Nepali Officials Want Mount Everest Climbing Age Limit After 85-Year-Old Dies

Timothy RappFeatured ColumnistMay 7, 2017

Tengboche Buddhist monastery gate and Mount Ama Dablam, with its 6,812 metre peak, is seen from Tengboche some 300kms north-east of Kathmandu on May 5, 2017. / AFP PHOTO / PRAKASH MATHEMA        (Photo credit should read PRAKASH MATHEMA/AFP/Getty Images)
PRAKASH MATHEMA/Getty Images

Nepali officials are attempting to establish an age limit for climbing Mount Everest after 85-year-old Min Bahadur Sherchan died while attempting to scale the mountain Saturday, according to the Associated Press (via ESPN.com).

"It is very necessary to immediately bring that age limit law," Ang Tshering, head of the Nepal Mountaineering Association, told the AP. "If there had been a limit, the loss of life could have been prevented."

While climbers have to be at least 16 years of age to climb the mountain, there are no age restrictions beyond that, though the Nepal Mountaineering Association is hoping to set the age range between 16-76.

The head of Nepal's Tourism Department, Dinesh Bhattarai, also said the government is in serious talks about an age limit.

Sherchan was attempting to reclaim his record as the oldest climber to scale Mount Everest. The Nepali man had initially made the climb as a 76-year-old in May 2008, but an 80-year-old Japanese man, Yuichiro Miura, best him in 2013.

Sherchan died at Everest's base camp. 

Sherchan's death was the second in a week at Mount Everest, after famed Swiss climber Ueli Steck died while preparing to traverse a path that connects the peaks of Everest and Lhotse, per Katie Mettler of the Washington Post.

The Everest climb remains an incredibly perilous journey, though a record 371 permits have been issued by the Nepalese Tourism Department to attempt the summit this climbing season.

Bhattarai told Binaj Gurubacharya of the AP, via the Chicago Tribune, that the high number of climbers this year was likely due in part to their return after the cancellation of both the 2014 and 2015 climbing seasons. An avalanche killed 16 Sherpas in 2014, and another avalanche killed 19 climbers and injured 61 a year later.