Monday March 30, 2020

Mount Everest Spring Climbing to be Cancelled: Expedition Operators

Guides Say China is Shutting Everest due to Virus Fears

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Mount Everest
Expedition operators on Mount Everest said that Chinese mountaineering officials will not allow spring climbs from their side of the mountain due to fears of the coronavirus. Pixabay

Expedition operators on Mount Everest said Thursday that Chinese mountaineering officials will not allow spring climbs from their side of the mountain due to fears of the coronavirus.

On the others side of the mountain in Nepal, operators say cancellations for the popular spring climbing season have been pouring in despite the mountain being open for business.

Dawa Shepra of Kathmandu-based Climbalaya Treks and Expeditions said the officials told them though the virus was getting under control in China, they could not risk bringing in foreign climbers. He said the conversation with the China Tibet Mountaineering Association officials was over the phone and no official emails, faxes or messages were sent.

Jiban Ghimire of Shangrila Nepal Trek also said he spoke on the phone with Chinese officials who said there would be no climbing on Everest during this year’s popular spring climbing season.

Climbers using the northern route in China generally uses operators based in Nepal to equip and manage the expeditions. Although China has canceled most sports events for the foreseeable future, Zhang Mingxin of the Tibetan sports administration said it was still monitoring the situation and had yet to make a decision.

Mount Everest
A bird flies as Mount Everest is seen from Namche Bajar, Solukhumbu district, Nepal. Expedition operators on Mount Everest say that Chinese mountaineering officials will not allow spring climbs from their side of the mountain due to fears of the coronavirus. VOA

“We have been maintaining contact with overseas organizers of the mountaineering teams to get updated information. It depends on the development of the epidemic situation and the ability of our providing services,” Zhang told The Associated Press on Thursday. In Nepal the mountaineering season began last week and Everest was still open for climbers.

Officials and mountaineering expedition operators, however, said they fear there will be a significant drop in the number of climbers this year. That could reduce government revenue and affect the thousands of workers who depend on the climbers for their livelihoods.

“This season is not very encouraging for the mountaineering industry in Nepal,” said Surendra Thapa, the director at Nepal’s Department of Tourism. Operators says though climbers generally arrive in April so they can attempt scale the peak in May, they were getting many cancellations.

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“We are getting flooded with postponements. They all want to hold on their climb and shift to 2021 season,” said Jiban Ghimire of Shangrila Nepal Trek. Pemba Sherpa of Xtreme Climbers Treks, said all of the cancellations were going to be a big setback for Nepal’s mountaineering industry. (VOA)

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Google Decides To Cancel This Year’s “April Fool’s Prank” Amidst Coronavirus Concerns

Google usually goes all out on April 1, with numerous pranks across its many products

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Google
Google usually goes all out on April 1, with numerous pranks across its many products. Pixabay

Google has decided to cancel this years April Fools prank out of respect for those fighting new coronavirus pandemic globally.

An internal email from Google marketing head Lorraine Twohill reportedly said that Google is playing it straight on April 1, 2020 out of respect for those fighting the coronavirus, reports Business Insider.

“We have already stopped any centralized April Fool’s efforts but realize there may be smaller projects within teams that we don’t know about.

“Make sure your teams pause on any jokes they may have planned — internally or externally,” Twohill wrote.

“Our highest goal right now is to be helpful to people, so let’s save the jokes for next April, which will undoubtedly be a whole lot brighter than this one,” Twohill added.

Google
Google has decided to cancel this years April Fools prank out of respect for those fighting new coronavirus pandemic globally. Pixabay

Google usually goes all out on April 1, with numerous pranks across its many products.

The search engine giant has also updated its popular Duo chat app by increasing the group video user limit from 8 to 12 people into a single group call to help more people stay connected and practice social distancing.

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The new 12-person limit compares to eight for house party, 32 for Apple’s FaceTime, 50 for Skype and Messenger, and 100 for Zoom’s free tier. (IANS)