Nepal opens Everest for first time since earthquake

Japanese climber will be first to attempt to scale mountain since an avalanche triggered by April's disaster killed 19.

    The earthquake in April triggered an avalanche killing 19 mountaineers and ending the climbing season early [AP]
    The earthquake in April triggered an avalanche killing 19 mountaineers and ending the climbing season early [AP]

    Nepal has opened Mount Everest to climbers for the first time since an earthquake-triggered avalanche in April killed 19 mountaineers and ended the popular spring climbing season. 

    Families mourn Everest avalanche victims

    Japanese climber Nobukazu Kuriki will set out on Tuesday to be the first person to attempt to scale the world's highest peak since the earthquake.

    Nepal's tourism minister, Kripasur Sherpa, gave Kuriki his climbing permit at a ceremony in Kathmandu on Sunday.

    Kuriki plans to leave for the mountain by helicopter and then reach the summit in mid-September, the AP news agency reported.

    The autumn season is considered a difficult time to attempt Everest and is generally avoided by climbers.

    "The main purpose of my climb is to spread the message that Nepal was safe for climbers and trekkers even after the earthquake," Kuriki told reporters.

    It will be Kuriki's fifth attempt at Everest. His four previous bids to reach the top of the 8,850-metre mountain were unsuccessful.

    In his last attempt, in 2012, he lost nine fingers to frostbite.

    Since the earthquake in April that killed nearly 9,000 people, Nepal has been desperate to bring back the tens of thousands of tourists who enjoy trekking the country's mountain trails and climbing its Himalayan peaks.

    SOURCE: AP


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