Homepage>Govt extends group expedition permits by five years

Govt extends group expedition permits by five years

Monday,November 24, 2014/Nepal

KATHMANDU, Nepal – The government issued a directive last month to extend by five years all group permits that were issued to Mt Everest expeditions during the last spring season. This effectively means that the same members of the expedition will have to scale Mt Everest together within the next five years. If even one member of an expedition scales the mountain, permits of others will be cancelled.
Tulsi Gautam, Director General at the Department of Tourism under the Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation, said it would be better for all 30 groups to reorganise their expeditions by 2019. “As many as 318 climbers listed in 2014 expedition will get free entry to Mt Everest after the government recently extended their group permits for five years,” he clarified.
As per the climbing regulation, permit extension will be strictly applied to a group and not to individuals. If any individual member utilises 2014 climbing permit then the permits of others in the same expedition will automatically become invalid, he said.
An eight-member expedition led by New Zealander Mark Wynton Woodward got its Mt Everest permit cancelled, as one of its members, Wang Jing from China, made it to the top of Mt Everest, riding a chopper up to the Camp 2. Jeffrey Geldert Brown of US, Anm Cecilia Doylel, Richard Grant Hunter and Mark Anrhony Whetu from New Zealand, Runar Vatne and Simen Haare from Norway, who were members of Woodward-led expedition, won’t get their permit extended for five years after the government recognised Wang’s controversial summit. Himalayan Experience had managed their expedition through Kathmandu-based Mountain Experience Trekking Company.
Group permit extension rule will also not apply to 10 climbers who obtained permit to scale Mt Lhotse through Everest Parivar Trekking in 2014 after a team member, Cleo Weidlich, 50, of the US flew to Camp 2, for summit after the avalanche, DoT officials said. “Cleo’s team comprised members from Canada, UK, Brazil, Czech Republic, Sri Lanka, US and Australia.”
President of the Expedition Operators Association of Nepal Dambar Parajuli said EOAN and foreign team leaders had asked the government to extend individual permit for next five years. “It is next to impossible to regroup the same climbers for new expedition, as they reside in different parts of the world,” he said. “It’s a time to facilitate climbers rather than creating hurdles in the name of regulation.”
As many as 325 mountaineers had to abandon their bid to scale Mt Everest after spending over $50,000 each to prepare for summit after the deadliest avalanche on the world’s highest mountain buried 16 mountaineering support staff and guides on April 18.
Meanwhile, new permit fee of $11,000 per foreign climber to scale Mt Everest will come into effect from 2015.
Source: http://www.thehimalayantimes.com/

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