Nepal is to open up an army and police base at the foot of Everest to help prevent brawls between teams of climbers.

The base will open in April at the mountain's base camp as the climbing season gets underway, to prevent a repeat of the incident last year in which a fight broke out between a group of European mountaineers and sherpas at 24,508ft.

The sherpas claim the fight started when the climbers ignored requests to pause their ascent and caused icefall that struck them when they were laying fixed ropes. The climbers deny this.

Nepali tourism ministry official Dipendra Poude said that the team will also contain tourism officials, and will help clean the mountains, aid climbers in distress, and enforce climbing rules, as hundreds of climbers now attempt the ascent every year.

As the slopes become more crowded, some have complained of bottlenecks in parts of the ascent causing queues that can take over two hours to clear.

In a single day in 2012, 234 climbers reached the peak of the mountain. In contrast, almost two decades earlier the most successful ascents in one day stood at eight.

Since Everest was first successfully scaled by Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay in 1953, more than 3,000 people have reached the summit.