With the controversial summit from the Tibet side by 13 year oldJordan Romero, China seems to feel enough is enough. Starting thisfall, 2010, climbers must be between 18 and 60 to be issued a permit.
This was announced by the China Tibet Mountaineering Association (CTMA) who manages mountaineering in Tibet. In a report they said
In a surprising decision, CTMA said climbers applyingfor a permit to attempt the 8848m peak – and any other Himalayan rangesfrom the north or Tibet — would have to be at least 18. The Chineseauthorities have imposed an upper age limit as well – 60 – which wouldalso frustrate any further attempts to set a new record for the oldestclimber from the Tibet side.
However, there does seem to be a loophole:
Though CTMA said climbers not falling in this age groupwould be considered if they were able to provide medical certificatesshowing they were fit to make the attempt, sources said Romero wouldcontinue to retain his record since the Chinese authorities would notconsider anyone below 16, the minimum age for climbers in Nepal.
This week, Sherpa Pemba Dorje announced that he wanted to find ayounger climber to summit in 2011 saying that all Everest recordsshould belong to Nepalese
"Nepal is a small country and we do not get much goodpublicity. I want to take an 11- or 12-year-old to the summit because Ithink all the Everest records should be held by Nepalese people."
He was quoted as saying they would climb from Nepal and the tourismministry had agreed to make an exception to their 16 year-old minimumage for a Nepalese child seeking to break the American's record.
The oldest Everest summiter was 76-year-old Bahadur Sherchan, fromNepal, on May 26, 2008. Tamae Watanabe of Japan is the oldest woman tosummit at age 63 on May 16, 2002. 80 year old Former Foreign Ministerof Nepal, Mr. Sailendra Kumar Upadhyaya has already announced that hewants to attempt to set the age record but has not made the effort, yet.
It will be interesting to see how this all turns out and if commonsense will trump national interest. However, I feel we will see morerecords from young, and old, Chinese and Nepali climbers.