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At 29,029 feet (8,848 meters), Mount Everest is the world's tallest peak and an irresistible and (and sometimes deadly) draw for mountain climbers from all over the planet. It's also a place of political turmoil and intrigue, straddling the border of China and Nepal, which offer up different regulations for would-be adventurers. In late December 2017, Nepal's newest set of rules came under fire from some quarters for banning blind, amputee, and solo climbers. The Nepalese tourism ministry tweaked the regulations in what it says is an effort to curb fatalities on the legendary slopes, which are steep, shifty, and so high that most climbers need supplemental oxygen to reach the summit. The moves would also create jobs for locals to act as guides for solo climbers. Some suspect that the new rules may be a ham-handed way to limit the ever-burgeoning crowds that now flood the slopes during the climbing season, which lasts for just a short time each year (mostly April and May) due to severe weather. Human waste, litter, and bottlenecks on narrow slopes make Everest look more like a packed movie theater queue than a wilderness journey on some days. Adventurer and author Brian Dickinson summited Everest in 2011. "Over the past few decades Everest has had some bad press based on unqualified climbers," he says. "Nepal is struggling to find an answer on how to control who should and shouldn't climb, but they are focusing on the wrong demographic. They probably feel that others seeing blind and disabled climbers attempting the mountain makes the climb appear doable for anyone."