Mount Everest is allegedly in a state of disrepair, so much so that it is strewn with garbage and the Nepalese government even take advantage of Sherpas, according to the son of its most famous climber, Tenzing Norgay.
Norbu Tenzing, the son of Norgay who, alongside Sir Edmund Hillary, became one of the first men to ever reach the top of the world’s largest mountain back in 1953, made these startling comments to The Telegraph.
They come off the back off a tragedy last month that saw sixteen Sherpas perish following an avalanche. The group was walking across a treacherous icefall when the disaster struck.
Norbu also added that, because hundreds of people try to climb to the summit every year, queues have formed right at the top of the mountain and rubbish is strewn across the terrain too.
Speaking about his father, Norbu noted, “I don’t think he would have been happy to see the charade that Everest has become today. If he were alive he would be very sad to see how heavily trafficked and desecrated the mountain has become.”
A clearly irate Norbu, who works as the vice-president of the American Himalayan Foundation, continued, “It is a travesty, what has happened to this beautiful mountain. Everest has become a cash cow, where the government takes millions of dollars a year but very little or nothing actually goes back. The business of Everest is all tied to money.”
Norgay, whose father died in 1986, while Sir Edmund lived until 2008, revealed that Sherpas, who are trained to assist climbers up through the high altitudes of the mountain, now “carry Westerners with their luxury tents and their cappuccino machines.”
“What motivates people these days is they want something on their resume,” he continued. “I think the Nepalese government and the local companies are enablers. You can just go to a little shop in Kathmandu and buy your boots and get your permit and off you go. There are no rules.”
Norbu revealed that he thinks his father and Hilary’s generation had “purer” reasons and intentions for making the climb. “People of that generation climbed with the simple hope of going on an adventure,” he explained, ” of doing something no-one had done before.”
“Everybody was working together and the sense of comradeship I think was very unique,” he noted. “The partnership between Hillary and my father symbolised that no matter where you’re from, you can have mutual respect for each other and that’s how they made it to the top.” This is symbolised by the fact that neither climber ever revealed which one of them actually made it to the top first.
[Image via Galyna Andrushko/Shutterstock]