Last survivor of Hillary’s Everest summit says mountain is now too dirty, crowded


Last survivor of Hillary’s Everest summit says mountain is now too dirty, crowded
The last surviving member of Sir Edmund Hillary's mountaineering expedition to conquer Mount Everest has spoken about the current conditions on the mountain.

Kanchha Sherpa, 91, was part of the team that helped Hillary and his Sherpa guide Tenzing Norgay become the first to scale the peak in 1953. Since then, over 6000 people have successfully climbed the mountain and reached the summit.

In a new interview, Kanchha spoke about his concerns those making the trip were not respecting the mountain, that is revered by Sherpas. The local Tibetan name for Mount Everest is Qomolangma or “Goddess Mother of the World”.

“It would be better for the mountain to reduce the number of climbers,” Kanchha told AP in Kathmandu on Saturday, “Right now there is always a big crowd of people at the summit.”

Although climbers are expected to carry their rubbish on their return, there is little policing of the rule, leading to piles of waste building up.

“It is very dirty now. People throw tins and wrappings after eating food. Who is going to pick them up now?” Kanchha said. “Some climbers just dump their trash in the crevasse, which would be hidden at that time but eventually it will flow down to base camp as the snow melts and carries them downward.”

He said the mess and lack of care during the summit was disrespectful to “our biggest god”. Kanchha was just 19 when he joined the 1953 Mount Everest expedition team.

Last year, Nepal issued a record 454 permits for the spring climbing season on Mount Everest despite concerns about overcrowding on what is said to be the world’s highest peak. It can take as long as two months to complete the Mount Everest climb.

The Kathmandu Post recently reported Nepal plans to raise the price of a climbing permit for Everest by $4,000 to $15,000 in a bid to streamline mountain tourism and control numbers.


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