The hills are alive….with the sound of red tape and bureaucracy.
Julie Andrews must have gotten her lines wrong.
The hills are alive with the sound of Nepali police, confiscation of passports, and excessive fines.
You cannot climb Mount Everest without a permit. Or else…
A South African filmmaker, Ryan Sean Davy, climbed Mount Everest without the required $11,000 permit, was stopped by tourism official at Mount Everest base camp, and arrested by Nepali police in Kathmandu.
He was not allowed to speak to reporters.
Why did he climb without a permit?
According to the New York Times:
Mr. Davy…hiked about 50 or so miles to Everest Base Camp, a process that takes days.
But he did not stop there. Though he had no permit, he climbed up through the Khumbu Icefall, a dangerous pass toward Everest from the base camp…
…He evidently returned to camp, because on May 5 he caught the attention of Gyanendra Shrestha, an official with the Department of Tourism.
“He was walking down to the Everest Base Camp, and I was suspicious of him as he was walking with all his mountaineering dress even below all the tents,” he said.
Mr. Shrestha wondered why he was not camping with the other climbers and stopped him. Mr. Davy admitted climbing without a permit and tourism officials then confiscated his passport and ordered him to report to the tourism department in Kathmandu…
…“I was ashamed that I couldn’t afford the permit after all the help, preparation and what everybody had done for me during my training, it would have been a total embarrassment to turn around and accept defeat because of a piece of paper,” he wrote.
What happens to Davy now?
He is in jail, faces a potential fine of $22,000–that fine will increase if it has been found that he climbed more mountains–and might be banned from mountaineering in Nepal for 10 years.
The extraordinarily high fines are meant to limit the number of mountaineers on Everest and provide Nepal desperately needed revenue.
Profiteering off of nature. Gotta love government…