Indian mountaineer Narender Yadav, previously banned for simulating the ascent of Mount Everest, reaches the summit | More sports news

KATHMANDU – An Indian mountaineer banned from Everest after simulating a summit of the world’s tallest mountain has managed to scale the peak for real, telling AFP he had returned to “prove himself”.
Narender Singh Yadav claimed to have reached the summit of the 8,849 meter (29,032 ft) mountain in May 2016.
But photos of the 26-year-old at the top were later shown to have been digitally altered, prompting the Nepalese government to revoke recognition of his achievement.
Yadav and two other climbers were handed a six-year ban retroactive to 2016, and it was the first year he could return to the mountain.
“Everest is a dream for all of us but Everest is my life,” Yadav told AFP on Friday. “There were a lot of allegations about me…that’s why I (had to) prove myself and climb Everest.”
Yadav claims he made it to the top, but the expedition leader doctored his photos and posted them on social media after he was nominated for India’s prestigious Tenzing Norgay Adventure Award in 2020.

The award was then withheld, an experience Yadav called “very painful for me and my family”.
His ban ended on May 20. Seven days later he was at the top – this time with plenty of photos and videos to prove his achievement.
“We granted him a certificate on Wednesday after he presented enough evidence of his Everest summit,” said Bishma Raj Bhattrai, head of Nepal’s tourism department.
Pemba Rita Sherpa, a guide for the Pioneer Adventure expedition organizer, said two guides accompanied him instead of the usual to make sure there were no arguments.
“We took many photos and videos of him,” he said. “We have to talk about what is real. It’s about the reputation of our Sherpas and the reputation of the company.”
A successful summit of Everest is the crowning achievement of any climber, and many go on to pursue careers as motivational speakers and authors.
The current authentication system requires photos as well as reports from team leaders and government liaison officers stationed at base camp – but it has been open to attempts at fraud.
An Indian couple were banned for 10 years in 2016 after posting doctored photos claiming to show them on top of Mount Everest.
The two men, both police officers, overlapped, along with their banners, in photos taken by another Indian mountaineer at the summit.
This year, a rare window of good weather has seen more than 500 climbers and guides reach the summit of Everest since a team of Nepalese climbers cleared the way on May 7.
The Himalayan nation reopened its peaks to climbers last year after the coronavirus pandemic shut down the industry in 2020.


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