Today it got a little bit fuller on the summit of Mount Everest. According to Mingma Gyalje Sherpa, 14 clients of the commercial Chinese expedition operator Yarla Shampo reached the highest point on earth, accompanied by 21 Tibetan supporters. Mingma, head of the Nepalese operator Imagine Nepal, is in close contact with the Chinese expedition. Among those who stood on the summit was a 16-year-old girl. On her summit video, which Mingma shared on Facebook (see below), you can also see the survey mast that was set up there yesterday. Will they take it down again?
Results of the survey in a few months
The evaluation of the data is to take about two to three months. It is said that the Nepalese government wants to talk to the leadership in Beijing to jointly announce the respective results. Last spring, a Nepalese survey team had climbed via the normal route on the south side of the mountain to redetermine the exact altitude of Mount Everest. The determined value is still pending.
Balance: Around 50 ascents
After today’s summit success of the paying clients, the Chinese expedition is expected to break down their tents on Everest soon. A total of 51 people have been on the summit in the past three days: first the six Tibetan climbers who fixed the ropes, then the ten-man survey team and today the 35 members of the commercial group. By comparison, 876 ascents were recorded in the 2019 spring season, eleven mountaineers died. The corona pandemic had resulted in Everest being completely closed on the Nepalese south side of the mountain and to foreign climbers on the Tibetan north side.
The Chinese-Tibetan authorities had only granted permission to the now successful Chinese expedition to climb the highest mountain on earth. Probably not without ulterior motives: 60 years after the first Chinese ascent of Everest via the Northeast Ridge, the exclusive expedition offered China a unique chance to present itself as a successful high-tech nation on the mountain: 5G network, live TV broadcast in HD quality from the summit, electronic measurement of the highest point, plus about half a hundred summit successes and no fatalities (at least none has been reported so far). Propaganda heart, what more could you wish for?