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How to Climb Mt. Everest Sustainably and Ethically

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This photograph taken on May 12, 2021 shows mountaineers as they climb during their ascend to summit Mount Everest (8,848.86-metre), in Nepal. (Photo by Pemba Dorje SHERPA / AFP via Getty Images)

Adrian Ballinger, a mountain guide based in California, has reached Mt. Everest’s peak 8 times – including once without supplemental oxygen. Now that China has reopened the less-traversed north side route to foreigners, he’s headed back next month for the first time in four years. We talk to him about what draws hundreds of climbers to attempt to summit Mt. Everest every year, how to climb ethically and sustainably as ever more visitors descend on the mountain and what it feels like to be on top of the tallest peak in the world.


Adrian Ballinger, mountain guide; founder, Alpenglow Expeditions

Graham Cooper, member of Mt. Everest expedition team


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