Letter to the Editor


Imagine: oxygen status, low. Danger status, spike up. You’re climbing Mt. Everest and you know the risks. Too many people have died and too little is known about the mountain. In this article you will learn the truth about the tallest mountain on Earth.

Danger is Mt. Everest’s middle name. “Only 3 out of 100 climbers make it to the top of Everest,” states article “Into the Death Zone” by Sean McCollum. Mt. Everest is so dangerous, but the human race just wants to explore it. One of the most terrible moments was when Mt. Everest had an avalanche on April 18th, 2014.

“On April 18th, 2014. Everest had an avalanche that wiped out 16 sherpas including 5 climbers. People climbing get used to noises on the mountain at night, so they didn’t hear the rumble of snow crashing down the mountain.” While it’s tragic, April 18th showed us the reality of the world.

Probably the best example of how climbers feel climbing is a quote by Peter Hackett, “Even if you’re using bottled supplies at extreme altitude, you can’t get nearly enough oxygen to feel good or even be completely safe.” Climbers are going up with the safest materials still aren’t safe, pity the hard work that goes into it.

Another reason why Mt. Everest shouldn’t be climbed is because of the lack of oxygen. For example in the text “Climbing Everest is hard — doing it without oxygen is excruciating” the author points out that, “Messner later wrote that he felt like ‘… nothing more than a single narrow gasping lung, floating over mists and summits,’ during his climb.”

As you know people can go insane when there isn’t enough oxygen. This might be a hallucination or it might be figurative language. Another concern on the mountain is about movement and relates to danger. “… One wrong move and all of the sudden you lay there for ten minutes trying to catch your breath,” says climber Ed Viesturs, describing approaching the summit without the advantage of bottled oxygen.

Imagine that for every step you take you have to take 15 breaths. That is what Cory Richards did on her climb. She states, “For every tiny step toward the summit I have to take 15 breaths.” This is why we shouldn’t climb Mt. Everest.

The last and most important reason for adults why we shouldn’t climb the highest mountain in the world is that climbing is expensive. In the article ‘More Climbers are Coming,’ it states that “Climbers pay up to 60,000 dollars to reach the summit.” That’s like buying a 1997 Single-Engine Plane! Also all of that money still isn’t doing any good for the sherpas. “The working conditions for sherpas have gotten worse as the number of climbers has increased.”

Why spend all that money on climbing if you’re still not improving anything for your guide? This is what surprised me the most while reading: “Some expeditions offer sushi, espresso, and internet cafes on the mountain. These treats might be nice for customers, but sherpas are the ones who have to carry the supplies up the mountain.” We are spoiling ourselves but not giving any respect for the people who make it happen.

In this article you learned why we shouldn’t climb Mt. Everest. There are dangers, expenses, and oxygen shortages. Stop and think, do you want the next generation to die trying to get up that mountain? I think not.

— Gigi Gordon

Ms. Gordon is a 5th grade student at Weston Intermediate School

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