Nepal

Another sad day in the history of Nepal as yet another airplane crash claims 19 lives.

The popular route up Everest on the Nepal side will be officially fixed from Base Camp to summit this Spring 2011 climbing season.

A sad day in Nepalese mountaineering history as Chhewang Nima Sherpa was buried in an avalanch on Baruntse, a popular 7129m peak in the Everest region, on October 23, while busy fixing ropes to the summit at just over 7000m. His body has not been recovered and the search has been called off. He has an impressive list of achievements such as summitting Everest 19 times, Cho Oyo 6 times and Shishapangma 2 times. He is second only to Apa Sherpa in the record number of Everest summits.

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For the second time in recent years, a plane headed for Lukla crashed in the mountains, this time killing 3 crew members and 11 passengers, 6 of of them being foreign tourists. More on the previous disaster which happend in 2008 can be read here: Airplane crash on Everest route kills 18. Lukla is a popular jump-off point for the Everest trek and is one of the busiest airports in Nepal.

The pilot apparently reported generator failure en route to Lukla and decided to return, but the backup generator also later failed. Without cockpit avionics the plane would be flying blind in rugged terrain and heavy rain. The cause of the crash would seem to be a combindation of technical failure and bad weather.

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Various Everest climbing blogs have reported numerous summits today (around 30), as reportedly large numbers of climbers push up from the south side, with the usual reports of resulting bottle necks and delays along the route. Climbers have been waiting for the window of good weather around this time of year during which most of the summit attempts are made. It seems this window has begun.

The Maoists of Nepal have officially declared that their protests and forced shutdowns (bandas), will not affect tourist activities during the Nepal Tourism Year in 2011. This declaration was formally released on a document. The strikes have crippled and hampered the country severely lately.

Read more: Maoists will not disrupt 2011 Tourism Year

Chinese Mountaineers and researchers from China climbed Mount Everest in May 2005 and concluded that the rock height of the peak was 3.7 meters less than the estimates made in 1954. This means the summit is 8,844.43 meters as opposed to 8848m, which is the height Nepal seems to be sticking to. Another widely quoted height, which takes into account the snow, is that of 8850m, which was recorded in 1999 using Satellite technology.

Officials from China and Nepal who met this week said both heights were accurate.

More: Nepal, China recognize two heights of Mount Everest

In addition to turbulent political and civil unrest, the expansion of Nepal’s road network has brought about much change to this small country perched on the world’s highest mountain range.

Seven resorts situated inside Chitwan National Park were shut down abruptly on Thursday, July 16.

Apa Sherpa reached the summit of Mount Everest for the nineteenth time on May 21, 2009.