- The first thread is now full, bumping this one.
- Are there any dead bodies on Mt. McKinley or Mt. Logan?
- I think they have an easier time getting the dead down in places like McKinley because they are not as high.
- [quote]Conrad Anker climbed the second step in '99 freestyle (without ropes, ladder) to see if it could be done and he did it. There's no reason to think Mallory and Irvine could have done it.
Almost -- he had to touch the ladder once
- [quote]The biggest mistake make in the 1996 disaster is that Fischer did not give his two guides, Beidleman and Boukreev, radios. If they had radios Beidleman could have called Boukreev back when they were struggling to make progress at the beginning of the storm. He definitely would have been able to guide Boukreev to the position of the group when they reached the South Col. Hopelessly lost they hunkered down for hours to stay out of the wind when, in fact, they were about a 15 minute walk from the camp.
The lack of radios always mystified me...
- So is Everest OP.
- [quote] The original thread is almost full.
Why? DL sure has some weird obsessions.
- Have you read the thread R7? It is riveting.
- r8 is right, it is riveting. I never knew or cared anything about Everest until I read the thread, now I am hooked.
- The original thread, for reference
- One the other thread, we noted some of the people who will try to summit in the spring. Some seem well prepared and worthy. Others seem like a joke.
We can use our forum to track their progress with DL snark usually seen only in our Academy Awards blow by blows.
- Mount Everest is an insatiable top.
- I saw an article on Monday or Tuesday about Christian Bale signing up for an Everest film about the '96 tragedies.
- Hi Peter! I saw your tv version and saw the Chris Mcdonald version, I can't wait to see the new one.
- True, r4, but he also said it was because the ladder was in the way.
Anybody care to speculate where Irvine's body is located?
- r15 I would guess anyone who crawls up that and dies is probably in a crevasse.
- "I think they have an easier time getting the dead down in places like McKinley because they are not as high."
McKinley is 9,000' shorter than Everst, it may be possible to use helicopters for rescues. Everest is so high that there isn't enough air pressure to support a helicopter much past base camp.
And McKinley/Denali isn't as much of a douchebag magnet. Is Nepal going to start regulating traffic any time soon?
- No, r17.
They're making way too much money off of the fools.
- [quote][R8] is right, it is riveting. I never knew or cared anything about Everest until I read the thread, now I am hooked.
Me either. I started reading the thread and got hooked. It lead me to read the Krakauer ("Into Thin Air") and Boukreev ("The Climb")books about the 1996 disaster. Both were great.
It's just a genuinely interesting topic - the intersection of extreme danger, insane conditions, exotic locales, big personalities, human strength and weakness, drama, and even the science of high altitude -- makes it even more so.
I would have never thought I'd be genuinely fascinated by a mountaineering thread, but I totally am.
And, the thread has truly been great - hardly any snark, surprisingly focused, informative, insightful. Seems everyone on the thread is just as genuinely interested as I am.
Can't believe it spilled over into a second thread.
Next up for me - a book by an author named Graham about the 2008 K2 disaster.
- What's even better is the fact that we can now watch people summit - thanks Youtube. I've never seen anything but teeny photos of Everest. The thread sent me on a huge trip down youtube lane.
And after seeing the videos, that shit looks even more crazy than I imagined.
- [quote]McKinley/Denali isn't as much of a douchebag magnet.
I found a link on Google about the difficulty of retrieving remains from Denali, but it was from Huffington and wouldn't load -- it would not even show up in the address bar
- Me, neither, r19. Before I started reading that thread I really didn't know or care about mountaineering. Now I can at least comprehend how difficult it is to climb.
The conditions on Everest are so extreme it's fascinating. It truly is at the limit of human endurance if you do it without oxygen (or even with).
The K2 incident is also going to be my next read. I want to know more about the Sherpas.
It fascinates me that the Himalayan area was totally unmapped even less than 100 years ago! It's intriguing that we are still discovering things on our own planet.
- Why is it called "Everest"? I know the locals call it "Cholawollypollydoodleallday" or some heathen gibberish. But how did it get such and English sounding name for the rest of the world?
- The Brits named it Mt. Everest after a famous geographer named Sir George Everest. Even 200 years ago, British academics preferred to assign native names for foreign geographic features newly discovered to themselves. However, they were unable to ascertain the name for the mountain used by the locals because both Nepal and Tibet were closed to foreigners in those days.
The Tibetans call it Chomolungma and in Nepal it is known as Sagarmatha.
- Mother goddess of the world.
- r11 They will start about May 3 and I am excited to track them on here. r19 Let us know how the new book is. I read "Into Thin Air" because of this thread and I really liked it.
- Oh and I don't know if you guys saw the thread about a month ago about how the guy left his snow boots on his porch and they got stolen. Someone said, "OP, don't worry about it if you need new boots there's a guy on Everest with some cool green ones." I thought it was cute and funny.
- Alan Arnette already has the list of expeditions for 2013 up. I believe many teams will be heading into the base camp around end of march to early april. Most summit attempts are in may.
- DAMN it cost $72,500 to climb with himex in 2013. Himex is also going to the south side this year (they usually are set up on north). That seems like a lot more then I recall.
- This was probably my most successful thread. Weird, huh?
- I hope a lot of people tune in this season on this thread. It is pretty insane following the live coverage of the different climbers/teams.
- Why bother to climb Everest when all you need to do is pretend you've summited -- sort of like that kid from California a few years back.
Just hang around base camp, acclimate with a team, stay clear of any real danger, and take your bows. Whose to know if you were really up there or not?
- Wait r32 what do you know about that Jordan kid? I have a niece so I watch the disney channel a lot and that kid was always on there talking about how he summited.
- R33 There were rumors all over the web that he was a fake -- some suspect he sent his GPS up with a Sherpa. His summit photo is just a close up of a bunch of people, lacking the standard panorama seen in most peak shots.
His flickr page is odd as well -- pretty lacking for a fame whore who, had he really completed his "goal" would have had ten thousand photos in their to brag (and bore) the world about their experience.
- Yeah, OP, it is.
Some threads just take off.
