Nepalese authorities have mandated a limit to the amount and experience required by climbers if they wish to attempt a summit of Mount Everest.
“We cannot let everyone go on Everest and die,” said the Nepalese Minister for Tourism in a statement.
“If they are not physically and mentally fit it will be like a legal suicide.
“The disabled or visually impaired people usually need someone to carry them, which is not an adventure. Only those who can go on their own will be given permission.”
Recently 17 Sherpas were killed by an avalanche triggered by a falling column of ice above the khumbu Icefall – a dangerous crevasse-riddled glacier.
The bans have found unlikely support from many climbers. Rex Pemberton summited Everest at the age of 21 in 204.
“To be honest,” he said to news.com.au, “there are people on Everest that should not be there.”
He points to the fact that everyone is at risk with an inexperienced climber in the group.
“You’re trying to pass them, or move around them, but they don’t have the necessary experience to manage the ropes in a dangerous environment. That can put others at risk.”
Everest is a byword for achievement. Because of this many overlook the very real risks incumbent upon those attempting to climb it.
“You’ve got to have experience going on that mountain,” Pemberton continues. “If you have brilliant weather and climbing conditions and a lot of support, you can get to the top with relatively little experience depending on your fitness level and mental strength. But if something does go wrong, it can go wrong quickly and that’s when experience is important.”
800 people attempt to climb Everest each year each of them has three support staff. It mightn’t sound much, but considering the climbing season is very brief and the climbs incredibly narrow the dangers multiply fast.
Guiding companies have been charging up to $100,000 per person to be ‘ushered’ to the summit. Most are serious climbers, but not all. For this kind of payday many less scrupulous businesses have been willing to take unacceptable risks.
To put the risks of climbing Everest in perspective: The most recent tragedy, where 16 Sherpas died – THEY WERE SHERPAS, people who did this for a living!