China imposes age limits on climbing Everest

China is to impose new age limits on mountaineers seeking to climb in Tibet.

Beijing: China is to impose new age
limits on mountaineers seeking to climb in Tibet, authorities
said Thursday, after an American 13-year-old became the youngest
person ever to scale Mount Everest.

The new age limit will come into effect when the
climbing season restarts in September, an official at the
China Tibet Mountaineering Association told a news agency, saying it was
"for the safety of the climbers".

The official declined to give details of the new
rules but expedition organisers in neighbouring Nepal said
China was planning to restrict permits to climbers between the
ages of 18 and 60, except in exceptional circumstances.

Mount Everest straddles the border between China
and Nepal, where mountaineering authorities already restrict
licences for the world`s highest peak to climbers over the age
of 16.

China does not currently have an age limit and
American teenager Jordan Romero carried out his controversial
ascent of the 8,848-metre (29,028-foot) mountain from the
Tibet side.

Around 3,000 people have climbed Everest since it
was first conquered by Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay in

But hundreds have died trying, many of them falling
to their deaths or succumbing to altitude sickness during the
gruelling climb.

Nepal-based Ang Tshering Sherpa, whose company
Asian Trekking organises expeditions across the Himalayas,
welcomed China`s move to impose age restrictions.

"In my opinion, you need to be mentally and
physically mature to climb Everest," he said.

"More and more people are climbing, including
elderly and disabled people. But some of them are very
dependent on other people to help them get up the mountain,
which can be dangerous," he added.


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