Last month 13-year old American Jordan Romero climbed Mt. Everest amidst a flurry of media coverage and controversy, with many debating the wisdom of letting a boy his age climb the world’s highest mountain. At the time, Romero was forced to climb from the Chinese controlled Tibetan side of the mountain, as Nepal has a strict age requirement that forbids anyone under the age of 16 from making the attempt. China had no such restrictions in place, and as a result Romero and his team were able to proceed with their successful expedition.
This week the China-Tibet Mountaineering Association made a move to block future climbs such as Jordan’s. The CTMA, which is in charge of issuing permits to climb Everest’s North Side, has amended its requirements to now include age limits, both on the high and low end. The new regulations say that all climbers wishing to climb on the Tibetan side of the mountain must now be between the ages of 18 and 60. The move marks the first time that there have been a maximum age restriction placed on either side of Everest.
Those that fall outside of that age range have been given a slight glimmer of hope however, as the CTMA has said that they will consider other climbers, both older and younger, if they can provide sufficient proof of their good health. This move is likely to have the most impact on older climbers though, as officials have said they will not consider anyone under the age of 16 at all, matching Nepal’s age restriction.
In case you’re wondering, the oldest Everest climber ever is Min Bahadur Sherchan, who reached the summit at the age of 76 back in 2008.