Two Indian mountaineers may get banned by authorities in Nepal after fake photos emerged showing them on top of Mount Everest. The two climbers are Narender Singh Yadav and Seema Rani Goswami, who claimed to have reached the top of Everest in 2016. The authorities are seeking to ban the two from climbing Everest, and other Nepalese peaks, for up to 10 years for falsifying photos and receiving the coveted certificates so many climbers have strived for.
Unfortunately, the two aren’t the first to falsely claim they’ve reached the summit, as there has been a spike in “fake climbs” numbering in the dozens over recent years. Those who’ve reached the top of Everest usually receive national awards and recognition, which is why they’ve experienced such a sharp increase in false claims. Veteran climbers, and even the Nepalese government, were at the forefront of this investigation into Yadav and Goswami’s expedition.
The photos submitted by Yadav and Goswami at the summit were analyzed and found to be missing critical components of other photos taken by real climbers. For example, an oxygen mask had no tube connecting it to the tank, there were no reflections of snow on a pair of glasses, and the flags were limp. The tourism industry will remove the names of those who’ve falsely claimed they’ve reached the summit, as well as ban them from climbing other peaks.
In the end, it was found that the two reached an elevation of 27,000 feet known as the “death zone” where their guide realized they had depleted their oxygen. They were still 2,000 feet short of the summit when their guide advised they turn back. In the future, the Nepalese government plans to create a web portal and post all summit pictures hoping the community will help detect fakers.