• Climbers snake around Mount Everest.
    Climbers snake around Mount Everest.

Nepal has introduced a quota system setting the maximum number of climbers that will be permitted to make an attempt on Everest in a desperate measure to prevent overcrowding on the world’s tallest peak as the country braces for a record number of mountaineers this season beginning May.

Issuing a directive last week, the Department of Tourism said a specified number of mountaineers, selected on the basis of their climbing permit numbers, would be allowed to make attempts at the summit during the first “weather window” that becomes available after the ropes and ladders are fixed up to the top.

Another specified number will be allowed to make attempts at the summit during the second weather window, or a period of good weather when it is safe to climb, and so on.

If this plan does not work, the expedition outfitters will have to coordinate among themselves and organise the climbing, limiting numbers to a maximum of 170 individuals in one weather window, the Department of Tourism said.

According to Guinness World Records, which lists ultimate record-breaking facts and achievements, the most number of people to reach the peak of Everest on a single day is 354, with 212 climbers from the Nepal side, as recorded on May 23, 2019.

The previous record of 266 people was set on May 19, 2013.

In 2019, the government issued 381 Everest climbing permits, a record number so far, leading to “traffic jams” on the icy route to the top of the world. Also, 10 people died on the Nepal side, the highest death toll in four years.

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