Nepal Government has announced that Mountaineers will have to use licensed mountaineering guides to climb the Himalayan Mountains, for first time.
The decision was made early this week to issue such a license.
Previously, on the recommendation of the Nepal Mountaineering Association, an institution that included several actors in the mountaineering sector, the government had allowed guides to travel with mountaineers.
“We are issuing the licenses to the mountaineering guides for the first time. The licensed guides will be responsible for helping the mountaineers to climb the country’s mountains,” Meera Acharya, undersecretary at the Department of Tourism, which issues mountaineering permits, told Xinhua.
She said a notice about the criteria for obtaining a license will be released in the next few days.
“The policy will be implemented right after the notice is issued,” she said.
According to Ang Tshering Sherpa, former president of the Nepal Mountaineering Association, there are over 8,000 mountain guides in Nepal.
After receiving names of potential mountaineering guides from expedition agencies, the association recommends the names to the Nepalese government for approval to work as guides for expeditions. Most of the mountaineering guides come from the Sherpa community in Nepal, which is world famous for mountaineering.
Mingma Sherpa, the chairwoman of Seven Summit Treks, one of the leading mountaineering expedition companies in Nepal, said the Nepalese government must issue different categories of licenses based on the climbing guides’ experience and expertise.
“Issuing the same licenses to all the mountaineering guides would not be practical as a guide who has climbed Mt. Qomolangma several times and one who has not climbed any tall mountains, could not be compared,” he said.
According to the Nepalese Ministry of Tourism, it granted 2,166 climbers permission to climb mountains in Nepal in 2019, and 985 managed to successfully climb them. Mt. Qomolangma is a common treasure between Nepal and China.