Nepal opens five more peaks to climb

21st Aug 2013

Nepal will open five more peaks above 8,000 metres (4.9 miles) for trekking holiday expeditions in time for the autumn climbing season.

The Himalayan nation's announcement will swell the overall number of such summits to 13.

Nepal presently permits climbers to scale eight mountains above 8,000 metres, including the world's highest peak at 8,848m (29,029ft), Mount Everest.

The new summits include three in the Kanchenjunga area and two from the Everest region.

Lhotse Middle, Lhotse Shar, Kanchenjunga South, Kanchenjunga Central and Kanchenjunga West - all scaling above 8,400 metres (27,559 feet) - will soon be open for expeditions.

This is dependent on consent from the International Mountaineering and Climbing Federation (UIAA).

Purna Chandra Bhattarai, a senior official at the tourism ministry, said the federation is likely to decide at its annual meeting in early October.

Bhattarai told AFP: "We would also like to encourage people to explore and climb these other mountains, apart from the world's eight highest peaks."

Tourism leaders hope that recognition of these peaks will inspire a new era of Nepalese mountaineering campaigns by veteran and novice climbers.

Nepal wants closer vigilance on expeditions to Mount Everest to make sure that climbers keep it clean.

Over 300 mountains are open for expeditions for visitors to Nepal, where tourism revenues significantly boost this impoverished country's coffers, on private journeys or group tours alike.

Nepal commemorated the 60th anniversary of the first scaling of Everest on May 29, honouring the family of trailblazing climbers Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay.

Hillary and Norgay's children, Peter Hillary and Jamling Tenzing Norgay, were joined at a special London reception by esteemed climbers Sir Chris Bonington, Stephen Venables and Doug Scott.

They have all contributed to the book The Conquest Of Everest - Original Photographs From The Legendary First Ascent, containing previously unpublished photographs from the 1953 climb.

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