Nepal is debating the relocation of the Everest base camp due to increasing human activity and global warming threat that is making it unsafe.
The current basecamp is in Khumbu region where an active glacier is located. Scientists have found that the Khumbu glacier, like many other active glaciers in the Himalayas, is rapidly melting and thinning in the wake of global warming. The Khumbu icefall stretches from 5,500 metres to 5,800 metres and lies just above the Everest base camp. It is here that hundreds of climbers pitch temporary tents during the spring climbing season every year.The Khumbu icefall is considered one of the most dangerous climbing spots in the world and tackling it is the first challenge for any climber.
Tourism Department Director Surya Prasad Upadhyaya said that the issue of relocation of Everest base camp is under discussion but no decision has taken so far.
"There was some buzz about it but no decision has been taken and it is under consideration," Upadhyay told IANS.
According to some media reports, due to the looming threat of climate change and increasing human behaviour, the government of Nepal is planning to relocate the
Everest base camp from 200 to 400 metres lower than the present one. The current base camp is located 5,400 metres where every year over 1,500 people gather and live in temporary makeshift camps for weeks during the spring climbing seasons. The base camp was first established and recognised in 1950. The BBC has reported that a new site is to be found at a lower altitude, where there is no year-round ice. Researchers say melt-water destabilises the glacier, and climbers say crevasses are increasingly appearing at base camp while they sleep "We are now preparing for the relocation and we will soon begin consultation with all stakeholders," Nepal Tourism Department's Director General Taranath Adhikari told the BBC.
"It is basically about adapting to the changes we are seeing at the base camp and it has become essential for the sustainability of the mountaineering business itself."
Nepal Mountaineering Association President Santa Bir Lama told IANS that there is no plan to relocate the Everest base camp as reported by media. Sometimes when ice falls happens, the people in the base camp shift in secured places which is natural but moving the base camp entirely is not possible, he said.
" Where do we create the new base camp after relocating the present one Already climbers, posters and their support staff do shift their makeshift camp if ice fall happens. There can be minor shifts during the heavy icefall but it is not true that the entire base camp will be shifted. It is not possible too," said Lama.