MANY adventurous souls aspire to climb Mount Everest at least once, but it is an endeavour that has become increasingly dangerous.
In an attempt to improve safety, the authorities will soon insist that anyone who wants to climb the world’s highest peak must have already climbed at least one 6,500-metre mountain in the recent past.
After 11 climbers died within a few days in May while climbing the 8,848-metre-high mountain, Nepal’s Ministry of Tourism now wants to implement such safety measures as soon as possible.
A committee that had investigated the deaths recently presented its findings in a 59-page report, which included a dozen recommendations.
Anyone who wants to climb Mount Everest needs a permit from the tourism authority; experts had criticised the fact that Nepal granted too many of these and that too many inexperienced mountaineers had dared to make the climb. Last May, 381 people climbed the mountain on the border between Nepal and China. Of those, 280 made it to the top.
Up to now, climbers have had to pay US$11,000 (RM46,327) for a permit. The committee now proposes increasing this fee to US$35,000 (RM147,407).
In its opinion, in the future, no more than 150 people should be allowed to climb the mountain per day. Since the first ascent in 1953, more than 5,000 people have made the climb up Everest. More than 300 have lost their lives. – dpa