Everest is Rubbish – Roeland Van Oss

After his second rotation up to Camp 3 this week, Roeland Van Oss gave his thoughts on some of the negatives of climbing Everest this year.

“After our days of sickness we finally felt fit again and we made our way up to camp 2. First we stayed one night in camp 1, after that three nights in camp 2 at around 6400m. On the third day we managed to climb up to camp 3 at 7000m, touch it and descent back to camp 2. An amazing rotation, so directly after being so ill.

“Being up there was exactly what I needed. I think climbing Everest is a crazy thing and less romantic than it sounds. Basecamp is at 5300m with about 1000 people….of which more than half is not tested for covid and doesn’t really believe in it. It’s cold during the nights and a great part of the day, the toilet is a hole in the ground and it snows almost every day a little bit. I feel tired on my rest days and have to work very hard to get to the higher camps.

“Many ‘climbers’ we meet on the mountain have hardly any experience , Sherpas do the work (and get hardly any credit…), climbers fly with the heli to a lower village to rest and they use oxygen. There is much rubbish on our way to C2 and nobody seems to pick it up… And on Facebook ‘Everest bloggers’ seem to dominate the Everest news, although much of what they say is only partially true….

“This is the reality and I have to accept it. Everyone is allowed his or hers way of climbing and we should respect that, although I don’t agree with everything and I have a different view of what climbing should be. These things make me realize that the best thing to do is to stand by my own beliefs: I can not change these things, I can only do what feels right for me and stick to it. I can climb in my own style and pick up as much rubbish as I can carry; we can do our best and see how far we get, and with that set an example.”