Wednesday marked the 66th anniversary of the day Sir Edmund Hillary became the first man to stand atop Mount Everest, and Hillary's son says that the overcrowding and death seen this year on the mountain would leave his dad "horrified at the whole thing" and "quite sad." Peter Hillary tells the New York Daily News that "when all this guided climbing started … it was a bit of a shock to his system,” Hillary, 64, said. Edmund Hillary and his guide "had the mountain to themselves," but 2019 saw a rash of permits issued to people who in many cases hadn't trained sufficiently and were taking advantage of so-called "budget" guides.
The solution isn't shutting down Everest, says the younger Hillary, but Everest expert Alan Arnette says it "lies in governments having strict qualification on who can guide and climb and not simply accepting their money without question. You have to qualify for the Boston Marathon, but not to climb the world’s highest peak. Therein lies the problem." (Read more Mount Everest stories.)