The son of Everest first ascender Tenzing Norgay is outraged. “This is very disgraceful that a falsified summitter of Everest is being given the highest adventure award of India,” writes Jamling Tenzing Norgay to me. “Shameful!”
The prize is named after Jamling’s father and is awarded annually by the Indian government. Next Saturday, the Indian mountaineer Narender Singh Yadav, among others, is to receive the “Tenzing Norgay National Adventure Award”. Singh Yadav claims to have scaled five of the Seven Summits, the highest mountains on all continents. In 2016, the then 21-year-old was celebrated as the youngest Indian Everest summiter so far. But obviously, the mountaineer did not even reach the highest point at 8,850 meters.
Former expedition leader: “He should be arrested”
The Nepalese newspaper Ekantipur published a report last Sunday in which the supposed summit photo submitted by the Indian was exposed as a rather clumsy fake: the shadow points in the wrong direction, Narender wears a climbing helmet, and the tube is missing from his oxygen mask.
“Definitely Photoshoped,” commented the Indian Naba Kumar Phukon on the alleged summit photo on Facebook. “As a (former expedition) leader of this stupid mountaineer, I demand he should (be) arrest(ed) immediately.”
“200 percent sure”
According to the mountaineering chronicle “Himalayan Database“, Phukon reached the summit of Everest on the morning of 20 May 2016 – allegedly at the same time as Narender Singh Yadav. “It is not true, I reached the summit only along with my Sherpa,” Phukon writes to me. Singh Yadav’s alleged summit success is also denied by the seven-times Everest summiter Lakpa Sherpa, who according to his own words was a member of the Sherpa rescue team above the South Col at that time. Narender did not get further than to the so-called “Balcony” at about 8,400 meters, says Lakpa.
And the Indian was in the ascent, not the descent, Lakpa informs me: “Luckily Nims (Nirmal Purja) and some of the Sherpa guides saw him and another female climber and helped them get down to Camp 4 by giving them their own oxygen bottles.” Lakpa says he is “200 percent” sure that the man was Narender. “Not only me, many people know this.”
They already drew attention to the Indian’s summit lie at that time, but had not get a hearing, says Lakpa, they were rather silenced. By whom, I want to know. “Due to dirty politics,” answers the Sherpa, without going into detail.
In 2016, an Indian couple had already been convicted of fraudulently obtaining an Everest certificate by means of a fake summit photo. The two had later been banned from coming to Nepal for mountaineering for ten years. However, the fact that a rather obvious Everest summit lie is to be rewarded with an important award has a new quality.
Update 29 August: Narender Singh Yadav was removed from the list of award winners.