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Saturday 10 December 2016

Tourism chiefs say Everest climbs to resume next week

CLIMBING

An avalanche sparked by the massive earthquake which hit Nepal on Saturday has destroyed some of the key climbing routes (AP)
An avalanche sparked by the massive earthquake which hit Nepal on Saturday has destroyed some of the key climbing routes (AP)

expeditions to summit Mt. Everest may resume despite a massive earthquake that triggered a landslide that killed 19 people at Everest base camp.

"The route damaged by the avalanche and the ropes can be fixed by next week," Tulsi Prasad Gautam, chief of Nepal's Tourism Department said.

He added that there was still time left to attempt to scale the peak. Bad weather normally ends the Everest summit season in mid-to-end May.

The climbers and Sherpas who were attempting to summit from the north face of the mountain, in Tibet, have already packed their gear and left after Chinese authorities closed all climbing for the spring season.

But in Nepal, Gautam said, "the time for the expedition teams can be extended to June if necessary".

"Most of the teams are still in the region and many are still undecided if they are going to abandon."

Several Sherpa guides are willing to go back to work if the expeditions resume.

"It does look like it is going to be difficult for the expeditions that decide to continue. The route above the base camp (inset left) has been destroyed by the avalanche," a spokesman said.

"The future of the Everest climb this season is quite uncertain."

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