Nepali officials reportedly may require climbers hoping to scale Mount Everest to prove their physical fitness, following a deadly year that saw 11 people die on the mountain
- In the wake of a number of highly publicized fatalities on Mount Everest, the Nepal government reportedly may be preparing to overhaul the country's climbing permit process.
- The BBC reported Wednesday that a panel of mountaineering experts and Nepali officials produced a proposal to block inexperienced climbers and unethical mountaineering operators from the mountain.
- The proposal would raise the climbing fee from $11,000 to $35,000 and require applicants to submit a certificate of physical fitness.
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Mount Everest is coming off of a deadly and controversial season, one that saw at least 11 deaths on its slopes and widespread criticism over the mountain's seemingly crowded conditions. Nine of those deaths happened on the Nepali side of the mountain, after the government issued a record 381 climbing permits for the 2019 season.
But, according to the BBC, Nepal may be about to overhaul its entire strategy regarding Mount Everest-related tourism. A panel consisting of Nepali officials and members of the mountaineering community has reportedly produced a proposal that seeks to bar inexperienced climbers from the mountain.Nepal's Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation did not immediately respond to Business Insider's request for comment.
The new guidelines would reportedly require climbers to scale a Nepali peak of at least 6,500 meters before even attempting to summit Everest. Prospective mountaineers would also need to pay a $35,000 fee, submit a "certificate of physical fitness," and hire "experienced guides" in order to make their Everest dreams a reality, the BCC reported. Currently, the fee for climbing Mount Everest stands at $11,000.
Back in June, Business Insider spoke to 11 owners and representatives of commercial climbing companies that guide climbers up Mount Everest, as well as four climbing experts. Many of these people criticized Nepal's government for creating an environment that enabled fly-by-night commercial climbing businesses to take on inexperienced adventurers.
Previously, Nepal's tourist's board told the Associated Press that it did not plan restrict the number of Mount Everest climbing permits. By hiking up the mountaineering fee and bolstering requirements for permit applicants, the country could still effectively bar naive climbers and operators from the slopes of Mount Everest.