A Nepali sherpa has led a nine-man team to summit Everest, becoming the first to summit the top of the world after the devastating quake. The mountain guide was part of a rope-fixing team preparing the final stretch to the 8,850-metre summit, running along the South-East Ridge route, for teams to make their own attempts in the next few days. “Sherra Gyalgen Sherpa reached the top of Sagarmatha at 5:05pm (local time),” said Ang Tshering Sherpa, chief of the Nepal Mountaineering Association (NMA), using the mountain’s Nepali name. “In all, nine Sherpa climbers scaled the top,” tourism official Gyanendra Shrestha said from Everest.
Climbing outfit Jagged Globe tweeted that its Everest team was at Camp 3 and in good spirits. “If rope fixed to summit today, they’ll move to South Col Thursday for the summit attempt,” it said. As per the officials, at least 289 climbers and their guides were at different high camps waiting for a window of clear weather to scale the final ascent. Approximately 100 people, from multiple teams, were looking forward to summiting Everest from May 14 to 16, a veteran mountaineer and blogger Alan Arnette said in a post on Wednesday.
Numbers are well below the nearly 700 who reached the summit in 2013, showing how badly climbing and adventure tourism in the Himalayan nation have been hit by the Everest tragedies and last year’s quake, which destroyed 1 million homes.