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Author Topic: Happy B-day Everest?  (Read 7627 times)

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Happy B-day Everest?
« on: May 29 2003, 20:21 »

Today is is 50 years ago that Sherpa Norgay Tenzing and Sir Edmund Hillary made mountaineering history by setting foot on the highest place on earth.
This fact is being celebrated all over the world, but feelings are mixed.
Is it Everest's b-day today or the 50th anniversary of her death?
Everest, Chomolongma, Sagarmatha, all names for a beautiful place on the border of Tibet and Nepal.

The highest point of Nepal, Tibet, Asia and the world, it attracts mountaineers from all over the planet. Amazing climbing has been done on her slopes, Mallory and Irvine's brave attemps to get to the summit; the first ascent and solo ascent without oxygen by Messner, Junko Tabei was the first woman in 1975, Leszek Cichy's first winter ascent, the opening of the Kangshung face, Babu Sherpa's night on the summit, the first blind climber and many many more.

But Everest has grieved many as well; Hillary lost his wife in a plane crash on the airstrip of Lukla that he had put there himself to make the area more accessible. Many Sherpa's found a way out of poverty due to the climbing scene, but also many died working.

The 1996 disaster costing so many lives was well documented from al angles in many books, but it has not stopped mountaineers and would-be mountaineers from going to the summit.
This year the most deaths occurred when a helicopter crashed into basecamp a few days ago while many dozens of climbers celebrated heir safe return from the summit.

Junko Tabei wants the mountain to be closed, but that seems rather selfish if you have climbed it already and have no interest in doing it again.

Everest is nature, business and much more. there is no simple answer possible to the question about her future.
- Why should westerners decide that Nepal cannot make more money of rich climbers? - Why is commercialism bad?
- On the other hand, why it it nearly impossible for not-so-rich climbers to climb to the summit of the earth?
- Who decides if the Sherpa's are being abused or if they are happy making a lot of money?
- What is fair climbing: with or without oxygen, sherpa's, (fixed)ropes, gloves, gore-tex?
- Why are here so many filmcrews on this sacred mountain? Maybe because humanity is interested?

Mountain climbing as a sport or dream will have to be questioned before we can question Everest.
With the texts above I am trying to exlain that Everest has many faces, not just the ones that have been climbed. I welcome your thoughts on this issue.

My best wishes for Sir Edmund Hillary and the realtives of late Sherpa Tenzing Norgay. You can be proud of what you did, you can not be accounted for whatever may have gone wrong afterwards.

Happy B-day to all people and places that show respect to oneanother. I hope that Everest will remain the great place is has always been.
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"He who climbs upon the highest mountains laughs at all tragedies, real or imaginary." -- Friedrich Nietzsche

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First Everest conqueror wants limit on ascents
« Reply #1 on: Jun 3 2003, 03:22 »

05/28/03 Laurinda Keys  Associated Press as found on Clevrland.com
Katmandu, Nepal - Sir Edmund Hillary and other Mount Everest pioneers suggested yesterday that the world's tallest peak deserves a rest after a half century of more than 1,300 climbers scaling its slopes.
Hillary, 83, was guest of honor at a parade marking 50 years since he and his Sherpa guide, Tenzing Norgay, became the first people to reach the summit of the 29,035-foot peak.
"I have suggested to the Nepal government that they should stop giving permission and give the mountain a rest for a few years," Hillary said.
Other veteran climbers suggested limiting the number of expeditions.

"Only two or three teams should be allowed in a season to climb Everest," said Junko Tabei, 64, of Japan, the first woman to reach the summit.

But the Sherpas who earn their living guiding adventurers to the highest point on earth oppose any reduction in permits.

"There are thousands of people in the region who solely depend on the trekkers and mountaineers for their income. If they don't come, these people and their families will starve," said Ang Phurba, a Sherpa guide.

Nepalese officials said they have no immediate plans to close down the mountain that brings much-needed income to this undeveloped Himalayan kingdom. Climbers are welcome as long as they are willing to pay, said Damodar Rana, executive vice president of the Everest Golden Jubilee Committee.

Each team of seven climbers pays a royalty of $70,000 to the Nepalese government.

A record number of people are climbing Everest this month to mark the 50th anniversary of the first successful climb.

There are an average of 12 teams on the mountain each spring. This year there have been twice that number, with more than 137 people reaching the summit in the past week alone, Nepal's tourism board said.

