The North Side of Everest. Wikimedia Commons Photo
Nima Tsering, head of the Tibetan Mountaineering Association has officially closed the North Side of Mt. Everest and all other mountains in Tibet for the remainder of the climbing season. Tsering cited solidarity with the ongoing tragedy in Nepal and the high risk of another large magnitude earthquake as the two main reasons. Beijing based geologists predict the chance of another large earthquake in the area at 50%. Now 25 teams and 300 people on the North side of the mountain must figure out a way to return home.
On the Nepalese side of Everest the climbing season is over as well. "Besides the rather obvious and glaring philosophical difficulties of pursuing a recreational venture in the midst of a national and local disaster, there are the on-the-ground mountaineering realities that will not permit us to look upward again. We have no viable route through the Khumbu Icefall and the Earth is still shaking" stated Rainier Mountaineering Inc. guide Dave Hahn in a U.S. News Story. Most Everest summits occur during May 10th-20th, and aside from the ethical dilemma raised above, it would be impossible to rebuild the infrastructure on the mountain to support a successful summit.
Our thoughts and prayers are with everyone affected by this tragedy. Get involved with relief efforts here.
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