Nepal launches probe into famed climber Nirmal Purja over false Everest rope-cutting claims

Nepal launches probe into famed climber Nirmal Purja over false Everest rope-cutting claims

Kathmandu : The Nepal Tourism Board is set to investigate mountaineer Nirmal Purja after he allegedly spread rumors that ropes were cut during the Spring 2024 Everest climbing season, creating issues for climbers. Purja had posted videos on Instagram claiming that the rope balcony and the section between the South Summit were severed during his Everest summit push this spring, causing difficulties. 

Initial investigations by the board found Purja's claims to be false and an attempt to defame mountain tourism in Nepal. The board has initiated proceedings against Purja and others involved in disseminating unauthorized information.

A public notice issued by the board on Monday stated that claims by Purja referencing a radio conversation with Babu Sherpa of Peak Promotion that their rope fixing team had to turn back due to cut ropes were incorrect.

Despite Purja's allegations, the Pioneer Adventure team successfully summited Everest on Monday morning at 12:45 am. The board clarified that the ropes fixed this season on the route mentioned by Purja were intact and summiters faced no issues.  

An emergency meeting of expedition operators in Nepal drew serious concerns over Purja's actions tarnishing the country's mountain tourism image, with the fixed ropes found to be undamaged.
As all Everest expeditions this spring are in the final stages and no rope issues have been reported, the board has urged remaining climbers to proceed confidently with their summit pushes.

Purja has previously been embroiled in controversies in Nepal. An explosion at his company's office in Kapan resulted in a worker's death, and the landlord is yet to receive compensation, a case that reached the courts. Although dual nationality is prohibited in Nepali law, Purja held a British citizenship while retaining his Nepali nationality until the issue was reported by, after which he renounced his Nepali citizenship.

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