Everest 'should become a mountaineers' mountain again'. Photo: Rdevany CC-BY-SA-3.0

Everest 'should become a mountaineers' mountain again'. Photo: Rdevany CC-BY-SA-3.0

The International Climbing and Mountaineering Federation has backed moves to restrict attempts on climbing the world’s highest mountain.

The Union Internationale des Associations d’Alpinisme, the international governing body for mountaineering, said it supports the Nepal authorities’ plans to introduce more stringent qualifying criteria for anyone applying to climb Everest from the South.

These include the stipulation that mountaineers must already have scaled a peak of 6,500m or more before they tackle the 8,848m (29,029ft) Himalayan mountain.

UIAA president Frits Vrijlandt said: “Everest should become a mountaineers’ mountain again.

“We support the requirement restrictions on age – denying access to those under 18, and over 75 – and the minimum requirements regarding physical and mental ability to assure you are able to climb by yourself or with a partner.

“If you have to be hauled up the mountain you don’t really belong on Everest. Most importantly these requirements are proposed by Nepalese authorities who are responsible for the mountain and have Everest’s best interests at heart.”

The UIAA said it and the Nepal Mountaineering Association believe implementing these measures will drastically improve safety on an increasingly overcrowded mountain, lessen pressure on guides who are often reduced to risking their lives assisting ill prepared climbers and restore a sense of dignity and glory to Everest.

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