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Mount Everest - sacred cow or cash cow?

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Should there be a limit on the number of Everest expeditions?

Yes - we should preserve the mystique of this majestic natural feature
No votes
No - they're an important earner for one of the world's poorest countries
No votes
It should be left up to the Nepalese themselves to decide
Total votes : 5

Mount Everest - sacred cow or cash cow?

Postby Dave » Thu 29 May 2003 13:22 GMT

British Expat update 29 May 2003 wrote:Mount Everest is all the rage these days. Slightly ironic that when Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay climbed it back in 1953, Hillary for one thought that there'd be no further interest in it. Instead, it's been climbed by over 1300 people since then, an average of 26 a year - although of course the frequency has increased in recent years, and over 100 people have done it in recent weeks. Meanwhile Base Camp is a permanent tent city (500 of them) with roughly a thousand people living there, and it's possible - if you've got $65,000 to spare - to get two experienced Sherpas to whisk you up even if you're just an average climber. Concern about environmental degradation, as well as the general commercialisation of the mountain, is such that a symposium of mountaineers (a Summit?) is to discuss whether to limit the number of ascents.

Undoubtedly there's pressure on the natural resources in the area: woodcutting is going on at an unsustainable rate even though there's a ban. And in spite of clean-up operations, the amount of debris from past expeditions is still pretty high. On the other hand, the economic and social infrastructure development that's resulted from the inflow of hard currency from tourists - schools, hospitals and piped water supply - has been impressive.
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