Stranded Near Everest Bad Weather – About 2,000 hikers have been stranded in bad weather near Mount Everest in a remote corner of Nepal for the past four days, officials said on Friday.
The hikers been forced to stay in the small hill resort of Lukla, the gateway to Mount Everest, which has been covered by thick clouds this week, forcing airlines to cancel flights to and from the remote region.
Lukla, which lies at a height of 9,186 feet,is located 78 miles northeast of the Nepali capital.
Tens of thousands of trekkers and hikers visit the Solukhumbu region in northeast Nepal, home to Mount Everest, every year. Many start and end their trek from the windswept resort where a small airstrip is carved into the rugged mountainside.
Utsav Raj Kharel, chief of Lukla’s Tenzing Hillary Airport, said the stranded tourists, who were not in physical danger, had been waiting for their flights back to Kathmandu for the past four days.
Weather officials in Kathmandu said the bad clouds could continue to cover the region for a couple of days, worsening the plight of the trapped hikers who could face a food shortage.
“Though a few small private helicopters had picked some tourists from nearby Sirke village, they are inadequate to clear the rush,” Kharel said.