Market Forces on Everest

"His Majesty's Government, taking into consideration the pressure on the environment of the Khumbu region and to lessen the pressure in the area and to conserve the environment, has decided to regulate the number and size of expeditions." So reads the official explanation for the decision taken in 1993 to restrict the number of members on mountaineering teams going to the Khumbu region, while limiting the number of teams on Everest itself, and to raise the royalty for climbing Everest from U$ 10,000 to U$ 50,000.

For quite a while there had been a clamour for a restrictive policy, including from Edmund Hillary, who had called for a five-year moratorium on Everest, although this would have been quite hard to achieve since the Chinese had no intention of closing the mountain from their side, international opinion notwithstanding. Thus, 'long overdue' was what many people concerned with mountains in Nepal felt about the change in the regulations.

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Himal Southasian