Each year you pay some fee ($10 for this gator tag), are entered into a lottery. If are not issued a tag you receive a preference point. If you are issued a tag you get the tag, go back to 0 points. Some states use points as tickets in a drawing system, and some use the points as levels, e.g. all 5 pointers get tags, then 4 pointers, and so on until you run into the first "less tags than people" level at which point you do a drawing.
I love the idea of adding in a volunteering component to help improve the area.
You have to pay money, then become a janitor just for a chance.
If you're thinking of climbing Everest: just don't. Climb some other mountain. There are lots of them. Let's leave this one be.
I wonder if a lot of these appeals for people to stop climbing Everest are from climbers who want everyone ELSE to stop climbing Everest.
Maybe I'm a crazy person, but I think that we have a moral obligation to protect the great natural wonders of the world. You can visit them, sure, but only if you do so in a responsible way that ensures their preservation. I do not see how that's possible with Everest any more. History has shown that there is no way to guarantee that you will not be forced (by circumstance alone) to leave trash on the mountain. That trash, by the way, will become essentially unrecoverable: it will likely be there for decades or centuries.
Same thing with your human body: if you want to risk your life, that's fine. If you want to drag others into your idiotic quest to pretend to be Edmund Hillary, that is also fine (as long as they do so full consent and knowing the risks). What is not fine is that if you do die, your body will be essentially unrecoverable, and it will also litter the mountain for decades or centuries.
If you care AT ALL about preserving Everest (and I suspect most people do), I claim there's no morally permissible way to climb this mountain. Leave it alone. Go climb something where you can make sure you can take your refuse with you, and where your dead corpse can be recovered.
Apart from _actually_ being a sacred place for the local people. Tibetan natives called it Chomolungma, meaning "Goddess Mother of Mountains".
There are lots of them, but among ones over 8,000 meters tall, Everest is reportedly one of the safest and least difficult to climb. The best routes for shuttling people to the top are well-known and about as well-groomed as is possible at that altitude. It's already littered with tattered ropes and spent oxygen bottles and, yes, dead bodies. And there is a decent amount of industry built up around the operation. Many people's livelihoods are based on it.
Sending people to other mountains would not increase safety, it would spread the pollution to other places, it would leave the more serious high-altitude mountaineers with fewer mountains to call their own, and it would probably still not be all that effective at diverting the mess away from Everest itself, because everyone knows that Everest's summit is the top.
Keep our faeces/species contained.
If you want to do something impressive, climbing Everest is no longer that thing.
No. That is ridiculous, I have as much right to climb it as anyone else, if it pleases me I'll do it. Like you said, there are lots of mountains so I can choose this particular one like I would any other.
Besides, I was speaking in a moral sense, not a legal sense. What your rights are is not a relevant question. If preserving natural wonders is not a moral prerogative for you, then we're just going to have to disagree on that point.
It's one thing to ask for consideration, it's another to sermonize about how others are delusional while engaging in the same obnoxious behavior yourself.
On a broader topic, the fact that it happens to be geographically located in Nepal does give the country the legal right to dictate who visits it, but let's not delude ourself into thinking that translates into a moral right.
The Everest belongs to all of humanity, it's a physical feature and if you want to make it sound like everyone's responsibility, it ought to be considered everyone's asset too.
That said: our morals are clearly different and I will do nothing but mock any attempts of any individual to impose their morals on anyone else.
If you get into hot water on Everest, you are in a MUCH better scenario than getting into hot water on the 5th tallest mountain.
Why are you so unconcerned about other mountains?
This is a stronger argument as to mountains that are low enough to experience snowmelt.
Considering the population of Earth, the scale of human cities, the permanent settlements and residents along the path, and other such factors: yes, that is precisely what I mean.
Or they could solve it by sharding Half Dome into 32768 little distributed 1/65536 Domes.
It worked for the Berlin Wall!
Landscape of Hawaii will be more popular than Nebraska, unless maybe 90% of the world looked like Hawaii and 10% like Nebraska.
Fuck no. Tourism is a vampiric money-making enterprise that absolutely ruins that which it attempts to make accessible.
Sure, tourism ruins a lot of shit, but tourist dollars have improved the quality of life for millions and millions of people all over the world.
And of course since we specialize, it's not surprising that this too became something that produces a surplus.
It's up to society and culture as a whole to protect and preserve said wonders. (From park rangers to laws and entrance limits and lotteries.)
Sure enough, when I was halfway up, some person above me panicked and wanted to go back down and everybody had to step to the side to let them through :-\
If you skip the cables you still have experienced 99% of one of this country's most beautiful hikes.
