Fee hike restricts Mount Qomolangma climbers

By Liu Caiyu Source:Global Times Published: 2016/11/9 23:23:39

An increase in costs for climbing the highest peak in the world, Mount Qomolangma, to 350,000 yuan ($ 55,700), along with mature mountaineering techniques, has been called "necessary" by the Tibet Mountaineering Association. The move has led some to question whether climbing the mountain has become a privilege only of the rich.

Climbing Mount Qomolangma, known as Everest in the West, will require up to 350,000 yuan and nearly two months' trekking with an agent, Himalaya Expedition, which offers the service in Tibet, posted on its official website on Friday.

"Mountain climbing is not a popularized sport in China, since it's confined to elites who have sophisticated mountaineering techniques," the Lhasa-based Chinese Tibet Mountaineering Association (CTMA) told the Global Times on Wednesday.

The fees cover accommodation, food, transportation, oxygen, mountain guides and photography, according to Himalaya Expedition's post.

Mountaineers who can't afford the extra costs to reach the summit have often lost their lives choosing to climb by themselves, tibet.cn reported.

Zhang said those who decide to go solo "are not respecting nature, the mountain, nor their own lives. Climbers have to acquire mountaineering techniques and overcome severe weather changes."

According to Chinese regulations, those who want to climb Mount Qomolangma need a certificate and experience at 8,000 meters.

Mount Qomolangma is located on the border between Nepal and China. Zhang said that the majority of  mostly foreign climbers choose to tackle the mountain from Tibet.

Expenses from the Nepal side are much higher than those from Tibet, said Zhang. Among those attempting to reach the summit between April and June in 2016, 148 were foreign mountain climbers while only 12 came from the Chinese mainland, including four women.

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