Monday, July 22, 2024

‘Crowd Control’ needed says Everest Pioneer


Mount Everest, once conquered by the pioneering climbers of 1953, is now described as “very dirty” and excessively crowded by Kanchha Sherpa, the sole survivor of that historic expedition.

The mountain, revered by Sherpas as Qomolangma or the goddess mother of the world, sees a constant influx of tourists each year, a trend Mr. Sherpa believes should be curbed to preserve its sanctity.

Having summited Everest during its initial conquest, Mr. Sherpa reflects on the transformation of the peak. He notes the alarming increase in climbers, with 667 successfully reaching the summit in the spring of 2023 alone. Concerns about littering have escalated as the number of climbers has grown, yet authorities remain reluctant to limit climbing permits.

Despite regulations mandating climbers to carry their waste back down the mountain, Mr. Sherpa observes a lack of effective enforcement. He highlights the disregard some climbers show by discarding trash in crevasses, which eventually finds its way to the base camp as snow melts.

Mr. Sherpa emphasizes the significance of preserving the mountain’s purity, referring to it as a sacred deity deserving of reverence. Recalling his role in assisting Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay in their historic ascent, he underscores the importance of responsible stewardship of Everest.

The legacy of Mr. Sherpa’s expedition lives on, as the route they forged from the base camp to the summit remains a vital pathway for climbers, albeit with annual adjustments to the section traversing the treacherous Khumbu Icefall.