LAUREN FRAYER, HOST:
For serious climbers, scaling the peaks of Nepal might be an ambitious new year's resolution. But the rules for doing that are changing this spring. Nepal says it's banning solo climbers from scaling all of its mountains, including the most famous one - Mount Everest, at more than 29,000 feet. The highest mountain in the world will also be off limits to double amputees and blind climbers, unless they have written permission from a doctor. That part of the ban has angered some disabled military veterans.
Nepal's new rules are meant to keep people safe and also to create jobs for local guides and Sherpas. A trip up Everest can set you back tens of thousands of dollars. Most climbers already go in groups anyway. More than 200 people have died on Everest in the past century. Sir Edmund Hillary reached the summit in 1953, a historic first, and even he took a buddy - the Nepalese Sherpa Tenzing Norgay.
NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by Verb8tm, Inc., an NPR contractor, and produced using a proprietary transcription process developed with NPR. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of NPR’s programming is the audio record.