KATHMANDU, Nepal - The spring 2011 mountaineering season has begun, and 26 expeditions consisting of 251 climbers have already headed towards Mt. Everest (8,848m) in a bid to scale the highest peak on earth.
The actual climbing will start from mid-May, and the mountaineers will spend time on the lower reaches of the Himalaya to acclimatize themselves.
According to the industry division of the Ministry of Tourism and Civil Aviation, it has issued 704 climbing permits to 83 expeditions for different peaks in the Himalaya as of Friday.
Last spring, there were more than 661 applicants for climbing permits with 347 climbers making it to the top of the 8,848 m peak before the climbing season ended on May 25. Among the summiteers, 157 were foreigners and 190 Nepalis.
“We are still receiving applications, and this momentum will probably continue for two more weeks,” said L.B. Basnet, an official at the industry division.
The spring mountaineering season attracts the largest number of mountaineers. The government collects more than US$ 3.5 million in mountaineering royalties during the period. eturbo news