Nepal’s Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation just announced that it’s changing some important mountaineering regulations for Everest with implications for some of the most challenging climb attempts.
The revised rules will prohibit climbers who are totally blind, as well as double-amputees. This comes as a blow to Hari Budha Magar, a Gurkha soldier who lost both his legs above the knee fighting on behalf of the British in Afghanistan, and who is planning a summit bid this year.
Authorities also announced a ban on solo climbers on Everest, requiring that all climbers have mountain guides with them for any attempt on the mountain. Very, very few climbers even try this (according to the Himalayan Database, only two people have successfully solo climbed Everest) but with the ever-increasing crowds on the mountain, authorities are perhaps trying to get ahead of a potential safety issue. Earlier this spring a South African climber who was attempting to summit Everest without a permit, and presumably without a guide, was detained while hiding in a cave at base camp.
The ministry also announced that from now on, all mountain guides and support crews will receive summit certificates for ascending to Everest’s peak, a bit of formal recognition Sherpas have long wanted.
The full Council of Ministers will vote on the proposed changes ahead of the coming 2018 climbing season.
Photo: Gunther Hagleitner