My post a couple of days ago about the first Sri Lankan to climb Everest sparked an interesting discussion about these climbs. Would you like to see what it is like to get to the top of Mount Everest but think it’s too damn dangerous? Well, you can follow the trek taken by most climbers to get to the summit and, once you get there, have a 3D view of the world below you.
The video pauses at the place where in 2014, 16 Sherpas were killed in an ice avalanche. The video has been cleaned up to get rid of images and signs of the many people who died on the trek and whose bodies remain on the slopes. Rob Beschizza links to them if you want to see those gruesome aspects. I don’t recommend it but climbers pass them on their trek, which must be a deeply sobering experience. There have been calls for a moratorium on summit ascents until a concerted international effort is made to recover all these bodies and to clean up all the trash that climbers leave behind.
What surprised me was that there was less snow than I expected, even allowing for the fact that climbs take place when it is summer in the northern hemisphere. While I enjoyed the video experience of the climb, it makes the climb look easy and I worry that weekend hikers may think, “Hey, I could do that!” and lead to yet more tragedies. Leaving intact the images of the dead that you would see along the way might be a reminder of how dangerous the climb actually is but would too macabre for most people to stomach.