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High number of climbers may poses risk of a ‘traffic jam’ at Everest

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SOLUKHUMBU — A surging number of climbers at Mt Everest Region is posing a high risk of a ‘traffic jam’ at one of the world’s most treacherous climbing routes.

The expedition teams arrive a month before at the Everest Base Camp (EBC) to acclimatize. The expedition to Mt Everest, the highest peak in the world, begins after mid-May if the weather system permits.

A good weather is one of the most significant factors that can be a thin line between life and death at Everest. So climbers jostle to climb upwards from Camp 2, 3 and 4 during favorable weather which inevitably leads to the risk of a traffic jam.

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Tourism Department says that there are more climbers this season as compared to last year. High Altitude Worker, Pemba Dorje Sherpa, warned of the risk of a traffic jam at Everest this climbing season due to a high number of aspiring climbers.

Many climbers had taken permission in 2014 when an avalanche struck Everest. They are still allowed the climb Everest which has resulted in high number of climbers.

In 2015, the government introduced a new law allowing climbers three years’ window to climb Mt Everest with a single permit and fare.

“This is the final year of the three-year period and the climbers who had taken permission earlier have arrived to not miss this chance. This is why there are a high number of climbers this season,” Tourism Department’s Information Official, Durgadatta Dhakal said.

Last year, 289 climbers arrived at the EBC with permission to climb Mt Everest. This year 267 have already started the trek from Namche to EBC, Everest Pollution Control Committee (SPCC) Programme Official, Kapindra Rai shared.

It is usual for the climbers to arrive until mid-May and as more climbers are coming into contact the chances of the number tipping over 400 are high, according to the Department.

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The number of high altitude workers accompanying the climbers is usually more than the climbers themselves. As there will be more workers accompanying the climbers, it is estimated that around 1000 individuals will reach the peak this season alone.

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Number of tourist doubles in Sauraha this New Year

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CHITWAN — The number of tourists visiting Sauraha to celebrate the New Year has more than doubled this time compared to the previous years.

This augurs well for the prospect of tourism in Chitwan district, according to the tourism entrepreneurs here.

“A significant number of tourists have arrived here for celebrating the New Year. The tourist arrivals are expected to go up in the coming days if this is any indication,” said Suman Ghimire, president of the Regional Hotel Association, Sauraha.

According to Ghimire this has raised hope the number of tourists will increase by 20 per cent in 2075 BS.

Some 10,000 tourists visited Sauraha last year and an estimated 6,000 of them stayed in hotels.

Hotels in Sauraha are filled with visitors who have arrived here in connection with celebrating the Nepali New Year 2075 BS.

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Tourism entrepreneurs say that this time they had hard time providing accommodation to tourists and many tourists were seen exiting Sauraha for lack of accommodation.

“We had to even accommodate tourists by laying mats in hotel rooms,” shared Sheer Lal Pariyar, manager of Hotel Park Side at Sauraha. He said a large number of visitors had arrived in Sauraha three days before the New Year’s Day on April 14.

Sauraha is considered to be the third most popular tourism destination of the country after Solukhumbu, where Mt. Everest is located, and Pokhara.

In the past nearly 150 thousand visitors used to come to Sauraha. This year the target is to bring 180 thousand tourists.

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