Everest by numbers (and sex)

by Mick Ryan We are obsessed by numbers and ranking so it comes as no surprise that Mount Everest attracts so much attention. The highest, the hardest, the best, the richest, the sexiest, are all sure-fire attention grabbers. We must, it seems, keep up with the Joneses. Climbers are no exception and you frequently hear,” Who climbs the hardest?”, ´ I´m an E2 leader,” “Which is the hardest?.” Then there is the ultimate kudos moniker, Everest Summiteer. To say “I climbed Everest” is a must for upwardly-mobile metrosexuals at the best dinner parties. It impresses both men and women. A quick search of Google, yields 42,700,000 results for Everest. The most authoritative source online is perhaps Everest News.com, this is where most news authors (online or print) plagiarise (research?) their Everest news from. Did you know that three brothers, Da Nuru Sherpa, Jangbu Sherpa and Lhakpa Gelu Sherpa summited on the same day? This site is also the first place to go to find out how many have summited this Everest season, nearly 200 people they report. Nepal gets the gold in the Everest Olympics with 104 summmiteers, those bloody Yanks the silver with 19 and us Limey Bastards, the bronze, with 16 reaching the top, a respectable third place. Everest News.com is also the place where you can find the full story (forget the BBC) of the Ozzy, Lincoln Hall, and his dead or alive story. He´s very much alive. Do a Google search for Martyna Wojciechowska, the Polish woman who summitted recently and who also features on the cover of the Polish edition of Playboy and the click yields 511,000 resultsGot an ambition to top Everest? It costs about £29,000 apparently. Or, are you like many, including Sir Edmund Hillary disgusted at the commercialism that we have witnessed? A quick search of Google, yields 46,800 results for ´Everest´ combined with ´disgusted´.