February 23 2015 -
Nepal reassures Everest climbers on safety a year after deadly avalanche.
KATHMANDU (Reuters) - Nepal will arrange regular weather forecasts and tighten
safety measures on Mount Everest to reassure climbers, an official said on
Monday, after an avalanche killed 16 sherpas last year in the worst disaster
in the history of the world's highest mountain.
The country's climbing season starts in March and runs through May, attracting
hundreds of climbers who are expected to ascend the 8,850-meter (29,035-foot)
mountain by the normal South East Ridge route.
Nepal is developing a system with meteorological officials to provide regular
weather forecasts, and is discussing adoption of a GPS tracking system for
climbers, tourism official Pushpa Raj Katuwal told reporters.
"All possible measures will be taken to make climbing safe and to minimize the
danger of natural disasters like last year's avalanche," said Katuwal.
The disaster forced at least 334 climbers from around the world to abandon the
climb last year.
It also increased medical and other benefits after criticism that it was doing
little for their welfare, despite collecting hefty permit fees from climbers.
Government officials, army and police will staff a liaison office at Base Camp
through the climbing season to aid climbers in distress and resolve disputes.
Nepal is home to eight of the world's 14 highest mountains, and income from
tourism contributes 4 percent of gross domestic product
Full article available at: http://tinyurl.com/pd3ns7j
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