KATHMANDU, Nepal — In an effort to deal with lethal human site visitors jams on Mount Everest and weed out inexperienced climbers, Nepali officers on Wednesday formally proposed new security guidelines that would considerably scale back the variety of permits issued for the world’s highest peak.
Below the measures, would-be climbers must show that they’ve scaled one other main peak, and tourism corporations can be required to have not less than three years’ expertise organizing high-altitude expeditions earlier than they’ll lead climbers on Everest, Nepal’s tourism ministry mentioned.
To discourage cost-cutting that may put climbers’ lives in danger, the ministry additionally mentioned that shoppers of expedition corporations must show, earlier than setting out, that that they had paid not less than $35,000 for the expedition. (A typical complete price ticket simply surpasses $50,000.)
“Everest can’t be climbed simply primarily based on one’s needs,” Yogesh Bhattarai, the tourism minister, mentioned at a information convention. “We’re testing their well being circumstances and climbing expertise earlier than issuing climbing permits.”
The federal government plans to place the adjustments, which have been into account for a number of months, earlier than Parliament earlier than the beginning of subsequent spring’s climbing season.
[This yr was one of many deadliest climbing seasons on Everest.]
The proposed guidelines had been unveiled alongside findings from a bunch of presidency investigators who uncovered alarming issues within the administration of Everest, which sits 29,zero29 ft above sea degree and is a big income for Nepal.
The announcement got here a number of months after one of many deadliest Everest climbing seasons lately; at a number of factors, a whole bunch of climbers waited in line on a steep ridge for hours to succeed in the summit. Eleven climbers died, regardless of going through no main avalanche or earthquake.
Sherpa guides and trade specialists blamed the strains for not less than a few of the deaths. They mentioned the state of affairs resembled a “Lord of the Flies” ambiance, with individuals pushing and shoving to maneuver previous crowds and struggling to descend rapidly sufficient on the final 1,000 or so ft to replenish their oxygen provide.
The federal government is now contemplating deploying officers to assist handle crowds, officers mentioned.
There are at present no restrictions on the variety of climbers who can try the summit at a time. Expedition groups are free to set their very own timetable for the ascent, and lots of select a slender window every Could to keep away from the mountain’s in any other case excessive climate and excessive winds.
The variety of climbing permits has elevated almost yearly because the commercialization of Everest picked up within the 1990s. A document 381 had been issued this spring season, which usually runs from April to Could, and that quantity doesn’t embrace the a number of hundred Sherpa guides and assist employees.
On the northern aspect of the mountain, in Tibet, stricter security rules are already in place. However till now, there have been few limits on who can get a allow to climb Everest from Nepal.
Sherpa guides say that lower-cost operators have just lately drawn inexperienced climbers, together with some who don’t even know easy methods to use crampons, the clip-on spikes that improve traction on ice.
Below the brand new guidelines, permits will likely be issued solely to those that have climbed mountains increased than 21,300 ft, Nepali officers mentioned. The federal government can be contemplating requiring necessary well being checkups at Everest Base Camp.
Nepal’s current guidelines stipulate that every one climbers should submit a duplicate of their passport, restricted biographical knowledge and a certificates displaying that they’re wholesome sufficient to make it to the highest. However Nepali officers mentioned it was troublesome to confirm well being data earlier than issuing permits.
“That is all for guaranteeing a top quality expedition,” Ghanshyam Upadhyay, a member of the federal government group that seemed into security on Everest, mentioned of the deliberate rules.
Even with the brand new guidelines, nevertheless, many climbers mentioned additional enhancements had been wanted. Final yr, veteran climbers, insurance coverage corporations and information shops uncovered a conspiracy by some guides, helicopter corporations and hospitals to bilk tens of millions of from insurers by evacuating trekkers with minor indicators of altitude illness.
Climbers usually complain of oxygen bottle theft and piles of trash on Everest. And this yr authorities investigators uncovered issues with a few of the oxygen techniques used on the mountain. Climbers mentioned cylinders had been discovered to be leaking, exploding or improperly crammed on a black market.
Ang Tshering Sherpa, a former president of the Nepal Mountaineering Affiliation, mentioned that the federal government was shifting in the precise route with the brand new guidelines, however that enforcement in Nepal, the place authorities corruption and mismanagement are rampant, can be a big hurdle.
“Our main focus needs to be on implementation of the revised legal guidelines,” he mentioned. “Challenges stay.”