Mount Everest: ‘Open’ For Fall Climbing Season In Nepal

For the first time in decades, no one has yet summited Mount Everest this year. But later this fall, a single climber from Japan will attempt to get to the top.

Everest Closed
Everest North Face toward Base Camp Tibet; photo by Luca Galuzzi

A massive earthquake six months ago in Nepal killed thousands of people and shook Mount Everest, where a deadly avalanche swept through base camp.

The climbing season was deemed over on the Nepal side as well as in China, where the Tibetan Mountaineering Association declared “Mount Everest Officially Closed.”

Until now. This fall, Japan’s Nobokazu Kuriki will attempt the summit with a six-person support team. His crew has plans to climb to Camp 2 at about 6,400 meters; from there, Kuriki will continue to the top alone.

Fall Climbing Season

Autumn is not a popular time on Mount Everest, and even in a normal year just a handful of teams attempt to scale the world’s highest point each fall. This year, after the earthquake, where Nepal’s base camp was partially destroyed and climbers were killed, most mountaineers believed 2015 would be skipped altogether.

If successful, Kuriki could be the only person atop the peak this year. He is relying on the expertise of Sherpa “ice doctors” to prepare a route up the mountain’s Khumbu Icefall, a job that is even more dangerous than normal this year.

“Our job is more difficult this year, the mountain has changed,” Ang Kami Sherpa, a lead ice doctor on the mountain, told the AFP. “It is our job to set the route, regardless of the number of climbers.”

Kuriki is in a village near base camp now. He and his team will begin the climb as soon as next week, the Himalayan Times reports.

Beyond Everest, according to a report on the Himalayan Times, more than 230 climbers from across the world have applied for climbing permits on peaks like the 8,163 meter Mount Manaslu.

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Managing Editor Sean McCoy is a life-long outdoorsman who grew up hunting and fishing central Wisconsin forests and lakes. He joined GearJunkie after a 10-year stint as a newspaperman in the Caribbean, where he learned sailing and wooden-boat repair. Based in Denver, McCoy is an avid trail runner, camper, hunter, angler, mountain biker, skier, and beer tester.

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