26 Apr 2014

Everest climbing season almost certainly over

7:56 am on 26 April 2014

The Mount Everest climbing season looks almost certain to be called off this year following an avalanche that killed 16 sherpas.

Mountaineers and guides have been deserting the peak since the tragedy on an ice field on 18 April which was Everest's single deadliest disaster.

Two big teams which were still holding out hope of making an ascent have now declared their expeditions are over.

There have been fresh avalanches on the route. Himex, Altitude Junkies and Asian Trekking were among the last to scrap their plans.

Officials promised foreign mountaineers during talks on Thursday that their climbing permits, which cost at least $US11,000 each, would be extended for five years in a bid to avoid messy refund claims for the lost season.

Sherpas on Tuesday threatened to boycott the season after demanding that the government give higher compensation for the dead and injured, increase insurance payments and establish a welfare fund.