After human traffic jams on top of Mount Everest and an aggressive, unruly environment that has been likened to “a zoo,” Nepalese authorities said on Wednesday that they were thinking about changing the rules about who was permitted up to the world’s highest mountain.
“It’s time to analysis all the old laws,” declared Yagya Raj Sunuwar, a member of Parliament.
Up to now, just about anyone might get a permit to climb Mount Everest. But this year has been marred by pileups at the top and a surge of newcomer climbers.
Veteran mountaineers who lately summited identified a “Lord of the Flies” atmosphere with mobs of those in huge down jackets precariously perched at the very top, pushing and shoving to take selfies.
A number of government officials in Kathmandu, Nepal’s capital, declared that they were studying what had happened and leaning toward needing all climbers to submit proof of mountaineering experience and a verifiable certification of good health.
“Certainly there will be some alternation in the expedition sector,” said Mira Acharya, a senior official with Nepal’s tourism division. “We are discussing reforming some problems, including setting criteria for every Everest hopeful .’’
At a very recent meeting, she said, “We raised the problem of inexperienced climbers .”
Mount Everest is a big block of ice and rock along the Nepal-China border. China also runs trips to the top, but on the Chinese side, it appears to be less of a free-for-all.
There are two deaths this year on the Chinese side from about 300 climbers, compared to nine in Nepal, though almost 800 people climbed from the Nepal side.
The path to the top is so narrow and high, climbers have to step very gingerly around others who have slipped ill or died. Some of the dead had apparently run out of bottled oxygen, partly since the horde of climbers trying to get to the top simultaneously caused major delays.