Nepal has changed Everest summiting rules: Here is all you need to know

Everest expedition rule
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Mt. Everest, the crown jewel of Nepal standing at a height of 8,848 meters, is the tallest mountain in the world. Owing to this fact, Everest is the major attraction for trekkers and adventurers from all over the world.

But it isn’t just the Everest, Nepal houses the great Himalayas- consisting 8 of the world’s tallest mountains and numerous other beautiful snow-clad peaks.

Mountains and the diverse geography of this country decorate the land and make trekking in Nepal a highly enjoyable sport.

Mountaineering and Himalayan ventures offer some of the most adventurous and thrilling experiences in Nepal. Thus, thousands of travelers visit Nepal every year to summit the glorious peaks.

Everest Expedition

It can never be understated that climbing Mount Everest (8848 m) isn’t an easy task. The journey requires a lot of hard work, patience, and experience. It surely is a dangerous activity to travel at such a high altitude. With oxygen levels very low and the cold temperatures, there are lots of ways this trip could go wrong.

A total of 280 people have lost their lives while trying to climb Mount Everest since the first ascent. Although the number of deaths has increased, the proportion of deaths to the number of climbers is still around 1%.

But the situation could have been avoided.

Weak laws and regulations allowed even beginners and people with no experience to go for this expedition. Some travel operators have found to deny taking climbers with lesser experience to the Everest even when given the pay.

But it is easy to find other agencies who will just do it for the money without putting serious thought about the climbers.

Since the Nepal mountaineering scene went under such circumstances, the government of Nepal brought serious changes in the rules and regulations regarding mountain climbing in Nepal.

Everest Expedition
Mt. Pumori, view from Kalapather

Issues on the Everest Expeditions in 2019 

Many who dream of conquering the Mt. Everest, arrive here to fulfill their wishes of standing atop the world’s tallest peak. A portion of those can witness their dreams come true, but some return with broken wishes whereas some expeditions even see fatal conclusions. May of 2019 experienced a record number of climbers opting to summit Everest.

The Government of Nepal issued 381 permits for the Everest expedition during this season- the highest Nepal has ever seen in a single season. However, the high number of trekkers led to massive traffic in the region, causing various travel and safety-related issues.

The infrastructure available was not sufficient to meet the needs of all the trekkers causing various issues. A total of 11 people went missing from the lot and many more faced extreme situations on their trip. This past season was branded as the deadliest season on Everest!

The problem began with the officials easily issuing permits for all those who applied. The only criteria set was the fee of USD 11,000 for the permit. Even inexperienced trekkers were given permits to summit the Mt. Everest (8848 m), which indeed resulted in a very bad decision.

With a huge number of climbers heading to Everest, the trails along the way were crowded leaving little space for all to travel. It was found that hundreds of climbers had to wait in line at the final ridge for hours to summit.

Oxygen supplies ran low and climbers had to use up all their oxygen waiting in queues. The current rule in Nepal requires trekkers to submit just limited bio-data, medical certificate of good health to climb and sufficient money for the trip.

However, the requirements are not strictly checked and fulfilling the money requirement can easily provide permits.

Following the events that occurred last spring, the government came up with new rules and regulations to be implemented to prevent similar events in the future.

Changes on the rules regarding the Everest Expeditions 

After the unfortunate events in May 2019 in Everest, the tourism department came up with several recommendations for changes in the rules and regulations for mountain climbing in Nepal.

  • The first recommendation plays a role in only allowing experienced climbers to climb Mount Everest. This rule requires anyone opting to scale the Mt. Everest (8848 m) to have at least climbed another 6,500 meters (21,325 ft.) or higher Nepali mountain.
  • Furthermore, climbers are to provide a legitimate certificate of physical fitness to travel agencies for any expeditions.
  • The Department of Tourism has also raised the price floor to USD 35,000 for the Everest climbing permit and USD 20,000 for other mountains higher than 8,000 meters.
  • Climbers must also mandatorily hire experienced guides for any climb.

These rule changes have been passed on to the governing council of Nepal for consideration and potential implementation.

Everest Expedition Rules
Khumjung, Sherpa town in Everest.

Impacts of the New Rules on Everest Expeditions

The above-mentioned changes can have a major impact on the mountaineering scene of Nepal.

The rule regarding all climbers to have had climbed 6,500 meters or higher mountains makes sure climbers have experience and are well knowledgeable of the obstacles and how to overcome them.

Many people were seen struggling with using the equipment and having trouble coping with the pressure last expedition season. This was mostly due to inexperienced climbers easily receiving permits.

If climbers have more experience of scaling tall mountains, they can be more efficient in the process and cause little to no disturbance to other climbers too. Therefore, the new criteria set for experience seems very suitable and a good one.

These changes in the expedition rules also benefit the travel and tourism scene of Nepal. Since the new criteria require climbers to first take on smaller mountains in Nepal, this generates more income through permit fees and travel expenses.

The next regulation of changing the price of the expedition also plays a great role in this issue. The total expense for climbing Everest goes beyond USD 35,000 and it excludes some inexperienced mountaineers who barely manage the money for the trip.

If climbers are required to hire local experienced guides for the climb, it will be entirely for their benefit. Local experienced guides can help through every inch of the journey. This can also become an income opportunity for the local youths who serve the travelers and mountaineers on their adventure.

Moreover, having a local beside you will massively help you when during emergencies or any other unfortunate events. 

Benefits of the Change in Rules for Everest Expeditions

The new changes have already been suggested by the Department of Tourism to the Government of Nepal.

It can be said that the main goal of the changes is to only allow experienced climbers to go for the Everest expedition to decrease the deaths and not face similar situations like that of the last expedition season.

This not only manages the number of climbers but also helps retain the authenticity of the trail on the expedition. With limited climbers opting to scale the highest mountain in the world, the tea houses and other service providers can also offer the finest facilities to the travelers.

Conclusion

Climbing Everest is an extremely difficult challenge. This task requires proper experience and training. This isn’t a journey one can simply take with little practice.

One of the major reasons for many hardships on this journey is the inexperience and impatience. Thus, as climbers, understanding one’s ability before opting for such adventure is crucial.

The changes in the rules regarding Everest expedition rules allow the climbers to reap the most from their toiling efforts. Summiting the Mt. Everest (8848m) is surely a daunting task but can be simplified and glorified with the change in rules and collective efforts from the climbers, locals, and Government of Nepal.

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