In this opinion piece for Telegraph Travel I argue that Mount Everest should be left alone and that Western climbers are having a negative impact on the tallest mountain on the planet.
For many adventurous souls, climbing Everest is both a topographical and existential pinnacle – and a few years ago I too harboured ambitions of one day reaching its icy peak. At least that was until I started to research the finer details; dozens-deep queues to the summit, thousands of empty gas canisters, scuffles between climbers, and frozen corpses. Would an ascent have provided anything more than a massaging of my white, middle class ego?
The mountaineer George Mallory famously rebuked a cheeky reporter in 1923 that dared to question his ambitions to reach the summit of Everest with three immortal words: “because it’s there.” But almost a century later, with Nepal desperately in need of sustained, considered tourism, as opposed to fleeting trophy hunters eating imported freeze-dried rations in tents, do George Mallory’s words have any modern relevance? Moreover, how many exhausted “adventurers” do we need to see clutching union jacks before we just get a bit… bored.
You can read the full article here.
April 4, 2018