A ladder to Mount Everest ?

Kathmandu, March 18 :

Climbers may soon be able to reach the top of the Mount Everest by merely climbing a ladder.
Mount Everest
The Nepal government is mulling the installation of ladders on Hillary Step, the final rock wall which climbers have to scale to reach the summit.

Expedition organisers had announced recently that extra ropes would be fixed on congested ice walls like the Hillary Step, where mountaineers have faced frustrating delays in the past.

Now Nepal’s tourism ministry says it is considering going one step further in a move that it contends would improve safety and end logjams.

“There is a traffic jam at the Hillary Step during the main climbing months between April and June, so for the safety of mountaineers we are considering fixing ladders there,” tourism ministry spokesman Mohan Krishna Sapkota was quoted as saying in a release.

He said officials are yet to decide on a timeline for the proposal.

“It will be a difficult task to fix the ladders, but we are considering it for the future,” he said.

Last summer, a squabble was reported between a group of European climbers and local guides on the slopes.

The fight erupted when the Nepalese asked the mountaineers to wait while they fixed ropes on an ice wall for climbers.

The Europeans refused, saying they were free to ascend since they did not need to use the ropes.

The 40-feet-high Hillary Step is named after Sir Edmund Hillary, who, with Tenzing Norgay, scaled the peak for the first time in 1953.

More than 300 people have died on Everest since the first successful summit.

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