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With first 35 on Mt. Manaslu, weather looks to hamper other expeditions



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By CK Khanal

Kathmandu, Sept. 26: At the start of autumn season of climbing, 35 climbers have reached atop Mount Manaslu (8163 m) by Wednesday.
According to the Department of Tourism (DoT), climbing Mt. Manaslu opened from Tuesday when a team comprising four rope fixing Sherpas reached atop the summit after completing their task.
Meera Acharya, director at the Mountaineering Section of the DoT, said that around 35 climbers scaled Mt. Manaslu in two days.
She said that other climbers were also heading to climb the peak.
This autumn, a total of 264 climbers of different 27 expedition teams have taken permission from the DoT to climb Manaslu.
Last autumn, 192 climbers had taken permission to climb the same.
She, however, said that expedition to Mt. Everest and other mountains, which required climbers to pass through Everest Base Camp, looks impossible this autumn due to unfavourable weather there.
“Officials from Everest Base Camp have informed that climbing Mt. Everest, Mt. Lhotse and Mt. Nuptse has seemed almost impossible due to bad weather,” she said.
This autumn, 10 climbers under two separate expedition teams had received permission to climb Mt. Everest, the highest peak of the world. Similarly, 13 climbers under two expedition teams and eight climbers of one expedition team were granted permission to climb Mt. Lhotse (8,516m) and Mt. Nuptse (7855m) respectively.
Acharya said that the number of climbers and expedition teams this autumn is almost similar to the climbers of last autumn.
The number of climbers taking permission to climb the peaks measuring less than 6500m height has declined this year due to the decision of the Ministry of Home Affairs to levy additional charges in the restricted areas, she said.
Amadablam (6,814m) is another major peak which used to be climbed during autumn season. In last autumn a total of 352 climbers had taken permission to climb Amadablam.
So far, not a single team has taken permission for Amadablam this time, said Rameshwore Niraula, an official at the Mountaineering Section of the department.
He said that the climbers mostly used to climb Amadablam during the end of the autumn season. He said that there was a possibility of issuing permission to a few expedition teams for Amadablam before Dashain holidays.
Autumn is the 2nd season to climb the tall mountains of Nepal after spring. The government is charging 50 per cent less royalties for most of the peaks in autumn to attract the climbers during this season.
A foreign climber can get permission to conquer Mt. Everest by paying just US dollars 5,500 during autumn while he has to pay US dollar 11,000 in spring season.
By Wednesday, 445 climbers- 342 males and 103 females- from different 48 countries have taken permission to climb different 21 peaks in autumn season.
Maximum number of climbers are from China (59) followed by France (43), Poland (35) and Italy (32).