Steps to boost Mount Everest safety

28 February 2014 12:10

Peaceful: but Nepal is introducing tighter controls on Mount Everest expeditions after a scuffle between European climbers and a group of Sherpas

Peaceful: but Nepal is introducing tighter controls on Mount Everest expeditions after a scuffle between European climbers and a group of Sherpas

Army and police officers will be stationed at Mount Everest base camp from the spring to help climbers stay safe.

Nepal's introduction of tighter controls on the world's highest mountain follows a scuffle between three European climbers and a group of Sherpas last April.

The officers will be posted at the 17,550-foot (5,349m) base camp in March in time for the beginning of the climbing season.

Travellers stepping out of their comfort zone in an unfamiliar country can sometimes experience unexpected surprises. They can give themselves peace of mind however by taking out reliable travel insurance to cover most eventualities.

A Nepalese government official is normally attached to all climbing crews that tackle Everest.

There have been concerns, however, that these employees do not always accompany groups to base camp.

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."

He said that from next month the liaison officers will report to a tented office at the base camp.

Mr Pandey added: "We will open an office at the base camp with a team of government officials, including the army and police personnel."

This will render it more simple to sort out any conflicts, he added.

The new office will also oversee climbers who get into difficulty, the enforcement of climbing regulations and mountain cleaning. It also wants to dissuade needless competition between climbers to establish fresh records.

In addition, climbers will have to tell the authorities of their plans to set records beforehand.

Madhusudan Burlakoti, another Tourism Ministry official, said: "We will not recognise any record without prior permission from the government."

Everest was first conquered in 1953 by New Zealand's Sir Edmund Hillary and Sherpa Tenzing Norgay.

Around 4,000 people have since made it to the top of its huge peak.

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