Nepal’s Perplexing New Everest Rules

Everest
It would be hard to get permission from all the people at this Sherpa meeting in order to share the image.

Nepal’s Department of Tourism has issued a set of new, head-scratching rules for the upcoming Himalayan season.

Among the new restrictions, visitors may take photographs and video but are prohibited from sharing them without permission from the Department, and maybe everyone else in the photo, too. That part isn’t clear.

This will be illegal this year: Not the line at the Khumbu Icefall, but sharing the picture. Photo: Since-Independence

The rules are basically impossible to follow, Ang Tsering Sherpa of Asian Trekking told The Kathmandu Post. Other agencies have stated that the measures “make no sense”.

Allegedly, this is supposed to protect the honor of climbers in distress or even dead bodies caught on camera. But really, it attempts to avoid a reprise of Nirmal Purja’s famous photo two years ago, showing a long line of climbers at the Hillary Step.

That image prompted a backlash toward Everest crowds and was embarrassing to Nepal. Someone in the government figured that it was better to avoid another photo like that than to try to control the number of visitors on the mountain or to assess climbers’ capabilities more strictly. That would lose revenue.

What likely started the fuss. Photo: Nirmal Purja, 2019

Most of the 11 rules are already on the books but are not enforced. Unlike the photo rule, some are sensible enough. One, for example, requires climbers to obtain a medical certificate certifying them fit enough to attempt Everest.

Another insists on clearer identification of the tasks that Sherpas will be doing. A third, more detailed debriefings to prevent fake summit claims. To avoid the insurance fraud of recent years, allegedly sick climbers should be evacuated by helicopter and taken to the hospital, not just left at the airport. It is not clear, however, how either of these will prevent fraud.

Meanwhile, expedition operators, both local and foreign, wonder what happened to the real improvements they had requested from the government. Most urgently, they urged easing the quarantine imposed on foreigners who duly arrive with a fresh negative PCR. These requests have not been addressed, so climbers heading to Nepal are assuming that they will have to quarantine in Kathmandu and are extending their stays accordingly.

Regarding the photo restriction, the smaller number of climbers on the mountain this spring likely means that the conga lines, and the embarrassing pix, will likely not occur — at least until next year.

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Influencer
Influencer
3 months ago

If you aren’t allowed to share the photos, how are you expected to influence your followers with motivational quotes on social media whilst you get hauled up by the hardworking Sherpas?

+26
Lenore Jones
Lenore Jones
3 months ago
Reply to  Influencer

They don’t actually haul people up, you know. You still have to climb it yourself, albeit with much greater safety due to the fixed lines and ladders. It’s still a huge effort.

+4
Kelly
Kelly
3 months ago
Reply to  Lenore Jones

Didn’t a 13 year-old kid climb it a few years back? And then an 80 year old soon after… sounds intense 😉

+4
Dave
Dave
3 months ago
Reply to  Kelly

I have zero doubt that it remains a lot easier to put the efforts of others down in a snide comment on the internet, than climbing the bloody thing.

+11
Bob Torraville
Bob Torraville
2 months ago
Reply to  Dave

One thing the government of Nepal and Tibet should enforce is bringing down every bit of equipment and garbage that climbers and the Sherpa guides carry up Everest and that includes dead bodies. It is shameful the amount of human waste including equipment left up there.

+4
Nam D Glow
Nam D Glow
2 months ago
Reply to  Bob Torraville

This days, there are Everest doctors to take care of the human waste. Their objective is to clean the waste on Everest.

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Damien François
Damien François
3 months ago
Reply to  Kelly

So the exception is the rule? You are well-adapted to the world 2021, completely 180°. Be careful, you might lose the North and end up falling the face of the earth…

+2
Jetha subba
Jetha subba
3 months ago
Reply to  Kelly

when i climb that time i was only 11 years old 🙄🙄🙄

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Mountain God
Mountain God
2 months ago
Reply to  Jetha subba

You spelt your name wrong. It has to be Jatha Subba 😂.

+1
Julio Bird
Julio Bird
2 months ago
Reply to  Kelly

Kelly,
Why don’t you try it out? Talk is cheap.

+1
Stteve
Stteve
3 months ago
Reply to  Lenore Jones

My Denali climbing partner, Sibusiso Vilane, had been up Everest three times (2X SE Ridge, 1X North side) when we hit McKinley. He said Denali was harder, because you have to deal with it all yourself: deal with your own basecamp, cook your own food, melt your own water, carry your own tents/bag/pads, haul your own food/fuel for 10-25 days, you don’t have a Sherpa walking you on a leash…and you climb it without oxygen

+12
Last edited 3 months ago by Stteve
Damien François
Damien François
2 months ago
Reply to  Stteve

Of course, you climb Denali without oxygen, it is 2.700 m lower than Everest!
But, yes, I have heard it is hard. Let’s say it’s different…

+3
Damien François
Damien François
3 months ago
Reply to  Influencer

And we have Champagne with beautiful Nepali girls who get flown in at the South Col, sure… Check Andrew Lock’s comment on how hard just the Lhotse Face is. “It brings me down to my knees each time…” says ANDREW LOCK – who has climbed all 14 8.000ers without O2 and unsupported, except Everest 3x with O2 because he guided!!!!!!!!!!!!! – in a Discovery documentary. I guess Andrew does not know what he’s talking about, but you know better, right?!?

