Wednesday, June 27, 2012
Indian Climbing Teams In Everest Summit Dispute
According to this story from Desi News, the two teams are from Pune, located in Western India. Both sent expeditions to Everest this spring, with the Giripremi Team taking a more traditional approach to their climb, while the Sagarmatha Giryarohan Sanstha squad attempted to make a cut rate, budget approach. The Giripremi expedition successfully put all eight of its climbers on the summit, while their rivals claim that managed to get three (of their eight) to top as well. But now the former team is accusing the latter of falsifying summit claims and doctoring photos in effort to earn official summit certificates from the Nepal Ministry of Tourism.
Apparently the official summit photos submitted by the Sagarmatha Giryarohan Sanstha group have been modified to include two climbers who never actually reached the top. Sherpas on the trip say that Shahiri Tapkir was the only member of the team to actually climb Everest, while climb organizers say that their other lead climbers, Anand Bansode and Sagar Palkar, made it to the summit too. They say that the photos have not been tampered with at all, and that all three men were successful in their bid.
Nepal has formed a committee to investigate the claims and to look into the matter further. They take falsified climb reports very seriously and they will examine the evidence very closely. There are also some indications hat one of the climbers may have not been listed on a permit as well.
So why would anyone go to such great lengths to falsify summit claims? In India a successful summit of Everest translates into endorsements and sponsorship deals that will allow climbers to continue their pursuits. For these climbers it could potentially mean a lot of money and a degree of fame, and that is enough of a reason alone to generate false stories.
On a side note, I'm going to become the first person to be photoshopped into summit photos on each of the fourteen 8000-meter peaks. A guy has got to have dreams and aspirations.
Thanks to the Goat for the tip on this story.