South African Everest permit dodger arrested
KATMANDU: A South African who attempted to climb Mount Everest without permission has been arrested in Nepal where he faces a $22,000 fine — double the cost of the permit he was trying to avoid.
Ryan Sean Davy handed himself in to authorities in Katmandu after being caught last week hiding in a cave near Everest’s base camp without a permit.
The 43-year-old began swearing and threatening officials from the tourism department during questioning and was arrested under Nepal’s strict public order laws, Tourist Police Inspector Tulasha Khatiwada said.
He is now in custody and will appear in court next week to face charges related to his Everest attempt and possible additional offenses over his conduct during the investigation.
“He will be fined and deported as per the Tourism Act of Nepal. He may face further penalty for misbehaving with the police,” director of the tourism department Dinesh Bhattarai said.
Foreigners have to pay the Nepal government $11,000 for permission to climb the 8,848-meter (29,029-foot) peak — a major earner for the impoverished country.
Under Nepali law, climbers caught without the mandatory permit are fined $22,000.
Davy could also be blacklisted from the Himalayan nation for five years, or face a 10-year climbing ban when he appears in court next week.
The South African — who describes himself on social media as a film director and producer — was caught a short distance from Everest base camp and ordered off the mountain.
He had pitched a tent away from the other climbers to try and dodge government officials who monitor all Everest ascents.
He told officials he had climbed alone as far as camp two — at 6,400 meters — to acclimatize in preparation for a solo summit bid.
The officials confiscated his passport and instructed him to return to Katmandu to collect it.
Davy said he couldn’t afford to fly and would instead walk.