I would LOVE to just go and hang around base camp for a while. Seriously. I'd like to help cook or clean up or just be a "go-fer" and talk to the Sherpas.
It would be so interesting to see Everest (would never consider climbing it) and the other mountains in the range. But I'm sure they don't want some moron getting under their feet so I'll just stay home and watch on the inter webs!
- R29- South side permits are much more expensive than north side ones, so it makes sense that a Himex south side expedition costs more than their typical north side ones.
- We'll have to track Sherpa stories -- bad Sherpas and good.
- I haven't read these books (yet).
Is it true that an ascent takes weeks? I thought I read something about how you have to ascend to one camp, then descend again, then ascend again, then descend, etc. I would get tired of doing the same dangerous path time and time again.
- I think it is a two month process, r38, beginning with the 12 day hike up to Base Camp, the acclimation climbs up and down over the next several weeks and then the final push for the summit.
- [quote]Is it true that an ascent takes weeks? I thought I read something about how you have to ascend to one camp, then descend again, then ascend again, then descend, etc. I would get tired of doing the same dangerous path time and time again.
Yes, it's a multi-week acclimatization process. First there is the hike to base camp, which is around 17,700 feet (!), which is already high. The hike to base camp isn't always done from the very bottom of the mountain, but it always starts well below base camp and takes a week.
Once at base camp, it's a series of practice runs and pushing higher to acclimatize A hike from base camp up to Camp 1, and then back down to base camp. A hike to Camp 1 and an overnight in Camp 1. Then a hike to Camp 2 and a descent all the way back down to base camp. An overnight in camp 2 and then up to Camp 3, with a descent to Camp 2 or Camp 1 and then a descent to base camp. Then a multi day ascent to camp 4, the descent all the way to base camp with overnights at camps in between. There are multiple rest days in between a lot of these hikes.
I'm just providing an example of the up and down nature of the process. I don't know the exact order of different journeys and overnight stays at various camps.
Before reading the books, I thought it was one trip straight up the mountain - Base Camp, climb to Camp 1 and stay a few days to acclimatize to a higher altitude, climb to Camp 2 and rest and stay a few days, climb to Camp 3 and stay for a couple of days, climb to camp 4, and then make a summit attempt.
Didn't realize the up and down nature of the whole thing. Didn't think the climbers ever came down until after their summit attempt.
- And that's why Shriya Shah died r 38, what r40 said. She didn't want to spend 2 weeks acclimatizing and wanted to go right up so she never got her breathing right or got used to the altitude. What a dummy. I know everyone wants to summit but they have these procedures for a reason.
- The reason for the up and down is to get your body to produce more red blood cells. More red blood cells = more oxygen to the tissues.
Noel Odell in the last of Mallory's expeditions ended up staying about two weeks in or very near the death zone. He was sleeping there and climbing between camps. Absolutely unheard of in those days and I seriously doubt anyone would do that now even with the high-tech equipment we have.
Odell was the only one in the expedition that had a very high red blood cell count. He acclimated very well and it showed in his ability to stay that high for that period of time.
I'm sure in the future, some yahoo will find a way to inject people with more red blood cells so they don't have to acclimate and ruin the sport even more.
- [quote]I'm sure in the future, some yahoo will find a way to inject people with more red blood cells so they don't have to acclimate and ruin the sport even more.
And on a completely unrelated note, I'm proud to announce that I am now attempting to set the world record for fastest ascent up Everest!
- I can understand wanting to go rock climbing or go on a good hick but why risk your life?
I believe people who do that are really just full of themselves.
- [quote] Why bother to climb Everest when all you need to do is pretend you've summited
I know some people do it for bragging rights only, and some do it to "challenge themselves to the limit."
But I think many people do it because it is the closest thing they will get to space travel. It's like being on another planet. Different air pressure, different oxygen saturation that you will get nowhere else on earth.
- The people who want to hit it big as "motivational speakers" would probably be the types who'd pretend they summited.
- What if someone used erythropoietin for a few months before attempting a summit?
- Actually aren't most expeditions starting around mid-March to start the entire process? We can start following pretty soon.
- r48 Of course! Duh, they just get to start summiting by May but would have to be there for awhile first. Good call. We should be on the look out in the next few weeks.
- USAF Seven Summits:
Mt. Washington: Winter Blow Out!
February 20th, 2013
This is recent update from one of our USAF 7 Summits Team Members- Maj Malcolm Schongalla. He will be climbing Lobuche Peak in Nepal with the Everest Team and has been hard at work training in NH and the surrounding states.
Kelly and I took advantage of a stalled cold front and blustery winds to get some great cold weather acclimatization in today (17 Feb 2013). At 7 AM we started up from Pinkham Notch at 12 degrees F, and the temperature just kept dropping as we made our way along the Tuckerman Ravine Trail to the Winter Lion’s Head route. It was Kelly’s first time with crampons and an ax, and she handled the crux in good style!
People climbing down reported hellacious conditions above– “the worse it is, the better!” we said. Topping out above tree-line on the Lion’s Head, it gave some perspective to “the world’s worst weather” reputation. If this were McMurdo Station, Antarctica, it would have been Condition 1 (no travel allowed).
We practiced some good risk management, and set some firm criteria for turning back. Towards the intersection with the Alpine Gardens Trail, a mere 1 mile from the summit, we called it off. Strong gusts were knocking us off our feet, and visibility was barely good enough to see cairn to cairn.
So, I’m 0 for 3 on winter attempts on Mt. Washington. It would have been great to summit. But my goal was not to summit, my goal was for both of us to walk in our front door and have a beer on the couch, at the end of the day! The mountain is still there, and hopefully next week, I’ll be there again too. Breaking in a new pair of boots, perhaps…
- [quote] I never knew or cared anything about Everest until I read the thread, now I am hooked.
I've been on an Everest kick since this thread started. I've read two Everest books and watched the Discovery channel series in its entirety.
- I followed the summit attempts pretty closely here last year and on another board, but I started sometime mid-May when they were in the approaching the death zone. It will be weird to follow them on their blogs and get to know them as they prepare and go through the process. Weird if something tragic happens, that is. The casualties last year weren't "real" people to me in the sense that I knew nothing about them.
