Starting this Spring, Nepal to make carrying electronic chips mandatory for Everest climbers

PTI, Feb 24, 2024, 12:23 PM IST

Nepal will soon be making it mandatory for all climbers headed to Mount Everest to carry an electronic chip that would be helpful in rescue in case of any emergency at the world’s highest peak.

The government will soon be formulating a rule for making such a chip mandatory starting from Spring this year when the climbing season starts for Mt. Everest with the opening of the narrow window available to climb extremely high altitudes.

Thousands of climbers from all over the world, including India and Nepal, are attracted to the 8,849 metres (29,032 feet) high Mt Everest, a.k.a. Sagarmatha in Nepali. While scores of them do reach the summit, some either lose their lives or are seriously injured during the ascent or descent.

Since 1953, 300 persons have lost their lives, according to Nepal government data. In the 2023 Spring season, till May 22, Nepali officials said, as many as 12 climbers, including four Nepalese, one Indian, and one Chinese, died during their respective expeditions to Mt Everest.

The Everest base camp is situated at an altitude of 18,000 feet. Any search and rescue operation from the base camp onwards to the Summit becomes a tedious job because of the snow storms, avalanches, and other extreme weather events.

“All the climbers to Everest would be provided the electronic chip by the government after paying a certain amount. It will be fitted in the climber’s jacket,” Rakesh Gurung, Director at the Department of Tourism told PTI.

The chips would cost around USD 10 to USD 15, he said.

According to Gurung, the chip will help make the expeditions safe and facilitate emergency rescue operations.

Some reputed climbing agencies have already provided the electronic chips to their climbers, Gurung said.

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