If you skip the Everest summit, you've still experienced 99% of one of the worlds most difficult (yet still approachable) climbs. But just like Half Dome, most people go there to summit, not to do a scenic hike.
The view from the top of Half Dome is spectacular. I'm glad I went to the top, but I don't think I'd attempt it again due to the crowds.
I am a professional diving guide and instructor working at on a small island in the South China Sea.
For me it is very difficult to balance the sense of pride and joy of creating new environmentalists every day who learn to value our precious and rare remaining reefs against the anger and revulsion I feel towards the selfie crowd that stomps all over coral and harasses wildlife on a daily basis.
Tourism is a necessary evil in many places, without it my island would be in poverty and its people living off the reef for daily nutrition instead of protecting it.
I don't know what the long term solution is, but there are definitely days where I wonder if I am doing the right thing.
Sounds like 2019 is the year of China exerting full control over the Tibet-side approach:
"In my mind climbing in Tibet has just become more expensive and more controlled. While the intent of some of this is good (trash, centralized rescue) others are onerous in nature and can result in unexpected expenses. Climbing Everest from the North or Tibet side was historically seen as cheaper, wilder, freer and more independent than the Nepal side. Well, that ship has sailed. If you want a more independent 8,000-meter climb, Everest is no longer on the table. Take a look at Makalu or Dhaulagiri."
"Taking a trip for six months, you get in the rhythm of it. It feels like you can go on forever doing that. Climbing Everest is the ultimate and the opposite of that. Because you get these high-powered plastic surgeons and CEOs, and you know, they pay $80,000 and have Sherpas put the ladders in place and 8,000 feet of fixed ropes and you get to the camp and you don’t even have to lay out your sleeping bag. It’s already laid out with a chocolate mint on the top. The whole purpose of planning something like Everest is to effect some sort of spiritual and physical gain and if you compromise the process, you’re an asshole when you start out and you’re an asshole when you get back.”
The fact that the top few attractions, events etc attract a disproportionate amount of people.
If you want to escape into nature for example - don't fly across the country or world to go to the #1 prominent or obvious place. Get out anywhere, close to you or new to you, maybe new to most people.
Unfortunate mont Everest is no longer the great achievement it once was. The risk is still there (the riskiest being you running out of oxygen), but don't expect the thrill of wandering a mountain and using your survival skills there.
There was a story a few weeks back that a Sherpa gave his own supply of oxygen to save a Malaysian tourist. There are many stories that are borderline human abuse for Sherpas.
For a great hike, I can't recommend PCT and AT trails in North America enough! For Europe, you have GR-20 (one of the best experiences in my while life), Pyrenees, etc. They won't get you to great elevations but they all out yourself with breathtaking views, challenges, and getting to know some amazing people.
For the toughest hikers out there, Puncak Jaya (East of Indonesian archipelago) puts your everything up for the riskiest yet most rewarding challenge.
Limit the number of climbing licenses to what the mountain can bear and charge the market-clearing price.
Use part of the profit to keep Everest clean.
Also offer a $1.5 million copter ride to the summit.
Nepal is poor and needs the money, and this would be better for the environment.
Would that taint the experience if I were a climber? Probably so. But as far as the mountain is concerned these days are few and far apart.
I wonder though: since there is a lot of tourism for people who just have money and are not strong-skilled alpinists, are there other ascents attempted when conditions are only semi-favorable and where there are only a few brave souls on the mountain due to the difficulty?
And by second highest, you mean K2? Agreed. But really these projects are out of my physical, mental and financial reaches currently.
Mountains. There are beautiful and amazing mountains, ridges, peaks, climbs all over the world, not just in the Himalayas. (For example: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Orla_Per%C4%87 -- affordable as fuck compared to anything else basically, and still pretty challenging, yet no need for sherpas, base camps and O2 bottles.)
This will self-correct after a while. During the next global downturn the lines will disappear.
You can opt out of climbing Everest (and most of us do), but almost nobody is opting out of buying electronics, burning fossil fuels, using plastics, etc. Half the people in the USA don't even vote, and a sizable majority of eligible blood donors don't donate -- and those are both free, and make life better in the community in which you live.
When we say "Earth is crowded", this is what we mean. We're living in an unscalable and unsustainable manner. We pretend that being just one individual of billions means the bad things we do, or the good things we don't do, aren't really our own fault.
You'd have to donate an awful lot of blood to make earth less crowded.