Reinhold Messner, an Italian who was the first to climb Everest without bottled oxygen, pleaded at a news conference yesterday for the government to allow only one expedition per route each season.
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"He who climbs upon the highest mountains laughs at all tragedies, real or imaginary." -- Friedrich Nietzsche

Asim Gupta

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Re:Happy B-day Everest?
« Reply #2 on: Jun 12 2003, 10:13 »

The celebration on the eve of 50 years of the first ever victory of the Mount Everest peak on 29th May, 1953 by Sir Edmund Hillari & Tenzing Norgay should be termed as a Victory celebration. A mountain can’t have a specific birth day , since it was formed not in one day but through million of years. So is the case with Everest. However standing on the threshold of this victory celebration one has to deeply think about the future of this beautiful mysterious wonder of the world in view of continuous expedition by crowds of people every year. This is destroying the ecological balance of the surrounding area through pollution by strewn dead bodies in hundreds, spent oxygen bottles, left out gears of expedition people & bio degradable materials. Continuous trod ding of the mountain faces by thousands of boots  spoiling it’s natural beauty & shining glory, global warming due to presence of so many people at a stretch through out the year causing increased erosion of glaciers. This in turn may cause flash floods in the down below & destroy the human habitation & cultivation to start with & followed by large scale damage in the reduction of water levels  for our big perennial rivers in the time to come.
Hence when eminent & experienced mountaineers like Edmund Hillari, Junko Tabei or Reinhold Messner appeal for the temporary suspension of the continuous expedition to Everest, it has to be thought in the right perspective by all conscious human kind. It shouldn’t be thought as any of their idea to restrict the entry of people to the top of the world due to their personal interest but on the broader perspective of preserving this marvel God’s gift to humanity.
Why everything has to be made a business & in doing so we also don’t have the right to destroy it for business sake. Today Everest climbing is not a matter of devotion & dedication by determined, mentally & physically strong  mountaineers as practiced in the early years. Now a days wealthy people are spending lots of Dollars after the sponsored tours organized by professional tour agencies for traveling to Everest & they made it almost a picnic spot for these people. This dangerous trend of taking untrained & under trained people in climbing already caused tragic accident in 1996 & this may cause further such accidents in future.
Why people are rushing mostly through standard south col & north col  route most of the time. This is due to the fact that enormous facilities for food, accommodation , modern communication & entertainment made these routes quiet easy & with little luck & favorable weather climbing Everest peak has become quiet easy. Why people are not trying the unconventional routes like the South West face, Kangshung face & other variants. This is because real mountaineers are not finding any charm in climbing standard route & they are not taking chance for difficult routes.
In India, Nepal & adjoining countries sages & hermits used to go to the various remote places in Himalayas from the earlier days for worshipping god & people consider Himalaya & to that extent Everest & other peaks in profound respect as it is considered still a place for the gods & goddess. However it became difficult for us to arrange for such costly expedition in private sector & even in Government sector due to financial crunches. Still Indian mountaineering people carried out expedition to Everest right from 1961 & quiet a number of climbers achieved the rare distinction of reaching the top. However this is really difficult for developing countries to arrange for such costly expeditions to Everest.
Sherpas are generally poor community & they are used as guides & porters by various expedition agencies. Still they are considered absolutely essential for the success of any expedition. Although they are dependant on this touring season of Everest & other adjoining peaks in Himalaya, but are the foreign agencies aware about the exploitation of these people in fixing their rates for various jobs. Still they are quiet low & it is strongly felt that this type of exploitation is not possible in other foreign climbing areas for hiring such type of people. Hence who is thinking about this essential but neglected & exploited community. Well famed sherpa climbers like Apa Sherpa, Lakpa sherpa  expressed such type of sentiments during their recent interviews after record breaking performance in this year.
As regards the term fair climbing ,it varies from person to person & it also depends upon their mental & physical capacity. What George Mallory or Reinhold Messner felt for climbing Everest without oxygen was completely thought otherwise by  people like John Hunt during 1953 expedition & Hillari & Tenzing had to use oxygen during their victory expedition. But people consider Mallory, Messner & like minded people in high esteem due to their ethics, mental & physical ability. When Americans used Rocket launchers during their Kangshung expedition in 1983 for achieving their target , many people & organization denounced them.
People are not considering this mountain as sacred any more & hence all sorts of light entertaining things are being taken at the top & so follows the film crews & video people now a days. After coming back they would make a full film & sell it in a high price. That’s why the 1996 worst tragedy in the history of Everest was filmed & Imax film was also produced which was sold at a high price. But what about the human lives that succumbed to that day’s storm fury , how many people remember them. How many people remembered the fateful ending of great guide & mountaineer Scott Fischer & Rob Hall on that fateful day & recount them today.
One thing has to be understood. Everything like Everest can’t be commercialized. If people try to do the same they will simply lose Everest in its glory & magnanimity. It will turn into an ordinary mountain & full of filth & rubbish all-round, with various types of shops, restaurants, video parlors emitting huge sound in the surrounding. All sorts of pollution thriving at the top of the world. Oh God! I must die before that.
Hence I appeal to the whole world mountain loving community to come forward with concrete ideas & implementing steps to save our crowning glory Mount Everest from extinction.
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trunl

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Re:Happy B-day Everest?
« Reply #3 on: Oct 8 2003, 20:47 »

as much as i hate to say it everest commercialism has to be. it has become so expensive to climb the mountain that climbers must find a way to fund this. commmercialism is the answer

Also, about the everest b-day (or death day), i think that everest has just been a piece of rock until it was climbed for the first time 50 years ago, then everyone could look at everest and go 'wow, thats the tallest mountain in the world'
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