Ascending to the Everest- now a mere sporting activity

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Ascending to the Everest summit was once an aspiring dream. Mountaineering needs very special training, experience and skills along with one’s ability to practice the art of mountaineering and this was possible to obtain from any of the five mountaineering institutes in India.

Around 250-300 mountaineers were waiting patiently in a route clogged on their way to the Mount Everest that caused delay of about three hours on Wednesday.

Mount Everest recorded one its busiest days on May 22, as mountaineers were seen clogged by a single-file march as a result of a good weather that led them to push towards the summit. Mountaineers were queued to the top of the mountain in an area known as ‘deadzone’.

Amid this congestion, it resulted to the death of four climbers after a long wait at 8000 m. Two among them were Indians, one Nepali and one Austrian.

However, mountaineering today has become lucratively commercial. The travel agent organizes all the logistics along with a Sherpa who directs the mountaineer in every step. This year the Himalayan nation ‘Nepal’ along with China has permitted more than 800 mountaineers. Nepal has issued a record of 381 permits costing $11,000 each for this year’s spring climbing season which triggered bottlenecks en route to the summit after poor weather cut down the number of climbing days.

Assam girl Anangsha Alomyan, a 24 year old travel vlogger who undertakes numerous trekking expeditions to the Himalayas often, is of the view that mountaineering today has become very much commercialised. With the easy availability of tour packages to the Everest, people have started taking the expedition more sportingly and with such huge number of people climbing the Everest every passing year has not only resulted in deaths but also lead to the deterioration of the ecological balance of the mountain. On a summit day when the weather condition permits reaching the Everest peak, hundreds of mountaineers line up to access the fixed ropes and cross the last obstacle before reaching the summit. However, while waiting for their turn to move up the clogged queue, mountaineers waste huge amount of oxygen and this leads to drop their body temperature along with physical strength which results in frostbite and mountain sickness and ultimately deaths.

It has become very essential to think over who are being felicitated or funded in the name of reaching to the summit. People should understand the art of mountaineering and practice independent safe climbing rather than depending on any external arrangement.

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