This year, hundreds of high altitude climbers will be making their way to Kathmandu, Nepal to scale the south side of Mount Everest, the world’s tallest peak. And for the first time, the Nepalese government will require several climbers to keep GPS locators on them for the entirety of their climb. If this pilot project is successful, Nepal may require all Everest summit-seekers to carry GPS. The government hopes that these GPS devices could help rescuers locate climbers more precisely in case of an emergency.
Other climbers hope the addition of GPS trackers will stop people from falsely claiming to have summited the 29,035-foot mountain. All that is needed to prove to mountaineering authorities is a photo of you on the summit and confirmation from your team’s liaison officer, who are often not on the mountain.
Last year an Indian couple claimed to have summited Everest and received all the official certificates, however, it was later determined the photo had been altered; this was a huge embarrassment to the Nepalese mountaineering authorities.
After this year’s GPS pilot project, the Neplase government will decide whether or not to require GPS for all climbers.