New signboard at Everest Base Camp

The new signboard erected at Everest Base Camp (EBC) by the Khumbu Pasang Lhamu Rural Municipality has generated varied reactions. Installed just a week ago, the sign features Tenzing Norgay and Edmund Hilary, the first to summit Mount Sagarmatha on May 28, 1953, and marks the trek’s endpoint. Previously, trekkers identified EBC by its iconic boulder painted with “Everest Base Camp” in red. Countless climbers and mountaineers had left their mark on this historic landmark over the years. The boulder remains, but tilted over time, it’s now mostly obscured by the new signboard.

new vs old signboard
new vs old signboard

Soon after installation, many shared their opinions on social media regarding the new signboard. Tour operator Ganesh Sharma believes the historic boulder served as a testament to the region’s cultural and historical heritage. “Replacing it disregards this heritage and risks erasing memories and experiences of those who journeyed to EBC,” he said.

On March 24th, climber Kenton Cool, a 17-time Everest summiter, posted a picture of the new signboard on social media, seeking opinions. The post garnered over 19,000 views and elicited mixed reactions. Some found the signboard commercial, while others supported clarifying EBC’s location.

Author Serku Sherpa praised the initiative for clarifying EBC’s location and discouraging travel onto dangerous glacier areas impacted by climate change. Renowned climber Mingma David Sherpa noted the boulder’s recent recognition after being inscribed and its impermanence due to glacier shifts. “Installing signboards is a common practice worldwide. Perspectives vary,” he said.

Mountaineer Lakpa Dendi Sherpa supported the signboard’s purpose but felt it could be placed in a better location with a stable foundation and optimal views. Municipality chairman Mingma Chiri Sherpa explained the signboard aimed to manage high seasonal foot traffic and avoid disturbing expedition camps. Officials maintain the boulder was never the official landmark, and the signboard will aid management while respecting natural beauty. Further enhancements, like historical information, are planned for the signboard.

Tradition vs. Functionality

Opinions on social media are divided. Some, like tour operator Ganesh Sharma, feel the old boulder represents the region’s cultural heritage. Others appreciate the new signboard’s clarity, especially for first-time visitors.

What do you think?

Should tradition be preserved, or is the new signboard a positive step for EBC? Share your thoughts in the comments below! (or)

Help us decide!

Vote in our poll: New Signboard or Keep the Historic Boulder? Let your voice be heard!

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