In this picture released by mountain guide Adrian Ballinger of Alpenglow Expeditions and taken Saturday, May 18, 2013, climbers navigate the Hillary Step just below the summit of Mount Everest, in the Khumbu region of the Nepal Himalayas.
For those who failed geology, Mount Everest, at 29,029 feet, is the highest elevation above sea level. If there was a baseball field up there, they’d have to call it 5-and-a-half Mile High Stadium and the fences would have to be moved back to Outer, or perhaps even Inner, Mongolia. (Warning: No math was used during this estimate).
Exactly 60 years ago today, New Zealand mountain climber Sir Edmund Hillary became the first person to climb the mountain in Nepal and issue a press release.
Now, climbing equipment is much better, a lot more people like having things to brag about and as many as 150 people per day climb Everest.
All those people are great for those in the mountain climbing business who charge clients $45,000 to $75,000 per ascent.
The new ladder, likely to be gilded in gold at those prices, would only be used to move folks down “Hillary’s Step,” the last 40 feet of nearly vertical rock atop the mountain.
“Most of the traffic jams are at the Hillary Step because only one person can go up or down. If you have people waiting two, three or even four hours that means lots of exposure [to risk]. To make the climbing easier, that would be wrong. But this is a safety feature,” said Dawa Steven Sherpa in The Guardian.
Not to make a mountain out of a molehill, but the aid would have been handy for an 80-year-old Japanese climber who said he “almost died” getting off the peak.
Anyone averse to ladders, ice, snow, oxygen deprivation or merely getting out of a chair can recreate Hillary’s historic trek on the “Everest: Rivers of Ice” website.”
Story originally appeared in "News to Me" humor blog on ajc.com
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