Following a particularly deadly season, Nepal’s government has set new rules for climbers seeking to scale Mount Everest, including requirements of previous high-altitude mountain-climbing experience and demonstrated training.
The new rules were determined by a panel of government officials and climbers assembled in the wake of recent criticisms leveled at operators who would allow anyone with enough money to make the climb, regardless of experience of physical fitness.
Those hoping to climb Everest from Nepal are now required to have scaled at least one Nepalese peak of more than 6,500 metres, submit a certificate of physical fitness and be accompanied by a Nepalese guide.
The 2019 climbing season, which takes place in May each year, claimed 11 lives – two on the Tibetan side and nine on the Nepalese – through altitude sickness, heart attacks and exhaustion, said the panel. At least some of the fatalities were attributed to bottlenecks of climbers in the mountain’s low-oxygen ‘death zone,’ where at times, nearly 100 climbers were queued to reach the summit as their oxygen cylinders ran out.
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