- Adventure Consultants lists April 1 - June 2, 2013
Check out their website -- you can buy all sorts of extras including extra O2
- "This was probably my most successful thread. Weird, huh?"
Not really. It's just 3 people who keep changing their IP addresses, talking to each other.
- r52 I know, that's why it will be fun to follow them. I don't wish anything bad on any of them but don't think they will all make it. I know there's a gay guy who was on Anderson that did the other 6 summits and has trained for years, I think he will do ok. There is also a little girl, middle school maybe? she is selling cookies or something to fund the trip, her I don't think will make it. I need to read r50 and read the other thread because I think we covered them all. I need to watch that show too, r51, I saw a few episodes and it was pretty interesting.
- Everest 2013: Has Everest Become More Dangerous?
- I kind of felt like I got to know some of them from reading on here r52. The Shriya Shah girl had a lot of info and still has that page up! It's weird to read things like, "Good luck, girl, I know you can do it, see you when you get home." and then the next post is "Sorry to your family for their loss, RIP" Trippy stuff.
- THE Adventure Consultants SHERPA TEAM
Adding strength to our expeditions, our core Sherpa staff from the Nepalese highlands help to make our expeditions fun, safe and successful. Almost always the strongest climbers on Himalayan expeditions, these highly skilled Sherpas are an integral part of our operation.
Ang Tshering Sherpa
As Sirdar for our Himalayan expeditions since 1993, Ang Tshering co-ordinates much of the logistics to enable us to reach our climbing destination within Nepal. He is a colourful character who helps maintain hygiene and order in the base camp and his cooking skills in remote situations are legendary.
Dawa Zangbu Sherpa
Dawa Zangbu Sherpa from Pangboche is a long time AC Sherpa guide having recently taken over our main Climbing Sirdar role on Everest, which he has summitted an impressive 10 times. When he is not on an expedition he is a carpenter and also a lodge owner. His practical skills with electronics are an asset when it comes to setting up and fixing anything in our Base Camps. He always has his friendly smile beaming at you and his fantastic relaxed but professional attitude earns him much respect whern leading our Sherpa teams.
Lhapka Dorjee Sherpa
Lhapka Dorjee is one of Nepal's most experienced Climbing Sherpas with many 8000m summits to his name including Everest (7), Kanchenjunga (2), Cho Oyu (5), Makalu (3), Manaslu and Lhotse. He is often working on our private expeditions as Climbing Sirdar.
Sange Dorjee Sherpa
From Khumjung, Sange Dorjee has been a stand out Climbing Sherpa and now Climbing Sirdar for Adventure Consultants over the past 5 years. Sange Dorjee has excellent English and great organisational skills, as well as 6 Everest and 3 Cho Oyu summits. He was the Sirdar on our successful inauguarl Cholatse Expedition 2011.
Having been an integral member of most of our Himalayan expeditions Chuldim is very much part of the Adventure Consultants extended family. He is a gregarious character with a fine sense of humour and with many years of experience on the highest mountains is a valuable team member. Chuldim is our Climbing Sardar for Cho Oyu expeditions and has summited it 3 times, as well as summiting Everest in 1990. He now acts as our South Col support on Everest and has been there on 9 expeditions.
Chhongba has received high praise for his skill as Base Camp chef. He has worked with us since 1992 and has never failed to please and impress with his range of gourmet fare. Chhongba produces an incredible array of tasty western cuisine from his basic, yet efficient and hygenic cook tent and he trains our up and coming Sherpa cooks.
Dendi is our new Everest and Cho Oyu Chef and amazes our guests with exquisite gourmet food in the most inhospitable locations. He shares and contributes to Adventure Consultants' passion for providing wholesome and nutritious expedition meals. He speaks great English.
- Thanks for the info r58. I like Ang Tshering, he sounds fun. Do you think colourful character = loud and drunk?
- Another 2013 climber:
My name is Dawes Eddy and on May 20, 2009 I had the privilege of standing on the summit of Mt. Everest, which I climbed via the South Col Route. At age 66 I became the oldest American to reach the 29,035 ft. summit. My record was brief because 2 1/2 days later, Bill Burke of Costa Mesa, California, at age 67, also reached the summit and currently holds that record. I have dedicated my life to getting adequate exercise and eating a quality diet with the primary goal of slowing the aging process. Part of my motivation for climbing Everest was to become an example of the benefits of proper diet and exercise to people of all ages, especially the youth of America. Now, four years later, I'm ready to test myself again by climbing Mt. Everest at age 70 via the North Col. Route.
I will be leaving for Nepal and Tibet April 5, 2013 with guiding and Sherpa support being provided by Asian Trekking. I am presently seeking donations and sponsorships to help with the approximate $35,000 cost. If the publicity of my climb would help promote your business product or service, please contact me. Or, if you are willing to help this "old codger" with his goal, your donation will be much appreciated.
With my preparation, your help and support, and cooperation of Mt. Everest, I'll make the summit and get my age record back!
- Because it's MY fucking record, you bitches! It was stolen from me! STOLEN!
- I am less then two months away from my Everest expedition. The emotions are from thrill to panic thinking of the challenge ahead. I saw this amazing 4bn pixel photo of the south side of Everest posted on the Guardian. It is fascinating and scary at the same time. I’ll be climbing this beauty (from the North side) in two months!
There are various opinions on what you got to do to be ready for climbing Mt Everest. There is no single ‘prescription’ for that. Probably the best and the most thorough training plan I saw on Allan Arnette’s blog site: Training for Everest
Another interesting article on training for a big mountain I saw by Ed Viesturs: INSIGHT ON THE MOTIVATION BEHIND PREPARATION
My training for Everest began three years ago, climbing other peaks. Since then, I already climbed and summited two 8,000-ers. There is no better training and test of your endurance, especially in high altitude, as climbing itself. However, regular training, gym exercising, etc is also important before each climb. Due to the nature of my work (I have to travel a lot), I do not always have the best conditions for training. However, I usually adapt to a new environment and find a way to get the necessary training.
