Everest age restrictions are mooted in Nepal

Nepal is considering placing new age and fitness restrictions on people who want to climb Mount Everest, officials said, as the country looks to enhance safety on the mountain after several disasters in recent years.

The government is mulling barring people under 18 and over 75, as well as those with disabilities, said Mohan Sapkota, a spokesman for the Himalayan country’s ministry of tourism.

The new rules could also require that climbers attempting to scale the 8,850-meter (29,035-foot) mountain have experience on medium-size peaks.

“We are discussing the ways to promote safety for mountaineers. The mountain should not be the place for people to die. It should be a place for adventure,” Sapkota said, adding that the government’s deliberations were at a very preliminary stage.

Tourism department chief Govinda Karki told AFP: “We don’t think we should issue permits to people who cannot see or walk or who don’t have arms. Climbing Everest is not a joke... it is not a matter of discrimination, how can you climb without legs? Someone will have to carry you up,” he said.

“We want to make the mountains safer for everyone, so we have to insist on some rules.”

The oldest person to scale the peak was an 80-year-old Japanese climber.


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