Two skiers face ban after illegal descent of Everest’s Lhotse face

Two skiers face ban after illegal descent of Everest’s Lhotse face

Header image by Göran Höglund / CC BY

According to the Himalayan Times, two climbers made an illegal ski descent of Mt. Everest’s Lhotse face last week. While on-site conducting research for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), Willie Benegas and Matt Moniz skied from Base Camp III (7,200 meters) to Base Camp II (6,400 meters) without obtaining the proper ski permit from the Nepalese government.

Well after 10 years dreaming about it, it happen! Managed to ski from Camp 3 Everest 7,200 meters to Camp 2 6.400m.
Not much of difficulty but definitely good eyes needed to read the terrain, catching a ice patch will be a bad thing to happen!

Posted by Benegas Brothers Expeditions on Saturday, May 5, 2018

Ram Prasad Sapkota, director at Nepalese Department of Tourism, informed the Himalayan Times that, “The duo only obtained Everest climbing permit,” adding that “conducting illegal activities on mountains will land these climbers in soup.”

In order to obtain a ski permit, the involved party must pay $1,000 USD as a royalty fee, utilize a liaison officer to monitor their activities and make a $500 USD deposit to the Department of Tourism for garbage management.

Sapkota also told the Himalayan Times that the Department of Tourism will take legal action following an investigation. For reference, according to Nepal’s Mountaineering Expedition regulations, the government can ban a climbing team and its members from entering the country for up to five years or prohibit them from mountaineering in Nepal for up to 10 years for violation of the regulations.

The skiers were on the world’s highest peak conducting molecular research for NASA, telling the Himalayan Times that, “we’ll be collecting samples for a first of its kind genomic research project.”

Benegas, a veteran Everest guide, told Outside Magazine, “In my many years of working in Nepal, I have never been made aware a permit is required to ski on Mt. Everest.”

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