Media recycles two-year-old Everest scare story


You wait two years and the same story comes round again…

“It’s déjà vu all over again” said Yogi Berra, but it describes exactly how I felt on reading this AAP story in the Herald Sun this evening (and no doubt syndicated in plenty of other places as well):

CLIMATE change is altering the face of the Himalayas, devastating farming communities and making Mount Everest increasingly treacherous to climb, some of the world’s top mountaineers have warned.

Apa Sherpa, the Nepali climber who has conquered Mount Everest a record 21 times, said he was disturbed by the lack of snow on the world’s highest peak, caused by rising temperatures.

“In 1989 when I first climbed Everest there was a lot of snow and ice but now most of it has just become bare rock. That, as a result, is causing more rockfalls which is a danger to the climbers,” he said.

“Also, climbing is becoming more difficult because when you are on a mountain you can wear crampons but it’s very dangerous and very slippery to walk on bare rock with crampons.”

Speaking after completing the first third of a gruelling 1,700-kilometre trek across the Himalayas, Apa Sherpa would not rule out the possibility of Everest being unclimbable in the coming years.

“What will happen in the future I cannot say but this much I can say from my own experiences — it has changed a lot,” he said an an interview with AFP in the village of Gati, 16 kilometres from Nepal’s border with Tibet.

The 51-year-old father-of-three, dubbed “Super Sherpa”, began his working life as a farmer but turned to the tourism industry and mountaineering after he lost all his possessions when a glacial lake burst in 1985.

Funny that, because back at the end of May 2010, the UK Telegraph ran an almost identical story, covered by ACM at the time:

Note how, that without a pause for breath, the media return to the term “global warming” when it suits? Even though global warming virtually stopped in 2001? But they need to make the link between “warming” and melting ice for this story:

Mount Everest is becoming increasingly dangerous to climb because global warming is melting glacier ice along its slopes, according to a Nepalese Sherpa who has conquered the world’s highest summit 20 times [one less than above – Ed].

Rising temperatures have melted much of the ice on the steep trail to the summit and climbers are struggling to get traction on the exposed rock surface, according to the 49-year-old[two less than above – Ed] Sherpa, known only as Apa.

The melting ice has also exposed deep crevasses which climbers could fall into, and experts have warned that people scaling the mountain risk being swept away by “outburst floods” from rising volumes of glacial meltwater.

He said there was hardly any exposed rock on the trail to the summit when he first climbed Everest in 1989, but now the slopes are dotted with bare rocks. (source)

Could this possibly be the same Apa who, just four days ago, dedicated his climb with 13 year old American Jordan Romero to the impact of climate change on the Himalayas, a fact not even mentioned in the Telegraph report? Obviously an impartial assessment, then. Add it to the warmlist.

Global warming is such a non-story, the media is now reduced to recycling yesterday’s fish and chip wrappers.

%d bloggers like this: