Climber Assaulted on Mount Everest for Attempting Summit Without a Permit

An incident between a group of Tibetan guides and a Chinese climber threatens to raise tensions further in the region.

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Tim Chong / Reuters

Mount Everest, the world highest peak, and other peaks of the Himalayan range are seen from air during a mountain flight from Kathmandu.

It takes a truly bold adventurer to hike up Mount Everest solo. But only the boldest explorers attempt the trek without a permit. That’s what an unnamed Chinese climber tried to do last month, but he paid the price when he was a few thousand feet from reaching the summit.

Climbing Everest is an incredibly pricey endeavor. A permit alone can cost at least $25,000. Still, most climbers don’t skip out on this step, but when a group of Tibet Mountaineering Guide School (TMGS) graduates noticed an unnamed Chinese climber keeping to himself and camping alone, they became suspicious, Outside magazine reports. And indeed, they found that he hadn’t acquired the necessary permit. Though details remain hazy, the grads — who’d been working as rope fixers — confronted the climber and allegedly subdued him, bound his hands and marched him back down to the base.

(PHOTOS: Sir Edmund Hillary: First Ascent of Mount Everest)

“It was disgraceful,” a British climber, who asked to remain anonymous, told Outside. “They literally kicked him down the ropes. It was a disgusting example of a pack of bullies egging each other on and literally beating him down the hill. It was absolutely unnecessary as he was offering no resistance and was scared out of his mind.  The Tibetans should, and could, have just escorted him down the hill and let the authorities deal with him.”

Another onlooker, Kari Kobler, told Outside that the Tibetan men dropped the Chinese climber “like a rucksack with an oxygen tank.” Kobler filmed the scene, though he doesn’t plan to release the footage. Kobler suspects the incident could further inflame tensions between Tibetans and Chinese already running high over the ongoing self-immolations by Tibetan monks in protest over China’s occupation of their homeland. It remains unclear what exactly happened to the permitless climber, but he did survive the attack and walked off the mountain shortly thereafter.

MORE: Climbing Mount Everest Costs More Than a Sports Car 


In November 2012, I did the 14day trek to Mount Everest base camp. I decided not to go with an organised group / tour, and had a Nepalese guide recommended to me through someone on Trip Advisor. My reason not to go with one of the large organised company, is that I wanted to ensure the money went all the the Nepalese people - who work so hard. If you use Nepalese company / guides - it is cheaper and the big companies are not taking a big cut.

The guide I was recommended was Sanjib Adhikari, or you can reach him on, was a great guide. He has been doing treks for the last10+ years, and speaks very good english. He arranged everything exactly how I wanted, he gave me good advice before getting to Nepal and on of course on the trek.

When I got sick with what we thought was altitude sickness, but turned out to be food poisoning, he was fantastic, he looked after me and ensure I did the right thing to get better. We made it to Base camp, and I don't think I would have done it without his direction and guidance. I would highly recommend him.

You have alot more flexibility going with a Nepalese guide than an organised group. The organised group walk to the slowest person, which is frustrating for people who are faster, and pressure for those who are slow and feel like they are holding up the group. I had the most magical once in a life time trip. Please feel free to contact me about the trip or Sanjib.