Mountaineers blame Nepal govt’s policy & inexperienced climbers

Neha Basudkar
Wednesday, 29 May 2019

Even as the death toll of mountaineers stuck in ‘human traffic jam’ on Mount Everest reached 11 on Tuesday, city-based mountaineers blamed the social media craze and the Nepal government’s flawed policies for what is turning out to be a deadly summit.

Pune: Even as the death toll of mountaineers stuck in ‘human traffic jam’ on Mount Everest reached 11 on Tuesday, city-based mountaineers blamed the social media craze and the Nepal government’s flawed policies for what is turning out to be a deadly summit.

Experienced mountaineers Ushaprabha Page, Umesh Zirpe and Rishi Yadav felt commercialisation is the main reason for such casualties. 

“The commercial expeditions have increased and climbers are getting permission from the Nepal government very easily,” said 76-year-old Page. “Also people are climbing Mt Everest without any experience after doing the basic course, for fame and records.”

“Since commercial expedition has scaled up, people come from all over the world and they lack mental bonding with each other. This impacts their mental support as they do not get encouragement to climb or finish the summit successfully,” Page added. 

Page has scaled prominent peaks like Mt Chaukhamba (near Gangotri), Mt Leo Pargil, Mt Annapurna and Mt Kailash.

Founder Director of city-based Giripremi Institute Of Mountaineering, Zirpe, said, “Before 1992 there was no such commercialisation and the Nepal Government was not giving permits easily. Only experienced mountaineers used to climb the Nepal Himalayan ranges. But after 1994, the commercial expeditions started.”

“The place where the traffic jam took place on Everest recently was a death zone as it is at a high altitude where the temperature drops to  minus 40 to minus 60 degrees Celsius and the level of oxygen is only one to two per cent. Medical science says nobody can survive with such low oxygen level,”  54-year-old Zirpe, who scaled Mt Everest in 2012 and 2013, added.

Another experienced mountaineer who led the first successful Indian civilian expedition in 1998 from Tibet side, Rishi Yadav, said, “Back then, we never got accurate climate conditions, but we used to successfully summit all the expeditions as only experienced mountaineers used to climb. The success of the mountaineer is to return back safely from the summit.”

“The number of bodies is increasing at higher altitude and they do not decompose. It will surely create problems in the future,” 62-year-old Yadav said. He has summited Mt Kanchenjunga.

​ ​

Related News