I am into my final training and preparations. My New Year schedule is rigorous: I get up at 5 am for my 2 hrs morning exercise routine. I run 14 to 18 km, do my stretching, rope jumping, etc. By 7:00 AM I am done and getting ready for work. After work, I am back to my training routine – 2 hrs yoga class or a soccer game or swimming. Some days twice a week, get on my stair master and do weight lifting. Week-ends, I spend a day trekking with an over 20 kg back pack or skiing and a day to rest.
There is no gym near where I live so I have to make use of what I have, including a skipping rope and a cheap 70 euro stair machine, but it does the job.
There are a couple of scary things about running and working out near my home. One is the dark streets and the second is crazy Italian drivers, that seem to aim for people trying to cross the street and us runners.
My schedule is very rigorous and painful. However, I believe that this is what it takes (at least for me) to get ready for the Big E. I have to do all I can to get ready physically and mentally for this upcoming challenge. I am not taking Big E lightly so I have no regrets latter!
- Wow. Sherpas are all named Sherpa. Must be some blood line, full of red cells.
What do they call an adopted Sherpa?
- Tim Mosedale -- The Big E expedition:
All group members will be fully trained in the appropriate techniques required to negotiate any fixed ropes using jumars, belay devices and prussiks for going up and down the mountain and we will also spend time looking at how to negotiate up and down ladders. All members will also be made aware of how to use the oxygen systems and we will discuss the benefits and drawbacks of various flow rates and protocols. We will be using TopOut masks - which are state of the art and the best you can get. We also have the latest in regulators, which far exceed the quality of the traditional Poisk ones, and can flow at up to 6 litres / min. Very few teams have this facility which is a real potential life saver.
The other life saver is that everyone will be issued an individual set of ultra high altitude medication, know what it is for and, most importantly, know how to use it. We will discuss the pros and cons of how to administer medication, and everyone will be well versed in how to draw up and administer an injection. When you bear in mind that these drugs are life savers, and that they are given to allow recovery down the mountain rather than to progress further, it is vitally important that this subject matter be taken seriously. There have been several cases in the last few years where, if an injection had been available and had been given correctly, lives would undoubtedly have been saved. There is no point having only one set of drugs amongst the group as the person with the medication may not readily be available. And there is more to giving an injection that you might assume - for instance, if you stab someone through their jacket you may plug the hole with a feather.
- Wow r64 so Tim charges 45k because he has some kick ass medication. I read the link and they only do acclimatizing for 3 weeks which doesn't seem long enough. No wonder they all use that medication.
- Pitfalls to avoid and why people don't summit on Mt Everest.
- Sherpa Faux
March 2, 2008
The Higher They Climb
By BRUCE BARCOTT
The Fate of Everest in an Age of Greed.
By Michael Kodas.
Illustrated. 357 pp. Hyperion. $24.95.
Scott Fischer, Mount Everest and a Life Lived on High.
By Robert Birkby.
Illustrated. 342 pp. Citadel Press/Kensington Publishing. $24.95.
In 2003, on the 50th anniversary of the first ascent of Mount Everest, Sir Edmund Hillary, who died in January, returned to the mountain. He looked around at base camp’s satellite dishes, electric generators and free-flowing booze, and despaired. “Just sitting around in a big base camp, knocking back cans of beer, I don’t particularly regard as mountaineering,” he said.
How did we get from Hillary’s noble ascent to a Himalayan version of Burning Man? Two new books lend some insight. One is a biography of a man who helped open the era of guided climbing on Everest; the other offers a portrait of the mountain as a magnet for selfishness and bad behavior.
Scott Fischer is best known as the charismatic American guide who died on Everest in 1996, a disaster told in Jon Krakauer’s “Into Thin Air.” To his friend Robert Birkby, for Fischer to be remembered for that tragedy alone is an unjust summation of an extraordinary life. “Mountain Madness” is a personal, uncritical biography that rounds out the portrait of Fischer sketched in Krakauer’s best seller.
An athletic kid from New Jersey, Fischer was known as a bold risk taker — they called him “the fallingest man in climbing” — until an old-school cragger taught him the Zen of controlled ascent. From then on, Fischer spoke of mountains as a stage on which to practice a mastery of motion. Physical mastery wasn’t uncommon among Fischer’s peers; what set him apart was his personal magnetism and infectious enthusiasm. The man was a walking Red Bull-and-vodka cocktail. “You’re either cruisin’ or you’re bummin,’” he often said. “Cruising’s a lot more fun, so you might as well cruise.”
Fischer created his adventure travel company, Mountain Madness, as a way to make a living while “cruising.” He climbed some of the world’s toughest mountains, sometimes with clients and sometimes without, but the big prize — Everest — eluded him until his third try in 1994. Fischer and a handful of others stood at the center of the mountain’s transformation from an elite mountaineering arena into an amateur’s deadly challenge. In 1989, some of today’s best-known Everest climbers were still struggling to post their first summit. Only two years later they were guiding clients up the South Col. In late 1995, a little over a year after his own first summit, Fischer was telling prospective clients, “We’ve got the Big E wired.”
Fischer didn’t have it wired, of course, and the following spring Everest took his life. His death seemed to put an exclamation mark on the closing of an era. In 1996 Fischer and his guiding colleagues invited the world to follow them via satellite phone and Internet updates — and the floodgates opened. “The privacy of an expedition,” Birkby writes of that infamous climbing season, “so long one of its basic aspects, was about to disappear.”
Privacy was the least of the losses. In the years after Fischer’s death, camaraderie and common decency all but disappeared too. According to Michael Kodas, the author of “High Crimes,” base camp today is a lawless village, complete with thievery, extortion, prostitution and occasional violence. In 1996, 98 climbers made it to the top. In 2007, more than 500 summited. “Along with that rush of visitors,” Kodas writes, “has come a new breed of parasitic and predatory adventurer.” It’s gotten so bad that some expeditions hire Sherpas to stand guard against burglars.
Kodas, a reporter for The Hartford Courant, knows the situation firsthand, having tried to climb Everest in 2004 and 2006. (He was turned back by bad weather and poor health.) “High Crimes” looks at the mountain through the eyes of a fascinated and appalled climber. Kodas weaves accounts of his own hilariously awful adventures with the not-so-funny story of Nils Antezana, a 69-year-old American doctor who fell victim to the underhanded practices now common on the mountain. (Both attempted Everest in 2004 but never met. Kodas climbed the mountain’s north side, from Tibet; Antezana took the southern route, from Nepal.)
