April 23, 2023: An American mountaineer Darren John Verploegen from Montana, USA, reportedly jumped off from Camp II on Mt Everest without obtaining a gliding permit from the Ministry of Tourism.
Speaking about the incident, Chhang Dawa Sherpa, Expedition Director at Seven Summit Trek, said that Darren John only had a permit to climb Mt Everest and did not have any permit to paraglide off Mt Everest Camp II. The 37-year-old mountaineer was part of a 14-member global Everest expedition, he said.
According to sources at the Everest Base Camp, Darren John flew back with a paraglider from Camp II at the base camp. After landing at the base camp, he reportedly told fellow climbers that he was not aware of any permit to jump off the high camp.
“It is illegal to paraglide off Mt Everest without a permit,” said a source from the Ministry of Tourism. The source added that Darren John would be banned from climbing in Nepal if found guilty. DoT officials confirmed that no one had obtained a permit to paraglide off mountains until this season.
The incident has caused widespread outrage among mountaineering and adventure sports enthusiasts, who have criticized Darren John for endangering his own life as well as the lives of others. Climbing Mt Everest is already a dangerous and challenging task, and paragliding off it without proper authorization can lead to catastrophic consequences.
“Mount Everest is not a playground, and adventurers must respect the laws and regulations in place,” said a spokesperson for the Ministry of Tourism. “We will take strict action against anyone found violating the rules and endangering their own life as well as the lives of others.”
The incident has also sparked a debate on the need for more stringent rules and regulations around adventure sports and mountaineering. Many experts believe that the current regulations are not adequate to ensure the safety of climbers and adventurers.
The incident has once again highlighted the need for climbers and adventurers to respect the laws and regulations in place and not take unnecessary risks. It is essential to obtain all the necessary permits and follow the guidelines to ensure a safe and successful climb. Mount Everest is not a place to take shortcuts or bend the rules.