Idiocy on Everest

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Alpe, your experiences sound wonderful. That is the great side of mountaineering isn't it? So much out there to climb for the sheer beauty.

To be honest, there are some good and reputable guides..not all are cads. Before my hubby would allow anyone to go he would do at least one or more climbs here in the States or similar to get to know the clients..he took no one that wasn't capable.

Mostly though for the most part he would prefer to guide on alternative peaks, AMA Dablam, Manaslu, even Mera Pk ..smaller but better actual climbing.
To be fair to Scott Fischer, he was flamboyant and a showy type who made some poor decisions. I was around him a few times in K-du...he treated people fairly but in that biz you err on the side of extreme safety...or don't come back.

I would put the blame more on those 'guides' or companies who hire ill-equipped staff or make their money on pushing the 'Everest experience' using the mts name as a way to pitch their greedy business, while treating their employees shamelessly without regard.
It's long been called the 'Everest highway'...sums it up.

Doesn't seem likely to change much in the future ...

btw, most guides don't get rich doing this. :p
The bigger companies do fine, but there are better ways to make a living...and just go climb for your own pleasure instead of babysitting others..
 
MarkvW said:
Utterly corrupt guides (like the late jerk Scott Fischer) and rich fools with too much money to spend wave a whole bunch of money in the faces of third-world poor people and that money induces them to join in the folly.
Mark - None of Scott Fischers clients were killed in that fateful 1996 climb. But if you're saying he was an opprtunist taking greedy egomaniacs money on a folly, then well, I'm not going to argue. I think Joe said it best in his post above.

As to climbing, I'd much rather climb an unnamed, unclimbed peak in Alaska, than Mt. Everest.
 
Aug 10, 2010
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Alpe d'Huez said:
Mark - None of Scott Fischers clients were killed in that fateful 1996 climb. But if you're saying he was an opprtunist taking greedy egomaniacs money on a folly, then well, I'm not going to argue. I think Joe said it best in his post above.

As to climbing, I'd much rather climb an unnamed, unclimbed peak in Alaska, than Mt. Everest.
It's all a pretty sad corruption of the local society and economy.
 
I don't want to climb on a high horse here, but want to reflect on something Mew said. Not every Everest guide is a miser, and every guided team a ship of fools.

If you really want to know it all in a nutshell, look up the story of David Sharp, who was climbing essentially solo and collapsed on the descent of Everest. Roughly 40 people passed him, only few offering any assistance, and all left him to die, which he eventually did. Per Edmund Hillary:

"I think the whole attitude towards climbing Mount Everest has become rather horrifying. The people just want to get to the top."

"They don’t give a damn for anybody else who may be in distress and it doesn’t impress me at all that they leave someone lying under a rock to die...I think that their priority was to get to the top."
There's nothing they could have done, you say?

I should strongly note in contrast, not long after Sharp died, another climber, Lincoln Hall was in very bad distress on Everest while descending and collapsed. The lead guide of another team, Dan Mazur, who were on their way up and in perfect conditions, came across Hall, and abandoned their almost certain summit quest in order to rescue him, which required an incredible effort. They got him down, and Hall fully recovered. I suppose my point is this. While photos like the aghast one in the Outside link, and stories like David Sharp's death show humanity at it's ugliest, and to me having nothing to do with mountaineering, it should not reflect as a whole on high altitude mountaineering, for climbing leaders like Mazur should not be tossed aside as well.
 
The German who died, Schaaf, was from our general area. There was extensive coverage after his death, including a very long interview with his climbing partner. It was fascinating but also absolutely appalling to read.

Susan
 
mewmewmew13 said:
To be fair to Scott Fischer, he was flamboyant and a showy type who made some poor decisions. I was around him a few times in K-du...he treated people fairly but in that biz you err on the side of extreme safety...or don't come back.
I should also note that Scott Fisher was involved in the 1992 rescue of Chantal Mauduit on K2, which almost cost him his life. So the guy wasn't all bad. He just became part of a profit making system I suppose, which ultimately cost him his life.

Since the article mentions climbers passing by freshly dead bodies, I'm not going to post it here, but if you wish to see Scott Fisher's remains, here's a link. Climbers have to practically step over his body when they climb, and descent the mountain. I have to wonder, looking again at the Outside magazine photo of the "Everest Highway", if this puts a dent into any of their minds.
 

LauraLyn

BANNED
Jul 13, 2012
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mewmewmew13 said:
It's the reckless manner of some of the so called 'guides' and agencies that put clients at risk when there is no reason.

