First News
Volume:7, Number:49
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THIS WEEK

Are Everest Ascents Too Easy to Fake?

Standing at the top of the 8,848-meter mountain adds a star to a climber’s resume, and many go on to forge careers as motivational speakers and authors. But the growth has diminished the exclusivity of Everest and created a new pressure to summit, particularly for those who have been sponsored or raised money for their climb that has resulted in climbers sometimes offering bribes for authentication of a failed climb. Competition between expedition operators has also created another new pressure as a growing number of cut-price climbing companies have started leading expeditions to Everest. Operators fiercely guard their summit records and there are reports of climbers being handed summit certificates despite not making it to the top so the firm can still claim a perfect success rate. The database has 21 Everest ascents marked as “disputed” and another 18 considered “unrecognized”, meaning it was obvious the climbers had not achieved what they claimed.

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