Record Number of Climbers on Everest; Rope Fixers Reach Camp 4

This weekend, Imagine Nepal fixed ropes to Camp 4 on Everest at 7,900m, just below the South Col. Soon, hundreds of climbers will occupy it on their final summit push. If the weather holds, the rope fixers — who spent the night in Camp 4 and are now back in Base Camp — will likely summit before the month is out.

The number of permits from Nepal’s Department of Tourism has reached a record 454. The final number may increase with last-minute additions from climbers fresh from another 8,000’er, who want to use their acclimatization to try Everest. That was what Sito Carcavilla did last spring after attempting Dhaulagiri with Carlos Soria. (The pair are back on Dhaulagiri again this year.)

China ‘invades’ Everest

As expected, China tops the list with 96 clients so far, followed by 87 Americans. This is the first time that Americans are not the largest group, Everest Chronicle noted. Chinese clients are taking advantage of fewer restrictions than on the Tibet side. In Nepal, they don’t need to have climbed another 8,000’er before attempting Everest, as they do in Tibet.

Numbers of Everst in a graph look coincident with the relieve of Everest picture from Kala Patar.

Everest numbers in the last four years. Graph: Everest Chronicle


Illicit paragliding

Meanwhile, clients progress on their acclimatization trips to Camp 2. One of them illegitimately decided to descend the fast way, by paragliding without a permit. Darren J. Verploegen of the U.S., a member of the Seven Summit Treks group, launched at some point from the Valley of Silence and flew back down to Base Camp, to his expedition’s leader’s dismay. Verploegen had a permit to climb the mountain but not to paraglide, for which a separate permit is required.

Four people stand at Everet Base Camp, holding a semi-flded paraglide, apparently belonging to one of them.

Darren Verproegen (second from the left?) with his paraglider back in Base Camp. Photo: The Himalayan Times


Verploegen claims that he was not aware of the permit requirement, The Himalayan Times reported. “[He] would be barred from climbing in Nepal if found guilty,” THT wrote, quoting a source in Base Camp.

Last year, Pierre Carter of South Africa made the first legal jump off Everest. He launched from the South Col area and landed at Gorak Shep.

Angela Benavides

Angela Benavides graduated university in journalism and specializes in high-altitude mountaineering and expedition news. She has been writing about climbing and mountaineering, adventure and outdoor sports for 20+ years.

Prior to that, Angela Benavides spent time at/worked at a number of local and international media. She is also experienced in outdoor-sport consultancy for sponsoring corporations, press manager and communication executive, and a published author.