With coronavirus cases spreading around the world both China and Nepal made a decision to close Mount Everest for climbers for the spring season 2020.
First, Chinese authorities terminated climbers permits. The news appeared that Nepal will be checking medical history of everyone traveling to Everest. Later, it was confirmed that Nepalese side of Everest would also be closed for the spring season in 2020.
MOUNT EVEREST CLIMBING SEASON
Right now spring season is the only time when climbers can summit Everest from Tibetan side, meaning that their attempt will be postponed for at least 1 year to 2021.
In Nepal climbers can summit Everest in fall and even winter. However, the best weather conditions are in May-early June, and all commercial summits happen during the spring season.
Traditionally, spring climbing season in Everest is at the end of May sometimes stretching to the beginning of June when the window of good weather opens. To acclimatize properly for the climb, teams start coming to Everest area in April. From the day they reach Base Camps climbers, their guides and Sherpa prepare for the summit.
HOW THE VIRUS AFFECTED TRAVELING IN TIBET
Starting from the end of January Tibet and Tibetan side of Everest were already closed for all travelers. All main landmarks, such as Potala Palace and Jokhang temple in Lhasa were closed for all visitors. Tourism authorities cancelled permits for Tibet and stopped issuing new ones. When the situation will improve, it will be possible to travel in Tibet again.
Tourists that visit Everest receive a special permit for the Everest region. It is different from the climber’s permit. Cancellation of the climbing season doesn’t affect traveling to Everest as a tourist.