department.
The popular spring climbing season began in February and runs until the end of May.
“Last year’s disaster has not deterred the climbers from coming back, instead, we are expecting more than 40 teams during the season,” Shrestha said. That compares with 31 teams last year.
Nepal’s government, which makes millions in permit fees, has been attempting to lure the climbers back. As well, mountaineering authorities have pledged to improve weather forecasting, security and rescue efforts. More medical staff has been placed at Mount Everest’s base camp, and the government has set up a full-time office tent at the camp.