Footfall On Sagarmatha

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Nepal is well-known for her immense adventure tourism potentials, especially mountaineering and trekking, worldwide. Being home to eight of the world’s 14 mountains above 8,000 metres and hundreds of other peaks, the country welcomes a number of adventurers, nature lovers and those showing their keen interest culture from around the globe every year. Spring is the best season of the year in the nation in terms of mountaineering activities. Many climbers attempt various peaks, including Sagarmatha, also known as Mt. Everest, during this season. As the 70th anniversary of the first human ascent of the peak is being celebrated this year, a record number of mountaineers have received permits to climb the 8,848.86-metre mountain this spring. Since the ascent of Sagarmatha by Tenzing Norgay Sherpa and Edmund Hillary on May 29, 1953, Nepal started to be known to the outside world as the land of the world’s tallest peak. It was a landmark event in the world's mountaineering history.   


According to the Department of Tourism (DoT), a total of 1,176 climbers from 80 countries from across the world have received permits to climb 28 different peaks in Nepal for this spring. The number of female climbers receiving permits stands at 277. As many as 478 climbers have got permits to attempt Sagarmatha alone. This is a clear indication that the mountain is the major attraction among aspiring climbers. China has the biggest representation (97 climbers) on Mt. Everest, followed by 89 from the United States, 40 from India, 21 from Canada and 20 from Russia. The government has collected more than Rs. 765 million in revenue. With the completion of the task of fixing ropes on the world's tallest peak, hundreds of mountaineers have begun scaling the summits of Sagarmatha and other mountains. 


More than 250 climbers have made it to the top of Sagarmatha over the past four days or so. On Wednesday (May 18) alone, altogether 175 climbers set their feet atop the peak. On May 23, 2019, a total of 345 climbers had scaled the mountain. This is the largest number of mountaineers to scale the peak on a single day. Kami Rita Sherpa, 53, has created history by climbing the mountain for a record 27th time. Sherpa reached the summit at 8:30 am on Wednesday. He is the only person on the planet to have reached the top of Sagarmatha these many times. He became Everest summiteer for 26th time in May last year. A native of Thame of Solukhumbu district, the legendary climber has held the overall record of most ascents since 2018, when he scaled Everest for 22nd time. Having started his mountaineering career in 1992, he climbed Sagarmatha for the first time in 1994 when he was 24. He is also recognised by the Guinness World Records as holding the record for the most ascents of mountains higher than 8,000 metres. 


Meanwhile, another climber Pasang Dawa Sherpa is following Kami Rita's footstep. Pasang has lately climbed the mountain for 26th time. British climber Kenton Cool also reached the top of Sagarmatha for the 17th time, breaking his own record and extending his title as the non-Nepali citizen with the most summits to his name. Similarly, Lhakpa Sonam Sherpa, husband of Pasang Lhamu Sherpa, scaled the peak at 7.30 am on Wednesday. With this ascent, he has successfully climbed the highest peaks on all seven continents. A veteran tourism entrepreneur, Lhakpa is the founder and chairman of Thamserku Trekking, executive chairman of Yeti Airlines and managing director of Yeti Mountain Home. Along with the fresh ascents, several new records on mountaineering have been set. Many other mountaineers are on the trail to get to the summit. 

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