Sorry Blind And Double Amputee People, You’re No Longer Be Able To Climb Everest
For some people, climbing Mount Everest is a life-long goal that takes years, sometimes decades, to accomplish. But while the highest mountain in the world has been tackled by people with different levels of abilities for years - that's about to change.
The Nepalese tourism ministry has banned blind and double amputees from attempting to make the summit. The move is aimed at preventing accidents on the famous peak, with nearly 300 people dying while trying to climb it since 1922.
That will be a huge blow to Hari Budha Magar, a former British Gurkha who lost both his legs in the Afghanistan war, who was aiming to reach the top next Spring.
He said on Facebook: "Nepal should be proud of me not banning me, who agrees?
"I will be climbing the Mt. Everest whatever the cabinet decides. 'Nothing Is Impossible'."
Veteran climber Alan Arnette wrote on his blog that the move was ignorant: "To be clear, there are many people able or not that should not be on Everest, but the Ministry demonstrates annually that they have a poor understanding of the real problems and real-world solutions.
"This approach just creates more confusion and undermines any credibility the government might foster.
"If this is about protecting people from their own ambitions, then over half of the annual climbers should be banned each year as they lack the experience to safely climb Everest."
The first double amputee to reach the summit was New Zealander Mark Inglis in 2006; and five years earlier, American Erik Weihenmayer was the first person to scale the dizzyingly high mountain while being completely blind.
The Himalayan Database says an incredible 29 people with disabilities have attempted to climb Everest, with 15 getting to the top.
Erik Weihenmayer reaching the summit in 2001. Credit: PA
There have been six people die in this year alone, with altitude sickness, heart attack and falling being labelled as reasons.
But the ban not only applies to blind people and double amputees, but also those who want to attempt to climb the mountain solo. Individual trekkers will now have to be accompanied by a mountain guide.
There have been growing calls to restrict access to Everest, for both climbers and the guides that help them scale the dangerous cliffs.
British mountaineer Tim Mosedale told the Guardian: "Over the years there has been a huge dilution in the cumulative experience of staff while at the same time there has been a net increase in inexperienced or poor expedition providers."
Featured Image Credit: PA