Nepal Begins Issuing Permits for Mt. Everest with New Tracking Requirement

Nepal has begun issuing permits for Mount Everest, accompanied by a new tracking requirement, marking a pivotal moment for mountaineers. The Department of Tourism has initiated the issuance process for the eagerly awaited spring climbing season, signaling a return to normalcy in the industry, with a surge in climbers expected, particularly for Mount Everest.

Rakesh Gurung, Director of Adventurous Tourism and Mountaineering, announced, “We have commenced the issuance of permits for climbing various mountains this season.” Currently, 33 permits have been granted for Annapurna Himal, Ama Dablam, Himlung, and Jugal.

While these peaks offer unique challenges and awe-inspiring vistas, all attention is focused on Everest. Gurung stated that the department is finalizing details and anticipates initiating permit issuance for the world’s tallest mountain, Mount Everest, starting on Tuesday.

The previous spring season witnessed a record-breaking 478 climbers attempting to summit Everest. The department foresees similar numbers this year, signaling a robust resurgence for Nepal’s mountain climbing industry following pandemic disruptions. “We anticipate a similar number of climbers this year as well,” Gurung affirmed.

This optimism is shared by trekking companies. Mingma Sherpa, president of Seven Summit Trek, disclosed, “More than 30 foreign climbers have already booked to climb Everest with us.” The company also noted bookings from Chinese and European climbers through Imagine Trek, highlighting the global allure of Nepal’s mountains.

The introduction of an online permit system is another welcomed development this season, streamlining the application process and enhancing convenience for international trekkers.

As permits are distributed and excitement mounts, Nepal’s spring climbing season promises to be exhilarating, with a record number of climbers poised to tackle Everest and other Himalayan behemoths.

In a significant safety measure, Nepal has mandated that all climbers attempting Mount Everest must wear GPS tracking chips. This requirement aims to substantially improve search and rescue operations in case of accidents. Climbers can rent these chips for a nominal fee, which are then sewn into their jackets.

Climbing Mount Everest entails considerable expenses, with climbing permits alone costing $11,000. Coupled with additional expenses such as gear, food, and guide fees, the total cost can exceed $35,000. This new regulation follows a particularly deadly year on Everest in 2023, where a record number of climbers attempted the summit, resulting in numerous fatalities.