Nepalese officials are considering declaring Mount Everest off-limits to novices, people with disabilities, very young and old climbers. According to them, this measure is supposed to improve safety and to reduce overcrowding. Permission to climb the mountain could be given only to those climbers who could prove their “competence”.
Nepalese Tourist Minister Kripasur Sherpa announced that the new rules will be implemented before the spring season, when a large number of mountaineers from all corners of the world will come and try to reach the world’s highest peak (8,848 meters)—Mount Everest. The idea of the proposal appeared five months ago when eighteen people died at Mount Everest base camp under an avalanche triggered by a massive earthquake. Mr. Sherpa said that Nepalese officials could not let physically or mentally ill people commit “a legal suicide”.
Those who can provide proof that they have already reached mountain peaks of 6,500 meters and higher will be able to get a permission and try to handle the highest peak in the world. The government will ban people under 18 and over 75 and people with disabilities to attempt climbing the mountain. Everest should be a place for adventure, not a place for people to die, said Sherpa.
Currently, people younger than 16 cannot climb Everest, but there is no upper age limit. The oldest person to climb Mount Everest was an 80-year-old Japanese, the youngest was a 13-year-old boy from the U.S. The teenager showed a trick and climbed Mount Everest from the Tibet side—at that time China has not imposed any age restrictions yet (after that occurrence Chinese government imposed an upper and a minimum age requirement for climbers—60 and 18 years).
A permission that costs climbers thousands of dollars is the main source of revenue for Nepal, but officials claim that such a decision would maintain the “glory of Everest” and ensure the pubic safety.
The first disabled climber, an American who had lost a part of his leg in a traffic accident, ascended the peak in 1998. Three years later, a blind mountaineer reached the Everest summit.