You would think the tallest mountain earth would be a wild and lawless place, governed only be the elements and a couple rules of survival and civility.
Namely, don’t die and don’t litter.
But alas, it does have rules — it's a multimillion-dollar business, after all — and it's about to get some new ones, to boot.
Governed by Nepal, the maintenance and supervision of Mount Everest fall under the Department of Tourism, which is set to revise its Mountaineering Expedition Regulations to include:
- Limiting helicopter rides above Base Camp
- Certifying sherpas (as of now, there aren’t any guidelines)
- Banning solo attempts
- Banning blind mountaineers, double amputees and those over the age of 75
- Requiring any climber trying for the 8,000-meter Peak to do the 7,000-meter peak, first
All in all, the new rules sound like a rather feeble attempt by the Nepalese government to appease the growing discontent among the men and women who work in the industry, though there are some positive takeaways.
Requiring sherpas to be certified isn’t a bad thing (it's one of the most coveted jobs in the country), so long as the certification is not too onerous and actually improves safety. And getting climbers to try the smaller and lesser visited peak could prove an important measure in weeding out those who aren't skilled or fit enough to reach the summit.
One thing the rules won't change? The astronomical costs you can expect to pay to see the world from the top.