Nepal | August 12, 2020

Sherpas denied summit certificates

Rajan Pokhrel
Share Now:
Climbers ascending the Lhotse face on Mt Everest. Photo credit: Garrett Madison

Climbers ascending the Lhotse face on Mt Everest. Photo credit: Garrett Madison

Kathmandu, July 14

The government has deprived more than 300 Sherpas, who successfully scaled mountains, including the world’s highest peak, during the last climbing season, of summit certificates.

The Department of Tourism, under the Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation, has refused to award high-altitude workers summit certificates, citing a clause of the Mountaineering Expedition Regulation that bars them from obtaining government certificates.

“The regulation mentions that the ministry shall provide a certificate of mountaineering expedition to the expedition and the members of the successful expedition and not to the Sherpas, who accompany climbers from across the world to the top of mountains,” Laxman Sharma, Director at DoT’s Mountaineering Section, told THT.

He said DoT couldn’t issue certificates to Sherpas as per the existing law, claiming that high-altitude workers are not considered a part of the expedition as per the Mountaineering Expedition Regulation that was framed in 2002. “The regulation considers only those who obtain climbing permit by paying royalty to the government as members of an expedition.”

This is the first time in the country’s mountaineering history that Sherpas have failed to obtain government certificates despite successfully scaling mountains.

Though 200 expedition members, including 199 foreigners from 29 countries representing 34 teams, and 256 Sherpas scaled Mt Everest this season after nine rope-fixing Sherpas first stood atop the mountain on May 11, DoT has only issued certificates to expeditions and their members.

“It’s really a sad moment,” said one of the nine rope-fixing Sherpas who first stood atop Mt Everest last season, adding that such negligence on part of government hurt the mountaineering sector dominated by the Sherpa community. “All of us consider it a ploy to undermine Sherpas’ role in the mountain tourism,” he added.

“Not only on Mt Everest, other Sherpas who guided climbers to all peaks above 6,500 metres, can’t be given summit certificates,” Sharma said. According to him, the department has initiated the process to amend the regulation. “The amendment may ensure the Sherpas’ right to government certificates for their successful summit,” he said.

But Sherpas had been getting certificates from DoT for their successful ascent of Mt Everest that recorded nearly 4,428 summits by 2014. “Of these, over 2,500 summit records belong to Sherpas.”

DoT officials, including Director Sharma, refused to comment on the fate of the certificates that were issued to Sherpas till 2015 for successful summit.

A version of this article appears in print on July 15, 2016 of The Himalayan Times.

Follow The Himalayan Times on Twitter and Facebook

Recommended Stories:

More from The Himalayan Times:

849 passengers arrive on last day of fourth phase of repatriation

KATHMANDU, AUGUST 10 A total of 849 Nepalis were evacuated today via five flights. According to Tribhuvan International Airport (TIA), Nepal Airlines Corporation (NAC) evacuated 151 passengers and Himalaya Airlines repatriated 149 passengers from Doha in Qatar. Himalaya Airlines also brought h Read More...

Ramechhap farmers perform puja for rain

Ramechhap, August 10 At a time when continuous rainfall and attendant disasters have been causing loss of life and property in most parts of the country, farmers of Manthali, Ramechhap, are offering puja to god for rainfall so that they can cultivate paddy. As rainfall hasn’t occurred here t Read More...


Don’t let COVID-19 overshadow the risk of dengue

The human race is currently going through a scourge of the COVID-19 pandemic, caused by a newly discovered coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2, which originated in Wuhan, China in December 2019. Since then, more than 200 countries have fallen victim to this virus. There are more than 4 million active cases acro Read More...

Antonio Banderas says he's tested positive for coronavirus

NEW YORK: Antonio Banderas says he's tested positive for COVID-19 and is celebrating his 60th birthday in quarantine. The Spanish actor announced his positive test in a post Monday on Instagram. Banderas said he would spend his time in isolation reading, writing and “making plans to begin to g Read More...

Ganges River flows with history and prophecy for India

ALONG THE GANGES: More than 2,000 years ago, a powerful king built a fort on the banks of India’s holiest river, on the fringes of what is now a vast industrial city. Today, little of the ancient construction remains, except for mounds of rubble that tannery workers pick through for bricks to b Read More...

Trump abruptly escorted from briefing after shooting near WH

WASHINGTON: President Donald Trump was abruptly escorted by a US Secret Service agent out of the White House briefing room as he was beginning a coronavirus briefing Monday afternoon. He returned minutes later, saying there had been a “shooting” outside the White House that was “under control. Read More...

Flooded Thopal River wreaks havoc on Dhading rural roads; settlements at risk

DHADING: Human settlements on the banks of Thopal River are at a risk of being swept away by flood triggered by incessant rainfall in Dhading district. Squatters and villagers residing on the river banks next to district headquarters Dhadingbesi have been terrorised as flow of water in the ri Read More...