In an attempt to reduce the number of accidents and make climbing safer, Nepal has banned solo mountaineers from climbing Mount Everest and other peaks. In addition, beginning in January 2018, all foreign climbers will need a guide. The new law also prohibits blind and double amputee climbers from trying to reach the top peaks.
More than 200 people have died in an attempt to reach Mount Everest, the world’s highest mountain, since 1920. The majority of deaths have occurred within the last 40 years. Recently, an 85-year-old mountaineer died in an attempt to be the oldest human to reach the top of Mount Everest. Two Europeans died while making a solo climb last spring.
Although mountaineers die for a number of reasons, almost every fifth death is caused by acute mountain sickness. Authorities have announced that they will check medical certificates of climbers to see if they are physically capable of such a demanding task.
In addition to more safety, Nepalese authorities hope that the new law will create more jobs for mountain guides in the country. The government will also give Everest climbing certificates to high altitude guides and workers hired by foreign climbers.
Local citizens have welcomed the new law, but some officials fear that banning physically handicapped people from climbing could get them into conflict with human rights organisations.
According to statistics, 4,800 climbers have reached the top of Mount Everest since Tenzing Norgay and Sir Edmund Hillary’s historic climb in 1953.
- according to = as reported by …
- acute = an illness that comes very quickly
- although = while
- announce = to say officially
- attempt = try to do something
- authorities = organisation in a government that controls and decides certain things
- ban = stop; forbid
- capable = able
- create = make
- demanding task = activity that is very difficult to do
- double amputee = someone who has lost both legs or both arms
- foreign= from another country
- guide = a person who shows you the way
- high altitude = very high place
- hire = to pay money to a person for a job they do
- historic = when something important happened in history
- human= person
- human rights organisation = organisation in which people fight for the basic rights that everyone should have, like the right to vote or freedom of the press
- in addition = also
- law = rule, regulation
- local citizen= person who lives in the region
- majority = most of
- medical certificate = piece of paper you get from a doctor or hospital that shows you are fit to do something
- mountaineer = person who climbs high mountains in their free time
- occur = happen
- official = person who is in a high position in an organisation
- peak = the highest part of a mountain
- physically handicapped = person who cannot use parts of their body because of an accident or illness
- prohibit = not allow
- recently = a short time ago
- reduce = lower
- sickness = when you are ill
- welcome = to be in favour of