Nepal opens 104 new peaks for mountaineering


Peak Climbing in Nepal

Nepal on Wednesday opened 104 virgin peaks for mountaineering, taking the total number of peaks mountaineers can climb to 414, the Tourism Ministry said.

Among the new peaks opened, the Yalung Khang West is the only mountain higher than 8,000 meters. The mountain, located in eastern Nepal, has a height of 8,077 meters.

Nine new peaks opened for climbing are higher than 7,000 meters.

"The new peaks have been opened to promote mountain tourism in the country," Madhu Sudan Burlakoti, a tourism ministry official, told Kyodo News. "There are climbers who come to Nepal to conquer virgin peaks. We have given them a lot of choices," he added.

The government has also relaxed by 300 meters the height bar for the requirement of climbing permits. "Climbers will not need climbing permits for mountains less than 5,800 meters. Earlier, the bar was 5,500 meters," Burlakoti said.

The decision comes in the wake of a disastrous spring climbing season precipitated by last month's avalanche on Mt. Everest that left 13 Nepalese Sherpas dead and three missing.

The avalanche, the worst in the history of Mt. Everest, led to a blanket abandonment of expeditions on the mountain for this season with Sherpas demanding more insurance and benefits.

Following the suspension, the government extended Mt. Everest climbing permits issued this season by five years, although the permits are normally valid for 75 days.

There are a total of 1,310 mountains higher than 6,000 meters identified in Nepal.

Popular climbing peaks in Nepal

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