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Response to hunter (Reply #8)

Mon Feb 29, 2016, 08:37 PM

19. There's an interesting (IMO) related story

First, mechanically, you can't easily run a cable car up Everest (or to call it Chomolungma/Sagarmartha, the more proper name on the Tibetan/Nepali sides). Second you can't just dump people off at 30,000+ feet. You did mention it'd be pressurized but there's lots of problems in avoiding that or if things go wrong (or if the weather sucks and you can't bring the cable car down for days, and god forgive rescues or mechanical issues).

Anyway, that wasn't the point. When I was in Nepal, about 5 miles from Everest (and a good 3000 foot climb up yet ANOTHER mountain), there was a place called the Everest View Hotel. It's the highest hotel in the world at 13,000 feet (keep in mind Everest is more than twice that height).

It was built in the late 60's, opened in the early 70's. The idea was cool - you could sleep on a mountaintop and look out your window and see Everest. Even as a visitor years later (90's) I could go up there and get a cold coke served by a waiter. Quite surreal.

What they intended was that jet setters would flock in to this unusual luxurious location. What they found out were a few things - first of all, Royal Nepal Airlines had to give permission for flights in, and since they owned the monopoly on flights, they couldn't work out an arrangement whereby non-RNA flights could get in.

Second, I don't think anyone gave a lot of thought to altitude sickness from people flying into Kathmandu and then getting dropped off at 13,000 feet without acclimitizing properly (exposing you to altitude sickness which is a real dangerous thing).

Finally, no one seemed to have thought through the issue of having a wood structure exposed to the elements 13,000 feet up in the Himalayas.

To my knowledge, though it's been a few decades, the only to get there is to hike up, which I'm pretty sure was not in the business plan. I believe the Japanese owned it for a while (or maybe started it) but don't know what its status is now. It is surreal to climb up in the middle of frickin' nowhere, and be served a cold coke by a white-gloved waiter, but I doubt it's a sustaining business model. But there is something cool like that in the area, and a blast to experience (and no pun intended with either "cool" or "blast"


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