Nepal will enforce tighter controls of climbers on Everest to ensure the peak is safe, officials said today, after a fight in April between three Europeans and a large group of Sherpas.
“We will open an office at the base camp with a team of government officials, including the army and police personnel. This will make it easy to resolve any conflict,” Tilakram Pandey, a Tourism Ministry official, said.
“The presence of security officials at the base camp will give a psychological feeling to climbers that they are safe.”
Until now, a government employee was attached to each team as a liaison person. But there have been widespread complaints that those officials often do not go to the base camp at the 5,350-metre mark.
Pandey said all liaison officers would have to report to the tented office to be located at the base camp from March, the start of the annual climbing season.
Officials said the rescue of climbers in distress, cleaning of the mountain and enforcement of climbing rules will also be helped by the new office. Unnecessary competition between climbers to set new records will be discouraged, they said.
Mount Everest has been climbed by more than 4,000 people since the 1953 ascent by Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay Sherpa.