Strife fails to halt climbers

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For Everest climbers, some of whom have paid up to £40,000, running the gauntlet of civil strife is something they are prepared to put up with.

So are trekkers and climbers with less ego-massaging objectives, despite a British Foreign Office warning against all but essential travel to Nepal. This insouciant approach has been evident over several years as the Maoist insurgency has steadily undermined other tourism in Nepal.

While Indians are no longer visiting Kathmandu's casinos in numbers and temple sightseeing is off limits, trekkers and climbers have kept coming. The difficulty since the Foreign Office warning is that travel insurance can become invalid.

Tourists have not been targeted by the rebels, though away from the Khumbu region trekkers have often been held up at gunpoint and ordered to pay a "tax" to the local Maoist administration.