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Stranded Everest trekkers clear out as fog lifts

 Foreign trekkers stand outside the domestic airport after their flight was cancelled in Katmandu, Nepal, Friday, Nov. 4, 2011. Official said hundreds...
 German trekkers who were rescued by helicopter arrive at the airport in Katmandu, Nepal, Sunday, Nov. 6, 2011. More than 1,000 foreign trekkers are s...
 Unidentified foreign trekkers who were rescued by helicopter arrive at the airport in Katmandu, Nepal, Sunday, Nov. 6, 2011. More than 1,000 foreign ...

Nepal Trekkers Stranded

Foreign trekkers stand outside the domestic airport after their flight was cancelled in Katmandu, Nepal, Friday, Nov. 4, 2011. Official said hundreds...

Nepal Trekkers Stranded

German trekkers who were rescued by helicopter arrive at the airport in Katmandu, Nepal, Sunday, Nov. 6, 2011. More than 1,000 foreign trekkers are s...

Nepal Trekkers Stranded

Unidentified foreign trekkers who were rescued by helicopter arrive at the airport in Katmandu, Nepal, Sunday, Nov. 6, 2011. More than 1,000 foreign ...

Hundreds of foreign trekkers stranded up to a week left the Mount Everest region Monday as fog and mist lifted and flights resumed at the area's only airport.
As the visitors waited for the weather to clear, hotels in the village of Lukla were full and food supplies were running low. People slept in tents and hotel dining rooms. Some even walked down from Lukla to the nearest highway.
Trekkers on the first flights Monday morning were happy to reach Katmandu, Nepal's capital and the biggest city in the Himalayan nation.
"It has been misty and cloudy for the whole week, but everyone has been fantastic keeping us fed and giving water," said Megan Freese, a travel manager from Hants, United Kingdom. "We are OK we have made it back now."
By the weekend, more than 2,000 foreigners were stranded in Lukla since flights were grounded Oct. 31.
The village sits at an altitude of 9,200 feet (2,800 meters), and its Tenzing-Hillary Airport is the gateway for trekkers and mountaineers heading to Everest and surrounding mountains.
Autumn is prime trekking season in the Everest region, and the visitors were on the "Everest base camp trek," where they travel on foot from Lukla for a week to reach Mount Everest's base camp at 17,400 feet (5,300 meters).
Mountaineering in Nepal is most popular in May, so the recent weather did not affect climbers.
The Lukla airport, carved on a mountainside, has one short runway and limited parking for planes. In good weather, it is still limited to small planes that carry 18 passengers.
Some 20 flights took off from Lukla airport Monday morning and more were expected through out the day, area police chief Ramesh Khakda said.
The trekkers had no major health problems after their delay, the chief said. "Most of them were worried about expired visas, missing their scheduled flights and not making it back to their jobs on time but no other major problems," Khadka said.
More than 500 trekkers had already arrived in Katmandu by midmorning and the number was expected to exceed 1,000 by the end of the day, said Purna Prasad Chudal, manager at Katmandu's domestic airport.
The stranded trekkers are a variety of nationalities. Most of their porters, guides and support staff are hired in the Everest region. Some who are from Katmandu were returning home on the flights that resumed Monday.


Updated : 2021-06-18 16:50 GMT+08:00