Rescued Climber Banned from Nepal

Climbing Mountain
Chukima Go (6,257m) in Nepal. Photo: Mikel Zabalza

After his unauthorized ascent of Chukima Go (6,257m), Spanish climber David Suela Fernandez has been handed a hefty travel and climbing ban by Nepalese authorities.

The Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation have banned Fernandez, 40, from entering Nepal for five years, and have started the process of deporting the Spaniard. The Ministry is also recommending that Fernandez receive a 10-year ban on climbing in the country, and a fine of $250.

Fernandez’s climbing partner, Felipe Valverde, died while descending from the summit last week, allegedly taking a 700m fall after unroping. Fernandez was subsequently heli-rescued by longline after Alex Txikon coordinated a pick-up by a private operator.

Felipe Valverde nearing the top of Chukima Go (6,257m). Photo: David Suela Fernandez

Besides climbing without an official permit, the pair didn’t take out appropriate insurance. The families of the two Spaniards are now looking to crowdfund the $44,000 to cover the rescue operation, medical fees and repatriation.

The crowdfunding flyer posted by a local climbing club in Madrid.

The permit to climb Chukima Go was a meagre $125 and Fernandez must surely regret the decision to dodge such a small outlay. Nepal has previously doled out 10-year climbing bans for similar misdemeanors, but this appears to be the first time a foreigner has received a lengthy travel ban for a climbing violation.

Nepal issued just under 1,000 permits to foreign climbers this autumn. Fernandez’s extended ban is no doubt an attempt to dissuade other climbers from flaunting the rules.

About the Author

Ash Routen

Ash Routen

Ash is a postdoctoral scientist, globally published outdoor writer and arctic traveller. Ash's next expedition is a 700km trek along the coast of Baffin Island in spring 2021.

Read more at www.ashrouten.com

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3 Comments on "Rescued Climber Banned from Nepal"

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Damien Francois
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Rightly so (the ban).

lol
Guest

cheapass Spanish

Young
Guest

in order to obtain a climbing permit, technically you have to hire a guide mostly by consulting a local agency. in other words, what these climbers did want to avoid are not just the cost for permit but the costs for agency, for a guide, and for kitchen staff and additional porters (as the guide will request), as well as all other hassles imaginable when you form an expedition. This is a big difference. Also, it’s not just these Spanish climbers but I can count many renowned climbers in recent times who did such “peak stealing.”