Nepal is reopening Mt. Everest for mountaineers after a massive earthquake hit the country in April.
Nobukazu Kuriki, a Japanese climber, will begin his ascent Tuesday as the first mountaineer since the devastating earthquake-turned-avalanche killed 19 mountaineers. On Sunday, Nepal’s tourism minister, Kripasur Sherpa, handed over Kuriki’s climbing permit in a ceremony.
Kuriki will be attempting to scale Everest during the fall, considered by climbers to be a difficult season compared to spring. “The main purpose of my climb is to spread the message that Nepal was safe for climbers and trekkers even after the earthquake,” Kuriki said, according to the Associated Press.
Kuriki, who has attempted the climb four times before and lost nine fingers to frostbite in his most recent attempt, plans to scale the summit in September.
Nepal’s Himalayan tour operators are criticizing a new government-sanctioned report that declared one of the country’s most popular trekking circuits safe for tourists after massive earthquakes ravaged the country in late April.
They say the study was hastily conducted, without enough fieldwork to back up the findings.
The report, funded by the U.K. and conducted by structural-engineering company Miyamoto, found that the Annapurna circuit was not as badly damaged as initially feared, the BBC says.
The government welcomed the report’s conclusions that very few trails in the area needed repairs after quakes on April 26 and May 12 killed more than 9,000 people across the tiny mountain nation.
Several companies and associations that facilitate trekking expeditions across the Himalayan mountains surrounding Nepal, however, are less enthusiastic. Most say they were not consulted for their input, despite their intimate familiarity with and practical knowledge of the region.
“Such assessments need to…
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