New Tracking Chip Requirement Introduced for Mount Everest Climbers in 2024

New Tracking Chip Requirement Introduced for Mount Everest Climbers in 2024

As the world gears up for another Mount Everest climbing season in 2024, Nepal has announced a groundbreaking measure aimed at enhancing safety at the world’s highest peak. In a move aimed at reducing search and rescue times and improving overall climber safety, Nepal’s Department of Tourism has mandated the use of tracking chips for all climbers tackling Mount Everest.

Rakesh Gurung, director of Nepal’s Department of Tourism, explained to CNN that while some reputable companies were already employing tracking chips, it’s now compulsory for all climbers. The implementation of these chips is expected to significantly decrease search and rescue times in the event of an accident, ultimately saving lives on the treacherous slopes of Everest.

Climbers will be required to rent and utilize these tracking chips, which will be sewn into their jackets for the duration of their ascent. Once the climber returns, the chip will be removed, returned to the government, and made available for subsequent climbers. The tracking chips utilize the global positioning system (GPS) to relay vital information to satellites, aiding in locating climbers in case of emergencies.

While the exact manufacturer and location of production for these chips were not disclosed, Gurung mentioned that they were manufactured in a European country. Despite the additional cost, estimated to be around $10-15 per chip, climbers and officials alike recognize the invaluable safety benefits they provide.

Mount Everest, standing at a towering 8,849 meters (29,032 feet), remains one of the most sought-after and challenging summits for climbers worldwide. The majority of climbers opt for the Nepalese route, paying substantial fees for climbing permits and additional expenses such as gear, food, and Sherpa guides. With the introduction of tracking chips, climbers can expect enhanced safety measures while attempting this formidable peak.

In 2023, the dangers of Everest were highlighted when Gelje Sherpa, a seasoned climber, sacrificed his summit attempt to rescue a stranded climber in the perilous “death zone” of the mountain. Such acts underscore the inherent risks associated with high-altitude mountaineering and the importance of innovative safety measures.

Last year, Nepal issued a record 478 climbing permits for Everest, highlighting the enduring popularity of the mountain despite its risks. Tragically, twelve climbers lost their lives on the mountain, with an additional five officially reported missing. Rescues at such extreme altitudes are inherently perilous, making preventative measures like tracking chips all the more crucial.

As climbers prepare for the 2024 Everest season, the introduction of tracking chips marks a significant step towards improving safety standards and reducing fatalities on the world’s highest peak. While the challenges of Everest remain formidable, initiatives like this offer hope for a safer climbing environment in the years to come.

 

 

 

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