A total of 456 people reached the peak of Mount Everest during this past spring climbing season. PTI reports Dinesh and Tarakeshwari Rathod were not among them. The Indian police officers, who claimed to have been the first Indian couple to climb Everest, were banned from climbing any mountain in Nepal for 10 years Tuesday after authorities ruled they made the whole thing up, according to the Guardian. The Rathods claimed to have reached the top of Everest on May 23, producing photos as evidence. Nepalese authorities verified their accomplishment based on those photos, but later rescinded that verification after complaints from other climbers.
One of those climbers was Satyarup Siddhanta, an Indian man who actually did reach the summit in May and whose photos from the peak the Rathods apparently superimposed themselves over. The BBC reports other signs of fakery included the Rathods getting from base camp to the summit too quickly and appearing in two different outfits in photos from the summit. “The ban should serve as a warning for other mountaineers to follow ethics,” Nepal's chief of tourism tells PTI. It's unclear why the Rathods claimed to have conquered Everest, as no one is quite sure where they or their two sherpas are. But the BBC points out people who make Everest's summit can get good work writing or speaking about their accomplishment. (A climber abandoned the Everest peak to save a stranger.)