Will My Trek To Mount Everest Base Camp Be Cancelled As A Result Of The Avalanche?
In the wake of the devastating earthquake and avalanche that ripped through Nepal in April this year, many who have booked into treks to Mount Everest base camp are wondering whether the trip will go ahead or not. It is hard for us to provide a hard and fast answer to this question, as it will depend on a number of factors. We have looked at some of these in this article, but still recommend contacting the company you booked your trek through.
The current climbing season has ended prematurely
Unfortunately, the earthquake and subsequent avalanche occurred at a time of year when many climbers were commencing their treks. The season has been cut as a result of the damage that the route has received – numerous ladders on the Khumbu Icefall, for example, need to be repaired before climbing can resume. This has been made even more problematic by further avalanches that have occurred in the region in the weeks following the disaster.
Many parts of Nepal need to be rebuilt
It is also important to note that twenty-five to thirty-five percent of the country has been completely destroyed by the disaster. This is going to cause massive problems for tourism in the region, as Nepal leaned heavily on its natural wonders to pull itself out of poverty. Some are arguing that tourism has been set back around 20 years – no one wants to travel halfway around the world to gaze at the rubble of what used to be something magnificent.
A bad end to an already critical year for Nepal
For many companies organizing Everest treks, 2015 was a critical year. This is after an avalanche killed 16 guides and ruined the climbing season in 2014. Many who had been forced to miss their climbs last year had only just begun to return; the Nepali government had actually issued 30 percent more permits this year than last. 2015 was also an important year for the mountain guides, who won a number of concessions from the Nepali government after last year’s deaths.
Tourists are abandoning or cancelling their plans
Besides some companies choosing to cancel their treks and instead offer their assistance in rescue or rebuilding efforts, 80 to 90 percent of people have decided to abandon their own travel plans. The president of the Nepal Mountaineering Association says that some climbers and guides have already decided to resume their treks, and they hope that more will follow if repairs to the route are made in time for the following season.
Many reading online forums have been advised to avoid Nepal for at least the next few months, but those who have travelled to the region in the past are skeptical. They believe that cancelling plans to visit the country between now and November will actually have serious repercussions, as they rely so heavily on tourism in order to stay afloat. Even if you are unable to complete your trek to Mount Everest base camp, you will at least be able to sightsee.
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