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Officials In Nepal Propose New Rules For Climbers Attempting Everest

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

So in Nepal, officials are proposing new rules for people attempting to scale Mount Everest. 2019's climbing season has been one of the deadliest. Eleven climbers have reportedly died or disappeared this year trying to summit the world's tallest peak.

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Sherpas and expedition guides say human traffic jams on the mountain were partly to blame. Outside Magazine editor Grayson Schaffer recently told NPR why that is so dangerous.

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GRAYSON SCHAFFER: They're breathing bottled oxygen. And when that oxygen runs out, because you're waiting in line, you are at much higher risk for developing high altitude edemas and altitude sickness and dying of those illnesses while you're still trying to reach the summit.

MARTIN: So the proposed rules target inexperienced climbers as well as tourism companies, companies that organize these expeditions.

GREENE: And here's what's being proposed here. Would-be climbers would have to prove that they have scaled another challenging peak and also be willing to pay a climbing fee of at least $35,000. Also, health checkups and insurance regulations have been considered here, and companies would be required to have at least three years' experience organizing high-altitude climbs.

MARTIN: Dan Richards is the CEO of Global Rescue. He recently told NPR there are currently no limits to the numbers of permits issued to climb Mount Everest.

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DAN RICHARDS: To get a license to drive a car, you have to take a test, a written test, and a driving test. If you want to climb Mount Everest, there is no requirement for skills. There is no test regarding experience. You just need to show up and pay your money.

GREENE: And it looks like these proposals are going to reach the Parliament in Nepal before the next climbing season begins in the spring. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.