Idiocy on Everest

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Dex has been used many times for safety and rescue, but this is nuts. It's also not surprising to me in the least. This was predicted in a sense in the 2001 American Alpine Journal, where an article by two doctors warned about excessive use of such drugs, and defined what they were, and what could be used in the future (EPO was one of the drugs discussed).

In 1953 Herman Buhl soloed Nanga Parbat having taken two amphetamine pills. In 1988 Stephen Venables took a high dose of caffeine pills when he climbed Everest's Kangshung Face in one astounding 60 hour push. But Venebles knew how to climb, and no one scoffs much at drinking a lot of coffee to stay awake. At the time it raised a couple eyebrows, but no one discredited what they did. It was viewed that they did it to save their lives, just like Dex was used in decades past.

This new breed of "climber", aren't climbers to me. They are tourons. Part tourist, part moron. They are often type-a personality, who think climbing a peak like Everest is a quest, similar to making a heap of money in sales, investments, stock deals, etc. They often think and behave similarly to morally bankrupt people like Armstrong who see only results and self-gratification.

But is it "wrong"? I don't know. To me it greatly diminishes what you accomplish. As I alluded to before, I'm more impressed by someone who does something like traverse Mt. Rainier in the off-season, or puts up a new route in the St. Elias Range, than someone who climbs Everest as part of a guided team. They are two distinct activities. And just the same, jacking yourself up on a heap of drugs to accomplish something you couldn't otherwise do, is just the same, and not of equal value or worth.

As to competitions, mercifully there aren't a heap of climbing competitions, and what do exist, aren't really highly profitable or highly prestigious. Without looking it up, can you name one person who won the Khan Tengri challenge? (I used to be really into this sort of thing, and have been to Khan Tenrgi, and can name maybe two. Didn't climb KT by the way. Too tough for me). But if the time comes when there are high paid and competitive climbs, climbing may be in the same mess as cycling.
 
Jan 20, 2013
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Not to mention all the pollution that never rots, dropped bags, poopoo's and the occasional mummified dead body to step over on the way up/down.
 
excellent article on the tragedy (including a link to a video from 2009 to give you a taste of the majesty and horror of such an event) and a little background on sherpas:
Many of the dead are related to other Everest Sherpas – fathers, sons, brothers, uncles, cousins. They are one large family. This is a human tragedy. This is a time to honor these men doing their jobs, working extraordinarily hard without complaint year after year. This is what they do.
it also raises the question of what will happen to the families now that these brave men are dead, something i was thinking about myself :(

and on his main page he lists them all, including their affiliation:

14 Confirmed deaths, 4 missing

Mingma Tenzing Sherpa Peak Freaks, died from HAPE
Mingma Nuru Sherpa, , Shangrila Nepal on NBC Everest Expedition, died from avalanche into Khumbu Icefall
Dorji Sherpa, Shangrila Nepal on NBC Everest Expedition, died from avalanche into Khumbu Icefall
Ang Tshiri Sherpa, Shangrila Nepal on AAI Everest Expedition, died from avalanche into Khumbu Icefall
Nima Sherpa, Shangrila Nepal on AAI Everest Expedition, died from avalanche into Khumbu Icefall
Phurba Ongyal Sherpa, Adventure Consultants, died from avalanche into Khumbu Icefall
Lakpa Tenjing Sherpa, Adventure Consultants, died from avalanche into Khumbu Icefall
Chhiring Ongchu Sherpa, Adventure Consultants, died from avalanche into Khumbu Icefall
Dorjee Khatri, Adventurist Everest, died from avalanche into Khumbu Icefall
Dorjee Sherpa, Adventurist Everest, died from avalanche into Khumbu Icefall
Phur Temba Sherpa, Adventurist Everest, died from avalanche into Khumbu Icefall
Pasang Karma Sherpa from Juving Solukhumbu, Jagged Globe,died from avalanche into Khumbu Icefall
Asman Tamang, Himalayan Ecstasy Lhotse, died from avalanche into Khumbu Icefall

Missing

Tenzing Chottar Sherpa, Shangrila Nepal on AAI Everest Expedition, from avalanche into Khumbu Icefall
Ankaji Sherpa, Everest Chinese Dream Expedition, from avalanche into Khumbu Icefall
Pem Tenji Sherpa, Everest Chinese Dream Expedition, from avalanche into Khumbu Icefall
Ash Bahadur Gurung, Everest Chinese Dream Expedition, from avalanche into Khumbu Icefall
note that some on this list were for the aforementioned Everest Jump Live… when i searched to see what would become of that travesty, i found this: http://starcasm.net/archives/269247 the first video is typical Today fare (including a really unfortunate comment), but the second one is quite stark -- the reality of it all had sunk in… there but for the grace of god… the NBC team were actually supposed to start climbing the night before, but the sherpas told them to wait a day as they wanted to secure more lines, etc.

which begs the question -- what would have happened if some members of the Everest Jump Live crew had been killed as well? westerners? would CNN stop it's non-stop coverage of MH370 and the Korean ferry recovery??? i know the numbers of lives lost are not as huge, but…

RIP sherpas
 
May 27, 2012
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thirteen said:
excellent article on the tragedy (including a link to a video from 2009 to give you a taste of the majesty and horror of such an event) and a little background on sherpas:

it also raises the question of what will happen to the families now that these brave men are dead, something i was thinking about myself :(

and on his main page he lists them all, including their affiliation:



note that some on this list were for the aforementioned Everest Jump Live… when i searched to see what would become of that travesty, i found this: http://starcasm.net/archives/269247 the first video is typical Today fare (including a really unfortunate comment), but the second one is quite stark -- the reality of it all had sunk in… there but for the grace of god… the NBC team were actually supposed to start climbing the night before, but the sherpas told them to wait a day as they wanted to secure more lines, etc.

which begs the question -- what would have happened if some members of the Everest Jump Live crew had been killed as well? westerners? would CNN stop it's non-stop coverage of MH370 and the Korean ferry recovery??? i know the numbers of lives lost are not as huge, but…

RIP sherpas
They would have done a human interest piece about any Americans killed, and then mentioned that others died, and then worked in a constant metric about how this guy flying off Everest was all for those lost...and would likely have tripled the cost for advertising during the show because of all of the new interest...
 
