NEW DELHI – Nepal has banned solo climbs of its mountains including Mount Everest starting from the upcoming spring climbing season in a bid to reduce the number of accidents, according to local newspapers.
The new regulations, announced by the tourism ministry, also bar people who are blind or double amputees from scaling mountains.
Besides promoting safety, the new rules are also aimed at boosting employment of Sherpa guides. However, it remains to be seen how stringently they will be enforced.
Since 1920, over 200 people have died on the 8,848-meter Mount Everest, the world’s highest mountain.
The ban has drawn criticism from both elite climbers and people with physical disabilities alike. Nepalese Gurkha veteran Hari Budha Magar, who lost both legs in an explosion in Afghanistan, slammed the new rules as discriminatory.