Mount Everest: Permit record, ropes fixed to the South Col

Sunrise on Mount Everest
Sunrise on Mount Everest (in fall 2019)

Mount Everest remains a crowd puller. Nepal’s Ministry of Tourism issued permits for 454 foreign climbers to the world’s highest mountain so far this spring season (as of 21 April) – already more than ever before. Most of them come from China (96), the second most from the USA (87). Since a permit costs $11,000, this has already flushed around five million U.S. dollars into the Nepalese government’s coffers.

Jubilee year attracts

The previous record was set in 2021, when the authority sold 408 permits. The anniversary year of 2023 is likely to have attracted additional summit aspirants to Nepal: 29 May marks the 70th anniversary of the day New Zealander Edmund Hillary and Nepalese Tenzing Norgay became the first people to reach the highest point on Earth.

Tibetan north side of Mount Everest
Tibetan north side of Mount Everest (in spring 2005)

Moreover, the opening of the eight-thousanders located in Tibet to foreign expeditions after three years of closure due to the COVID-19 pandemic came too late for the commercial Everest operators. Some of them will not return to the Tibetan north side of the mountain until 2024. This spring, however, only a Chinese expedition will attempt to reach the summit from Tibet.

Fixed ropes to the last high camp

Meanwhile, on the south side of the mountain, the team from the operator Imagine Nepal, responsible this season for fixing the ropes from Camp 2 at around 6,400 meters to the summit, has reached the South Col at 7,900 meters. The expedition operator let it be known that the rope-fixing would now return to Camp 2, and then, after analyzing the weather data, decide when the last part of the route from the South Col to the highest point at 8,849 meters will also be secured. After that, the mass rush to the summit can begin. The risk of traffic jams on the normal route is expected to be high.

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