Many of these clients are not really climbers, no experience...
They pay their huge fees and the Sherpas do the grunt work...then the paying 'climbers' are clipped into ropes and led up into the wilds of altitude and dangerous terrain.

It is a very 'circus-like' atmosphere at times with the trains of people shuffling in lines as if on an elevator. Some reach the summit only to stand in line with dozens of others waiting to 'jug' back down the mt...usually much harder to go down after depleting everything to have gone up.

There is a HUGE difference between experienced climbers who have trained and climbed for years and go a peak using their own skills and judgement..vs the people who want to 'tick' Everest off their bucket list and pay a huge fee to have someone drag them up.

As the article tries to clarify...there are reputable guide services and then there are the shady ones in it for the money..no respect for the mountain or human lives.
It is really true what you say. Don't go to the Himalaya's without doing your homework. And your guide and the Sherpa's will make (or break) your trip.

The Sherpa's I've traveled with are among the best athletes I've ever seen. And a good guide will never put you at more risk than you can handle. Maybe there are better climbers out there than the Sherpa's I've been with, but I'd still rather be with a Sherpa I trusted.

Listen to the guides and the Sherpa's (and get a guide that is a Sherpa). If you go to the Himalaya's (or the Rockies or the Alps or even Mount Washington) to "conquer the mountains" you will miss the real experience, I think.
 


"All aboard! The train is leaving in ten minutes. Hands should remain inside the vehicle at all times. Observe all safety rules."

That is not climbing. That is not adventure. That is BS.

Climbing Everest jumped the shark when they hauled that blind dude up there.
 
Apparently around 320 people have summited this year.

That's way too much.

Some of the major disasters on Everest in recent times have been caused because of delays due to too many climbers.
 
the asian said:
Apparently around 320 people have summited this year. That's way too much...
BroDeal said:


Climbing Everest jumped the shark when they hauled that blind dude up there.
There's probably money to be made and fame to be had then convincing the world that climbing Everest is no longer "cool" but rather they should aspire to some other extreme accomplishment, like walking unsupported across a desert or something like that.

That would be the most epic troll ever...if you could just get The Most Interesting Man in the World to cross the desert in the first group (make it part of filming the next Dos Equis commercial or something) - and keep Kim Kardashian from even tweeting about desert-crossing - and there you'd have it. lol...



[sorry this wasn't as funny a post as I thought it would be, but I tried...]
 
This whole everest deal has been a two edged sword...mostly we see the guided cr@p as the biggest negative along with the trash and lack of respect for the mountain.

The other side is that this has changed the entire Khumbu ( everest) area for many Sherpa families in a positive way. There is much wealth that has helped modernize the area..access to goods, doctors, medicine , and schooling. Not to mention opportunities for the guides and staff's families.

The people that live in the region are quite wonderful.
I could go on and on...visit them if you ever get a chance. Trekking in the area and just hanging out is so much more rewarding than jostling up that peak in that manner. :)
 
May 14, 2010
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mewmewmew13 said:
This whole everest deal has been a two edged sword...mostly we see the guided cr@p as the biggest negative along with the trash and lack of respect for the mountain.

The other side is that this has changed the entire Khumbu ( everest) area for many Sherpa families in a positive way. There is much wealth that has helped modernize the area..access to goods, doctors, medicine , and schooling. Not to mention opportunities for the guides and staff's families.

The people that live in the region are quite wonderful.
I could go on and on...visit them if you ever get a chance. Trekking in the area and just hanging out is so much more rewarding than jostling up that peak in that manner. :)
I'm afraid I have to agree. I was very fortunate to spend some time there a few years back. It was wonderful. The people, the history, the terrain - pretty much everything.

I was surprised how expensive it was to attempt Everest, and equally amazed to find that seemingly anyone could try it if they were rash enough and rich enough (or sponsored, of course).

When I weighed the choice of going to Everest base camp or trekking elsewhere (because I didn't have time for both) in the country, the latter option won hands down - a decision I've never once regretted.

As for this phenomenon of unprepared, unfit people being paraded up the mountain by the hundreds, it brings to mind the old saying about a fool and his money, except here it's a fool and his life. I appreciate what Everest does for the local economy, but somebody needs to show some responsibility. If the Nepali government won't do it, maybe pressure needs to be applied from outside - corporations or the U.N. or something. I'm sure if you hit the local politicos in their pocketbooks, they'll get real responsible, real fast.
 
