Mount Everest Climbing Rules Tightened Following Sherpa Brawl

First Posted: Aug 05, 2013 09:26 AM EDT

Nepal's Tourism Ministry plans tighter control on Mount Everest and also stringent rules for expeditions for the next season, according to a recent announcement made Friday.

Nepalese officials said that for the first time a government team will be located at the base camp to monitor the expeditions and guide them. The government team will also play a crucial role in coordinating rescues and protecting the environment.

The regulations follow the brawl that broke out between three European climbers and their Sherpa guides in April. The violence occurred at an altitude of 24,500 feet at Camp Three where 17 Sherpas accused the European climbers of kicking ice down onto them while the guides were setting ropes for the ascent.

Purna Chandra Bhattarai, chief of the tourism industry division in Nepal that oversees mountaineering, was quoted in BBC, "A need for a permanent government mechanism at the Everest base camp to regulate mountaineering activities. The Integrated Service Centre will also facilitate climbers by offering them communication and safety related services. When there is the presence of the government on the ground, the message 'violating the law is punishable' becomes clearer."

According to the new rules, the climbers have to declare their plans in advance in order to get a permit, including any bids for creating world records.. 

"These days we see people trying to make bizarre records like, for instance, standing on their head or taking off their clothes while on the summit. These behaviours don't bode well for the dignity of Everest, which is a global icon," said Mr Ang Tshering, ex president of the Nepal Mountaineering Association - a professional body of expedition operators.

Regulation of the mountaineering activities from the capital Kathmandu was inefficient, hence, the officials decided to set up government teams on the slopes. The new regulations don't bring any amendment in the expedition fee. 

Every year more than 30 expedition teams trek to Mount Everest. 

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