The Perils of the Peak – Climbing Everest no child’s pastime
In 1953, Tenzing Norgay and Edmund Hillary scaled Mount Everest for the first time in history. Since then, scores have followed their trail, and climbed the tallest point on Earth. No matter how many succeed in this feat now or in future, the duo of Norgay and Hillary would still claim the most effusive praise, because they had no technology to back them up in their daunting ascent.
The Himalayas beckon mountaineering enthusiasts from all corners of the world. The excitement of setting foot on the Everest peak is irresistible. The greatly improved gadgets available today have lessened the risks greatly. The clothing, oxygen canisters, energy foods, and the communication equipments have undergone a sea change. Added to that is the availability of helicopter for emergency rescue. However, these innovations have come as a double-edged sword for the mountaineering folks.
Buoyed by the efficacy of the high-tech mountaineering gears, many mountaineers vainly believe that any normal physically fit person can accomplish the feat with some determination and will power. This assumption is both fallacious and fraught. No matter, what advanced gadgets you carry, the dangers of avalanches, hostile weather, the steep cliffs etc. stalk the mountaineers every step of the way. Disregarding these hidden dangers, amateurs venture on their adventure with inadequate acclimatization, and deficient endurance building. They assume that the gadgets and their guides would ensure their safe climb.
Avaricious tour operators entice gullible mountaineers through clever sales pitch. The greenhorn enthusiasts fall for the sales talk, and abandon their caution to book their trips. They naively assume that with a Sherpa as buddy, they can stave off risks and reach the top. No doubt, the Sherpas have an uncanny understanding of Mount Everest’s capricious nature, but they can’t be a bulwark against a marauding avalanche, nor can they fight off the freezing weather. They can only caution the climber.
Therefore, it is wise to prepare well, build up nigh endurance, go through acclimatization drills, and only then embark on the mission. It needs to be understood that a daring, foolhardy approach can prove to be fatal. The majesty of the mountain can turn to a man-eating monster in minutes.
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