Feedback, December 2012

While stationed at Base Camp for two months this spring, senior editor Grayson Schaffer witnessed firsthand one of the most chaotic climbing seasons in Mount Everest's history, with 10 deaths. The overcrowding he detailed in "Take a Number" did not sit well with readers. "I've had a secret dream to climb Everest since 1976, when I first read Maurice Herzog's account of his successful Annapurna expedition," wrote Steve Whitmore, of Centennial, Colorado. "But after seeing last month's horrifying photos of the lines up the mountain, the dream is dead." "Where's the glory in telling a crowded bar 'I scaled Everest' and then having a sixtysomething couple go, 'Oh, so did we!'" wrote Chris Blauvet. Another commented: "One thousand tents at Base Camp? Waiting in line for two hours at the Hillary Step? My God, a trip to the mall seems more appealing." A few readers even noted a rather ironic juxtaposition in the magazine. "The page opposite the story's conclusion is an ad with a picture of Everest and the tagline 'Take the road less traveled,'" wrote Bill Paradies. "Are you kidding me?"

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