After 11 months of delay, Nepal finally approves permit extension to 2019 for Everest, Lhotse and Nuptse permit holders from the spring of 2014 climbers. They must climb with their 2014 company (not members), and pay additional $1,000 to match the current $11,000 permit fee. Questions remain for 2015 climbers who are eligible if they will get a refund since many have already paid. Thanks to Rajan Pokhrel at The Himalayan for this story.
If this timing was designed to delay 2014 climbers to 2016 to avoid “crowding”, it only partially worked since many 2014 climbers are returning in 2015, albeit with different companies thus are not eligible to use their 2014 permit according to this story. Overall it is sad to see such a mishandling of a simple matter.
This is one of those posts that may be unnecessary but I do it for completeness. Roughly 250 climbers bought a permit to climb Everest in the spring of 2014.
Of course we all know the season was effectively canceled after a small band of Sherpas influenced the others to stop climbing including the critical Icefall Doctors who manged the ladders and route through the Khumbu Icefall.
The deaths of 16 mountain workers from a release of an ice serac off Everest’s West Shoulder was the primary reason for the work stoppage. Their deaths were used to successfully get the Nepal government to increase life and medical insurance for the workers.
A representative from Nepal’s Ministry came to Everest Base Camp on April 24, 2014 after several teams announced they were ending their seasons . He announced that Everest was open and everyone was welcome to climb from Nepal. However, this was the critical part of his comments, those with Everest 2014 climbing permits could use those permits for the next five years.
This was viewed as a goodwill gesture by many at Base Camp and plans were made to return in 2015 saving the $11,000 permit cost.
But as months went by, the offer took on new twists including a requirement that the original team must return in tact or everyone’s permit on that team would be revoked. That twist was eventually rescinded but other new rules were added.
Now on February 13, 2015, no decision has been made as to whether the 2014 permits are valid for 2015 much less through 2019 as originally promised.
The hold up is that the extension must be approved by the Nepal Government and they continue to ask for changes or simply do not put it on the Cabinet agenda for a vote.
Rajan Pokhrel, an excellent reporter with the Himalayan Times in Kathmandu has been tracking this situation and providing occasional updates through his newspaper. He said today, he expects the permits to be extended. He also suggest the ability to transfer that permit to another team may not be approved.
So, at the risk of over communication, this is the status of the 2014 as I read the situation today:
- NO decision has been made to extend a 2014 permit into the future, of any timeframe
- It appears likely an Everest 2014 permit will be extended for 5 years – 2015-2019
- An additional $1,000 fee will be required to raise the permit to the current $11,000 fee from the original $10,000.
- The permit should be valid for the original team
- Permits might not be allowed to be transfered to another team.
- No requirement for all teams members to return
OK, there you have it, a post with a lot of speculation. I usually don’t do these things but felt an update of some sort was required.
The Cabinet meets on Thursdays so look for more information each week, or not. Even if it is approved even today, that will be too late for anyone waiting until the last minute to get ready for 2015 IF they wanted to use their 2014 permit.
Memories are Everything
Very frustrating for many climbers. To many words like “likely” “may” “possibly” .
Very difficult for you Alan to make clear statements.
I climbed with IMG in 2014 and will be with HimEx in 2015. Have completely written off the $10,000 (or now $11,000) permit fee. Hate to say it but this is a drop in the bucket in terms of cost to climb this beautiful Mtn. Fairly certain no clear decision will be made in time for this upcoming climbing season anyway. Those of us going back will do so independent of cost for last season’s permits. Sad but true……l
As someone who had a permit for last year then this whole situation is very frustrating. I probably won’t be in a position to return without it so my hands are literally tied until I know categorically one way or the other. With just six weeks to go till I would be due to fly to Nepal I can’t book anything or make any firm plans, flights and insurance included. I just wish I knew one way or the other so I could either get on with my life or start to make plans to return. Obviously I have been training just in case…
Climbers have to prepare for Everest months in advance, not only financially, but physically and mentally. So potential climbers, from last year, are simply marking time, hoping to get a go-ahead to use last year’s permit for 2015?? The unknown is an additional stress. Climbing season is in about two months, and it would be humane for the Cabinet to make a decision NOW, which ever way it all goes.
Not sure that the word “humane” and the Cabinet belong in the sale paragraph! Ha Ha
Not sure the word “humane” and Cabinet belong together! ha ha
Any indication you have seen as to the number of permits bought for 2015 ? Wondering how busy this season may be…
It looks like most of the people are expecting that more and more people will go from Tibet side since the permit of 2014 are told to valid for 2015-2019, it is expected that more climber will be on Nepal side this year but looks more climber will be on Tibet because of misconception.
It is not easy for most of the climbers to return back this year because climbing cost of Everest is very high.
I have seen more operators going to the North. I wil be on the south side and curious as to the number of permits issues for the 2015 season. I feel for hose that were there last year and did not get an opportuity to climb. Tough all the way around for all, especially the sherpa families.
In my January post, I surveyed many of the operators and it appears there is not a huge flight from Nepal to Tibet. There are some, but I don’t expect to see dramatically reduced climbers on the Nepal side in 2105 – and that is probably encouraging the Government to drag their feet.