Wednesday 27 May 2020, 01:31 AM
Chinese explorers start Everest climb amid pandemic
By IANS | Bharat Defence Kavach | Publish Date: 4/4/2020 4:07:26 PM
Chinese explorers start Everest climb amid pandemic

Beijing: A group of Chinese mountaineers has begun an expedition on Mount Everest while the site was currently closed to foreign climbers because of the coronavirus pandemic, a media report said.The highest peak of the world stands on the border of China and Nepal and can be climbed from both sides.

China has closed its side to foreign climbers while Nepal has cancelled all expeditions in response to the pandemic, said the BBC report on Friday.Only Chinese climbers are permitted this spring season because of the pandemic, expedition operators in touch with the China Tibet Mountaineering Association (CTMA) told the BBC.

The more than two dozen Chinese climbers tackling Mount Everest were expected to reach the advanced base camp at an altitude of 6,450 metres soon, the operators said.Mountaineering record-keepers have said that if the climbers make it to the summit, it would be a very rare case of only Chinese explorers at the peak.

"In Spring 1960, only the Chinese reached the summit. The Indians tried, but failed," the BBC report quoted Richard Salisbury, with the Himalayan Database, an organisation that keeps records of all expeditions in the Himalayas, as saying.

"There were various Chinese recon, research and training climbs from 1958 through 1967 when nobody else was on the mountain, but no ascents by any of them."The Chinese mountaineers will now be climbing up and down the mountain between camps to acclimatise themselves with the high altitude before making the final push for the summit.

It will take them at least one month.The Chinese side of Everest sees fewer climbers compared to the southern side in Nepal. Climbers can drive right up to the base camp on the Chinese side, whereas in Nepal it is a 10-day trek through the Khumbu valley.

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