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Everest 2021: Govt forbids taking photos and posting them on social media

File image: Mount Everest

Kathmandu, March 10

The Department of Tourism on Tuesday released a new set of rules for the upcoming mountaineering season, one of which prohibits taking photographs of mountaineering activities on Mount Everest and other peaks and sharing them on social media without the consent of the climbers.

The rules, which many say is pointless, is likely being implemented to avoid controversies like the one that happened in 2019 when Nirmal Purja (Nimsdai) posted a picture of a traffic jam on the Hillary Step.

“The rule has been in place for a few years. But, everyone does it,” says Meera Acharya, a director at the department. “We don’t want controversies like the one that happened with Sudhir Chaudhary to happen again. If people want to take photos and videos for commercial use, they will have to take a permit.”

Apart from this, there are other rules that, industry experts say, are could affect the mountaineering industry.

One of the rules states that all climbers applying for Everest climbing permits will also have to submit their medical report issued by a certified doctor that prove they are in shape to climb Everest or any other peaks. This, the department says, has been done to avoid deaths on Everest that happen due to fatigue.

A new rule related to rescue has also been added which has made it mandatory for all rescued foreigners to be taken to a well-equipped hospital when evacuated from the region. This rule has been in place to ensure that fake rescues, which was in the international news a few years ago, do not defame Nepal and its mountaineering industry again.

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