For many climbers and adventurers, climbing Everest is the crowning jewel of their adventurous journey. Yet, for all its beauty and prowess, Everest can be just as deadly and dangerous. This year's climbing season proved as much, and it was mostly because the sheer number of people attempting the climb resulted in traffic jams on the way to the summit, with some climbers spending hours stuck on the mountain. This is why Nepali authorities are considering changing the rules for who's allowed to climb the world's highest mountain, and are going to take steps to ensure the unfortunate events of this season won't happen again.
“It’s time to review all the old laws,” said Yagya Raj Sunuwar, a member of Parliament. Until this year, it was very easy to get a permit to climb Everest, which led to the unprecedented overcrowding. The path to the summit is quite narrow and steep, and, amidst the traffic, several climbers ran out of oxygen at very high altitudes or suffered from fatigue. According to eyewitnesses, people were shoving and pushing to make it to the top, and at the end of the season at least 11 people were presumed dead. Many of the deaths could've been avoided, according to veteran climbers, but the fact that there were many inexperienced people trying their luck with the world's highest peak led to catastrophic outcomes. With this in mind, Nepali officials are leaning towards requiring Everest hopefuls to submit both proof of mountaineering experience and a certificate of health.
Under current Nepal rules, all climbers must submit a passport copy and a health certification, but the latter can be easily faked – something the country is working to change. The problem also lies in the fact that some climbers go with travel agencies who only care about the money and don't bother checking if the climber is ready for the challenge of Everest or not.
Some of the suggestions for improvements of Everest climbing regulations include providing proof of previous winter ascents, like what's required to summit Mount Aconcagua in Argentina. Others suggest that climbers climb other 8,000 meter peaks in Nepal, which could even further help the Nepali economy.
Source: New York Times