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Nepal Mountaineering Rules

Main features

His Majesty's Government of Nepal has enacted a new "Mountaineering Rules, 2059 (2002) to achieve basic objectives of bringing about the mountaineering highly attractive, competitive, simple and generic. These new rules have replaced the "Mountaineering Rules, 2036". This decision has been taken by the cabinet meeting on 2 May 2002.

The main features of these Rules are as follows:

1. As per these new Rules, climbers participating in mountaineering expedition have to cross the age of 16 years.

2. These Rules have cancelled the existing season based concept of mountaineering and opened whole year for the same purpose. Accordingly, mountaineering time has been determined based on the height of the mountain and area concept.

3. The Rules have cancelled the old provision of compulsory acquirement of recommendation letters from the Alpine Clubs of the respective countries by the foreign mountaineers

. 4. Timely improvements regarding the Royalty of Mt. Everest and the structure of the expedition team have been accomplished. According to these new provisions, a sole member may also be allowed to scale the Mt. Everest from the common route (southeast edge) with least Royalty of $25,000.00. There will be an enhancement of direct and indirect advantage by alluring additional mountaineering through the expedition of Mt. Everest with a special royalty scheme set for one to six persons on the expedition. The Royalty for climbers of routes excluding normal routes remains unchanged at $50,000.00.

5. New provision has been made to grant the primary license on the basis advance payment based on peak royalty to reduce the business uncertainty, commitment of mountaineers, unnecessary administrative workload. The amount has been fixed 5% of royalty for the Mt. Everest and 10% for other peaks.

6. The old special provision of acquiring a deposit for the management of garbage produced from the mountaineering activities has been extended to all the newly opened peaks through out the Kingdom to protect the environment of the mountain areas. Such deposit has been determined as $5,000.00 to 4,000.00. 7. A new policy provision of granting revenue concession for the development of backward areas from the socio-economic point of view has been incorporated. Further, a new policy wise provision of granting Royalty concession for the promotion of Mountaineering in the lean season and less frequented peaks has been brought in to effect. This provision is expected to become an additional attraction on Nepalese Mountains amongst the international mountaineers and expected to raise the total contribution of tourism sector in the national economy.

8. An increment and improvement in the Salary/allowances of individuals (contact officer, leader, guide in high peaks workers in the base-camp, permanent porter) directly involved or contributing assistance in the mountaineering activities has been acquainted with.

9. These new rules have introduced a reasonable increment in individual accident insurance and new additional provision of medical insurance and emergency insurance to guarantee the security of the individuals involved in the mountaineering activities and his/her family.

10. These rules have made necessary improvements in the conditions and responsibilities to be obeyed by the team and team leader to make the mountaineering team more responsible.

11. In the duties and other activities, to be followed by the contact officer assigned to be involved in the mountaineering team, team leader and peak guide, have been made general improvements to make them more responsible in the mountaineering activities.

12. The rules have introduced a provision of contract paper to guarantee the security of the team leader, guide in high peaks, workers in base camp or local porters which is expected to make them more responsible and whole employment process transparent. 13. Improving the existing provision, according to which only the climbing time could be postponed after depositing the Royalty, the new provision has allowed to add or alter the peaks to scale instead of old one limiting the Royalty charge paid.

14. HMG has also revised the existing mandatory system of deputing the Liaison Officer to every expedition team to the Himalayan peaks. As per the current provision peaks ranging below 6500 meters including the old and new do not require Liaison Officer anymore with effect from upcoming spring season 2002 (March 1, 2002). As per the new system, expedition to 89 of the Himalayan peaks does not require the service of Liaison Officer.

New Peaks Opened for Mountaineering

In its effort to attract adventure-loving tourists to Nepal for climbing peaks, His Majesty's government has recently opened 116 more peaks for climbing in the different parts of the country. Now, the government has authorized Nepal Mountaineering Association (NMA) to operate 15 more mountaineering peaks which until this time was handled by the government. All peaks are above 6000 metres except one. Now the number of peaks opened for climbing has reached 276.

The opening up of these peaks in the context of celebrating Destination Nepal Year 2002-2003, International Year of Mountains 2002 and Golden Jubilee Celebration Year on the successful ascent of Mount Everest 2003 will help develop Nepal as a premier mountain tourism destination in the international arena. This step is also expected to contribute to develop the deprived and backward sectors from the viewpoint of Nepal's mountain tourism development.

New peaks that have very recently been opened for climbing are Tashi Kang (6386 m.), Tsartse (6398 m.), Khatung Kang (6484 m.), Norbu Kang (6005 m.), Kangfu Gaton (5916 m.), Nemjung (7139 m.), Danphe Sail (6103 m.), Ghenye Liru (6571 m.), Mera South (6064 m.), Naulekh (6240 m.), Khangri Shar (6811 m.), Khangri West (6773 m.) and Lung Sampa (6100 m.).

THE MOUNTAIN ENVIRONMENT

As a professional expedition organizer, we are very conscious of our responsibility to the mountain environment and the local people.

On the ground, our efforts to promote "sustainable mountain tourism" includes removal of all our rubbish from the mountain and base camp for proper disposal, centralized toilet facilities, a cash bonus system for Sherpas bringing rubbish and equipment down the mountain, removal of climbing gear and, whenever possible, fixed ropes from the climbs (extreme conditions may prevent this). We also use gas and kerosene for cooking, and discourage the burning of wood. There is always room for improvement and we are constantly reviewing our environmental policy for each wilderness region we visit. These measures are not easy to implement and they can be expensive, but the mountains are worth it. We ask all expedition members to cooperate fully with the environmental and cultural policy applicable to their trip. This will be much appreciated not only by us, but also by those who visit the mountains in the days ahead.