Why on earth would you fake having summited Everest?

When I saw this story in my morning paper, it reminded me of the scandal a few years ago, when an Indian couple claimed they had summited Everest when, it appears, they most certainly had not.

To answer my own hypothetical question “why would you do this?”, I imagine it is for fame, money, perhaps a government job.

One of the things I have never understood about my adopted country is why you reward people, especially sports people, with government jobs. Why should someone who, for the sake of argument, throws a shot putt, or tosses a javelin, or is a wrestler, be “rewarded” with a job in the civil service?

What makes them a suitable person to work in government?

Anyway, since I have no idea what this young man from the neighbouring state of Haryana had been offered/not offered, there is equally no way of knowing whether he (seemingly) faked his Everest summit, in order to bag a job.

What is undisputed is that he was in line to receive one of India’s highest awards given to sports people.

But methinks his chances might just have been scuppered.

If, as it would appear, he did fake summiting Everest, then one hopes he will NOT be receiving this year’s Tenzing Norgay National Adventure Award.

This fact checking (below) on Twitter is pretty damning!

Doesn’t ANYONE in government check things out before nominating people for these awards?

Doesn’t ANYONE in government care about being made to look foolish?

Or am I missing the whole rewarding people with jobs/no checking facts nexus…?

As with the Pune couple I mentioned earlier in this post, this is cheating on a tawdry and monumentally silly scale. Go for the biggest thing on planet earth and hope no-one will notice that you weren’t really there after all.

Stupid.

15 Comments

  1. Anonymous

    I can just imagine all these civil servants getting together and bragging about their (fake) conquest. It must be hilarious when none of them know a single thing. Yet they will all be telling stories. I would want just one “real” climber to come amongst them and ask a few pertinent questions. They would be floundering. I have a friend who got to Everest base camp, aged 60+ and his stories are horrific. You cannot talk about something you haven’t really done, with any conviction. You WILL be found out. At least, I hope so.

  2. Kuntal Joisher

    Christine Pemberton – For me mountaineering is a very personal journey. I’m just an average mountaineer, and I like a specific climbing style – which is – guided ascents, fixed line climbing, high altitude mountains. And I try and make up for lack of genetic disposition to climbing mountains by training hard, climbing many many mountains, building as much skills as possible – whatever I can do to safely and reliably climb mountains. If name and fame comes along the way – its all incidental. And majority of the time I use the platform it gives for to further my causes which are – spreading the Vegan word, and trying to inspire people to follow their dreams and passions.

  3. Kuntal Joisher

    Christine Pemberton – The fake summits have been around in the field of mountaineering since a while.. not just Indians, but various nationalities. However, in recent past specifically on Everest, things have gone worse – especially for Indian community. Not just fake summits, but under-prepared and inexperienced climbers are flocking Everest. Dying on the mountain, frost bites galore, lung infections, snow blindness, other injuries – It’s been a disgraceful last few years for the Indian Everest community.
    Here’s an exhaustive and a detailed article about “Why people fake summits” by Mark Horell. Covers pretty much most of the reasons. https://www.markhorrell.com/blog/2010/false-summit-claims/

    1. Christine Pemberton

      Kuntal Joisher Why do they do it, you reckon? Money? The government job I mentioned in the blog? To me, it seems a crazily hard way of wheedling your way into a job…

  4. Kuntal Joisher

    The mask is the funniest.. I remember seeing this summit photo in 2016 and I was wondering – where is the oxygen pipe? this is such an amazing invention – taking in atmospheric air and converting it into pure oxygen.. no oxygen bottles required! ??

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