Nepal has banned solo climbers from scaling its mountains, including Mount Everest. A tourism official said the law had been revised to make mountaineering safer and to decrease deaths after new casualties occurred this year. The new safety regulations also prohibit double amputee and blind climbers without a valid medical certificate.
The death toll so far this season stands at six, including 85-year-old Min Bahadur Sherchan, who died attempting to reclaim his title as the world's oldest person to reach the top. Under the new regulations, foreign climbers will have to be accompanied by a guide. More than 200 people have died on Everest since 1920. More than 20% are killed by exposure or acute mountain sickness.
Mount Everest became even more dangerous to climbers after the near-vertical 12m (39ft) rocky Hillary Step was destroyed by a 2015 earthquake. It was named after Sir Edmund Hillary, who was the first to scale it in 1953. Mountaineers claim the snow-covered slope will be much easier to climb than the notorious rock-face, but have warned that it could create a bottleneck which is a serious worry for those already battling low oxygen and frostbite conditions. Some people disapproved the new regulations for personal reasons. Aspiring Everest climber Hari Budha Magar, who lost both his legs when he was deployed in Afghanistan, said the interdictions are "discriminatory" and an "injustice", in a Facebook post. "I will be climbing Mt. Everest whatever the cabinet decides. Nothing Is Impossible," he said.