Nepal takes axe to Everest fees

Authorities in Nepal are planning to slash the permit price for climbing Mount Everest by up to 75 per cent outside the main spring climbing season, a minister told AFP on Wednesday.

Nepal takes axe to Everest fees
Authorities in Nepal are planning to slash the permit price for climbing Mount Everest by up to 75 per cent outside the main spring climbing season, a minister told AFP on Wednesday.

The current cost of a Nepali permit to tackle the world's highest peak is 70,000 dollars for 10 people, but this could soon change.

"We are thinking about reducing the fees by 50 per cent during the autumn season and by 75 per cent during the winter season," said Minister for Tourism and Culture Prithvi Subba Gurung.

Most climbers tackle the 8,848-metre (29,198-foot) mountain during the spring season in late May just before the monsoon sweeps across the sub-continent.

"We don't have any plans to reduce permit price for climbing Everest during the spring season," the minister added.

This year's peak season was a record breaker with 530 people summitting Everest from the southern approach in Nepal and the northern route through Chinese-controlled Tibet.

"We think that the reduction in fees will attract more mountaineers," Ang Tsering Sherpa, the president of the Nepal Mountaineering Association told AFP.

"At the moment, no expedition teams have applied to climb Everest in autumn and winter. Usually people come for the spring season as this is when they have the best chance of summitting," he said.

Home to eight of the world's 14 tallest peaks, Nepal has hosted trekkers and mountaineers for years and Sherpa hopes to persuade the government to open more mountains to foreign climbers.

"In Nepal there are over 1,792 peaks above 5,500 metres (18,250 feet) and only 326 are open for climbing. In our proposal we will also ask the government to allow climbing on more mountains," Sherpa said.

First conquered in 1953 by Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay, Everest has since been scaled around 3,000 times.

AFP
Last Mod: 22 Ağustos 2007, 18:10
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