Nepal Police Everest “Clean-Up” Expedition. This expedition (First Sagarmatha Preservation Expedition) was certainly a most controversial expedition and has caused much of a stir in Kathmandu. Looked at from different points of view, it was either (1) a blatant and irresponsible attempt to climb Everest without permission with fraudulently obtained large sums of money from foreigners (much of it unaccounted for) under the pretense of a clean-up operation or (2) an expression of deep concern for the sanctity of the high Himalayan peaks, a courageous attempt to rescue Sagarmatha from the mantle of defiling trash left there by uncaring foreign climbers and trekkers. The truth is somewhere between the two, perhaps exactly in the middle. The tragic end of the enterprise was a bold, foolhardy attempt to retrieve the situation to reach the summit as it seems they may have been trying to do, in defiance of authority. That Yogendra Thapa, a senior Police officer, acted in such an irresponsible manner is something the Police headquarters would rather forget. The tragic death of Thapa let a lot of people off the hook. That Ang Dorje Sherpa should lose his life in the best forgotten expedition is tragedy.
Michael J. Cheney, Himalayan Club