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Science & Technology

Mount Everest's 'Hillary Step' is destroyed

By T.K. Randall
May 21, 2017 · Comment icon 8 comments

Mount Everest's official recorded height is 29,029ft. Image Credit: CC BY-SA 2.0 shrimpo1967
The infamous rocky outcrop was the last great challenge for mountaineers aiming to reach the summit.
The climb to the top of the world's tallest mountain may have now become even more difficult after the perilous outcrop, which once greeted climbers just before the summit, collapsed following the devastating earthquake that shook the region back in 2015.

It had been named after Sir Edmund Hillary who, alongside Nepalese Sherpa mountaineer Tenzing Norgay, became the first climber ever to reach the summit of the mountain in 1953.

"It was reported last year, and indeed I climbed it last year, but we weren't sure for certain that 'The Step' had gone because the area was blasted with snow," wrote mountaineer Tim Mosedale.
"This year, however, I can report that the chunk of rock named 'The Hillary Step' is definitely not there anymore. Not sure what's going to happen when the snow ridge doesn't form because there's some huge blocks randomly perched hither and thither which will be quite tricky to negotiate."

Exactly how the collapse of the step will affect future climbs however remains uncertain.

"If it's a perfectly fine day, it doesn't really matter too much if you are delayed for say, an hour and a half, two hours on the Hillary Step," said mountainer Sir Chris Bonington.

"If the weather is breaking up, that two-and-a-half hour wait can be a matter of life and death."

Source: BBC News | Comments (8)




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Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #1 Posted by darkmoonlady 7 years ago
I understand being the highest peak makes Everest a popular destination, given that SO many people go up there, maybe limit climbs. Granted the damage was caused by an earthquake the environmental damage to the area is terrible. Tons of trash, waste, dead bodies. The base camps are disgusting. I realize the local sherpas need to make a living but destroying the area to say you climbed Mt. Everest seems wrong. 
Comment icon #2 Posted by Noxasa 7 years ago
They should have blamed it on global warming like they usually do about everything else that changes on Earth.
Comment icon #3 Posted by Merc14 7 years ago
Why?  Is trash on Mt. Everest somehow destroying mankind or your life?  Do you look out your window and see trash on Mt. Everest?  How does trash on Mt. Everest personally affect you, so greatly, that it should be shut down and no human be allowed to climb it again?  Spot on.  SUV's should be outlawed because a rock fell off a mountain in Nepal after an earthquake.    
Comment icon #4 Posted by darkmoonlady 7 years ago
It's literally covered in ****. Climbers have just squatted anywhere and when it warms up rivers of **** flow down the mountain. 
Comment icon #5 Posted by Sundew 7 years ago
I hardly think that is likely given the fact that at around 36,000 feet it likely never thaws out. Plus accumulation of snow and ice would cover just about anything left on the mountain. 
Comment icon #6 Posted by darkmoonlady 7 years ago
https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/morning-mix/wp/2015/03/03/decades-of-human-waste-have-made-mount-everest-a-fecal-time-bomb/?utm_term=.6448b984e4b0 https://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/mar/03/too-much-human-poo-on-mount-everest-says-nepal   A large percentage is carried down the mountain part way to earthen pits that are polluting the water sources of the sherpas villages. What is still up on the mountain is everywhere, Ueli Stek wouldn't collect snow on the mountain for water as the boiling temp at that altitude is too low to kill the microorganisms teeming in the snow. 
Comment icon #7 Posted by Calibeliever 7 years ago
That's crazy. I knew there was a trash problem but I didn't know about this. thanks.
Comment icon #8 Posted by taniwha 7 years ago
Everyone, breathe a sigh of relief, the step is still there, probably. http://i.stuff.co.nz/travel/news/93001131/mount-everests-hillary-step-is-missing-a-large-block-but-is-still-there-mountaineers-son-says


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