- technological advancement lets everyone indulge in this lifestyle without those externalities, or ones that are worse
- people voluntarily dial down their consumption (of food that has flown from across the world because it’s not in season, of electronics made with rare earth metals, etc), travels, and so on.
Both seem extremely unlikely and it’s hard to keep hope.
The western way of life with global capitalism just will not work, the same way that growing watermelons inside of lightbulbs is just not going to work.
That’s not being done in the US for consumption side-effects.
That said, according to the article, these ascensions only happen two or three days a year. So it’s not like there are 200 people summitting every day. It only happens in very rare spurts when the weather is favorable, which is around 1% of the days.
It's not technically difficult, it doesn't require a particularly high level of fitness, it's just pointlessly dangerous. A substantial proportion of Everest climbers have negligible mountaineering experience and no real interest in the sport, they just want the bragging rights. You pay your money to an expedition company, you follow their instructions and they get you up to the death zone; whether you make it back to base camp is in the lap of the gods. About one in twenty people don't make it back. The only people I feel sorry for are the Sherpas.
This place is not a place of honor... no highly esteemed deed is commemorated here... nothing valued is here.
I wonder if the overcrowding has now increased the danger factor appeal?
Getting to the top of Everest by jumaring up fixed lines while sucking down 3x the volume of oxygen Hillary and Norgay used is high risk tourism.
It used to be one team was allowed a permit per year, but has since evolved to be a tourist mecca:
It's certainly an expenditure of effort and resources, which ought to require a an impressive accomplishment to justify it, but tasks, however expensive and/or difficult, aren't accomplishments, only (at best) the cost paid for accomplishments.
Sad to see the same thing happening on Everest. If I saw that line, I would immediately turn around.
When I was younger I thought travel was important to me. But after doing it a bit, I've realized travel isn't what I thought it was. It isn't that exciting and it's not some kind of achievement, other than the achievement of having enough disposable income to make it happen. The people who create things worth visiting--whether that's art or food or buildings or whatever--are people staying where they are and investing in their communities. I want to be one of those people, not the rich jerks taking up space and contributing nothing to the scene.
Not less importantly, it gives you empathy for "the other". It makes you understand how similar we all are at the core and, paradoxically, how diverse our behaviors and viewpoints can be. And it makes it harder and harder to believe that you, specifically, were born in the place with the correct behaviors and the correct viewpoint.
Tourism is a farce. I guess it gives you the social status points of going through a challenge, without actually facing any difficulties or learning anything. You can have your photo in front of the Eiffel Tower, or that cute Buddhist Temple, or whatever. Maybe use that super expensive camera you bought as a toy (god forbid you use it to do something different, something that hasn't been done before by one million people just that week).
Tourism itself is a paradox: its gaze destroys the very thing it wants to look at. The Ramones could no longer rent an apartment in Brooklyn. Struggling painters could most certainly not afford to live in Paris these days, Montmartre or otherwise. Punk Rock in London? Only if you have a banking job on the side... The old ladies who sang fado from windows in old Lisbon neighborhoods had to move to the suburbs, because Madonna arrived with her entourage and every rich kid wants a piece of that "genuine" action on their Instragram.
Be a traveler, not a tourist!
Now that I've got two kids and a high-pressure job, tourism is how I expose myself and my kids to other cultures and experiences. It is possible to do it right by keeping an open mind and not being "those people". I'll relate one anecdote.
A couple of years ago we went to Panama and stayed in Panama City for a week before heading to the coast. While in the city we read about Amazon jungle tours. Not wanting to end up on a bus with a bunch of people, one night I headed out to a nearby square and started chatting up people with the limited but decent Spanish I've managed to learn over the past few years. I met a friendly restauranteur, explained that we wanted to head up to the jungle, and asked if he knew anyone who could take us.
Next morning we all crammed into a pickup truck driven by an incredibly vivacious and chatty Panamanian woman (the restauranteur's cousin) and roared off to the jungle. The trip included memorable moments such as the part where a long, remote bridge was shut down to car traffic, forcing us to leave the truck by the side of the road and hike across in brutal heat. On arriving at the other side, seeing how exhausted my kids were, she told us to wait under a tree and took off. Twenty minutes later she rolled up in a minivan, which she had borrowed from a fellow Panamanian (a total stranger) who had agreed to lend it to us, free of charge, for the afternoon. She explained that she had a guardian angel that helped her arrange such things.
We were tourists, 100%. But my whole family learned a lot from the experience.
