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Nepal mulling ban on foreigners climbing alone on Everest

Nepal is considering banning foreign climbers from scaling Mount Everest alone in a bid to reduce accidents on the world's highest peak, an industry official said Thursday. Solo climbers would be forced to take a local guide up the mountain amid concerns of safety, overcrowding and piles of rubbish on the "roof of the world," the president of the Nepal Mountaineering Association said.

Nepal may install ladders on Everest's Hillary Step

Nepal may install ladders on Mount Everest's Hillary Step, the final rock wall which climbers have to scale to reach the summit, in a bid to ease congestion, the government said Monday. Expedition organisers announced last week that extra ropes would be fixed on congested ice walls like the Hillary Step, where mountaineers have faced frustrating delays in the past. Now Nepal's tourism ministry says it is considering going one step further in a move that it says would improve safety and end logjams.

Nepal to slash fees to climb overcrowded Everest

Nepal will slash climbing fees for Everest and other Himalayan peaks to attract more mountaineers, despite existing concerns of overcrowding during the climbing season, a tourism ministry official said Friday. The government will cut licence fees for foreign individuals trying to scale the world's highest peak from $25,000 to $11,000 from next year, Dipendra Paudel said. However fees for group expeditions to Everest will go up, in a bid to discourage large numbers climbing together and to reduce tensions on the mountain during peak months, Paudel said.

Nepal announces major revision of mountaineering royalties

As tens of thousands of climbers flock to Nepal's world famous mountain ranges every year, the government has revised the mountaineering royalty fee structure to discourage artificially bloated expeditions and make climbing more affordable for serious climbers, Tourism Ministry officials said Thursday.

Nepal announces major revision of mountaineering royalties

As tens of thousands of climbers flock to Nepal's world famous mountain ranges every year, the government has revised the mountaineering royalty fee structure to discourage artificially bloated expeditions and make climbing more affordable for serious climbers, Tourism Ministry officials said Thursday.

Discovery Channel to telecast attempted wingsuit flight off summit of Mount Everest in May

NEW YORK, N.Y. - Discovery Channel plans a live broadcast of the first wingsuit flight off the summit of Mount Everest. High-altitude climber Joby Ogwyn will make the attempt in May, and Discovery announced Wednesday that it will be there to cover it. The network will air a live two-hour broadcast showing the California native as he battles conditions on the way to the summit of the world's tallest mountain, then takes the plunge. His custom-made wingsuit will be equipped with cameras to capture the descent of more than 10,000 vertical feet at speeds exceeding 150 mph.

Hollywood actors in Nepal to shoot Everest film

Hollywood actors Jake Gyllenhaal and Josh Brolin have arrived in Nepal to shoot a new film based on the Everest bestseller "Into Thin Air", a government official said Monday. Brolin and Gyllenhaal, who are staying at a five-star hotel in Kathmandu, will play the lead roles in the film, named "Everest", which will focus on an ill-fated attempt to scale the world's tallest mountain in 1996. Iceland's Baltasar Kormakur is directing the film, which tells the story of how eight climbers lost their lives when a rogue storm struck the mountain.

Pollution shrouds Tibetan capital, grounding flights

China's pollution reached new heights on Friday, as the Tibetan capital of Lhasa was shrouded in a cloud of dust that halted flights and rendered one of its most-recognisable landmarks nearly invisible. Lhasa, which at 3,700 metres (12,000 feet) above sea level is one of the highest cities on the world, was named by China's Ministry of Environmental Protection last month as one of 10 cities with the country's best air quality.

China-India border trade booms

LHASA, Dec. 11 (Xinhua) -- China-India border trade in Renqinggang market in southwest China's Tibet Autonomous Region posted a 23.3 percent rise in 2013, local authorities said Wednesday. Renqinggang saw trade volume reach 86.8 million yuan (about 14.3 million U.S. dollars), about 54 times that when the post reopened in 2006, a spokesman with the region's commercial department said. Imports totaled 72.4 million yuan while exports were a mere 14.5 million yuan, official statistics suggests.

Tibetan medicine database to be built

LHASA, Dec. 11 (Xinhua) -- A database specializing in Tibetan medicine will be built by 2015 as Tibet Autonomous Region's health sector becomes more digitalized, the region's culture authorities announced on Wednesday. The database, based in the Library of Tibet, will have information on pharmacology, the effects of pharmaceutical products and the composition of Tibetan medicine. This will help researchers gain knowledge about the traditional medicine, a statement from the region's culture department said.
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