Everest 2008: ExWeb Weighs in on The Rules!

As teams approach Everest Base Camp and the Tent City pops up for another year, we’re beginning to get more and more news from the region. To that end ExWeb has posted a good article today that gives more information on “The Rules” of Everest this year as well as their thoughts on the subject.

The list of regulations being imposed by the Nepali Government is longer and more restrictive than was first though. According to ExWeb, this is what teams are dealing with this season:

1. The team shall not carry and exhibit any things like flags, banners, stickers, pamphlets or any audio visual devices that may harm bilateral relationship between Nepal and China.

Our team fully agrees to allow the liaison officer to check any things belonging to the team if he thinks suspicious. Likewise we fully agree to the fact that the liaison officer has the right to seize if found such materials and send back the team or any member of the team to Kathmandu.

The government may take action to those for violating/ breaching law of land relating to bilateral relations between Nepal & its friendly country.

2. The expedition team will manage the system of registering daily attendance of members and helpers of the team and report to the Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation by the Liaison Officer.

3. The team will deposit all its electronic equipments for lock up in the Police post at the base camp and if necessary use the equipments available with the government units till 10th of May, 2008.

4. Any member or helper of the team shall not proceed above camp II before 10th of May, 2008.

5. The mountaineering expedition team must visit the Sagarmatha Pollution Committee (SPCC) office at Namche Bazaar prior to their departure to the base camps. The team must give list of the disposable and non-disposable goods to SPCC and allow them to inspect the goods, SPCC will give necessary information regarding the waste management system of expedition in the Khumbu region.

6. All the goods must be classified into three categories and described and recorded at SPCC
– Disposable in the Khumbu region, which can be incinerated and biodegraded: Toilet paper, cardboard boxes and paper waste, bamboo baskets and mats, cotton and jute bags, spoiled goods, dead bodies.
– Recycling materials: Tins, bottles, Jars and plastic containers, plastic and foil bags sheeting, reusable cooking gas cylinders, gas canisters.
– Re-exportable goods: Used oxygen bottles, used batteries, climbing equipment such as tents, personal gears, etc.

Disposable goods must be brought down from the base camps to Namche Bazaar and handed over to SPCC Recycling materials should be brought down to Kathmandu (after recording at SPCC) and to be handed over to Solid Waste Management Center for Recycling.

The re-exportable goods like used oxygen bottles and batteries must be taken back from Nepal to their own countries respective of whether they are purchased in Nepal or elsewhere, and export certificate should be taken from Customs Office. The garbage deposit amount will be refunded only after submission of the above mentioned papers. And failure to do so may result in cancellation of expedition permit and banning the team and its members for further expeditions in Nepal.

7. Burning or burying any short of garbage at the base camp is strictly prohibited.

8. Painting on rocks is not allowed.

9. All the news regarding the expedition must be conveyed to the Ministry of Tourism & Civil Aviation first of all, and only then it can be sent to others. The satellite phone, V.H.G. and U.G.V. wireless sets, and any other communication equipment must not be used for commercial purpose, failure to do so may result in confiscation of equipment, cancellation of the expedition permit and additional penalty according to law.

10. SPCC can check and monitor sanitary condition of the base camp at any time.

11. Liaison Officer, appointed as representative of government are there to help the teams as well as to monitor all the rules and regulations. So, they must be with the teams all the times. Likewise we fully agree to the fact that the liaison officer has the right

12. At the base camps, which are situated in glacier, human wastes (toilets) must be collected in portable plastic drums or barrels and disposed at proper site below base camp. In the base camps teams make proper toilet pits, giving adequate consideration to sanitation and environment.

13. We will be fully committed to abide by the instruction given during the briefing programme and within the frame of permission letter.

This set of rules confirms the ban on climbing above C2 until after May 10th and demonstrates the government crack down on communications from BC. Apparently they are more concerned about damaging relations with China at the moment then they are about allowing free communication from the mountain.

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again. Hopefully the Chinese summit on May 10th as expected, otherwise it’s going to turn into an even bigger mess on Everest.

Kraig Becker

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