ChewbaccaD said:
They would have done a human interest piece about any Americans killed, and then mentioned that others died, and then worked in a constant metric about how this guy flying off Everest was all for those lost...and would likely have tripled the cost for advertising during the show because of all of the new interest...
sick, isn't it?
 
ChewbaccaD said:
Did you know any of those lost or injured?
most of the dead I believe are mostly the younger generation that work for or are related to my friends..most of whom have now risen to positions where they mainly stay at base camp and oversee the expedition.

It has touched the whole community so widely ..all are shocked.
I have seen some pics and comments from them on FB ..just devastating.
 
I'm both sad, and angry by this. Sad because that article is right in that it's the Sherpas that bear the risks of big climbs like this. But angry for reasons I've stated before. I was no super climber in my youth, no way. But I definitely had a certain understanding of the independence of the wild. But there are a lot of people trophy climbing today that have no business in the mountains.

An American hero of sorts to me was John Roskelley, a climber who did many things his own way, and rubbed more than a few people the wrong way. But he was very self-reliant, and very safe. A world of difference between climbers like Roskelley, and the throgs of people today essentially exploiting Sherpas, even to their death.

I'm not going to say anymore.
 
May 27, 2012
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thirteen said:
sick, isn't it?
The sick thing is that the only thing they won't do in what I wrote is the human interest piece on any Americans that died...they'll do the rest because this will increase interest in this idiotic stunt.
 
May 27, 2012
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mewmewmew13 said:
most of the dead I believe are mostly the younger generation that work for or are related to my friends..most of whom have now risen to positions where they mainly stay at base camp and oversee the expedition.

It has touched the whole community so widely ..all are shocked.
I have seen some pics and comments from them on FB ..just devastating.
There just aren't words for something like this, but I too share Alp's anger at the way Sherpas are treated, and the sacrifice they make so that someone with huge disposable income can risk their life for a photo for their office wall that none of the people in their social circle will have.
 
Feb 7, 2013
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hughmoore said:
On initial view I thought the photo looks ridiculous, but after a bit of investigation, it is understandable.

The window to summit is usually only one or two days each year. "ONE, maybe TWO DAYS" maybe a week apart when the weather opens up in late May.

The climbers are usually on the mountain for couple of months acclimatising going up and down between the camps. This is significant in itself.

So after couple of months on the mountain, there may be only one day when its possible to summit. Would you be prepared to say, I wait a few days, because there are two many climbers and hope maybe next week it will be clear again. This is why there is a big line plus a lot of Sherpas providing support.

Maybe the Govt should reduce the numbers, but that would affect employment.

It is a significant achievement and I dont begrudge anyone as you have to do the work.

I do hate the publicity records for being youngest/oldest/fattest to climb.

I agree, some are dragged up by Sherpas, but that's their choice.

Im going to base camp in a few weeks. Hopefully will make it, looking forward to it.

Regards


Hugh
Very interesting thread and some of the stuff mentioned beggars belief but now you've got me pondering what is the heaviest weight to summit? 120kgs+? Do you measure pre or post climb?:D
 
You don't have to be an incompetent climber to die on a eight-thousander. Avalanches do not discriminate. Nor does acute mountain sickness.

It's sad that so many of these "tourist climbers," many with more money than judgement, have put their trust in a dodgy climbing service whose lack of ethics imperils their lives more than their own inexperience.

But it's tragic that they so often take a sherpa with them, whose only mistake was being so willing to risk their own life to rescue a tourist who they would have been all to aware had no business being there.

The sheer volume of climbers obviously is a problem, as evidenced by the dozens of climbers standing in queue -- sometimes in both directions -- at the Chinese ladder when the weather breaks. But considering the value all these 'tourists" add to the Nepalese economy, one wonders whether the government is dis-incentivised to control the numbers.

It's difficult to separate the truth from the fable but the bravery of the Nepalese people is the stuff of legend. There is an oft retold story from WWII of a British officer canvasing a regiment of Gurkhas for volunteers to jump from an airplane at 500 feet behind enemy lines. At first he was shocked that only half of these famously brave unto death soldiers volunteered, but then it was pointed out to him he failed to mention they'd get parachutes.
 
well ..the suit jumper came around..
http://www.usatoday.com/story/life/tv/2014/04/20/discovery-cancels-everest-jump-live-event/7940935/

and I think his heart is in the right place..his comments bear this out for his feelings for the group of Sherpas he had. :(
They are indeed the 'salt of the earth' ...



^^^and yes Alpe I agree with you totally. The one thing that has changed the lives of those Sherpas that guide and work on expeditions is that the money they make really helps their families.

Dangerous it is but it has given them opportunities that they would never have had otherwise....
sending their kids to schools and access to a better lifestyle. It comes at a very high price though...


One of the first Ameerican mountaineers I was ever aware of when the alpine bug bit me was the wild John Roskelly! a true climber he was...
 

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