02/29/2024: In a move aimed at enhancing safety and efficiency in search and rescue operations, climbers ascending Mount Everest, the world’s tallest peak, and their guides are now mandated to use electronic chips. The government has made it compulsory for climbers to embed chips in their jackets to facilitate tracking and rescue efforts.

According to Rakesh Gurung, Director of the Mountaineering Division under the Department of Tourism, all climbers will be required to use electronic chips starting from the upcoming month of Chaitra (mid-March). He mentioned that although the plan to make chips mandatory has been in the pipeline since last year’s spring season, it couldn’t be implemented due to time constraints.

“These chips will be made available by agencies catering to climbers, with prices ranging from $10 to $15,” Gurung stated. He further emphasized that while some agencies had already introduced chip usage voluntarily in previous seasons, it is now mandatory for everyone.

Features of the chips include a longer-lasting battery compared to GPS devices, ensuring effectiveness in search and rescue operations for up to several months. Moreover, climbers will not incur any harm even if the chip is buried under snow during avalanches, as it will still enable rescuers to locate them accurately.

Commenting on the implementation of chip usage, Gurung mentioned collaboration with the Sagarmatha Pollution Control Committee stationed at the Everest Base Camp to monitor the situation effectively. Employees stationed at the field office of the Everest Base Camp will also work in coordination with the committee to conduct surveillance and assist in rescue operations.

The introduction of electronic chips marks a significant step towards ensuring the safety of climbers and expediting rescue efforts on Mount Everest. With these measures in place, authorities aim to mitigate risks associated with climbing the world’s highest peak and enhance overall safety standards in the region.

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