A South African man who was caught earlier this month climbing Mt. Everest without an $11,000 permit was arrested in Kathmandu, Nepal, this week, according to reports.
Filmmaker Ryan Sean Davy, 43, had his passport confiscated and was told to report to the capital city of Kathmandu after a tourism official spotted him climbing alone near the Everest Base Camp without the required permit in early May, The New York Times reported.
Foreign climbers are required to purchase a $11,000 permit to to climb Mt. Everest, just a drop in the bucket of what a mountaineer will spend on training, a guide, and support for their arduous journey to the summit.
Davy wrote in a Facebook post on May 8 that when he arrived to Base Camp it became clear that he didn't have enough money for a solo permit.
"I was ashamed that I couldn't afford the permit after all the help, preparation and what everybody had done for me during my training, it would have been a total embarrassment to turn around and accept defeat because of a piece of paper," he said. "So I took a chance and spent the little money, I had on more gear to climb and practice on the surrounding peaks for acclimatizing in preparing for a stealth entry onto Everest."
Davy said in a Facebook post that he climbed 24,000 feet alone, before government officials spotted him.
"Expedition companies have no time for wannabe Everesters with no money so someone turned me in," he said. "I was harassed at basecamp to a point that I honestly thought I was going to get stoned to death right there."
Davy was low on cash after he was reprimanded by tourism officials, so he traveled from the mountain's base camp to the capital city to turn himself in mostly on foot, the BBC reported.
"He is in good [health] although worried about his finances and the scale of the punishment he will receive," Davy's Nepalese friend Mohan Gyawali told the BBC.
Davy said in the Facebook post he expects to face jail time and steep fines for his solo climb.
The New York Times reported that Davy could be fined up to $22,000, twice what he would have paid for a permit.
Despite the setback, on May 16, Davy posted again on Facebook apologizing to those who supported him and vowing to return to Everest.
"I'm really sorry again for all those who lost faith in me for not achieving my goal but rest assured, I will find a way to finish it," he said.
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