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Nepal bans solo climbers from Mount Everest

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Joe Roberts for Metro.co.uk

Nepal bans solo climbers from Mount Everest
The move will likely cause uproar in the elite solo climbing community (Picture: Getty)

Nepal has banned solo climbers from scaling Mount Everest in a bid to reduce accidents.

The Nepalese government issued a string of measures ahead of the 2018 spring climbing season in the Himalayas.

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Cabinet minister Maheshwor Neupane said the laws were revised to make mountaineering safer and decrease deaths.

Experienced Swiss climber Ueli Steck lost his life in April this year when he slipped and fell from a steep ridge during a solo acclimatisation climb to Nuptse, a peak neighbouring Everest.

The ban is likely to anger elite solo mountaineers, who enjoy the challenge of climbing alone, even without bottled oxygen.

Nepal bans solo climbers from Mount Everest
The ban will also affect blind and amputee climbers (Picture: Getty)

Some climbers blame a huge influx of commercial expeditions for creating potentially deadly bottlenecks on the world’s tallest peak.

The government also endorsed a ban on double amputee and blind climbers.

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New Zealander Mark Inglis, who lost both his legs to frostbite, became the first double amputee to reach the top of the 8,848-metre (29,029-foot) peak in 2006.

Blind American Erik Weihenmayer scaled Everest in May 2001 and later became the only visually-impaired person to summit the highest peaks on all seven continents.

Aspiring Everest climber Hari Budha Magar, a former Gurkha soldier who lost both his legs in Afghanistan, said the ban was discriminatory.

Nepal bans solo climbers from Mount Everest
Hari Budha Magar lost both his legs in Afghanistan, but that doesn’t stop him climbing (Picture: Facebook)

‘If the cabinet passes, this is #Discrimination against disable people, breaking #HumanRights,’ Magar said in a Facebook post after the decision was proposed early this month.

Thousands of mountaineers flock to Nepal, home to eight of the world’s 14 peaks over 8,000 metres, each spring and autumn when clear weather provides good climbing conditions.

Almost 450 climbers – 190 foreigners and 259 Nepalis – reached the summit of Everest from the south side in Nepal last year.

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