KATHMANDU - Nepal will cut climbing fees for Mount Everest to lure more mountaineers to the world's highest peak, already overcrowded during the peak climbing season.
Hundreds of foreign climbers, each paying thousands of dollars, flock to the 8,850-metre (29,035 feet) Everest summit during the main climbing season stretching from March to May.
Under existing rules, Nepal charges $25,000 per climber as a licence fee, or royalty. But a group of seven people can secure a permit for $70,000, a practice officials say encourages climbers to form big groups.
Tourism Ministry official Tilakram Pandey said each climber will be charged $11,000 from next year to end the practice.
"The change in royalty rates will discourage artificially formed groups, where the leader does not even know some of the members in him own team," Pandey said.
"It will promote responsible and serious climbers."