Last year, Outside reported that the Hillary Step, the iconic feature 200 feet below Everest’s summit, had been fundamentally altered by the 2015 earthquake that shook the mountain. The reporter based his findings on first-hand accounts from mountaineering guides Garrett Madison and Ben Jones. But rumors of the Step’s demise began before that.

The Nepalese government doesn’t want guides to talk about it, but we’ve seen the photos.

Early in the 2016 season, five-time south side summiter David Liano posted on his blog that the Step was gone. Then, last year, guide Tim Mosedale posted on Facebook: “The Hillary Step is no more.” Finally, the Nepalese Government weighed in. Gyanendra Shrestha, from the Nepal Tourism Board, and Ang Tshering Sherpa, the President of the Nepal Mountaineering Association, were quoted in CNN saying that Mosedale was mistaken. Shrestha said the Step had just been completely covered by snow so it “made it easier for climbers.”  Read more at Outside Online.

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