South African who wanted to climb Mt Everest sans permit held

KATHMANDU: A South African national who allegedly traversed through a climbing route above Mt Everest base camp has been detained after it was revealed that he did not obtain a climbing permit from the government.

Dinesh Bhattarai, Director General at the Department of Tourism, confirmed that liaison officer Gyanendra Shrestha, deployed at the Mt Everest base camp, caught the man identified as Ryan Sean Davy from Johannesburg yesterday.

Davy had reportedly spent over a couple of weeks acclimatising at the Camp I to prepare himself for the Mt Everest ascent.

“Davy managed to head for Mt Everest climbing without getting a climbing permit from DoT,” Bhattarai said.

The DoT issues Mt Everest permit to the foreign climbers charging US$ 11,000 each as royalty.

The climber was on his way back to Kathmandu from the base camp while officials seized his passport, the Director General said, adding that he would be expected to surrender himself before DoT once arrives here.

Authorities have seized his passport ( (Passport No. A01352940) for further investigation as Davy admitted that he already made it to the Camp I for acclimatisation.

The DoT’s record accessed by THT Online does not show anybody with the name Ryan Sean Davy obtaining climbing permit for Mt Everest, Mt Lhotse or Mt Nuptse this season.

Nepal Tourism Board’s record, on the other hand, shows that Davy got a trekking permit for Khumbu region.

The NTB issued a trekkers’ information management system (TIMS) card to him on March 19. “But, TIMS card is not for climbing mountains,” Bhattarai said, he couldn’t go above base camp as well as fix a camp for acclimatisation.

After capturing him at a camp near Mt Pumori face, the base camp officials instructed the climber to report to the DoT to get back his passport.

“The climber informed the officials that he would travel to Kathmandu via Jiri trekking route in a next few days,” an official said.

Of 376 expedition members attempting to climb Mt Everest, Wilmien Van Der Merwe, a woman climber from Thabazimbi, South Africa reached the Khumbu region leading an eight-member international expedition to Mt Mt Everest while woman climber Saray N’Kusi Khumalo and Lloyd Scott Hudson were two other climbers who obtained permits for Mt Everest in the season, the DoT record shows.

Besides for Mt Everest and Mt Lhotse, Louis Carstens from Johannesburg is another climber who is attempting to climb Mt Makalu I in the spring season.

An official at DoT confirmed that only four South African climbers obtained permits from the government in this season till date.

Fraudulent activities on Nepal’s mountains have been reported in the recent days.

In the last spring season, a police couple from India doctored the photographs to obtain Mt Everest summit certificates. Likewise, three Spanish climbers scaled Mt Karyolung (6,530m) and Mt Numbur (6,958m) without obtaining a climbing permit from the Department of Tourism in the last autumn season.

According to climbers, lack of government’s control over mountain activities resulting out from the negligence on the part of the liaison officers is to blame for the fraudulent activities.

“This year too, only three LOs reached the base camp till date while over 50 expeditions on Mt Everest, Mt Lhotse and Mt Nuptse employed a government official as LO in each team,” the base camp officials said.

According to Nepal's Tourism Act, the government shall ban a climber for up to 10 years from visiting country for mountaineering activities for the violation of country’s mountaineering regulation.

“If any mountaineering expedition team or its member scales any Himalayan peak not opened for mountaineering, the government may impose a fine thrice the royalty amount to be paid for scaling the highest Himalayan peak opened for mountaineering; the offender will have to pay twice the highest royalty for scaling an opened peak without permit.”