05/06/2014, 00.00
NEPAL
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Strikes and bad weather, thousands of climbers stranded at the foot of Everest

by Christopher Sharma
Heavy rains prevent climbers from tackle mountain hikes, and the massacre of the Sherpas shas halted all activities. Many still trying to find tickets to return to the capital. The Lukla Tara Airport manager confirms: "We are not been able to issue tickets".

Kathmandu ( AsiaNews) - Hundreds of foreign and local climbers are stuck at the base of Everest, unable to climb the mountain because of low cloud coverage and heavy rains.  Moreover they are forced to stay there because of the bad weather conditions, which prevents any movement.

The weather conditions not only prevents climbers from taking tours, but also make it difficult to find tickets to Kathmandu, the only international airport in the country. According to Phuniru Sherpa, the Lukla Tara Airport manager, the number of flights to the capital is limited due to the heavy rains that are hitting the area. "We are facing an increase in the number of passengers in search of return air tickets to Kathmandu. They mainly include foreign climbers, mountain guides and assistants who want to return after the cancellation of their climbing expedition on Mount Everest" state local airline agents.

A Simrik Airha airline staff member adds: "The foreign climbers are visibly in a tense mood, and after having to give up their climbing, they pick on the staff of the company without realizing that the problem is the lack of seats in the aircraft".

Madusudan Barlakoti, a senior government official said, "We have already agreed to permit them to climb Mt. Everest within next five years with the same payment." He added, "We are also talking to all flight operators about the flight shortages and helping them to land in Kathmandu safely." He added, "Once they land in Kathmandu, we will also help them to find international plane tickets to their home country."

According to the Nepal mountaineering association between foreign and Nepalese climers there are at least a thousand people stranded waiting to return to the capital.

In addition, the number of Sherpa guides who are waiting to return to Kathmandu rose after the massacre of 18 April . After this tragic incident, many of them decided to strike and to return to the capital.

 

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