In the aftermath of the Nepalese 7.8 magnitude earthquake that has crippled the country and killed over 7,200 people, the local Mount Everest Sherpas have collectively refused to rebuild the route up to Everest for this years climbing season. Subsequently, this may end 2015 climbing season, which would be the second consecutive year of cancellations. This was confirmed by Gyanendra Shrestha, an official at Nepal’s Mountaineering Department.
Though the government has not officially canceled the season, without fixed routes and ropes, the climb is widely considered unsuitable, and therefore will lead to closure. Large climbing outfits like Himex, and others, have already canceled plans to climb this year. The Chinese have also closed the northern route to Everest. Until the Nepalese government official announce closure, climbers permits are valid through May.
“All our members… are climbing down now. No more going up now, not until routes are clear and not until everything is in place for climbers”
- Himex’s Tamding Sherpa.
In a classic move by the Nepalese government, they have asked all foreign aid workers to leave the country as their necessity diminished. This was since redacted; the government claiming aid workers may stay as long as they are needed. Additionally, the Nepalese tourism department chief is advising climbers to not cancel their plans claiming repairs are underway – this is clearly not true in lieu of the sherpa’s recent stance.
As of today, the death toll has reached 7,276. This is growing close to the 1934 Nepal- Bihar earthquake which killed over 8,500 people.