For outdoors enthusiasts dreaming of climbing Mount Everest, the earth’s highest peak, the ascent is about to become even more challenging. According to a Monday morning Guardian report, Nepalese officials are planning to introduce regulations regarding newbie climbers—regulations that will essentially ban them from attempting the climb altogether. Officials will restrict access to climbing permits, doling them out only to those who can prove they’ve scaled mountains higher than 6,500 meters (about 21,325 feet). Additionally, those who are disabled, elderly, or very young will be banned from the mountain.
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The new regulations and concern over safety come after avalanches left more than a dozen dead last year, and many injured this April. The climb, which has become increasingly popular since Everest was first summited in 1953 by Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay, used to only draw the attention of extremely experienced climbers. Recently, however, the feat has been attempted by novices, so much so that officials are stepping in. The implementation of the new rules are said to begin before the spring season.
John Scarpinato is the editorial assistant at Travel + Leisure. Follow him on Twitter at @jtscarpinato.