China says it will not issue permits to foreigners wishing to climb Mount Everest from the Tibetan side this autumn, forcing mountaineers to try the ascent from the Nepal side - AFP
China will bar foreigners from climbing the Tibetan side of Mount Everest during the coming autumn season after a Polish traveller was accused of illegally crossing into Nepal last month.
The China Tibet Mountaineering Association (CTMA) declared in a notice on Wednesday that it will suspend climbing permits for all of Tibet, including other popular summits such as Cho Oyu and Shishapangma.
The association said the ban was decided after Polish climber Janusz Adam Adamski "illegally scaled (Everest) from the north side" and entered Nepal in the south.
The notice, issued in English, said rules and regulations must be "adjusted and improved" following Adamski's trek.
"In order to solve the series of above problems in time, and provide a good condition to all expeditions in 2018 ... the climbing permits will not be granted in autumn 2017," the association said.
While the notice did not specify that the permit freeze only applies to foreigners, an association spokesman told AFP that Chinese climbers will not be affected.
Two large climbing operators confirmed that authorities have indicated permits will not be given for the coming season, though one noted that the situation is often fluid.
"Sometimes they are very quick with their decision and can change it as well," Mingma Sherpa, a renowned Nepali mountaineer and the managing director of Seven Summit Treks, told AFP.
Climbers online bemoaned the news, with one blogger blaming Adamski for his "selfishness."
Durgal Dutta Dhakal, a spokesman for Nepal's tourism department, told AFP that the Pole has been banned from climbing in Nepal for 10 years and faces possible deportation.
"The government took a light stance because in his statement he said that he was alone and unwell when he reached the summit and feared for his life if he descended by himself from the north side," Dhakal said.
But Adamski told the Himalayan Times last month that he considered the Tibet-Nepal traverse the "fulfillment of (his) lifetime dream."
"I am ready to face any legal challenge in Nepal to safeguard the greatest achievement of my life," he said.
He was the second foreigner to land himself in trouble with Nepali authorities on the world's tallest peak last month.
South African Ryan Sean Davy was caught on Everest two weeks ago attempting to climb the mountain without paying the $11,000 permit fee.
Davy was given a 10-year climbing ban but a $22,000 fine, which he said he could not pay, was waived.