Kathmandu - A
South African who was detained in Nepal for trying to climb Mount
Everest without a permit was released on bail on Monday after paying a $10
Ryan Sean Davy, 43, spent six days in police custody after being
caught hiding in a cave near Everest base camp without the permit
costing $11 000 needed to climb the world's tallest mountain.
He was arrested during questioning under Nepal's strict public order
laws for swearing at tourism officials - allegations he denies.
"I paid them 1 000 rupees ($10). That's what I had in my pocket,"
Davy told AFP at the Kathmandu district office, where he was brought for
the bail hearing.
The South African, who has no prior mountaineering experience, said
he could not afford the hefty permit fee but wanted to scale Everest and
document his experience in a book and film.
He still faces charges related to his summit attempt, which carries a
maximum $22 000 fine - double the cost of the permit he was trying to
"The decision against him is in process but once the government
decides the fine amount, he can pay and collect his passport," Dinesh
Bhattarai, head of the tourism department, told AFP.
"We are looking at the laws to decide on action against him if he fails to pay."
Davy has said he cannot afford the fine.
When caught two weeks ago the South African told officials he climbed
as far as Camp One - at 6 000 metres (nearly 20 000 feet) - despite
not having proper equipment.
His passport was confiscated by government officials, who ordered he
return to Kathmandu to collect it and pay a fine - a journey he made by
foot because he could not afford a plane ticket.
Johannesburg-born but US-based, Davy moved to Aspen in Colorado six
months ago to prepare for his Everest bid, living out of a van as he was
short on cash.
He said he taught himself to climb by reading mountaineering books and watching YouTube videos.
Davy said that had he reached the Everest summit he planned to cross
to the Tibet side of the mountain - a move that would have landed him
in trouble with Chinese authorities as well.