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455 scale Mount Everest this season

KATHMANDU — As many as 455 climbers have successfully climbed the Mount Everest, the tallest peak in world, this spring which ended on May 31, the Tourism Department said. Including these 455, the total number of Everesters has reached 5,324.

This is the fourth highest number of successes.

Khem Raj Aryal, an official at the department that issues climbing permits, said there were 190 foreigners, 32 fee-paying Nepalis and 233 high-altitude climbing guides.

Five people have died on the Nepal side of the mountain this season including an experienced Swiss mountaineer Ueli Steck and Nepali Min Bahadur Sherchan died while preparing to make their bids.

Likewise, American doctor Roland Yearwood, Slovak climber Vladimir Strba and an Indian climber Ravi Kumar died above the 8,000 metre mark.

However, official Aryal said that it was a safer year on Everest in comparison to previous seasons.

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“Many climbers had to return as strong winds prevented them from climbing at the end of the season,” he added.

“We expect 2018 to be better.”

More than 5,000 climbers have set foot on the summit of Everest so far from the Nepal side since Edmund Hilary and Tenzing Norgay Sherpa first conquered the world’s tallest mountain in 1953, according to government officials.

The government issued a record 375 climbing permits this season. An Everest climbing permit costs $11,000 for foreigners and Rs75,000 for Nepalis.