Nepal Bans Indian Trio for Fake Everest Summit

Everest
The photoshopped summit photo. Photo: Narender Yadav/Facebook

Narender Singh Yadav and Seema Rani Goswami claimed that they summited Everest five years ago. It has taken a while, but the Nepalese government has finally concluded that this was not the case.

In 2016, the pair of Indian mountaineers submitted a photo of their summit in order to receive their coveted Everest summit certificates, but experienced climbers and Sherpas quickly called out the photos as fake. In the photo, Yadav’s oxygen mask is not attached to anything, the pair’s shadows fall in different directions, and in a notoriously windy spot, the flags they are holding hang limply.

The investigation began last August and concluded that the duo had only reached 8,200m, 600m short.

The expedition guide, Naba Kumar Phukon, has consistently denied that the pair summited. He told the Hindustan Times that “from day one, I am telling everyone that Yadav’s summit claim was false and he morphed his picture.”

Yadav accuses the guide himself of photoshopping the images.

As the number of climbers on Everest increases each year, so do those trying to register false summits. In an era when hundreds of guided climbers sometimes summit in a single day, the days of an Elizabeth Hawley carefully scrutinizing each would-be claim are long gone. And Nepal itself earns a lot of money from each Everest permit, so does not police claims of success very carefully.

Dozens of false reports are submitted each year. In the past, some false claimants turning their pseudo-summit into a lucrative motivational speaking career. Nowadays, in some countries, the benefits of such a claim are more direct. India bestows national awards on those with Everest summit certificates, for example. Yadav won the prestigious Tenzing Norway Adventure Award in 2020 for that climb, which includes a $6,700 cash prize. It has since been rescinded.

These awards are thought to be one of the reasons for the recent influx of climbers from India tackling Everest. Government officials sometimes even get promotions and lifelong benefits for topping Everest. An Indian couple, both police officers, who also faked a summit in 2016 were subsequently fired from their jobs when their ruse came to light.

Earlier this week, Yadav and Goswami were banned from all mountains in Nepal for 10 years, along with their guide, Phukon.

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About the Author

Rebecca McPhee

Rebecca is a freelance writer and science teacher based in the UK.

She is a keen traveler and has been lucky enough to backpack her way around Africa, South America, and Asia. With a background in marine biology, she is interested in everything to do with the oceans and aims to dive and open-water swim in as many seas as possible.

Her areas of expertise include open water sports, marine wildlife and adventure travel.

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OldHikerDude
OldHikerDude
9 months ago

Since the guide denied the claim from day one, Why is he also banned? This poor guy can’t make a living now, and he did nothing wrong.

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Caravaggio
Caravaggio
9 months ago

I cant understand the ban to the guide, this is ridiculous.

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Suren
Suren
9 months ago

Because he did not inform that to the authorised department and media before claiming the false report of summit.

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Ffgg
Ffgg
9 months ago

India is made of lies and false.

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Shiva Kumar
Shiva Kumar
9 months ago
Reply to  Ffgg

From which place r u?

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Roula
Roula
9 months ago
Reply to  Shiva Kumar

India…..why abt u

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Ashley
Ashley
9 months ago
Reply to  Ffgg

How would you like it if I said ur native country was trash and full of lies?

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Radav
Radav
9 months ago
Reply to  Ashley

If I was from India, then I would agree.

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Uttam
Uttam
9 months ago

why penalize the guide? it doesn’t make sense, and it would not be right to destroy his livelihood. the two climbers who faked the summit deserved what finally came to them. why ban the guide who had denied the duo summited everest from day 1. it is inconceivable the guide who had denied they set foot on the summit would photoshop images – i say, give him the benefit of a doubt. Yadav blamed the guide of photoshopping – the same Yadav who had faked the summit. And the authority apparently believed Yadav the liar over the guide who has… Read more »

Last edited 9 months ago by Uttam
Super
Super
9 months ago

With all the bottleneck issues at the summit it is surprising that any government would financially entice it citizens to climb the highest peak in the world.

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Steve House
Steve House
9 months ago

All ascents where supplemental oxygen was used should be classified as fake.

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