I vow to stop writing about the Hillary Step after this blog post. Because where nothing is, nothing has to be reported. “It is 100 percent that Hillary step is gone,” Mingma Gyalje Sherpa, expedition leader of the Nepalese operator “Imagine”, writes to me. On 14 May, the 32-year-old had climbed to a point between the South Summit (at 8,750 meters) and the former Hillary Step (8,790 meters), where he had waited for hours for the return of his summit team and thus had plenty of time, to take a close look at the spot. On the Hillary Step, says Mingma, “no more debate is required further in future”. No matter what the Nepalese Ministry of Tourism is saying. Before this spring’s season, the authority had actually subpoenally obligated all climbers not to make any statement about the Hillary Step to the media.
The spot formerly known as Hillary Step
Mountains are changing – even faster and more clearly visible than before due to climate change. In case of the Hillary Step, however, it was probably the devastating earthquake in Nepal on 25 April 2015 that made the rock fall. Everest-experienced British expedition leader Tim Mosedale already pointed out in 2017 that the former rock climbing passage was now just a snowy slope, much easier to overcome than before. Mosedale substantiated his claim with pictures.
Hillary Step in 2013
Even then the Government of Nepal considered this a kind of a lèse-majeste, though in fact only a rather small stone had been broken out of Everest crown. Actually, the Ministry of Tourism should even be happy about this alleged mishap: A bottleneck less, which used to be a frequent source of traffic jams, which had a negative effect not only on safety, but also on Everest marketing.
Sir Edmund Hillary is probably laughing in climbers’ heaven at the government’s ridiculous attempts to hush up what hundreds of mountaineers have seen with their own eyes: the twelve-meter high boulder, a real hurdle that Hillary once had had mastered first, no longer exists...
The rest of the article in English you can read by the link
The whole article in German – by the link
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