Like too many of today’s Everest climbers, Antezana wasn’t a mountaineer. He was a man with a dream: to conquer the world’s highest peak. To reach that goal, he hired an Argentine guide named Gustavo Lisi. In climbing circles, Lisi was known as a scoundrel who once stole a dying climber’s Everest summit photo and claimed it as his own. Antezana was unaware of Lisi’s history because he hadn’t spoken with any climbers who could have clued him in. He knew only that Lisi’s Web site claimed — falsely — that he had conquered Everest.
In May 2004, Lisi actually made it to the top. He led Antezana to the summit but then high-tailed it down the mountain, leaving his staggering client to die 1,500 feet below the peak. Lisi mounted no rescue and waited hours before telling anyone about his abandoned client. He did manage, however, to call his Web master and give him the good news. “Summit!!!! Gustavo Lisi has conquered Everest!!!!” his Web site boasted — without a word on Antezana.
But honorable guides still worked the mountain. One of them, Willie Benegas, was guiding that season for Scott Fischer’s old company, Mountain Madness. Benegas’s twin brother, Damian, who is also a well-respected guide, spotted a plea for help from Antezana’s daughter on an Everest Web site. He called her, then called his brother, who told Damian that a storm had moved over the mountain, preventing a rescue. Damian called Antezana’s daughter and offered to fly from his home in Salt Lake City to Katmandu and trek to base camp to investigate the death of her father, a stranger to him. Better yet, he did it. Gallantry: not dead yet.
Meanwhile, on the other side of the mountain, Kodas was dealing with his own problems. His expedition was guided by George Dijmarescu, a Romanian-born, Connecticut-based climber whose temper proved as short as his climbing résumé. “He had little experience with crevasses, no avalanche training and few navigational skills,” Kodas says he discovered.
Kodas watched in alarm as his teammates bickered, fought and schemed. Things got so bad that Russell Brice, a veteran Everest guide, called the author over for a chat. “In the frontier town that is Everest Base Camp,” Kodas writes, “Russell is something akin to Wyatt Earp.” The sheriff gave it to him straight: his expedition was the kind of shoddy parasitic operation that put everyone else in danger and gave Everest a bad name.
The best guides require their clients to work their way up to Everest, but cut-rate operators don’t, Kodas learned. Top outfitters often turn away inexperienced applicants only to see them in the base camp chow line of a less scrupulous company.
“They know you’re going to be there,” one guide told Kodas, “so they’re going to be using your tents, stealing your oxygen, eating your food and needing your help, but being completely unable to do anything to help you. When they get into trouble, they’re going to expect you to save them. And if you don’t, the world press is going to execute you.”
Strong, experienced mountaineers — many of them Scott Fischer’s friends — still climb Everest, but “High Crimes” poses the question: How long before the bad drive out the good? “To climb Everest” has become such a powerful cultural metaphor that some climbers arrive seeking little more than career makeovers. They go up as schoolteachers; they come down as motivational speakers. If you ask a real climber where the best mountaineering is taking place nowadays, they’re likely to agree with Sir Edmund Hillary: anywhere but Everest.
Bruce Barcott is the author of “The Last Flight of the Scarlet Macaw,” published last month.
Copyright 2008 The New York Times Company
- Of all the sociopathic pieces of shit to climb Mt Everest, Gustavo Lisi is the absolute worst of the worst.
He tricked an old man into hiring him as his "guide" and then just parasited off his money and oxygen, ultimately leaving him to die.
- In May 2004, a 69-year-old pathologist from Alexandria, Virginia, reached the summit of Everest via the Southeast Ridge.
It had been a long, arduous climb, and Nils Antezana had hired a guide named Gustavo Lisi to help him.
But on the way down, Antezena became disoriented, perhaps suffering from the onset of cerebral edema, and collapsed near The Balcony, several hundred feet above the highest camp.
Though two sherpas attempted to revive him, they, and Lisi, eventually left the doctor in the snow and continued to camp.
Lisi, who claimed he was “dead tired,” failed to inform anyone else at Camp 4 of his client's condition.
When climbers ascended the ridge the next morning, Antezena had vanished.
While the guide-client relationship on Everest has endured scrutiny and skepticism, this was one of the first instances where the accusations went beyond mere negligence to claim criminal behavior.
An investigation from the family finally petered out, but Lisi’s reputation was ruined, and the story has cast a pall over commercial climbing on Everest ever since.
- Interesting link, r68. Fischer loved to cruise...So he is kind of responsible for all the craziness now? I remember (on the other thread probably) hearing that Base Camp is kind of a shithole, it sounds like a tent city type of homeless encampment. How many people would theoretically be there all at once? I wonder if the prostitution is local girls who just go up there during the season to make some money like the gold rush hookers used to do. Now Everest sounds pretty sinister for reasons beside the big and scary aspect.
- I will never understand why the doomed man who hired lisi didnt investigate him longer
- It looks like a shithole from that multibillion pixel photo of everest linked on the other thread.
- The reason why everest fascinates me is hearing about the people.
They are almost ALL raging douchebags, and often that is what kills them.
Apparently, among English speakers on the mountains, Asians are known for being incompetent and Russians as being insanely aggressive and foolhardy risk takers
Apparently there's a stretch of k2 so dangerous it is darkly called "the orient express" after several Asian climbers caroomed off to their deaths.
- Does the price include some uncut Sherpa cock?
- Yeah, I just read some more from r68's link and I just couldn't do that. They are all tied together with a hundred other people? Fuck that, ten, twenty, maybe. But that's just one hundred chances for someone to take a bad step and send everyone off the mountain. Someone on this or the other thread had a friend die that way in Mount Hood, that people fell and hit a bunch of others and they all went down. Shit some of these people are paying 70 grand, for that I would want more personal attention. Oh and I was reminded again about the bullshit of climbers who gets sponsors because they are on a "cleaning expedition" right..that Kodas guy said it's not even that trashy anymore. I am wondering about some of this year's climbers and how many donations they are getting. It just seems so fucking self-indulgent to ask the world to kick in for you 40-70 k trip. But as someone upthread said, these people are kind of douchey..
