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Escalator on Everest set for 2012
At a ceremony on the Rongbuk Glacier, Chinese Minister of Vertical Infrastructure Zhi Huang spoke enthusiastically about what the project meant to both China and Everest. "China will show the world that it can accomplish anything," he said. He added, "our escalator will take people to the top of the world. From there, the sky's the limit."
Not everyone, however, is pleased with the idea of an escalator on Mt. Everest. Roger Bivouac of the Sir Edmund Hillary Society is appalled by the idea. "No mountain should be tamed with a man-made structure," he said at a press conference in Kathmandu. "No mountain is defined by its summit. It's the climb that makes the mountain and the man," he proclaimed to a crowd comprised mostly of mountaineers and sherpas.
Despite protests, the Chinese government plans to break ground on the Everest escalator in July 2009 and complete the project by March 2012. The down escalator is slated for construction in 2014.
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