Mount Everest Climbers Face Major New Safety Requirements After Deadly Season


After a season that saw 18 Mount Everest trekkers tragically lose their lives, Nepal will institute new safety requirements for the upcoming climbing season. 

As CNN reports, all climbers will be required to carry GPS tracking chips with them on the mountain to aid rescue operations. The chips will be sewn into climbers jackets at the start of their journeys, and will be retrieved and reused when they (hopefully) make it back down the mountain. 

“Reputed companies were already using them but now it’s been mandatory for all climbers,” said Rakesh Gurung, the director of Nepal’s department of tourism, in a statement to CNN. “It will cut down search and rescue time in the event of an accident.”

Gurung estimated that the chip rentals will cost climbers around $10–15 each.

The move comes amidst rising traffic on the mountain, and a deadly 2023 season. A record 478 climbers received permits to summit the mountain last year, with 18 deaths according to tracking service Himalayan Database. Rescue operations on the mountain are notoriously difficult, especially in the so-called “death zone” above  about 26,000 feet. Many climbers bodies are not recovered from this zone.

Nepal’s economy relies on the income from Himalayan trekking, with permits alone now running $15,000 for Everest. Still, the country has tried to balance rising interest levels and economic concerns with safety. 

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