Everest: Man held for bid to scale peak without a permit

Ryan Sean Davy in the Himalayas Image copyright Ryan Sean Davy/Facebook
Image caption Mr Davy says that he was trying to climb Everest solo at the time he was detained by officials

A man who tried to climb Mount Everest without paying the $11,000 (£8,510) permit fee has been detained after being caught by officials and told to expect a heavy fine.

South African Ryan Sean Davy, 43, says he climbed alone to a height of 7,300m (24,000ft) before being found hiding in a cave.

He has apologised but complained of being treated "like a murderer".

It is extremely rare for someone to attempt climbing Everest by themselves.

The overwhelming majority of climbers only tackle the highest mountain in the world with the help of at least one guide and a well-equipped support team at base camp.

Nepal relies heavily on income generated from Everest expeditions.

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Media captionThe dangers of Mount Everest

A tourism ministry official told the BBC Mr Davy had tried to escape two government climbing officers on Friday who saw him near the base camp. They followed him to an isolated camp that he had set up in a cave to avoid being spotted.

The official said they had confiscated his passport on suspicion of not having an Everest permit and ordered him to go to the capital Kathmandu, where his paperwork could be reclaimed from the tourism department. But so far, the official added, Mr Davy has failed to present himself.

Image copyright AFP
Image caption Few other climbers attempt to climb Mount Everest on their own

"He was telling us that he didn't have enough money so he would take the trekking route to reach Kathmandu," the official said.

"Although we don't know where exactly he is now we do know he's breached the law and needs to face legal consequences."

Mr Davy said on Facebook: "Expedition companies have no time for wannabe Everesters with no money so someone turned me in."

He said he had been "harassed at base camp to a point that I honestly thought I was going to get stoned to death right there".

"I was treated like a murderer," he wrote.

Image copyright AFP
Image caption Few other climbers attempt to climb Mount Everest on their own

The climber said he could expect to spend time in jail in addition to a fine of $22,000.

He said he was ashamed at not being able to not afford the permit after all the help he had received from family and supporters during his training.

Now his "stealth entry on to Everest" had been thwarted, he said, he could ask for forgiveness from "a lot of people who are really upset" with him.

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