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Nepal Requires Tracking Chips for Mount Everest Climbers

Nepal’s government announced on Thursday that all Everest climbers will now be required to carry a GPS tracking chip to aid rescue and recovery efforts.

“Prominent companies were already using them, but now they are mandatory for all climbers. It will reduce search and rescue time in case of an accident,” said Nepal Tourism Director Rakesh Gurung. says Mr. Said CNN.

Tracking chips can generally be rented for $10 to $15, which is on the low end considering that climbing Mount Everest costs about $40,000 for equipment, supplies, permits and guides. Climbers must have a tracking chip sewn into their clothing during the climb (which can take up to two months) and agree to return the chip.

CNN noted that more people are attempting to climb Mount Everest, which means more accidents and rescues. In 2023, 478 climbers obtained permits, a record for Nepal. Of these, 17 people died or went missing while climbing, making 2023 the deadliest year in Everest history.

“Rescuing climbers at that altitude is almost impossible,” said a Nepal Tourism Board official. It pointed out on friday.

national geographic explained Overcrowding has left Everest in “disarray” and “a symbol of all mountaineering problems.” Sometimes, after completing a difficult but dangerous climb, you realize that there are already dozens of people standing on the top of the mountain and there is nowhere to stand. His two most commonly used routes to the summit are laden with trash discarded by climbing groups.

national geographic I got it:

Currently, about 90% of Everest climbers are guided climbers, many of whom lack basic mountaineering skills. Too many shallow people expect to reach the top when he paid $120,000 to reach the top instead of $30,000. Quite a few do, but under appalling circumstances.

of economist pointed out in 2020 that many Everest climbers are inexperienced and many are elderly. Over the past 20 years, the odds of a climber over the age of 60 reaching the summit have risen to about one in three, and for climbers over the age of 70, the odds of reaching the summit have risen to just over 20%.

Another reason why all climbers are required to have a GPS tracking chip is to prevent cheating. On Friday, Kathmandu Post Office report Nepal’s tourism ministry has recommended that two Indians’ Everest climbing certificates be revoked after they submitted forged documents and fake photos of themselves standing on the summit.

Nepal traditionally requires climbers to submit a photo of themselves at the summit to obtain an Everest climbing certificate, usually supported by documentation from a liaison officer staying at the climber’s base camp. ing. Liaison officers are highly paid civil servants who may agree to falsify reports in order to receive even higher pay. Computer technology has advanced to the point where it is not difficult to alter photos of successful climbers, so GPS data could be a source of information. The new gold standard for verified climbing.

Nepal’s Ministry of Tourism may also mandate a biometric attendance system to ensure that climbers and liaison personnel make it to the base camp.

“This is an effective way to prevent liaison officers from colluding with fake climbers.” Pradip Raj Poudel, an engineer with the Ministry of Tourism, said liaison officers are dispatched daily once they arrive at the Everest base camp. Whether this is necessary will depend on the ministry’s guidelines, he said.

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