When you do it it's "tourism" when I do it it's "travelling". When you're visiting a place for a shorter period of time primarily for leisure, you're a tourist. Sure you can tourist in more or less intrusive ways, but just accept the label and move on.
the Ramones could no longer rent an apartment in Brooklyn. Struggling painters could most certainly not afford to live in Paris these days...
None of which has anything to do with tourism.
On the contrary. Tourism is a major driving force behind the large scale conversion of long term rentals into hotels via Airbnb.
Which part do you oppose the most? The queuing, the photo taking, or the finding of the changing of the guards an amusing spectacle worth seeing once in your life. If there's no queue and I don't take any pictures, is it still "touristy"?
The bottom line is that most "touristy" stuff became touristy because it was a kind of cool/unique/fun/interesting thing to see/do. I agree that if there's a long queue you have to balance how much time you want to spend against the value of the thing you'll see.
The one where you lift property prices so high that nobody can live in the city centres anymore.
Dictionary definition of a tourist: "One who travels for pleasure.".
This local goes the same places the tourists do because the UK is beautiful and the foreign tourists I meet have good taste ;)
In comparison, I also move to a new country every ~2.5 years on average because I get bored of the place I live in after a while, and that does nothing to reduce the enjoyment I get from traveling to new places.
I did that, and it didn't "enlighten" me much. I think it may be because I was already very aware, thanks to Internet and the media industry, of an American culture, which is very different from my own, so I already had a good basis for comparison.
> Tourism is a farce. I guess it gives you the social status points of going through a challenge, without actually facing any difficulties or learning anything.
I never do tourism stuff (not out of snobbishness, I am just not that interested), but my aunt does, and to her, it's just a best use of her 10 days a year of vacation that she gets. She's working 6 days a week for less than a minimum wage, so the last thing she wants is a "challenge" really - I'm impressed that she does not go get lay on a beach somewhere and just regenerate, but prefers being bussed around Europe.
> Struggling painters could most certainly not afford to live in Paris these days, Montmartre or otherwise.
Why is it important for painters to live in Paris? You can paint anywhere and there's plenty of affordable places in the world.
Please, please, please don't use this phrase. I don't want to be an instagram fueled "traveler" who ends up begging[^1].
If you want to travel, have the funds. Why on Earth would I support someone else's trip when I could save that money for my own?!
Of the ten pictures, five of them were busking (and of the five, two to three were pretty damn half-assed).
What is destroying the ability of kids to live in London and Paris is a lot more complex, but has a lot more to do with plutocracy and the rise of moneyed anti democratic forces than tourism.
And as every aging punk rocker knows, the Ramones were from Queens.
It would be great for many locations if half of the visitors would simply stay at home.
> Be a traveler, not a tourist!
Please don't make this worse by putting this idea into more heads. Personally I read up on the most popular TV shows and advise everyone to just stay home while I go do (something else).
The way you describe "traveling" is actually tourism, just long-form. Read a book if you need to "expand your horizon," or I don't know, follow someone on Twitter.
Like, do you think wealthy expats aren't part of the issue? Sure, AirBnB has accelerated the process, but expat-driven price inflation and gentrification were displacing poor people for years before AirBnB exploded.
But it is definitely not the same to move to another city in your own country or go somewhere else where social norms and language are fundamentally different.
Come fast, before the high-speed rail lines connecting Madrid to several cities in the north and northwest are finished in 3-4 years from now. I cannot guarantee the situation will hold after that, my intuition is that bad infrastructure is a major reason for the relatively little attention these areas attract.
Vaux-le-Vicomte, which was the model for Versailles, is virtually unknown and a really nice visit. When crowd traffic jams happen in front of Mona Lisa in the Louvres, the medieval art sections, two stories above, are almost deserted despite very interesting pieces. Everybody wants to see Notre Dame, but there are about 100 monumental cathedrals in France.
If we let T (tourists/day in peak season) = 3t(tourists/day in regular season), then we have about 1.3t if it all smooths out.
Of course, depends on where you travel, but the places I've visited have been pretty busy in the off-season already, adding another 30% of them would be pretty hectic.
New startup idea: modelling the ideal time to take a trip somewhere within certain metrics.
I've been there, it's pretty amazing, shame he ran out of money to finish it off!
Maybe the answer to sex tourists in the Red Light District is sex tourist tourists who rudely point and take photos.
