'We are pressuring the mountain too much': Nepal court limits Everest climbing permits

Nepal's Supreme Court has ordered the government to limit the number of mountaineering permits issued for Everest and other peaks, a lawyer confirmed Friday, just as expeditions prepare for the spring climbing season.

The Himalayan republic is home to eight of the world's 10 highest peaks and welcomes hundreds of adventurers each spring, when temperatures are warm and winds are typically calm.

The verdict was issued in late April but a summary was only published this week.

Lawyer Deepak Bikram Mishra, who had filed a petition urging permits to be curtailed, told AFP that the court had responded to public concerns about Nepal's mountains and its environment.

"It has ordered a limit to the number of climbers... and also given measures for waste management and preservation of the mountain's environment," Mishra said.

The verdict's summary said that the mountains' capacity "must be respected" and an appropriate maximum number of permits should be determined.

The full text of the verdict has not been published and the summary does not mention any specific limit to the number of permits issued.

Nepal currently grants permits to all who apply and are willing to pay $11,000 to scale Everest, the world's highest peak at 8,850 metres (29,035 feet) above sea level.

Last year, the country issued 478 permits for Everest, a record high.


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