Nepal Will Reopen Everest to Climbers in Midst of Rising COVID-19 Cases

Officials in Nepal announced this week they will reopen Everest—and the rest of the Himalayan mountains they issue permits for—to climbers for the autumn season. Shutting down the Everest climbing season this spring likely cost the nation millions of dollars in revenue and put hundreds of thousands people whose income is based on climbers and tourists, out of work.

The borders of Nepal have been closed since March, but beginning August 17, the country will resume allowing international flights to land, even as cases of COVID-19 are increasing in South Asia.

“I am looking forward to be guiding on #everest this autumn,” wrote mountaineering sensation Nims Purja on his Facebook page. “A minimum number of team members is required to make this happen and I’m fairly optimistic. Climbing Everest in autumn is a rare opportunity.”

Nepal has said strict health protocols must be adhered to by climbers and guides, though it’s unclear exactly what those protocols will entail.

Photo: Kalle Kortelainen

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