After last year’s disaster where 16 guides died in an avalanche, Nepal, now has decided to provide more doctors and rescue equipment at Everest Base Camp. As climbers arrive for the busiest period, new provisions are aimed at avoiding the repeat of last year’s deadly tragedy which shook Nepal and the mountaineering world.
Devi Bahadur Koirala, of the Himalayan Rescue Association Nepal, said that four doctors, rather than the previous two or three, would be stationed in the emergency room tent at base camp, at 17,380ft (5,300m). Rescue helicopters would airlift the sick or injured out from base camp within 90 minutes, Koirala added. Previously, each team had to arrange its own rescue, which would often take hours.
The course of the standard route taken by most climbers of the 29,000ft (8,848m) mountain has also been changed as the previously used route was disrupted by the avalanche last year. The new route has been decided bearing in mind, the safety of the climbers and also to avoid a repeat of last year’s deathly tragedy. Climbers if injured, would first be treated at the base camp, at 17,380ft, and then flown to a clinic at a lower altitude and, if necessary, to Nepal’s capital, Kathmandu.
Nepal’s popular climbing season, when hundreds of foreigners and their local guides attempt to scale Everest, runs from March 1 to May 31.