China Closes Mt Everest, Cho Oyu, and Shisapangma climbing

KATHMANDU: The Chinese government has officially closed Mt Everest and other mountains from climbing in the upcoming autumn season from Tibetan side saying that the mountaineering sector witnessed a series of problems including an illegal north-south traverse by a polish climber on the roof of the world last month. Issuing a circular today, China Tibet Mountaineering Association announced that Chinese authorities would not issue any climbing permits in the autumn climbing season. The circular stated that Janusz Adam Adamski, a Polish climber, who illegally scaled Mt Everest from the Tibetan side and traversed towards Nepal from the summit. “His action causes the industry related internal rules and regulations need to be adjusted and improved,” it adds. Though the circular doesn’t mention anything about placing the Tibetan flag as well as photos of spiritual leader Dalai Lama on top of the Mt Everest summit in the spring climbing season, officials at the Department of Tourism confirmed that Chinese authorities had already expressed serious concerns over such ‘malicious’ activities on Mt Everest aiming to harm the bilateral relations between two countries. Some climbers have also posted on their Facebook pages that they stood atop Mt Everest with photos of Dalai Lama and free Tibet flags, that China takes possessing such Tibetan flags as an illegal act in Tibet, according to a DoT official. “In order to solve a series of problems in time, and provide a good condition to all of the expeditions in 2018, with the approval of the Sports Bureau of Tibet Autonomous Region of China and China Mountaineering Association, the climbing permits will not be granted in autumn 2017,” the CTMA notice added. Mountaineering fraternity considers the China’s sudden announcement of climbing ban as a serious blow to the climbers as it has adversely affected the world mountaineers who are looking to climb any one of the three peaks above 8,000 m in the autumn season that falls from September to November. Along with the world’s highest peak, the ban will also apply on other mountains in Tibet including Mt Cho-Oyu (8,188 m), the sixth highest mountain and Mt Shishapangma (8,027 m), the fourteenth highest peak in the world. Expedition operators usually handle over hundred teams on Mt Cho -Oyu and Mt Shishapangma in the autumn season in addition to a few on Mt Everest from Tibetan side, Ang Tshering Sherpa, Chairman of Nepal Mountaineering Association, said. “Chinese officials raised serious concerns over illegal traverse by Polish climber,” Sherpa who recently held a meeting with CTMA and CMA officials, added. Beside Chinese action, the 49-year-old climber who illegally traversed to Nepal has already been slapped with a 10-year ban on mountain climbing in Nepal. “The Department of Immigration is waiting for a Home Ministry’s decision to deport the Polish climber at the earliest,” DoI’s Director General Ganga Ram Gelal said, adding that his passport was already seized. CTMA officials have also been looking into a case of double ascent on Mt Everest by a Spanish alpinist. The ultra-runner Spaniard Kilian Jornet had summited Mount Everest twice in a week without using supplemental oxygen but the officials were still sketchy over his feat saying whether he climbed the peak twice just using a single permit issued by CTMA. Jornet left on May 27 from Advanced Base Camp (6.500m) and it took him 17 hours to the summit on a very windy day, according to a statement issued by the Summit of My Life. Earlier, the famed alpinist scaled the world’s highest peak from Tibetan side in a single attempt without the help of bottled oxygen or fixed ropes at midnight of 21st to 22nd May. source: The Himalayan Times