About 150 climbers have summited Everest in the last two days. Of the 200 in Dhaulagiri’s Base Camp last week, only Carlos Soria and Topo Mena’s teams remain.
The few trekkers in the Khumbu and Annapurna areas hurried back to town as soon as they heard about canceled international flights.
Now, an increasing number of foreigners are stranded in their hotels, working their contacts to find a way to leave the country.
No scheduled international flights are running, but charters and cargo planes still fly in and out of Tribhuvan airport.
Also, Nepal keeps open contact with India. Two flights a week run between Kathmandu and Delhi. On the other hand, the airport closure has marooned a number of Indians transiting through Nepal to other international destinations.
This workaround avoided the travel ban that most countries have imposed on India because of its COVID crisis. The Indian embassy is currently trying to repatriate its citizens.
For stranded tourists, Nepal’s Civil Aviation has permitted “special flights” for foreigners at the request of their embassies.
The U.S. and Indian embassies have already arranged flights through Qatar and Turkish airlines, while a large Aeroflot plane will fly Russians back home, The Kathmandu Post reports.
Nepal’s Tourism Board estimates that there are currently 2,000 foreigners in Kathmandu.
Five thousand more, currently in other regions, will join them in Kathmandu in the next few weeks.
Some outfitters will just arrange a charter for their groups. Not surprisingly, the big-ticket clients currently in Everest Base Camp, still waiting for good weather to summit, will be among them.
Nepal issued a record 408 Everest permits, and a vast number of climbers, Sherpas, and other staff turned Everest Base Camp into a canvas city.
Source: Angela Benavides – Explorersweb