Britons among 2,000 hikers stranded near Mount Everest
Saturday 05 November 2011
British tourists are among up to 2,000 hikers stranded near Mount Everest with food running low after fog and cloud forced the area's only airport to shut down for four days.
Trekkers from the UK, as well as the US and Germany, are among those stuck in the Nepalese hill resort of Lukla with hundreds living in tents and in the dining halls of local hotels.
With aircraft currently unable to take off or land and the treacherous weather not expected to clear until tomorrow, it was reported yesterday that the Himalayan Rescue Association and the Tourism Crisis Cell had called an emergency meeting to find a way to rescue the tourists.
Large helicopters are likely to be called into action, officials have said. "Visibility is almost nil. Fog and clouds have covered the entire area making flights by fixed-wing small aircraft impossible," Utsav Raj Kharel, head of the remote Tenzing-Hillary Airport, told Reuters. "Though a few small private helicopters had picked some tourists from nearby Sirke village, they are inadequate to clear the rush."
The airport lies 2,800m above sea level, a considerable height but still far below Everest's peak at 8,850m. It was named in 2008 after Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay, the two men who in 1953 became the first to climb the world's highest mountain.
Some have called it the most dangerous – and the most exciting – airport in the world, and thousands pass through the airstrip every year via flights from the Nepalese capital Kathmandu.
Given its location it is not unusual for flights to be suspended temporarily due to the weather, but the latest closure is one of the most extreme to have hit the region in some years.
- 2 California man brutally beat 82-year-old Sikh grandfather he mistook for 'one of those people'
- 3 School kitchen manager 'fired from Colorado school for giving hungry students free lunches'
- 5 Charles Kennedy 'had better judgement drunk than many sober politicians' says Ian Hislop
California man brutally beat 82-year-old Sikh grandfather he mistook for 'one of those people'
Amber Peat: Body found in search for missing 13-year-old who left house after argument with her parents
School kitchen manager 'fired from Colorado school for giving hungry students free lunches'
Isis executes three gay men by dangling them from top of 100ft building and letting go
Alton Towers crash: Four guests seriously injured as Smiler ride carriages collide
Thousands of teenage girls enduring debilitating illnesses after routine school cancer vaccination
Migrants in Kos: Photos show real tragedy after Brits abroad complain of 'awkward' holidays
British tourists complain that impoverished boat migrants are making holidays 'awkward' in Kos
Michael Gove determined to scrap the Human Rights Act – even if Scotland retains it
Threat to scrap Human Rights Act could see UK follow Nazi example, warns UN official
Church of England 'one generation away from extinction' after dramatic loss of followers
£40000 - £47000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A 3rd Line Virtualisation / Sto...
£26000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A successful national service f...
£15000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an opportunity to join ...
£17500 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: We currently require an experie...