There are really an absurd number of people "climbing" it - literally, my sexagenarian neighbour told me that "some of the girls from my tennis club are doing it". It really nullifies the whole mystique of Everest of any meaning whatsoever, and is having a terrible effect on the natural beauty of the terrain.
(I'm not some mountaineering snob - I tire climbing hills for a decent toboggan run)
What is the point of 'natural beauty' if there's no-one to appreciate it? There's all sorts of reasons to preserve wilderness, but 'keeping it looking pretty' as a reason to prevent travellers is not one of them.
Not sure if you fully realize the scope with which it's turning into a sort of Disneyland - people are climbing it in an endless convoy. I find it quite shocking. If you do, then I guess we just fundamentally disagree.
This is a dead thread, more or less, but I'm a bit embarrassed about this. For posterity:
The footage I've seen was indeed from (and up to) the basecamp. I was quite shocked at what I saw, but I obviously misremembered exactly what it was - the trail to the basecamp. I certainly did not think all those people were reaching the summit, but I did think they were going higher.
I feel like a bit of an idiot, and needed to get that off my chest.
They walk up that thing, its called Khumbu icefall. Basically the valley glacier spilling out in slow motion. Its incredibly dangerous (as you probably surmise), even though its at the bottom. Since the ice is all cracked up, many people fall into the cracks. Believe the local sherpas do most of the work each year to find a safe route through that mess.