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Wednesday May 9, 2018 - Email this article to a friend

Two American climbers who skied down the Lhotse Face of Everest, failed to obtain skiing permits, claims Department of Tourism.



Two American climbers who are part of a twin research study conducted by NASA, decided to get in a quick Everest ski without getting the correct paperwork.

Willie Benegas and Matt Moniz reportedly skied down the Lhotse Face from 7,200m to 6,400m on May 2, without obtaining a ski permit from the authorities.

According to officials at the Department of Tourism their descent from Camp 3 to Camp 2 on Mount Everest last week, was illegal.

The pair only had an Everest climbing permit, moreover they had also failed to pay the garbage deposit required.

According to Ram Prasad Sapkota, director at the Department of Tourism, “The duo only obtained Everest climbing permit and their ski attempt was illegal."

He continued, "Climbers shall pay US$1,000 as royalty to obtain ski permit while the ski team must have a liaison officer to monitor their activities in the mountains and the ski team also needs to deposit US$500 as garbage management fee at the DoT.”

Benegas and Moniz may have faced a ban from the country for five years and from mountaineering in the region for up to ten years.

However, it appears the situation has been resolved.

In 2017, South African Ryan Davy was fined by the Nepalese authorities after trying to climb Mount Everest without a permit.

He was caught, deported and banned from climbing in Nepal for five years by the Nepal authorities - More 2017 Everest stories here.

When questioned on why they didn't get the correct paperwork, Willie Benegas commented on Instagram, it was a communication error.

"We have been working in Nepal for 22 years and we always followed the rules and regulations from DoT. We have always pursuit the safety and worked really hard to keep the mountain safe- risked our life’s to safe others."

"This was a simple miscommunication between our local agency and the DoT and a newspaper that for the sake of a headline decided on writing alternative facts instead of the real fact- even if in the process we where attacked- but is often said in Nepal “ke garne” we will keep working to help the people of Nepal and we will keep risking our life’s to keep this mountain safe!"

On 28th April, Moniz posted the following video on facebook where the pair clearly mentioned their intention to ski the Lhotse Face.

While skiing from Camp 3 down to Camp 2, Benegas and Moniz paused to film the brief video we feature below.

In the video they comment they had a couple of good turns but found the experience hard and very tiring.

The duo said, "Well after 10 years dreaming about it, it happen! Managed to ski from Camp 3 Everest 7,200 meters to Camp 2 6.400m."

"Not much of difficulty but definitely good eyes needed to read the terrain, catching a ice patch will be a bad thing to happen!"

Matt Moniz and Willie Benegas reached Camp 3 then skied the Lhotse Face from C3BenegasMatt Moniz and Willie Benegas reached Camp 3 then skied the Lhotse Face from C3














The twin study being conducted with NASA is comparing astronaut Scott Kelly's body functions in space to those of his twin brother back on Earth.

Willie Benegas and Matt Moniz are part of a further comparitive twin study, they are spending a month on Everest to see the difference between them and their twin siblings who are at sea level during the same period - Further detail on the NASA twin study here.

To complete their NASA study, Moniz and Benegas plan to push for the summit around the middle of May.

willie_benegas_and_matt_moniz_500Willie Benegas and Matt Moniz -




















Matt Moniz - Products are incredibly well designed, lots of attention to detail. Looking forward to the new kit on Everest this season.Matt Moniz - "Products are incredibly well designed, lots of attention to detail. Looking forward to the new kit on Everest this season." (Facebook)
















Skiing down the Lhotse Face has been attempted in previous years:

1970 - Japanese speed skier Yuichiro Miura

2006 - Kit DesLauriers, Rob DesLauriers and Jimmy Chin

2011 - Chris Davenport skier and adventurer

British attempts to summit Everest in 2018:

Olympic gold medallist, 37, Victoria Pendleton, was evacuated off Everest after her recent attempt to climb Mount Everest with TV adventurer Ben Fogle.

Mountaineer and multiple Everest summiter, Kenton Cool, is back again.

Ex-British Slopestyle Skiing champion, and former Masterchef contestant, Dave White, made it to the top of the hazardous North Col for the Snow-Camp Charity that we wrote about here.

See here for the main PlanetSKI news page with all the latest stories from the mountains.

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