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with Stefan Nestler

New expedition rules in force in Nepal

Three 8000ers at a glance: Mount Everest, Lhotse, Makalu (from l. to r.)

The much-discussed new rules for expeditions in Nepal are in effect. According to Dinesh Bhattarai, General Director of the Ministry of Tourism, the amendment of the mountaineering rules was published today in the government  gazette. “The Department of Tourism can now issue certificates to the Sherpa summiters,” Bhattarai told the newspaper “The Himalayan Times”, referring to the only new rule that in advance had been met with approval by all sides.

500 Sherpas can request certificates

After the spring season 2016, the coveted certificates were for the first time denied to local climbers. The reason given at that time: Within the meaning of the law Climbing Sherpas who fix ropes on the route or support clients up to the summit were no expedition members and therefore did not receive any certificates. It was a slap in the face of the Sherpas, without whose support most climbers of commercial expeditions would never have a chance to scale an eight-thousander. About 500 Sherpas can now request their summit certificates, which mean more to them than just a piece of paper. The certificates are considered as proof of performance, as a kind of self-promotion.

Solos forbidden

From now on, also the controversial regulations are obviously in force: Neither blind climbers nor double amputees will receive permits for all mountains higher than 6,600 meters – these fall under the responsibility of the government . Solo ascents will be forbidden. Every mountaineer is obliged to climb with a guide.

Date

6. February 2018 | 17:49

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