- Are there any Everest hotties? Non dead ones I mean. Ed Viesturs ain't bad I guess
r68, I read Kodas' book when it was first out, and I'd take his account with a grain of salt.
I also read some of his promotional interviews, and he was really enraged and angry about his own treatment. Not that it wasn't warranted, but his reaction was extreme enough to make me question his objectivity. The book read like a polemic.
r77, I think Brashears is hot. Viesturs guided for him many times, and he has a rep as a prick, but the alpha attitude is almost sexy to me.
Old pic at link (scroll down a bit)
- Breashers ex-wife married Sandy Pittman's ex-husband. Here is Sandy in 2005:
- What can be so riveting about a thread concerning dead bodies on Everest?
They started climbing, then they died.
I mean, that is so boring, I don't even care what was on their Ipods.
- But I had him first r79!
- These stories have everything r80. Sex, drugs, angry gods cursing mortals, betrayal and theft, vandalism, greed, leaving people to die and maybe even murder. They're great.
- I've read Ed Viesturs' books and I really like them.
- Monday, February 18, 2013Sleep.
I was kissing Whoopi Goldberg. Not just a peck, either. We were mashing. A Swiss locksmith could not have parted us. And though I am not attracted to her in my waking hours, there was clearly something about Whoopi that stirred my subconscious to proclaim "I got to get me more of that!"
It seemed relevant to share this dream with the rest of my Denali team as we discussed, over oat meal, the weirdness of altitude and how it had started to affect our sleep. They just starred at me with looks of deep concern. "I kinda wish you hadn't mentioned that," John "Johnnie Two Times" Harris commented. I decided not to mention my Phyllis Diller dream. Some of us could not sleep. Other's suffered broken sleep. We would have to adjust. It was part of living at altitude.
Sleep is essential in the physical and mentally demanding process of altitude climbing. I have known remarkably strong climbers to abandoned their quest after going several days unable to sleep. The human body goes through complicated changes as it adjusts to increasingly thinner air and sometimes it simply cannot manage the process efficiently. More often, we have rushed the process by ascending too quickly.
Sleep can also be troubled by factors unrelated to the altitude; anxiety, diet, hydration, or medications. For instance, many climbs require an approach through areas known for malaria. Some of the drugs taken to protect against this are also known to promote psychotropic dreams. On Kilimanjaro, my Brother in-law Ty woke from a horrible dream believing he was lying in a pool of blood with a knife in one hand. It so disturbed him that he discontinued the medication, preferring to take his chances with Malaria.
Far and away, the most prevalent sleep disorder associated with altitude is Chain Stokes Breathing. I did a climbing presentation recently at the local REI. Afterward I was approached by a man who had many questions about Chain Stokes breathing; whether I have ever suffered from it, how it may be dealt with effectively. His interest seemed more than academic, and I sensed his future in altitude climbing was in question.
I have experienced Chain Stokes breathing. It is quite common among altitude climbers. In short, you stop breathing for a period of 5 to 15 seconds while sleeping. Suddenly the alarms go off in your system and you wake gasping like a goldfish on a tabletop. This is further complicated by stifling claustrophobia as one is typically zipped up to his nose hairs in a thick mummy sack. The ensuing panic generates enough movement and profanity to wake one's tent mate, who in all fairness probably has it coming for waking you with his own bout of Chain Stokes twenty minutes prior. This may go on all night. ...and YOU took an unpaid leave of absence from work for this.
There are two mechanisms that regulate a person's breathing; The amount of carbon dioxide in the blood, and the level of oxygen in the blood. Think of them as bookends. When all is functioning properly you are at the far left with carbon dioxide levels determining your breathing cadence. It is the increased level of carbon dioxide in the blood during exertion that signals us to breath harder. But persistent increased breathing results in reduced carbon dioxide as we "blow off" levels consistent with normal respiratory functioning. This is not a problem in waking hours, when conscious breathing takes the helm. But at night we rely on the carbon dioxide level to keep us right.
The process breaks down at night as we breath hard to compensate for the thin air. This is turn starts to diminish the carbon dioxide level in our blood, signaling a diminished need to breath. Our bookends analogy would now see us moving away from the carbon dioxide end at an ever increasing rate as less breathing begets less carbon dioxide which in turn begets still less breathing. Finally a person's carbon dioxide level falls so low that breathing stops completely. One would think the other bookend, oxygen level in the blood...
- Viesturs is pretty hot. Attractive, but a decent, respectable guy, which makes him more attractive in my book.
- r85 yeah, he is definitely hot, he has the pretty skin tone and brown eyes that Guy Pearce has.
- r84 Damn, yet another reason I would not do that. I already have bad sleep spells and don't want Whoopi dreams.
- Ed Viesturs does seem like an extremely respectable human being compared to the walking personality disorders you see all over the mountaineering scene.
He was first American I think to summit all 8000 plus meter peaks. His book NO SHORTCUTS TO THE TOP was great, as was a recent book he did evaluating mountaineering trips in history and what went horribly wrong.
He is a huge believer in the idea that any idiot can make a summit and die in process. It's knowing when to turn back that he considers the hallmark of a true talent.
I just kind of get the feeling that any bipolar attention whore with $60k to burn can get self up everest. And the other high peaks are littered with the bodies of morons who picked trying to summit over their lives.
- Viesturs' book, I forget which one, basically says everyone on the mountains is fucking at all times (below a certain elevation that is). People are cold and bored and stressed and ill and lonely.
- R89 I could maybe kind of get the fucking..but not really. I don't the drinking up there either , I could have sworn in one of the old-west town links they mentioned bars and brawls. Drinking, fighting and fucking take a lot out of you when you are at half (or less) of your oxygen capacity. I just think of the particulars of having to be naked for any time in such cold, I only shower at night in the winter because the morning is too cold. The drinking is just stupid and fighting..it's a good thing alcohol starts fights because throwing someone in a crevasse sure finishes them.