+1
Jan Mårtensson
Jan Mårtensson
3 months ago

anyone with money can climb Everest..just Google it..
you free to read about the 80 year old Japanese or the little kid..just look at the pictures…
it’s harder to get a cab a Saturday night then walking op Everest..

+2
Kristin
Kristin
3 months ago

There’s a series on Amazon Prime called “Everest Beyond the Limit”. If you’re interested in the subject, I recommend it. I used to think as you do… Sherpas, fixed ropes, ladders and $100K gets you the summit. I was wrong. Dead wrong. I am in NO way a climber. Getting off the sofa after midnight is my victory. But I am fascinated by the human animal and what drives us… So the mindset of people who pay more than I make in 2 years for the privelege of passing the dead bodies of those who came before them is most… Read more »

Damien François
Damien François
2 months ago
Reply to  Kristin

Tujichey, Dheira danyabhat, Thank you, Merci, Danke, Bedankt, Grazie, Bracias, Obrigado!

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Damien François
Damien François
2 months ago

I climbed Everest. No need to google… So you know Everest from google? OK, that’s what I thought!

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Damien François
Damien François
2 months ago

Yeah, I guess, if you try to get a cab at EBC… There are no roads and no cars, in the Khumbu, you know?!?! But, sure, you have never been there, so you don’t know…

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Julio Bird
Julio Bird
2 months ago

Have you done it, Jan? Funny how humility is developed with experience.

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nis
nis
3 months ago
Reply to  Influencer

Get the permission from the depart. If your photos have any issues that defames Nepal or Mt.Everest than they wont let you share them. Your photos should maintain certain standard inorder for the depart to let you share them.

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Dave
Dave
3 months ago
Reply to  nis

How can a photo defame Nepal or Everest? A photo is not a lie. Assuming it is not edited, it just captures reality. If that reality is not good for Nepal, then Nepal should work on fixing, rather than concealing, it.

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Last edited 3 months ago by Dave
Jerry
Jerry
3 months ago
Reply to  Influencer

If each person going up would fill their pack on way down it may stay a beautiful sight.

+1
Halifax Boy
Halifax Boy
3 months ago
Reply to  Jerry

The problem with that is that most of them die on the way down man.. On the descent. When you’re exhausted and running out of O2, you shed crap and gear and not fill your backpack with garbage lol

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Raacho Trekkers
3 months ago
Reply to  Influencer

How the nepali government is going to force the sharing of pictures rule?

I climber can post the picture on internet after coming back to his/her home city.

The Nepal government laws is not going to be obeyed in other countries.

The clearer identification of Sherpa’s tasks is a welcome move.

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Last edited 3 months ago by Raacho Trekkers
MuddyBoots
MuddyBoots
2 months ago

Unless they are a frequent traveller/climber in Nepal and want future permits. Or a Nepali resident.

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Kurt
Kurt
3 months ago

If it is not on Instagram, it did not happen. Climb Pumori instead – real climbing or save the $60,000 and stay closer to home.

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Last edited 3 months ago by Kurt
Damien François
Damien François
3 months ago
Reply to  Kurt

I use ZERO social media and don’t even have a website. But, yeah, I brag about my Everest summit everyday to my Yeti cat!

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MuddyBoots
MuddyBoots
3 months ago

I suppose the medical evacuation to a hospital is to deter the tourists who declare illness to get a helicopter ride as opposed to an uncomfortable hike out. But it just means that they can’t miraculously feel better at the airport, they will have to keep up the charade until they get examined at the hospital.

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Pez
Pez
3 months ago
Reply to  MuddyBoots

You have to pay for the ride.

+1
MuddyBoots
MuddyBoots
2 months ago
Reply to  Pez

I suggest you do an internet search on the words “insurance fraud” and Nepal.
Interesting reading.

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MuddyBoots
MuddyBoots
2 months ago
Reply to  MuddyBoots

And to get you started:
https://twitter.com/TIFJ_Nepal/status/1219568853392547840?s=20

And some people here have said I am too hard on SST!
But in fairness SST is not the only operator involved in this fraud. But these news ‘rules” are to distract from the fact that the government won’t take legal action against the fraudsters. And the article in the Nepal Times shows that not playing along with the game leads to retribution.

