Everest climbers set to face new rules

A view of Mount Everest from Namche Bajar in Nepal.

A view of Mount Everest from Namche Bajar in Nepal.   | Photo Credit: AP

Nepal has proposed to tighten regulations after a series of mishaps last season

In an effort to address deadly human traffic jams on Mount Everest and weed out inexperienced climbers, Nepali officials on Wednesday formally proposed new safety rules that could significantly reduce the number of permits issued for the world’s highest peak.

Under the measures, would-be climbers would have to prove that they have scaled another major peak, and tourism companies would be required to have at least three years’ experience organizing high-altitude expeditions before they can lead climbers on Everest, Nepal’s Tourism Ministry said.

To discourage cost-cutting that can put climbers’ lives at risk, the Ministry also said that clients of expedition companies would have to prove, before setting out, that they had paid at least $35,000 for the expedition. (A typical total price tag easily surpasses $50,000.)

“Everest cannot be climbed just based on one’s wishes,” Yogesh Bhattarai, Tourism Minister, said at a news conference. “We are testing their health conditions and climbing skills before issuing climbing permits.” The government plans to put the changes, which have been under consideration for several months, before Parliament soon.

The proposed rules were unveiled alongside findings from a group of government investigators who uncovered alarming problems in the management of Everest.

“This is all for ensuring a quality expedition,” Ghanshyam Upadhyay, a member of the government team that looked into safety on Everest, said of the planned regulations.

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Printable version | Feb 23, 2020 8:05:10 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/sci-tech/energy-and-environment/everest-climbers-set-to-face-new-rules/article29103485.ece

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