A South African man, after being caught climbing Mount Everest without a permit, is playing the victim and asking for forgiveness in dealing with Nepali authorities. His trip, documented heavily on social media, is gaining support and encouragement from people around the world, who are conveniently ignoring the fact that he broke the law and will not get away with it.


Climber Argument

Ryan Sean Davy did not have the funds for a solo climbing permit, costing £8,500 and climbed anyway, knowing he’d be declined a permit due to his lack of previous experience.

According to Davy, he practiced and could not afford the permit despite preparation and help.

Davy: It would have been a total embarrassment to turn around and accept defeat because of a piece of paper.

His diminishing of what the “piece of paper” is offensive, to me, a law-abiding citizen, and any traveler who has climbed Everest legally. Despite his argument and hope to help those in trouble, he himself put others at risk by not climbing legally. As a free rider, he also takes up supplies, creates traffic, and obstructs the natural flow of business. By not paying the economic costs of his ascent, he is a free-rider and leech on the system. According to the article, he fled when confronted by government officials. That is not the action of an individual who is innocent.


It's already crowded as is. Don't be a free-rider.

It’s already crowded as is. Don’t be a free-rider.

My Perspective

I definitely get a sense of “woe-is-me” from Davy, and have zero sympathy for him and his followers, over a hundred of whom have left positive and supporting comments on his Facebook posts. I do not understand their support, since it seems pretty clear cut to me. Yes, you could argue the fact that a climbing permit is expensive (at about $11,000), but it is there for a variety of reasons. Simply the fact that he did not want to pay this fee, does not make what he did right or just. I sincerely hope he is punished to the full extent of the law.

His self-victimization, which comes through on his posts and interview answers, does not violate the fact that he is no better than a poacher or a trespasser, climbing without a permit.

Everest is already a most challenging task, without interlopers. The government has issued the most climbing permits since 1953. This has led to a “hostile environment” according to an experienced Everest climber, Tim Mosedale. Additionally, there were previous reports and expectations of “traffic jam”-like conditions, according to The Post. Many have died climbing Everest, as well.


Jail Time!

Jail Time!

Conclusion & Ramifications

Lastly, Davy may face jail time, as well as a $22,000 fine, twice the amount of the original climbing permit. Additionally, government officials seized his passport. He does write on his social media warning people away from trying to rescue him or pay his fees. Also, he mentions his desire to return for a second attempt – something I hope will be dashed with a permanent ban. He will be transported to Kathmandu, but further details are sparse.

While his passport is seized and he may be jailed, I sincerely hope the Nepal government ban him permanently from the mountain, as he besmirches the reputations of those who climb legally.


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