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Nepal mulls Everest ban for disabled, old climbers

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In an effort to make Everest safer for climbers and less crowded, Nepal is considering banning inexperienced and disabled climbers from making a summit bid on the world's highest mountain, the Guardian reported on Monday.

The regulations could have a negative impact on a major source of revenue for the impoverished country, which generates millions of dollars through selling climbing permits.

However, Everest has in recent years drawn multitudes of climbers wanting to overcome their disabilities and achieve the formidable feat.

In previous years, hundreds of "tourist climbers" attempted to scale Everest, much to the concern of experienced mountaineers.

"Such a rule is going to be introduced to maintain the glory of Everest", said Mohan Krishna Sapkota, acting secretary of the ministry of tourism.

The disasters triggered global debate about the huge risks borne by Nepalis who fix ropes and repair ladders to help climbers with varying levels of experience. "If they are not physically and mentally fit it will be like a legal suicide", he said.

A Ministry of Tourism spokesperson said no one under the age of 18 or older than 75 would be allowed to attempt the climb.

The youngest person to climb Mount Everest was 13 and the oldest 80.

Karki said the government was also mulling issuing permits only to Everest climbers who first scale another mountain above 6,500 meters to prove they can handle the world's highest peak.

Britain's Foreign and Commonwealth Office advises against all but essential travel to Everest, to the frustration of tour operators.

In 2006, New Zealander Mark Inglis, who had lost both legs to frostbite, became the first double amputee to reach the 8,848m (29,029ft) summit.

 

 

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