The rise and fall of the false climbers: Indian couple uses Photoshop to fake Everest ascent


posted Tuesday, September 6, 2016 at 4:30 PM EDT


Photoshop is not just for fixing images in images; an Indian couple has proved it’s also great for lying about your accomplishments.

In claiming to be the first Indian couple to ascend Mt. Everest, Dinesh and Tarakeshwari Rathod -- who are police officers, by the way, so you’d hope for them to be more honest -- Photoshopped photos from other climbers. Making matters worse, Nepalese authorities originally verified the photos as being legitimate.

After their supposed summiting of the nearly 30,000-foot peak in May, it took about a month before accusations started rolling in. Rather than being attacked for their Photoshop work itself, the pair slipped up in other ways, such as having changed climbing boots in different pictures, something experienced climbers say would never happen in the frigid Nepalese air.

The real photo of Everest climbers. Via PetaPixel.
And the fake photo that Rathod posted to his Facebook. Via PetaPixel.

Amazingly enough, this isn’t the Rathod’s first brush with deception. In 2014, they falsely claimed to have successfully conquered Australia’s 10 peaks, known as the Aussie10 challenge. This was later denied by an experienced mountaineer who accompanied them on the expedition. In both cases, the Rathods received considerable media attention and celebration for “accomplishing” the feats.

While this story occurred in June, there was a recent development: The punishment. The Rathods have been banned by Nepalese officials from climbing in Nepal for the next decade. After publicly claiming that they didn’t want to start their family until after climbing Everest, it looks like that plan will have to wait. Although they’ve had no problems lying before, so who knows. PetaPixel is reporting that the police pair have disappeared. I certainly can’t tell you where they are, but I can pretty much assure you that they’re not on a mountain’s peak.

Using Photoshop for undeserved attention is never a good idea. As we have seen time and time again, there are plenty of capable internet sleuths who will always unravel the lies.

(Seen via PetaPixel with additional information from The Guardian)