That photo by BroDeal is comical. No, it's not mountaineering. It's a parade of lemmings. They may as well be hauled up with a giant winch. When these people get back home do they proudly stand on a pedestal and tell the world they are something special for what they did? I'd like to see any of them try to climb this puny 12,000' mountain, well less than half the height of Everest. Or even ascertain how they'd do it:

 
Jan 18, 2010
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The thought of Mallory up there with all that discarded plastic crap is bad, but I suppose the bodies of the rich people will degrade gradually with any luck.
 
May 17, 2012
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Alpe d'Huez said:
That photo by BroDeal is comical. No, it's not mountaineering. It's a parade of lemmings. They may as well be hauled up with a giant winch. When these people get back home do they proudly stand on a pedestal and tell the world they are something special for what they did? I'd like to see any of them try to climb this puny 12,000' mountain, well less than half the height of Everest. Or even ascertain how they'd do it:

What the photo is missing is someone like reinhold Mesner pulling out and doing an overtake of the whole sodding lot of them due to not being weighed down by trivial pieces of kit such as ropes and oxygen equipment! Imagine the time-lapse of that!

My favourite modern attempt on Everest was when Tim McCartney-Snape started his oxygen-less assent by wading in to shore from the ocean and running all the way to base-camp. I remember thinking at the time that it was both kinda dumb and kinda cool all wrapped into one ridiculous effort. Had more significance back then when there were less than 600 successful climbs of the mountain, total
 
Jan 18, 2010
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Isn't the North face on the Chinese side supposed to be tougher, like logistics and harder terrain?

Bonnington reckons Everest is like a glorified Mont Blanc but I suppose if you come from a difficult side that changes.
 
May 11, 2009
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Some of the other Himalayan peaks are not available to climb because of political situations. For example, access to K-2 (which is reportedly more difficult to climb than Everest) is via ****stan. So that increases the pressure on Everest to some extent.
 
avanti said:
Some of the other Himalayan peaks are not available to climb because of political situations. For example, access to K-2 (which is reportedly more difficult to climb than Everest) is via ****stan.
K2 is definitely much more difficult and deadly than Everest.

And no one has summited it in winter.

A climber died in February this year in an attempt.
 
sublimit said:
Isn't the North face on the Chinese side supposed to be tougher, like logistics and harder terrain?
Yes, but not by a large amount. It's a bit longer, and a bit steeper in spots, gets a little less sun, but no icefall to get through. The Chinese however have now paved roads all the up to something like 13,000' for tourism, making the approach easier.

To differentiate: There are potentially dozens and dozens of routes on Everest, some of them impossibly difficult, such as the Kangschung Face (center of photo), or Three Pinnacles route (long right ridge in photo):



There are also peaks much lower than Everest, in the Himalayas or otherwise, where the only way to the top is very difficult and requires a great deal of technical skill, with no footsteps to follow, and little information to help plan a route. Peaks such as Baintha Brakk (photo), Gasherbrum IV, or Huntington (my previous post).



This would be the domain of actual climbers, the rare few who have attempted such a thing, and even fewer who have made it. But this principle also applies to lesser mountains that require you to know what you're doing.

The big difference is that these climbs are not guided, not ferried. It's a night and day thing. When you climb aboard a bush plane, or set foot on a long trek, and head with a small team to a mountain you don't have a great deal of information on, and ascend it with your own skill, your own wits, even if it's a small mountain, that is a world of difference from being guided up any mountain, even something as big as Everest.
 
Jul 7, 2009
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mewmewmew13 said:
This whole everest deal has been a two edged sword...mostly we see the guided cr@p as the biggest negative along with the trash and lack of respect for the mountain.

The other side is that this has changed the entire Khumbu ( everest) area for many Sherpa families in a positive way. There is much wealth that has helped modernize the area..access to goods, doctors, medicine , and schooling. Not to mention opportunities for the guides and staff's families.

The people that live in the region are quite wonderful.
I could go on and on...visit them if you ever get a chance. Trekking in the area and just hanging out is so much more rewarding than jostling up that peak in that manner. :)
I wonder how many of the last several hundred to have summited have contributed to local medical clinics and schools?
 
Sep 11, 2012
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knewcleardaze said:
I wonder how many of the last several hundred to have summited have contributed to local medical clinics and schools?
Do you contribute to local medical clinics and schools every time you go on vacation?
 

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