In an effort to make Everest safer for climbers and less crowded, Nepal is considering banning inexperienced and disabled climbers from making a summit bid on the world’s highest mountain, the Guardian reported on Monday.
The restrictions would prohibit people without experience climbing above 21,000 feet from receiving permits. Nepal’s tourism minister, Kripasur Sherpa, told the Guardian that he hopes they will be implemented before the mountain’s busy spring season.
“We cannot let everyone go on Everest and die,” he said. “If they are not physically and mentally fit, it will be like a legal suicide.”
A number of accidents in recent seasons, including an avalanche in 2014 that killed 16 Sherpas, led Nepal’s Mountaineering Department to announce in February that it would implement better weather forecasting to improve safety conditions.
Ang Tshering Sherpa, president of the Nepal Mountaineering Association, told the Guardian that he would support banning climbers younger than 16 and older than 75, but he did not support restricting disabled climbers capable of attempting the summit.
“I doubt this will be implemented,” he said. “Earlier such plans were aborted because of pressure from human rights organizations and foreign embassies.”