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with Stefan Nestler

Brice: “Detrimental to Nepalese tourism”

Russell Brice

Russell Brice

The decision of the Nepalese Government to extend last year’s Everest permits until 2019 came late, very late. “The Everest season starts in a few days, my staff are already on their way to Base Camp, so our planning has been going on for months”, Russell Brice, head of the New Zealand expedition operator Himalayan Experience, writes to me. “Food, oxygen and equipment are already in the Khumbu and members will be arriving in Kathmandu as from Monday next week.” He has some members that were at Everest last year coming back this year, says Russ. There is no sign of euphoria in his words about the decision to prolong the permits. “For the Nepalese government to take so long in making this decision is detrimental to Nepalese tourist business and devastating to employment opportunities for local people and the local economy.” It is unacceptable, says Brice, “that operators like us take the risk and continue with our planning, at huge financial risk.”

Small paper

The 62-year-old New Zealander has been leading expeditions to the Himalayas since 1974. Due to his strong experience, in a way Brice is something like the voice of the foreign expedition operators. He obviously doesn’t believe any more in the competence of the responsible persons in Kathmandu: “From a government that cannot rewrite the National Constitution for Nepal after nine years, what does one expect? So we are lucky that they could ‘push’ through a small paper in one year.”


21. March 2015 | 17:10