Is it a bad thing the world is becoming more accessible?

Is it a bad thing the world is becoming more accessible?

Today is the 60th anniversary of the first ascent of Everest by Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay. I expect there will be quite a few editorial pieces published today reflecting on how the mountain has changed in the intervening years. I expect most of them will lament the changes as a bad thing, but I’m going to adopt a slightly different stance in this post.

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Everest is not for climbers – you’re joking aren’t you!

Everest is not for climbers – you’re joking aren’t you!

There’s nothing like a negative Everest story to trigger a flurry of publishing absurdity. For example, some people say Everest has now become so crowded with commercial expeditions there is no longer any room for real climbers, an argument that can be easily refuted with a single photograph.

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Everest by the Venables Direct Route

Everest by the Venables Direct Route

In 1988 a ragtag quartet of mountaineers from the USA, Canada and the UK made one of Everest’s most intrepid ascents, and last Thursday I had the good fortune of attending a lecture at the Royal Geographical Society in London celebrating the 25th anniversary of their climb.

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