Despite the obvious signs the Everest season should be canceled, the mountain will remain open from Nepal and the Ice Doctors will rebuild the route through the Khumbu Icefall.

Eighteen climbers died during the fatal avalanche, but unlike the season-ending snow-slide of 2014, officials are determined to keep the mountain open.

“Next week, expeditions will continue,” said Tulsi Prasad Gautam, chief of the mountaineering department at the tourism ministry. During an informal meeting of officials and climbing groups, it was agreed there is “no additional risk” to climbers as a result of the earthquake.

Ang Tshering Sherpa, head of the Nepal Mountaineering Association, confirmed that the Icefall Doctors were working on the route up to the advanced camps from which climbers mount their final assault on the summit.

Many climbers have abandoned their ascent of Everest for the season, but others have remained determined to press on despite the national tragedy that is unfolding around them.

China has closed their Everest climbing season and Canadians Nancy Hansen and Raphael Slawinski are on their way home.

How Canadians can help the relief effort in Nepal.

The are about 70 foreigners at Everest Basecamp now, but some 350 climbers plus guides and Sherpa are expected to attempt the peak.  The ropes buried by the avalanche will be pulled out and used, but if they are damaged a fresh supply of ropes and ladders await in Basecamp.

The mountaineering department might extend the season into early June for those holding 90-day permits. Usually, the peak is closed at the start of monsoon season.

Everest Shrank, but Nepal Rose

It seems not all Everesteers share the belief that just because it’s open, you should climb it. A number of climbers have started their descent, including Jim Davidson.

Everest climbers form a long snaking line up the mountain as they strive to reach the summit.  Photo  Ralf Dujmovits
Everest climbers form a long snaking line up the mountain as they strive to reach the summit during a previous climbing season. The line to the top won’t be as long in 2015, but there will most certainly still be one. Photo Ralf Dujmovits

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