Sherpas Refuse to Fix Everest Route

Likely spells end to climbing season

May 4, 2015
Outside Magazine
Sherpas Refuse to Fix Everest Route

Inside the Khumbu Icefall in 2006.    Wikimedia Commons

Sherpas on Monday refused to fix the route through the Khumbu Icefall, which was destroyed in the April 25 earthquake, likely ending this year’s climbing season, the AP reports.

The Icefall Doctors, the group of Sherpas tasked with maintaining climbing routes through the icefall (between Base Camp and Camp I), informed Nepal’s Mountaineering Department that they will not fix the route, according to Gyanendra Shrestha, a Nepali official. “It is just not possible to rebuild the route in time for climbers to attempt to scale the peak,” Kapindra Rai, of the Sagamartha Pollution Control Committee, which controls the Icefall Doctors, told the AP.

The Nepalese government hasn’t officially announced the closing of the 2015 Everest season. Officials are hesitant to cancel the season and refund climbing permits. After last year’s avalanche, which killed 16 high-altitude workers in the icefall, the government canceled the season and extended permits one year.

Climbing permits will remain valid until the end of May, but all of the remaining teams have abandoned their attempts. A summit attempt this season appears to be unlikely. If nobody attempts a climb, this year will be the first time Everest has gone unclimbed since 1974.

Not Now

Open a World of Adventure

Our Dispatch email delivers the stories you can’t afford to miss.

Thank you!