A record 374 climbers, including 12 Nepalese, have been cleared to scale the world’s highest peak on Mount Everest this spring.
According to the Department of Tourism, the authority that issues climbing permits, this year has the highest number of climbing permits issued for Everest in a single season.
“Applications have stopped coming but we have estimated that the number of fee-paying Everest aspirants could reach 380 this season,” said Surendra Thapa, spokesperson for the department.
“With each climber hiring at least one local climbing guide, the total number of individuals on the mountain may reach 1,000 this season,” he said. Normally, permits are issued until April-end.
The highest number of climbers are from India (87), followed by the United States (68) and China (62) and the United Kingdom (42).
Climbing will start from mid-May, and the mountaineers have already started spending time on the lower reaches of the Himalaya acclimatizing themselves.
According to the department’s statistics, 863 individuals were issued the climbing permits last year, including 349 fee-paying climbers and 514 high-altitude climbing guides.
A record 563 people, including 261 fee-paying climbers, stood atop the hallowed peak. The high-altitude climbing guides do not need to pay climbing fees.
For the last three years, the success rate of climbing Everest has averaged at 70 percent.
According to the expedition organisers, icefall doctors mobilised by the Sagarmatha Pollution Control Committee have already opened a climbing route from base camp to Camp II (6,400m).