New rules for Climbing Everest and Other Mountains
The new rules, if approved, will require mountaineers who want to climb the mountains of Nepal, in addition to medical history and medical certificate, the obligation to have insurance covering search, rescue and treatment in the event of an accident.
The Nepal Department of Tourism has formalized the new rules for climbing the mountains of its territory.
According to the new provisions, all mountaineers who request permission to climb Everest and the other mountains of Nepal may have to submit documentation with a medical certificate, in addition to their medical history (anamnesis).
For the Next Season
The new rules that, if approved, will come into force from the next spring mountaineering season, have been drawn up to allow only mountaineers in good health and adequately prepared, to attempt the challenge at high altitude, thus avoiding this year’s deaths on the Everest. In 2019 nine people lost their lives on the “Roof of the World”, recording the highest number of deaths in a single season in the last four years.
The new rules are at least a dozen, according to sources from the Department of Tourism that drafted them.
Since most of the deaths occurred due to the health of climbers, we expect the new restrictions to prevent such accidents. It is impossible to know first the medical history of each climber, but based on the health report we will be able to determine where they can climb or not.
The draft of the new rules was presented to the Ministry of Tourism last week. Once approved, they will be forwarded to the Council of Ministers for ratification.
Until now, the only people who were forbidden from climbing Nepal’s mountains were mountaineers under the age of 16, with serious illnesses and problems with justice behind them. The Committee of the Council of Ministers approved an amendment to the Regulation to prohibit shipments to double amputees and the blind, on the proposal of the Department of Tourism, in order to prevent accidents at high altitudes. But the Supreme Court overturned the ban, as discriminatory.
According to the new rules, in addition to the medical history and the medical certificate, all climbers must have compulsory insurance.
This is the insurance for the eventual search, rescue and medical treatment, which will allow rescue and timely intervention in case the climber falls ill or is blocked at high altitude. The insurance will also partially cover the recovery of the body in the event of death.
The recovery of a body beyond the “death zone” (over 8,000 meters) can cost up to $ 200,000 and the costs for rescues below that quota range from $ 20,000 to $ 60,000, as indicated by operators. depending on the location and situation.
Department Officials Report
Department officials report that insurance coverage has been made mandatory as climbers only make the climbs with a life insurance policy. Currently, insurance is only mandatory for guides and high altitude workers.
The officials took their cue from the case of Kalpana Das, an Indian mountaineer who reached the summit on May 23 this year and lost his life on the way down. Das was not physically fit to climb Everest from the start. It also emerged that he had no insurance coverage other than his life policy.
Another of the new rules implemented concerns the mountaineering experience. While high-altitude guides must already have a certificate proving their skills, climbers will need to present a certificate of basic experience and preparation before obtaining permission to climb.
After the tragic events in May on Everest, the maximum age limit could be included among the preventive measures, even if considered discriminatory.
The rules on the presence of a liaison officer will also change. A group consisting of a doctor, police and army personnel and government officials will be mobilized on the mountain. But this measure will not be implemented in the next spring season, as separate guidelines will have to be prepared, again according to officials.
After what happened in the spring season, international observers had suggested that Nepal limit the number of permits or increase tariffs. Therefore, the government of Nepal recently formed a committee to determine the new taxes to apply for those dreaming of the Everest summit. The goal is to preserve the mountains as we know them and market them in a sustainable way for tourism, underline from the department that cannot ignore the great Visit Nepal campaign, which aims to attract two million tourists.
According to the department, 223 climbers climbed Everest on May 22, setting a new record: the highest number of climbers to the top of the world in a single day.