The spring climbing season in the Himalaya came to an end a few weeks back, and to say it was a successful season would be an understatement. But just how successful was it? We now have some numbers from Everest to help put things in perspective.
According to The Himalayan Times, the Department of Tourism for the Nepali Government has released its climbing numbers for Everest this year, and it was an astounding rebound following two years of interrupted operations on the mountain. This year, there were 456 successful summits from the South Side of the mountain, of which 199 were foreign climbers from 29 different countries. The other 257 climbers were Sherpas who were part of the support teams that assisted in getting clients to the top. Sadly, there were also five deaths this spring season as well.
In a sure sign that things are returning to normal on the world’s highest peak, tourism officials issued permits for 289 expedition climbers, and 457 high-altitude porters and guides. Those permits were spread out across 34 different teams. That means, of the foreign climbers who came to Nepal to attempt Everest this year, about 90 were unable to make it to the top.
The youngest climbers to summit in 2016 were Balkar Singh and Stanzin Laskit, who are 19 and 18 respectively. The oldest climbers were Young Heo of South Korea who is 62, and New Zealander Lydia Margarate Bradey, who topped out at the age of 55.
The report goes on to say that there were 45 successful summits by female climbers, with Maya Sherpa being the lone woman from Nepal to summit. Furthermore, the busiest day of the season was May 19, when 209 people reached the top.
For the commercial teams that operate in Nepal, this was a much needed successful season that can best be described as “normal.” In 2014 the season was canceled after an avalanche claimed the lives of 16 porters, and last year the April 25 earthquake killed another 21 people on Everest, while bringing widespread devastation to the rest of the country. In terms of sending a message to climbers that Everest is safe, secure and open for business, the guide companies couldn’t have asked for a year that was so free from drama. Lets hope the trend continues.
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