Crackdown on fake summits: Nepal to track Everest climbers

Truth: GPS to the rescue

Gripped reported Wednesday that starting this spring, the Nepalese government will be testing out a new system to bust fake summit claims, every climber will be given a GPS device.

Explorersweb and Adventurestats have proposed this for years.

False summit claims have become increasingly common around Himalaya and reached avalanche proportions in Nepal, making it hard to estimate difficulty while robbing champions of recognition and sponsorship.

Nepal’s ministry issues summit certificates. In previous years the task of validation was subject to Liaison officers supposedly in radio contact with ascending climbers from base camp. Those officials have lately been shown to rarely being present on the peaks (a well known “secret” among mountaineers for a long time.)

Some mountaineers find the proposed tracking worthwhile and possibly benefiting the entire community. Others are sad it has come to this. A few may find it really bad news.

Adventurestats/How to confirm an exploration achievement:

The Explorer is believed to be telling the truth. It is considered a point of honor which most explorers hold higher than the success of the expedition.

No proof other than the explorer’s word is required, one or several of the following methods of verifications are however suggested:

• Summit picture identifying the explorer, the summit features and surroundings.

• Video as above.

• Picture of GPS display showing altitude and position.

• Uploaded automatic tracking information (Spot, InReach or similar).

• Detailed log.

• Witnesses.

The explorer is encouraged to officially publish any evidence without delay on personal website, to authorities and/or other media. Due to geological features leading to mistaken summits in the past, verifications are strongly suggested for summits of Broad Peak, Shisha Pangma and Cho Oyu. If possible, climbers could fasten a small personal effect on the summit should the above verifications prove difficult to obtain.


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