Nepal government on Sunday honoured nine Sherpa guides who fixed the route to the peak of Mount Everest, enabling over 400 climbers to reach the summit this season after two disastrous years.
The nine, who were the first this season to reach the peak of the world’s tallest mountain on May 11, were honoured at a function in Kathmandu to mark Mount Everest Day, celebrating the first successful ascent in 1953 by Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay.
Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli presented citations to the guides and gave them cheques worth Rs 31,250 each. The guides had fixed the route and installed ropes till the peak.
Fixing of the route and the ropes helped over 400 climbers, both foreigners and Sherpa guides, reach the summit in the past two weeks from the Nepal side of the mountain.
Climbing had come to a halt on the mountain last year after 19 mountaineers died in an avalanche triggered by the April 25 earthquake. There were no ascents in 2014 as well when 16 Sherpas died in an avalanche.
The deaths had created uncertainties on climbing the 8,848-metre peak, but the return of climbers from all over the world and hundreds of successful ascents have made the tourism industry upbeat.
Not all climbers were lucky. Four of them--one Dutch, one Australian and two Indians--died on the mountain due to altitude sickness. Another Indian climber who has been missing for over a week is also presumed dead.