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Nepal quake impact: Mount Everest to remain shut this season

The numerous avalanches triggered by the devastating earthquake on April 25 and its aftershocks has caused massive damage on the Everest route.

IANS and twitter-logoReuters    Kathmandu     Last Updated: May 4, 2015  | 16:25 IST
Mount Everest to remain shut this season
An April 27, 2014, photo of climbers, unable to scale Mount Everest, looking up towards the avalanche site at Khumbu Icefall after their expedition was cancelled in Solukhumbu district. It was the single deadliest disaster on the world's highest mountain. (Photo: Reuters)

The Nepal government has decided to shut Mount Everest for this season as routes above the base camp which were hit by violent avalanches, were found impossible to be refixed.

A 'Himalayan Times' report on Monday quoted Icefall Doctors - special teams of Sherpas assigned by Nepal's Sagarmatha Pollution Control Committee (SPCC) - as saying that numerous avalanches triggered by the devastating earthquake on April 25 and its aftershocks had caused massive damage on the Everest route, and this cannot be fixed for this season.

The avalanches killed at least 18 mountaineers.

"SPCC announced the closure of treacherous route for this season on the advice of icefall doctors," said SPCC chairman Ang Dorjee Sherpa. "The serac (block or column of glacial ice) in the West Shoulder has been found unstable and the route up to the higher camps has also been badly crumbled away," he said.

With the SPCC's decision, Everest climbing that was hampered by deadly avalanche last year has now been closed for the second consecutive year.

"SPCC workers will, however, stay at the base camp for a couple of weeks to collect waste from the devastated base camp," Dorjee said.

Meanwhile a  Reuters report said Mount Everest remains open to climbers, quoting a senior official at Nepal's tourism department on Monday, despite avalanches after last month's devastating earthquake destroying much of the established route to the summit of the world's highest peak.

Climbers pay $11,000 each to climb Everest, and 357 were registered for this climbing season.

"The government will not officially announce the closure because we have given the permit to climbers," Tulsi Prasad Gautam of Nepal's tourism department told Reuters.

"The route is still damaged and the climbers at base camp don't think the route will be fixed anytime soon. It's up to the climbers and the organizers who are at base camp to take a decision: we are not asking them to do one thing or another."

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