Everest from NepalNepalese authorities say they will use force, including guns, to quell any protests during the carrying of the Olympic torch up Everest.

A special lookout post will be constructed at 6,700m (22,000ft), above base camp, which will be manned by police and soldiers. No climbers will be allowed higher than 7,500m (24,600ft) until after 10 May, when the Chinese torch party is expected to summit.

Everest from Nepal 

Although the Olympic torch ascent of the world’s highest mountain will be made from the northern, Tibet side, authorities in Nepal, on the south side of the peak, are keen not to sour relations with the Chinese regime, which controls Tibet.

Eccentric English explorer Sir Ranulph Fiennes, who is due to tackle Everest for the second time after suffering a heart attack during his first attempt, is now likely to stay at base camp until the 10 May deadline has passed.

Extra troops have been posted in the area following the series of demonstrations in countries across the globe as the torch has made its tour. Most of the protests centre on human-rights abuses by the Chinese authorities and the continued occupation of Tibet, which first occurred in 1950.

The success of Maoists in the recent Nepal elections is likely to mean a further rapprochement between the regimes in Kathmandu and Beijing.

The Chinese authorities have also completed an asphalt road to the base of Everest on the northern side, to aid the progress of the torch party and encourage tourism in the area.

The Olympic torch is currently in Malaysia