- Ha, 'Alive' is on right now..and that's all i need to know about mountains in winter.
- From r66 --
When people die year on year the same agency names keep cropping up. Hardly any clients on Everest die with the big operators (who incidentally have good summit success rates to boot) but people die every year with the cheap Kathmandu outfitters and shoddy companies who provide a crap service at a cheap price.
And incidentally they also have very poor success rates for those clients who manage to live through the experience.
What can you do?
Get yourself suitably well trained up and go with a proper professionally led expedition. But therein lies a problem ... how do you compare like for like?
Why is it that people ask more in depth questions about buying a second hand car than they do about what their operator will be providing (or not providing) when they are climbing Everest? People will negotiate the cost for trading in, want a set of mud flaps, ask about the number of previous owners, the service history, how long there is on the MoT etc etc.
But that same person will not ask about the experience of the Climbing Sherpas and whether they have a command of English (or any other language), what is the policy regarding Climbing Sherpas and clients on summit day (1:1 is the only option), how much oxygen is available, is there spare oxygen, are there spare masks and regulators, what contingencies are in place for problems to be dealt with, what (if any) medication is carried on summit day, who is sorting the logistics on the hill, what weather forecasting do they have, are there any high altitude porters etc etc. Some folk even manage to end up paying MORE than they would with a professional outfit because they hadn't realised that oxygen and Climbing Sherpas were not included in the price!!!
I think 'WTF?!?' springs to mind.
- But was it "HAPE" HAPE?
- Youd think with all the assholes who go up everest, someone would get some good shots of these dead people.
Where are all the good closeups.
- I think people have good shots, but are too embarrassed to post them.
- Who is the dead body with the blue pants and red boots here with the skeltonized head leaning in the air like he died leaning on a snow bank that evaporated?
Is that rob hall from 1996? Or Peter boardman?
- That's the other thing -- they never say who they are.
- HAPE (high altitude pulmonary edema) sounds awful. You literally drown as your lungs fill with bloody tinged lymph fluid and sputnum.
- BERKELEY, Calif. (AP) — It might be hard to conceive now, in an era of extreme sports and ultra-light equipment, but there was a time when Americans who set out to conquer mountains engaged in a pursuit that was as lonely as it was dangerous.
But four men — Norm Dyhrenfurth, now 94; Jim Whittaker, 84; Tom Hornbein, 82, and Dave Dingman, 76 — remember. The leather boots that stayed wet for weeks. Oxygen canisters that weighed 15 pounds. The shrugs of indifference most of their countrymen gave a half-century ago to what it would take to get a U.S.-led mountaineering expedition to the top of Mt. Everest.
"Americans, when I first raised it, they said, 'Well, Everest, it's been done. Why do it again?'" Dyhrenfurth recalled Friday as he and three other surviving members of the 1963 expedition gathered in the San Francisco Bay area for a meeting honoring the 50th anniversary of their achievement.
The American Alpine Club is hosting lectures, film screenings, book-signings and a dinner this weekend recognizing the pioneering climbers and what their feat, captured in a Life magazine cover story, came to represent in the years after President John F. Kennedy honored the Everest team with a Rose Garden reception: the birth of mountaineering as a popular sport in the U.S.
"When they were talking about a reunion three years ago, I thought, who the hell cares about that? I figured we'd just get together for some beers," Dingman said between interviews with National Geographic, Outside magazine and the Alpine Club's oral history project. "It's turned into this big event, and I'm glad it has."
Whittaker, who lives in Seattle and went on to become chief executive of outdoors outfitter Recreational Equipment Inc., was the first American to summit Everest. He and his Sherpa companion, Nawang Gombu, reached the top of the world on May 1, 1963, a decade after New Zealand's Edmund Hillary and about six weeks after another climber on the U.S. expedition, Jake Breitenbach, died in an avalanche.
Memories of how close he came to his own death on Everest — he and Gombu ran out of oxygen on the summit and had to climb up and back without water after their bottles froze — infused every day of his life since with gratitude and child-like wonder, he said.
"I think I will probably take it with me into my next life, if I have one," Whittaker said.
Three weeks after Whittaker's ascent, two other Americans, Hornbein and the late Willi Unsoeld, became the first men ever to scale Everest via a more dangerous route on the mountain's west side. The next day, they descended by the southern route that Hillary, Whittaker and by then, two more members of the American team, had taken to the summit.
The adventure, which included spending the night without sleeping bags or tents at 28,000 feet, made them the first men ever to traverse the world's highest peak — and cost Unsoeld nine frost-bitten toes.
Dingman has been lauded over the years for sacrificing his own chance to scale Everest to belay Hornbein, Unsoeld and two other climbers, Barry Bishop and Lute Jerstad, who had gotten stuck out in the open with them, back down to base camp.
Dingman never made it back to Everest. As a doctor in training, a Vietnam War draftee and then a physician with a young family, he never could find the time to make the trip. He said he had no regrets then and has none now.
"It would have made no difference to get two more people on to the summit, but if we had lost two or three people on the way down that would have been a very different story," he said.
- This expedition upset r99's expedition:
- More on the Sayre expedition
- I was thinking more about the base camp and what people do for fun and it seems like it would be kind of an exercise in thumb twiddling..Is there any reason besides acclimitization, that they go up so early? I wonder if there is some way they cut out the long time frame at the very bottom. I know people like Shah have skipped it with severe consequence but shit, with all their new drugs and a lot of money in this, I can't believe they haven't found more of a way to get more up in as little time as possible. Expedite the summit and have more do it in less time for more money. Less time at the camps would mean less crime and bad behavior.
- r102 -- my idea is to have planes fly over the summit and drop people onto it.
No muss! No fuss!
- Why don't you try something, r102 and get back to us.
If you survive.
- Lol r 103. Why not? Surely it could work. I am not crazy enough to try it myself. r104 I would never go up but it does seem like something that they could hurry up on just so we can start watching their treks!
- More on 1962 Sayre Expedition
- r93 - LOL
- This thread has been fascinating - I've now watched the entire discovery series, read Into Thin Air, and who knows how many other articles and things online.
