Nepal has set a new condition for everyone who wants to climb Everest

(CNN) — As the 2024 season on Mount Everest begins, Nepal announced a new requirement for all climbers: They must rent and use tracking chips on their trips.

“Reputable companies were already using these, but now it is mandatory for all climbers,” Rakesh Gurung, director of Nepal’s tourism department, told CNN.

“This will reduce search and rescue time in case of an accident,” he said.

The climbers will pay US$10 to 15 for each chip, which will be sewn into their jackets, the official said. Once the climber returns, the chip will be removed and returned to the government and saved for the next person.

Tracking chips use the Global Positioning System (GPS) to share information with satellites.

Gurung said the chips were manufactured in “a European country,” but did not say where or by which company.

Most people who attempt to climb 8,849 meter Everest do so via Nepal, paying US$11,000 per person just for the climbing permit. Adding the prices of equipment, food, supplemental oxygen, Sherpa guides and more, the cost of climbing the mountain exceeds US$35,000.

Eight of the world’s ten highest peaks are in Nepal, and the country earns significant income from mountain tourism.

It may take up to two months to complete the promotion.

The weather is suitable for the summit during a very short period, usually in mid-May.

Last year, Nepal granted a record 478 climbing permits. Twelve climbers were confirmed dead on the mountain, while five others were officially missing.

Rescue on the “roof of the world” is risky even under the best of circumstances.

In 2023, 30-year-old Gelje Sherpa gave up his chance at the summit to make a daring rescue of a Malaysian climber in Everest’s “death zone.”

“It is almost impossible to rescue climbers at that altitude,” Bigyan Koirala, a tourism department official, told Reuters at the time.

—CNN’s Sugam Pokharel and Manveena Suri contributed reporting.

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