Nepal plan to ban from Mount Everest disabled, elderly and novice climbers

September 29, 2015 5:03 am


The proposal would also ban disabled and elderly climbers. Photo / Getty.

Novice climbers could be banned from attempting to climb Mount
Everest, under Nepalese plans to confront safety and overcrowding
The proposals, which would also involve banning
disabled and elderly climbers from the mountain, come after 18 people
were killed last April at Everest’s base camp in an avalanche that was
triggered by the earthquake.
The regulations could have a
negative impact on a major source of revenue for the impoverished
country, which generates millions of dollars through selling climbing
Every year about 600 climbers go to Nepal with the
intention of taking on Everest, and in recent years, there has been an
increase in the number of novices, relying heavily on guides to scale
the 29,000ft (8840m) summit. So-called “tourist climbers” cause concern
among experienced mountaineers.
The new rules would prohibit
those who had not scaled a mountain of at least 21,000ft (6400m),
according to Govinda Karki, the head of Nepal’s tourism department.

“Such a rule is going to be introduced to maintain the glory
of Everest,” said Mohan Krishna Sapkota, acting secretary of the
ministry of tourism. He said that now “everyone is going to Everest”,
levels of risk for all involved had become much higher.
Everest summit should be dignified and an issue of glory, so for that
the ministry is working on introducing some limits,” Sapkota said.
Sherpa, the country’s tourism minister, said he hoped to implement the
rules before spring: “We cannot let everyone go on Everest and die. If
they are not physically and mentally fit it will be like a legal
Officials were also said to be seeking to limit the
highest peaks of the Himalayas to climbers aged between 18 and 75.
People under 16 are not allowed to climb Everest, but there is no upper
age limit.
Last week the Japanese climber Junko Tabei, who in
1975 became the first woman to climb Everest, said overcrowding was
causing environmental issues. “The more the number of climbers, the more
human waste and garbage that are left on the mountain. This causes
problems,” she said.
Many tourists who visited Everest this year did not attempt to scale the mountain because of the avalanche.
Foreign and Commonwealth Office advises against all but essential
travel to Everest, to the frustration of tour operators. Since the
earthquake, which killed nearly 8,900 people, no one has yet climbed the
Nobukazu Kuriki, a Japanese mountaineer who lost eight
fingers and a thumb to frostbite on Everest in 2012, had to give up on
his latest attempt on Sunday, saying he “wouldn’t be able to come back

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