If you want to climb Mount Everest, then join the queue – literally according to mountaineer Chris Bonington who has scaled the peak four times.
Standing at the 29,029-foot peak of the world’s tallest mountain is what dreams are made of for most climbers.
But Bonington says forget the supposed glory as the climb is really standing in a queue of 600 other mountaineers waiting to walk up ready-placed guide ropes to reach the summit.
Bonington, 83, claims inexperienced climbers pay a fortune to say they have conquered the mountain, taking the excitement and challenge out of the achievement.
Thank God I don’t have to go back
“It’s awful. Thank God I don’t have to go back,” he said.“You see those photographs with the long lines of people going up fixed ropes to get to the top.
“Quite honestly, if you have this dream of climbing Everest you’re going to be doing it with about 500 or 600 other people.”
Bonington claims the rows of climbers are more dangerous than the mountain because many have no knowledge of the craft of climbing.
And, he says the climbers pay up to £18,000 for the privilege of a selfie at the summit.
Cheap travel is ruining many of the world’s most isolated and beautiful spots.
The Beach closed to tourists
Take Maya Beach in Thailand – famous as The Beach from the movie and book.
The beach has closed to tourists after recommendations from environmentalists that the ban was the only way to recharge the sands and rocks trampled by thousands of tourists every day.
The beach is far from the tropical paradise where Leonardo DiCaprio swam in the film.
Maya Beach is dreamed of as picture postcard perfect with soft white sands, a turquoise tropical sea lapping the shore and awesome crags climbing to the sky.
The truth is tourists arrive by the boatload all day and stand shoulder-to-shoulder for a couple of hours, taking selfies and moaning about how spoilt the cove has become.
“We are a beautiful country, but we have to protect our natural resources,” said Thon Thamrongnawasawat, an advisor to Thailand’s national parks department.
“We have significant information that all the boats that come in and out really impact the coral reef.
“We won’t close it to tourism forever but have to do something to save our sea, and we have to start at Maya Bay.