I think you're spot on. Consider the tourist-y American cities - New York, Boston, LA, Chicago, SF, etc. - most of the city dwellers have no care for the tourists because they don't spend all of their time next to attractions. They go to work, they go to school, they go to parks, etc. All of these are different in different places, and worth looking at themselves! It doesn't need to be on a brochure or part of a guided tour to be rich with history and purpose. And often, venturing out from the "golden path" leads to a healthy dose of reality (valuable!) when you see how normal people operate outside of the tourists spots.
There used to be a handful of adventurous tourists who would walk across from Manhattan and look around. Now the Brooklyn waterfront is on every single visitor’s wish list and it’s packed with people and selfie-taking nonstop, and almost overwhelming during busy summer periods.
I think it’s great. The Brooklyn Bridge and the skyline are stunning and I feel lucky to have this view every day and I’m glad more people are getting to see it. When I go visit the places they live and look at their great views I don’t feel bad about that either.
I actually do agree with you that travelling has a lot or drawbacks--and I never would have travelled for this long if I wasn't a refugee running from bad things--but when I read someone say they gave up on it, it makes me sad. It has been an enlightening and beautiful part of my life.
I spent a month in Japan a few years ago, at the beginning of the year instead of the Golden Week when everybody goes and visited all over the place. No queues, no massive amounts of people (well, Tokyo is Tokyo), no stress. Sure, I missed the famous cherry blossoms, but to be able to visit e.g. Himeji castle and be in a room almost by myself contemplating was worth it. Had many experiences like this everywhere. I really enjoyed that trip and left feeling that Japan was even better than I imagined.
And then keep your mouth shut, as well as not post any pictures or videos publicly.
I was in some small town in the Philippine last year. Got into a pizza restaurant and there was a mini-event the locals made where they danced and singed. That's some genuine experience. You can have lots of these because most people are going with the flow.
Unfortunately, in this picture, turning around meant to go back up, towards the summit.
Travel can broaden the mind, but only if you let it, and most of the ways in which it does are through giving you unexpected things, good or bad. The more tightly you plan, or buy a package in order to remove uncertainty, the less serendipity you get. You can't order a surprise for yourself.
Given this philosophy, I felt bad about allowing a tour company to plan my South American trip rather than booking dozens of transfers myself, but in the end serendipity worked anyway and somehow we ended up with two of us on an itinerary clearly designed for larger groups. Speeding across Lake Titicaca on a catamaran to ourselves remains a peak experience. Later on we got to Machu Picchu, which really is reaching critical levels of self-destructive tourism: https://www.theguardian.com/cities/2019/may/15/archaeologist...
(There is also something to be said for both straightforward hedonism and the "precision relaxation" of people who go to the same hotel for 20 years to order the same drinks, but neither of those really needs or deserves to be allowed to ruin a local community or natural wonder in order to make it happen.)
If you're very lucky you can wind up with the best of both worlds.
I've been on an organized three week trip to Peru, which was nothing short of mind blowing.
The thing is that my sister in law is Peruvian, owns a house in Lima, worked at the presidents palace (which we were able to visit on short notice) and has a lot of friends and family around the country.
So while she had some of things organized (you partially must. You can't spontaneously visit Machu Pichu [which was a bit of a disappointment, but I digress]). But she had those parts, which needed to be pre-planned organized by local travel agents and tour operators. Obviously, knowing the language, the people and the place was extremely valuable for that.
So, despite that it was essentially a "package tour" it felt like totally individualized travel.
While some of the elements certainly can be booked as part of a packaged tour I don't think it could have been done with such quality and insight without the local knowledge.
Another thing, which I found can be immensly valuable is hiring a local guide. A guide and car in Siem Reap (Cambodia) hit me with about 30$ a day (& tip). Sure, you can visit Angkor Wat by booking a tuk tuk, buy a guide book and head off on you own. But you'll have to make sense of a temple installation scattered around 400 km/2 on your own.
Having a guide on my side opens doors to places, which I would never have been able to do on my own. Let alone of getting all the background on country, poeple and (yes) politics.
Probably the true value of travel is not what you go to see, but the new knowledge and reflection about where you came from.
Not if you were £30k in the hole for the trip!
Tourism is a plague but travel will always be a significant human experience.
Is this a coincidence? Are all of these creators subconsciously inspired by the same source? Maybe there's a new TV show about Everest that I'm not aware of that's influencing interest in the topic. Maybe Everest related articles are frequently on HN and I am just now paying attention to it. Am I being played by the algorithm gods?
Baader–Meinhof effect is a convincing illusion.
I assume the reason you react is that you identify with somebody who could potentially do it (by saving a lot maybe), but couldn't anymore with the new price.
Thinking it's something everybody could do if fit is not realistic.