Mount Everest, the highest peak in the world, attracts hundreds of adventurous climbers every year. But the journey to the summit is not without risks. Avalanches, falls, altitude sickness, and extreme weather are some of the dangers that can threaten the lives of the mountaineers. In 2023, Everest witnessed one of its deadliest seasons, with 18 fatalities and five missing climbers, according to the Himalayan database.

To improve the safety and rescue operations on the mountain, Nepal’s government has announced a new rule that requires all Everest climbers to wear a tracking chip. The chip, which costs between $10 and $15, uses GPS technology to locate the climbers in case of an emergency. The chip will be sewn into the climber’s jacket and returned after the expedition.

Rakesh Gurung, director of Nepal’s department of tourism, told CNN that the chip will help reduce the search and rescue time in the event of an accident. He said that some reputable expedition companies were already using the chips voluntarily, but now it will be mandatory for everyone. He added that the main objective of the chip is to make the search and rescue more effective and decrease the casualties on Everest.

The tracking chip is not the only measure that Nepal has taken to enhance the safety and cleanliness of the mountain. Last year, Nepal banned solo climbers from attempting Everest, requiring them to have a guide or a porter. The ban was aimed at preventing inexperienced and unprepared climbers from endangering themselves and others. Additionally, Nepal has also implemented a rule that obliges climbers to pack out their own waste, including human feces, to prevent the pollution of the mountain.

The new rules come ahead of the 2024 climbing season, which starts in April. Nepal hopes that the tracking chip will help save lives and make Everest a safer and more enjoyable destination for the climbers and the locals alike.

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