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Got it. The mountain in the background is the one you are talking about

There's also a big camp right at the bottom of the picture on the soil next to the glacier. There are at least two dozen tents there.

Closer to 50 dozen, there are tents all around the bottom of the picture where the glacier thins out. I never realized how many people are actually climbing that mountain in any given season.

How did anyone ever figure out how to climb that thing before there were satellites or planes? I don't even see how they are getting from the base camp up past the broken up glacier area.

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)

Let's not get too carried away. At the end of the 2010 climbing season, only 3142 people had ever reached the summit.

A lot of people go to Base Camp as tourists, but the numbers drop dramatically at each higher camp. There's probably a case to be made that Base Camp should be toned down.

There aren't that many people truly climbing the mountain.

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.

(from 2010)

3,142 people have climbed Everest, with 219 dying trying.

It isnt disneyland, and I am not shocked at how much Everest has turned into disneyland, we definitely 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.

Edmund Hillary wrote "High Adventure" about a year after his climb, and a it's a great description of just how things were done in those days! It's a very easy read too, in a boys-own-adventure style.

Speaking of aerial photos though, Over The Himalaya (http://www.amazon.com/Over-Himalaya-Koichiro-Ohmori/dp/09385...) has some staggering photos from the region if you like that sort of thing. Out of print, but worth tracking down.


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.

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