Asia - Pacific

Rapidly melting glaciers may force Nepal to shift Mt. Everest base camp

Khumbu Glacier melting at faster rate due to increasing human activity, says Nepal government official

Riyaz ul Khaliq   | 17.06.2022
Rapidly melting glaciers may force Nepal to shift Mt. Everest base camp


Melting glaciers are forcing authorities in Nepal to consider the possibility of shifting the base camp for the world’s highest mountain.

For decades, mountaineers from around the globe summited Mt. Everest after getting permits from Nepal’s Department of Tourism from the current base camp situated at an altitude of 5,364 meters (17,598 feet).

“Because of human activity, glaciers are melting at a faster rate,” Taranath Adhikari, director general of the department, told Anadolu Agency.

Adhikari said locals, mountaineers and climatologists have informed the government that “human activity” at the base camp has resulted in the “faster melting” of the Khumbu Glacier.

“The suggestion is that the base camp for Mt. Everest is shifted or relocated,” Adhikari said over the phone from Kathmandu.

Following the observations, he added, Nepal’s national authority for mountaineering will submit a report to the government.

“We are just planning yet … it is in the preliminary phase and any decision will be taken by the prime minister and his Cabinet,” Adhikari said.

“Our objective is to save the glaciers … we don’t want the human activity to speed up the melting of the glaciers,” he explained.

Data accessed by Anadolu Agency showed that around 325 mountaineers have secured permits to summit Mt. Everest this year.

The base camp was closed for mountaineers for a year in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, said Adhikari.

“The number (this year) is more or less the same to the pre-pandemic level,” he added.

The Mt. Everest base camp is located in what is known as the Khumbu region, home to the native Sherpa people.

The Nepal route is the most used track to access the world’s highest mountain.

The other route is from the north of Tibet in China where it is called Mt. Qomolangma, its Tibetan-origin name.

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