Everest Highway On Hold

Remember all the hype going around a month or so back about that Chinese proposal to build a highway leading up to Everest Base Camp? You know, the one that a number of bloggers in an up roar because it would make the drive to BC easier? Well, turns out it might be much ado about nothing.

According to this article from Yahoo News environmental experts want to conduct a study of the impact of such a road on the surrounding area before they give approval for it to be built. There have been some concerns about what traffic on that road might do to the fragile glaciers in the region that have already retreated due to global warming. The $20 million project was also meant to showcase the Olympic Torch, which will go to the summit of Everest next year, on it’s way to Beijing for the 2008 Summer Games.

This is an important gesture on the part of the Chinese. After all, they have not exactly been the most concerned nation when it comes to environmental issues. Recently they even surpassed the U.S. for the largest carbon footprint, and it’s not often you see a developing nation slow it’s economy due to concerns about the environment. Personally, I never saw the highway becoming some sort of gridlocked traffic jam to begin with. I thought it would make access to BC much easier for those climbing the mountain, but didn’t see Chinese families heading out for a Sunday drive, with dad asking “Who wants to drive up to 17,060 feet!” Keep the tourists off the road, require a permit to be on it, and everything will be fine.

Now we can begin the countdown until someone will bribe the environmental experts into letting the project move ahead. Shortly after that happens, ExWeb will reveal that it was Russell Brice behind the whole scheme all along.

Thanks to The Outdoor Weblog for this one.

Kraig Becker

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