Everest 2008: The Rules of Everest

Everest News has published a list of Rules For Everest that was reportedly released in “draft” form by the Nepali Government. These rules will govern what can and can’t be done on the South Side in the coming months.

There are some interesting items on the list to be sure. For instance, permits to climb Everest are only being issued for the South-East Ridge and the “Normal” route on Lhotse. These are the two most common routes on both mountains, and the overwhelming majority of climbers take these routes, but it does mean that someone attempting one of the more challenging, non-traditional routes, is out of luck this year.

Also of interest is the fact that no permits are being permitted for documentary film making crews on Everest and Lhotse as well. While the writing was already on the wall, this will certainly mean no season 3 of Everest: Beyond The Limit from the Discovery Channel.

The rules do say that teams can climb as high as Camp 3 before May 10th. No one will be allowed higher than that before May 10th, and after that day, teams will require the permission of the Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation. These nuggest of info are both good and bad. It’s good, because it means that teams can go higher on the mountain before May 10th then was reported earlier, and it also appears that they won’t be restricted to Base Camp between May 1st and 10th as we rumored as well. However, they also won’t be able to to C4 and the summit until the Nepali Government says it’s ok. So if the Chinese Torch Team doesn’t summit until May 15th, I wouldn’t count on anyone from the South Side going up before then either.

The list doesn’t end there either, as one of the rules also clearly states that “Satellite phones, computers/laptops and mobile phones will be under the supervision of liaison officers.” The rule states that climbers can use their electronic gear to contact friends, family, and logistical agents on a regular basis, but under the supervision of the liaison officer until May 10th. Translation: Expected limited contact from the mountain until after May 10 at the earliest. If that wasn’t enough, no personal video cameras will be allowed to be used in BC or above until after May 10th as well.

There are still more items on the list as well, but Everest News is quick to point out that this is still just in “draft form” and has not been approved yet by the Ministry of Culture, Tourism, and Civil Aviation. However, this does come from a good source, and except for some minor changes, I won’t be surprised if these rules are in effect for climbers on Everest.

The season of silliness continues it seems.

Kraig Becker

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