Translations available

What’s harder than summiting Everest? Getting climbers to respect it again.

“Everest is just such a cool place,” says this seasoned climber. “And a piece of my heart just wishes people would see that.”

Cory Richards sat in a lounge chair in his office in Boulder, Colorado. He casually propped one of his legs up on the chair’s arm, and a three-month-old puppy named Rupert jumped into his lap.

“How would you rather die?” he asked, gently petting the dog. “Fall while free-soloing El Cap or die on Everest?”

It was a rhetorical question, framed to get at an enduring topic that irks Richards, which is that Mount Everest—with its reputation as an “easy” trophy summit for rich people who pay mountain guides and workers to do all the work and take all the risk—doesn’t get the respect it deserves among “core” climbers.

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