Nepal bans solo climbers from Mount Everest

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Mount Everest

MNA International Desk: Nepal has banned solo climbers from scaling its mountains, including Mount Everest, in a bid to reduce accidents, an official said Saturday.

The cabinet late Thursday endorsed a revision to the Himalayan nation’s mountaineering regulations, banning solo climbers from its mountains — one of a string of measures being flagged ahead of the 2018 spring climbing season.

Experienced Swiss climber Ueli Steck lost his life in April this year when he slipped and fell from a steep ridge during a solo acclimatisation climb to Nuptse, a peak neighbouring Everest.

The ban is likely to anger elite solo mountaineers, who enjoy the challenge of climbing alone, even eschewing bottled oxygen, and who blame a huge influx of commercial expeditions for creating potentially deadly bottlenecks on the world’s tallest peak.

The cabinet also endorsed a ban on double amputee and blind climbers, although Everest has drawn multitudes of mountaineers wanting to overcome their disabilities and achieve the formidable feat.

Thousands of mountaineers flock to Nepal — home to eight of the world’s 14 peaks over 8,000 metres — each spring and autumn when clear weather provides good climbing conditions.

Almost 450 climbers — 190 foreigners and 259 Nepalis — reached the summit of Everest from the south side in Nepal last year, reported news agency.