Everest veteran complains tourists ruining mountaineering

Reinhold Messner made solo climb of world's tallest peak

Everest veteran complains tourists ruining mountaineering

Bolzano, May 29 - Fully 60 years after the first ascent of Mount Everest, the towering peak is being overrun by mountaineers anxious to follow in the footholds of climbing pioneers, says a veteran of the historic 1953 expedition. Reinhold Messner, who has participated in the Kathmandu celebrations to mark the 1953 climb by Edmund Hillary and Sherpa Tenzing Norgay, says the historic event was a major enterprise "that will remain forever in the history of alpinism". Messner is also marking the 35th anniversary of his 1978 climb with Austrian Peter Habeler, made without the help of bottled oxygen. That was followed by yet another landmark climb two years later, when Messner made it to the roof of the world on a solo climb. But now, he feels cynical about the sport and how it has changed as many visitors expect Sherpas to do the heavy lifting while they cling to ropes and follow carefully set trails. "Mountaineering that is practised today on this mountain has nothing to do with classic mountaineering, it is rather a tourism mountaineering," he said in an interview with ANSA.

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