Since 1997, the SPCC has been contracted by the Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation (MoCTCA) to set the climbing route through the Khumbu Icefall each year. This route between Base Camp and Camp 2 passes over deep and dangerous crevasses and is used to climb Mt. Everest, Mt. Nupste and Mt. Lhotse. In every climbing season, our icefall doctors – highly skilled, courageous and experienced Sherpas - make this route by fixing ropes and aluminum ladders.
Khumbu Icefall Route fee assessment committee (MoCTCA, NMA, ESA, TAAN, NMGA and SPCC) sets the fee for Khumbu Icefall Route. As per the revised fee applicable from spring 2014, each member of expedition team has to pay US$600 for using the route in spring climbing season and a combined sum of US$25,000/- for all climbers to set the route in autumn and winter season.
Icefall Doctors’ Training
Training for icefall doctors were conducted at Khumbu Climbing Center (KCC) in Phortse for several years. In 2016 and 2017, special training course designed for icefall doctors was organized at Everest Base Camp with support from KCC, the Petzl Foundation and Sherpa Foundation. Senior instructors from KCC trained icefall doctors on rescue technique, rope system and anchor placement.
New Route Through Khumbu Icefall
Following an avalanche occurred at the Western Cwn in Khumbu Icefall on 16th April 2014 killing 13 expedition Sherpas in the deadly icefall,our Icefall Doctors set a new route through the Khumbu Icefall in 2015. The previous route used until 2014 ran along the Lola pass to the left side of the Icefall. Aided by aerial photographs taken by David Breashears following 2014 avalanche, they mapped out a new route from Base Camp to Camp I through the center of the icefall followed by pre-existing route to Camp II. The central route significantly reduces the risk of encountering serac collapses and avalanches such as the one experienced during the tragedy of the Spring 2014 season.
The SPCC recommends operators, workers, and climbers strictly exercise the following safety precautions while crossing the Khumbu Icefall Route:
I) Have only one climber on any ladder at any given time
II) Lighten and limit loads carried by individual high altitude mountain workers so as not to overload the ladders;
III) Strictly adhere to safety measures such as clipping harnesses to safety ropes while on ladders
IV) Report immediately to SPCC office at EBC if you encounter any problem with the route.