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MuddyBoots
MuddyBoots
3 months ago

If it is a “good” photo for Nepal, no enforcement. The bad thing about the photo rule is that it could be enforced if a photo is released that is negative for Nepal’s tourism image. So photographers will have to launder their negative images through some anonymous 3rd party.

+2
Navin
Navin
3 months ago

Sagarmatha is a very sacred destination for all .
It must be kept in a state of purity as it is .

I think China has banned climbing it from their territorial

Hope Nepal does the same .

We r spiritual kinds n we relate spiritually with sagarmatha

Om Namah shivaya

Today is mahashivaratri
Blessed we all are ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️

+5
Twinkletoes
Twinkletoes
3 months ago
Reply to  Navin

Climbing and respecting are not exclusive…

Anyway, if you want to bring religion into it, the mountains belong to the mountain people, not the Hindu, and the decision should be theirs.

+5
Damien François
Damien François
3 months ago
Reply to  Navin

What?

“Some have argued for a moratorium on Everest climbs to allow the mountain to ‘cleanse itself’. As the author of the book The Holy Mountains of Nepal, I have some credentials to say that it is all right to climb sacred mountains. Mountains are made holy and sacred by humans. If those humans who decide which mountain is holy are comfortable with climbing these mountains, why do Western neo-imperialists declare that they should not be climbed?
Are the abbots of Tengboche and Pangboche monasteries betraying the mountains if they give their blessings to expeditions?”
https://www.nepalitimes.com/banner/overkill-on-everest/

Tashi delek!

+2
Damien François
Damien François
3 months ago
Reply to  Navin

Makalu is a “Shiva mountain”, btw, not Chomolongma, where Jomo Myo Langsangma resides, Sir…

0
Damien François
Damien François
2 months ago
Reply to  Navin

Shiva is the MOUNTAIN God. So you expect humans not to worship Mahadev-SHIVA up close?
This is, at best, a paradox… Om namah Shivay! Indeed…

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Chris
Chris
3 months ago

Nepali government are just crooks milking the westerners and affecting the life of Sherpas.
No respect for that disgusting clueless government.

+2
Don Paul
Don Paul
3 months ago
Reply to  Chris

When there was an earthquake, about 5 years ago, people were trying to bring medicine and supplies but had to pay outrageous bribes at border crossings. When I went there years ago we had to pay a toll to the communist guerrillas, but I think they gave up.

+2
Uttam
Uttam
3 months ago

Wow, this new Everest rule has got to be the height of stupidity. Nothing frightens the Nepali government – a blood-sucking Vampire – more than the sunlight – i.e. the news or photos or videos of its ineptness and callousness and greed on Mt Everest getting out into the world and becoming viral like Nirmal Purja’s photo.  By imposing this new rule in a top-down (undemocratic) fashion, the authoritarian government has only “bitten off more than it can chew”, a classic mistake it’s made hundreds of times before. It will be interesting and fun to see how the inept government will… Read more »

Last edited 3 months ago by Uttam
Acts 1631
Acts 1631
3 months ago
Reply to  Uttam

Nothing frightens them more than the sunlight lmao

+2
Halifax Boy
Halifax Boy
3 months ago

I have zero respect for anyone climbing Everest these days…. Zero… It has become a cash cow for the corrupt local gvt, regardless of the many hundreds of lives lost on that mountain and the mountains of garbage left in the high camps (not to mention the dead bodies). Yeak ok restrict pictures so it doesn’t depit the truth and just sunny skies with happy people at the top lol! Yet another pathetic display of what humans are capable of.

+5
Roger Gladstone
Roger Gladstone
3 months ago

Thanks for the article. One of my concerns is that my touchscreen is so inaccurate that when i try to type a message it comes out wrong. Furthermore, im very hungry but lack food albeit 711 points on my app.

+1
David Uvodich
David Uvodich
2 months ago

I read all the comments and replies below. It just made me think, isn’t it our human obligation, climber or not, explorer or not, Nepal authority or not, to not be cruel or unkind to each other. That should be the mountain we climb everyday never, ever needing O2.

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Pramok
2 months ago

Another “haywire ” from DOT not to ease the tension but to create more nightmare….

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Caravaggio
Caravaggio
2 months ago

hahahahahaha

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Bill
Bill
2 months ago

Get rib of those god awful guide services

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sangeeta sbahl
2 months ago
Reply to  Bill

It is ridiculous to say that sherpas haul you up. It’s your own hardwork effort and persistence that gets u up and down.

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Cathy Cuffe
Cathy Cuffe
30 days ago

My kiwi mother turns 90 this month – she did what Sir Peter Hillary as an NZ did so many years ago – what it has become – the commercialism – the trash and lack of respect is heartbreaking

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[…] their summit pictures — carefully cropping out anyone from other teams, as per Nepal’s oddball new rule. Also conspicuous by its absence is any view of the route itself, where dozens of climbers probably […]

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