Calls have been raised for Nepal to combat over tourism on Mount Everest by limiting the number of climbing permits issued every year, however, the country’s leaders don’t believe they have a problem.

Concerns were raised for the safety of climbers last week when 10 people were killed mid-climb – more than the number of deaths on Mount Everest throughout 2018.

Among the deceased is Nihal Bagwan, 27 who died while scaling back down the mountain. It’s believed that he died of exhaustion after being stuck in human traffic for more than 12 hours, BBC reported.

Kalpana Das, 52 is also said to have been a victim of overcrowding, along with a 65-year-old Austrian climber, an Indian climber and an American. Séamus Lawless from Ireland was presumed dead after falling.

The rising number of deaths is believed to be related to the increasing number of climbers, which reached a record of 807 last year.

Adventurer and TV presenter, Ben Fogle, believes Nepal can reduce the number of deaths by introducing stricter access to Everest, and even suggested Nepal introduce a ‘lottery’ for permits.

Others have suggested the country follow in the footsteps of Peru, which introduced a strict traveller limit on the Inca Trail in 2017 in order to protect the hike from over tourism.

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Image: Kalle Kortelainen/Unsplash

However, Nepal’s Department Director General, Dandu Raj Ghimire, doesn’t believe the mountain has an overcrowding issue and said other factors, such as weather conditions, may have contributed to the increase in deaths.

While offering his “heartfelt condolences” to the families and friends of those who have died or are still missing, Ghimire said accidents while hiking the Himalayas were “unavoidable”.

“Mountaineering in the Himalayas is in itself an adventurous, complex and sensitive issue requiring full awareness yet tragic accidents are unavoidable.”

Dandu Raj Ghimire, Nepal Department Director General

 

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