With the revision of Mountaineering Expedition Regulation by Ministry of Tourism and Civil Aviation, people with complete blindness and double amputation, as well as those proven medically unfit for climbing, cannot attempt to scale mountains.
International right organizations criticized the decision as violation of equal rights to people with disability. The first victim of the cabinet decision is a Nepali. This decision will bar Hari Budha Magar, a former British Gurkha who lost both his legs in wars, has already announced he would climb the world’s highest peak in the next spring season.
The cabinet which passed the revised regulation also stated that Sirdars, mountain guides and high-altitude workers, who accompany expeditions to the top of the climbing peaks, including Mt Everest, shall get summit certificates.
The Financial and Infrastructure Committee of the cabinet approved a revision to the Mountaineering Expedition Regulation. It will come into force immediately.
The government’s move to bar differently-able persons including those with double amputation from climbing peaks has, however, drawn a wide criticism. Hari Budha Magar, a former British Gurkha who lost both his legs in wars, has already announced he would climb the world’s highest peak in the next spring season.
Magar Center British Ambassador to Nepal Morris (right) and U.S. Ambassador Alaina B Teplitz (Left)
“Ability not perceived ‘disability’ must guide rules on who can trek Mt. Everest. Climbers like Hari Budha Magar shouldn’t be banned because of false assumptions about capabilities. Accessible tourism for all will make it clear that Nepal welcomes everyone!”, Ambassador of the United States to Nepal Alaina B Teplitz had tweeted.
“This is a ridiculous and ludicrous rule that should be opposed and if need be ignored at every opportunity. It is beyond belief that in this century we still have attitudes like this being held by people in authority,” Darren Swift, double amputee actor as well as trauma casualty simulator, reacted from West London, UK.
Magar had already climbed Mera peak as part of his training for Mt Everest, according to US-based Myrmidon Expeditions, which was planning an expedition for Magar along with Himalayan Ski Trek in Kathmandu.
The new provision also requires that every individual climber attempting to scale Mt Everest must take along at least a mountain guide. It has also barred youngsters below 16 years of age from obtaining climbing permits.