China cancels Everest spring climbing over coronavirus worries

Reuters
Shanghai, China Published: May 15, 2021, 07:25 PM(IST)

FILE PHOTO: Mount Everest, the world highest peak, and other peaks of the Himalayan range are seen through an aircraft window during a mountain flight from Kathmandu, Nepal January 15, 2020. Photograph:( Reuters )

Story highlights

It cited a notice on Friday from the General Administration of Sport, following a severe pandemic situation

China has decided to cancel the 2021 spring climbing season from the Tibetan side of Mount Everest, the world's tallest peak, because of coronavirus concerns, the official Xinhua news agency said on Saturday.

It cited a notice on Friday from the General Administration of Sport, following a severe pandemic situation.

The Himalayan nation of Nepal, which is so short of oxygen canisters it has asked mountaineers to bring back their empties, has issued a record 408 permits to climb Everest in the April-May season after last year's closure.

Also read | COVID-19: Mt Everest climbers show symptoms, officials dismiss reports of possible outbreak

In contrast, a total of 21 Chinese climbers had secured approval for climbs in spring, Xinhua added.

Last Sunday, state media said China would establish "a line of separation" at the summit of Everest to prevent the mingling of climbers from Nepal and those ascending from the Tibetan side as a precautionary measure.

Also read | China to create 'line of separation' at Everest summit on COVID fears

Everest has been scaled by more than 6,000 climbers since the first conquest by Edmund Hillary and Sherpa Tenzing Norgay in 1953. At least 311 people have died on the slopes of the mountain, which is 8,849 metres (29,032 ft) high.

Read in App