As we draw closer to the release of the Everest film on September 18, the tallest peak in the world is likely to be the subject of much discussion once again. Some of that discussion will likely be about the challenges of climbing the mountain, and what it is actually like to be there. But popular media can sometimes present a skewed view of Everest, and perpetuate some long held misconceptions from the general public. To help set the record straight, Alan Arnette has written a thoughtful post that examines 10 common myths about Everest, with reasons why those myths are either true or false.
Alan has covered the Everest climbing scene for 13 years, and has been on the mountain on five separate occasions as well, so if anyone knows what it is like there, it is probably him. He was even in Base Camp last spring when the earthquake struck, so he saw first hand the impact of that disaster. Over the years, the climate and culture on Everest has changed, and evolved, but some of the challenges have remained the same. It is still a difficult climb, despite the fact that hundreds go to Nepal and Tibet to attempt it each year.
Amongst the commonly held beliefs that Alan addresses are whether or not Everest is filled with trash (false), how much climbers pay to attempt Everest, and perceived difficulty of the climb. He also touches on how prepared people are for the expedition, and the role that the Sherpas play in getting their clients to the summit.
If you routinely follow the events that unfold on Everest, there isn’t much here that will come as a surprise. But for those who are fed a stream of information about the mountain from the mainstream media, Alan’s article helps to debunk some of the more commonly held misconceptions, and provide real insights into what it is actually like on the mountain. This helps to put things into perspective, and should be kept in mind as the Everest media blitz begins in a few weeks. The film promises to do some very important things right, but it will also turn a spotlight on a place that is generally not well understood by the mainstream audience. Hopefully the movie will manage to be authentic and real, while also entertaining. We shall see.
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