KATMANDU, Nepal (AP) — Efforts by the government of Nepal to salvage the Mount Everest climbing season appear to have failed today, with major expedition companies canceling their climbs and many Sherpa guides leaving the mountain.
The walkout by the Sherpas follows an avalanche last week that killed 16 of their fellow guides.
The season has not been officially canceled, but guides say it appears increasingly unlikely that any summit attempts will be made this season from the Nepal side of the mountain.
One Sherpa says, "Many of us think this year is not good for climbing, and nobody should be going up the mountain at all."
Friday's avalanche revealed deep resentments among Sherpas over their pay, their treatment, and the risks they take to help tourists climb Everest. Sherpas who have left the mountain this week say they want to honor the dead and pressure the government to protect their rights.
A government delegation met with Sherpas at base camp today in an attempt to persuade them to keep working. Although both sides said the meeting calmed tensions somewhat, there was no sign that it would salvage the season.