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New climbing fee comes into effect

The new climbing permit fee for Mt Everest and other mountain peaks for foreign climbers has come into effect.

Publishing a notice in Nepal Gazette in February last year, the government had reduced Everest climbing fee via normal route for foreign climbers to US$ 11,000 per person with effect from January 1, 2015. It had also eliminated group royalty system. Under the group royalty system, foreign climbers were required to pay permit fee of as high as $25,000.

Similarly, Everest climbing fee for other routes has been brought down to $10,000 per person, down from $ 15,000. Likewise, permit fee for autumn season has been brought down to $5,500 per person, down from $12,500 per person.

Climbing permit fees for other mountains have also come down. Permit fee for mountains above 8,000 meters, excluding Everest, has been fixed at $1,800 per person. Cilmbing fee for mountains between 7,500 meters to 7,999 has been fixed at $600 per person and fee for mountains between 7,000 meters to 7,499 meters has been fixed at $500 per person. Similarly, permit for mountains between 6,501 meters to 6,999 meters has been fixed at $400. Mountaineers planning to climb peaks below 6,500 meters are required to pay permit fee of $ 250 per person. Likewise, permit fee for Mt. Amadablam has been fixed at $400 per person. Source: Republica

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Individual permit extension on cards

The government is mulling over revising the mountaineering regulation to allow all climbers to utilise their group permits that were issued to Mt Everest expeditions during the last spring season on an individual basis within the next five years.

The government’s move comes after mountaineers and stakeholders from across the world criticised its latest decision on five-year extension of group permits, warning that such a decision would not augur well for the country’s mountaineering sector.

“The Department of Tourism, in consultation with Secretary at the Ministry Of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation Suresh Man Shrestha and others has decided to make necessary procedural arrangements to allow all 318 climbers who abandoned their Mt Everest bid in spring to utilise their permits on individual basis by 2019,” DoT’s Director General Tulsi Gautam told THT.

According to him, DoT also forwarded a proposal to Secretary Shrestha this afternoon asking the ministry to commence the processes to amend the mountaineering regulation to make valid the group permits issued to spring expeditions for all individual climbers for five years.

“MoCTCA will also seek a Cabinet nod to the amendment proposal after holding consultation with law and finance ministries as soon as possible,” he said, requesting all mountaineers, including those who aim to take the challenge in spring 2015, to expedite their preparatory work. “Though it will take some time to formalise the related documents by following due procedures, all permits will remain valid for a single attempt till 2019 even after any member of the respective expeditions scales Mt Everest on his/her own.”

The Expedition Operators’ Association of Nepal, with more than 10 international expedition organisers, had submitted a memorandum to DoT on Monday seeking an immediate revision of its month-old decision, saying it’s highly impractical, as all climbers reside in different parts of the world.

EOAN President Dambar Parajuli appreciated DoT’s move urging the authorities to make their permits transferable from one company to another if anyone wanted to do so.

All climbers of 30 expeditions, except a Chinese mountaineer Wang Jing, were forced to abandon their bid to scale Mt Everest after 16 mountaineering support staff and guides were buried in the deadliest avalanche that struck the slope of Mt Everest on April 18.

DoT data shows it had collected Rs 356 million as royalty from the spring climbers, each of who paid a permit fee of $10,000 to $25,000 depending on the size of their expeditions. International operators, including Himalayan Experience, Himalayan Guides, Peak Freaks, Jagged Globe, Adventure Consultants, Alpine Ascents International, Exploradus, Benegas Brothers, International Mountain Guides, Rainier Mountaineering and Altitude Junkies had organised most of the expeditions.

Source: THT

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Wi-Fi reaches Everest, Amadablam basecamps

Mount Everest and Amadablam Basecamps now have access to Wi-Fi service.

Everest Link, an internet service provider organisation, offered to provide Wi-Fi service in the basecamp in course of extending its services in the Khumbu Area of the district.

Namche, Khumjung, Gokyo, among other areas, can now access the internet.

According to Buddhi Tamang, proprietor of Everest Link, as of now around 70 percent of the villages in Solukhumbu will now benefit with the availability of 20mbps internet service.

Tourists visiting the district are elated with the far and wide access of the internet in the remote areas in the district including the base camp.

Mt Everest is 8848 metres and Ama Dablam is 6812 meters above the sea level respectively.

Source: Nepalnews

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Nepal to force Everest climbers to collect rubbish

Climbers scaling Mount Everest will have to bring back eight kilograms (17.6 pounds) of garbage under new rules designed to clean up the world's highest peak, a Nepalese official said Monday.

The rule, one of several new measures for mountaineering in the Himalayan nation, will apply to climbers ascending beyond Everest's base camp from April onwards, said tourism ministry official Madhusudan Burlakoti.

"The government has decided in order to clean up Mount Everest, each member of an expedition must bring back at least eight kilos of garbage, apart from their own trash," he said.

Burlakoti said authorities would take legal action against climbers who failed to comply with the new rule, although it was unclear whether this would involve a fine or other penalty.

Decades of mountaineering have taken a toll on the peak, which is strewn with rubbish from past expeditions, including oxygen cylinders, human waste and even climbers' bodies, which do not decompose in the extreme cold.

Expeditions will have to submit their trash to an office to be set up next month at base camp. It will also offer medical aid and resolve conflicts, after a brawl between European climbers and local guides last year.

Although expeditions currently have to fork out a $4,000 deposit, refunded once they show they have brought back everything they took to the mountain, enforcement has been a problem.

"Our earlier efforts have not been very effective. This time, if climbers don't bring back garbage, we will take legal action and penalise them," Burlakoti said.

Last month Nepal slashed fees for individual climbers to Everest and other Himalayan peaks to attract more mountaineers, sparking concerns of increased traffic and more trash on the mountains.

In an overhaul of security on the mountain, the new office at base camp will station soldiers and police so climbers can approach officers with any problems, officials said last month.

Environmental and climbing groups have long sought to focus attention on the waste problem while clean-up projects have also been organised.

Discarded oxygen and cooking gas cylinders, ropes, tents, glasses, beer cans, plastic and even the remains of a helicopter made up 75 artworks commissioned for a Kathmandu exhibition in 2012, highlighting the environmental impact of alpine tourism.

Everest is a key revenue-earner for the impoverished country, with hundreds scaling the mountain every year during the peak climbing season in April and May.

Source: Yahoo News

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