This thread is also a perfect example of why I love datalounge - I can't even name how many things I've become obsessed with over the years because I read about it here and couldn't stop researching.
- I watched "Touching the Void" the other day - about two guys trying to climb a mountain in Peru. Damn, it was riveting.
I put it on thinking I could do some housework and listen to it but I was sadly mistaken. I was totally engrossed. HIGHLY recommended to watch it. But it will leave you emotionally wrecked.
- I know r109, I spout off weird stuff to my friends about Everest and they look at me like I'm crazy. I did get some Jeopardy questions thanks to this so who's crazy now? The climbers should be starting soon.
- If the plane drops them on the summit, they will have plenty of energy and oxygen to get down. They can wear something akin to space suits for max delivery of O2, and it can automatically adjust as the atmosphere richens during descent.
The bottleneck problem can be solved with the installation of an escalator.
- This is how Everest has ruined my ability to do work today.
So much fun to read!!
- Another interesting bit about common climbing pitfalls from the link at R66:
"On Everest however ... if you put a glove or mitt between your knees or pop it in your mouth, and then drop it, you have suddenly enterred a life threatening situation. By the time you get your rucksack off and untangled yourself from your oxygen set your hand will be cold. Circulation is already compromised to the extremities because of the lack of oxygen available and so vaso constriction will be almost instantaneous in the wrist. By the time you get your spare mitt (if you were carrying one in the first place) your hand will be so cold that even popping the best mitt on will serve no purpose. It is not a 'warm mitt' it just has the potential to be a warm mitt. But that is reliant on warmth being available to be trapped in the mitt - but there isn't any warmth being geneated and so your cold hand becomes inoperative. It's difficult trying to operate the gear and manage stance changes with only one hand. You become slower, the situation becomes more drastic, you become colder and before you know it you are looking down the barrel ... and all because of a lost glove."
- Even if you are oxygenated, fit, experienced, a pro with your gear, have a good team and trustworthy Sherpas, the weather can change on a dime and you're screwed.
- Amen r114, for want of a shoe the horse was lost and all that crap. No thanks. But I still love this thread.
- Another common climbing pitfall:
- CLAY CITY — A few casual hikers enjoying Thursday's springlike weather on Pilot Knob Trail couldn't help noticing a gray-bearded man who charged up the hill at a pace that clearly said he wasn't out for leisurely recreation.
Martin Douthitt, the mountain-climbing man from Breathitt County, is burning up hiking trails in and around the Red River Gorge these days, preparing for perhaps his biggest challenge.
Douthitt leaves Kentucky in late April for what he says probably will be his last — make or break — effort to climb Mount Everest, the world's highest mountain. If he succeeds, he will realize a 12-year dream of conquering all of the Seven Summits, the highest peaks on each of Earth's continents.
"I know it's a long shot," he says. "But I have to try."
Douthitt has planned for Everest for years but has been disappointed repeatedly. He aimed to tackle the mountain in 2010, but knee problems kept him at home. He made an exploratory visit in 2011, going only as far as Everest's base camp at about 17,000 feet. He intended to try for the summit last year, but painful knees again forced him to cancel.
Douthitt's knees are better now, after surgical repairs. But the Everest trip will cost about $75,000 for transportation, equipment and fees. Douthitt, 67, has had to borrow money and is trying to line up sponsors to help cover the expense.
If he doesn't get to the summit this time, he says, he'll probably hang it up.
"It's probably a one-shot deal," he said. "The expense is the main thing. But I can also tell that I'm not as strong as I was. I've lost a little bit physically, so I'm afraid to wait another year. Now is the time."
Douthitt will have plenty of support on his quest.
Four friends — Dale Torok of Lexington, Robert Cornett of Georgetown, Robert Dungan of Jackson, and Mary Clay of Paris — have accompanied him on his training hikes. The four plan to follow Douthitt all the way to the Mount Everest base camp and see him off for the summit.
"They'll be able to mingle with some of the best climbers in the world and get a taste of what it's really like," Douthitt said. "It will be a great experience for them, but I know they're going because they want to support me. It's really special."
Torok has known Douthitt for several years.
"I think he may view this as his legacy or his life achievement," Torok said. "He has a burning desire to accomplish this, and he's just stubborn enough to push himself as far as he can. You have to admire him having the gumption to try to complete a dream that he started off with 12 years ago."
- r118 I don't think this will end well..He sounds like he isn't in top shape, he may be better than he was when his knees blew out but it doesn't sound like he is optimal. I hope he has a good sherpa. I will be watching him for sure, thanks for the link.
- And saying you know it's a long shot but you have to try is something you may say about applying for your dream job or telling someone you are in love with them..not so much for something that cost 75 thousand bucks and can kill you. Yet more grandiose and delusional thinking from these wanna-be Everest summitters .
- Some just walk to Base Camp to raise funds:
Four South Florida women to trek Mount Everest to raise funds to fight human trafficking
After a tough climb up Mount Kilimanjaro to raise awareness about human trafficking, Boca Raton soccer-mom Debbie Dingle never imagined she'd tackle an even bigger challenge: Mount Everest.
But Dingle, 49, is joining three other South Florida women — and one of their daughters from Denver — on a trip this spring to the base camp of the world's tallest mountain, all to spread the word and raise money to fight the sex trade and forced labor
- I don't get it. You can raise funds and call attention to crimes against humanity without having to climb a mountain. Are those people merely hijacking a worthy cause and using it to fund their own expensive hobby?
I am vacationing in Hawaii to raise awareness about human suffering. Won't you please donate?
- r122 I agree, some of them are using it to fund the climbing that they want to do. Some of them are soccer moms with names like fucking Debbie Dingle and are probably clueless as such.
- Kentuckian who climbed Everest in 2004 says she would never do it again
Published: February 10, 2013
By Jim Warren — email@example.com
Mills Funk Halpin says Martin Douthitt should have a good chance of reaching the summit of Mount Everest if he's in top shape and has good guides helping him.
"Anyone who tries to climb Everest and says it's not hard is lying," Halpin said. "The climbing itself is very hard. The altitude obviously is extremely stressful on your body and your mind."
Halpin, a Centre College graduate and Bowling Green native, knows a bit about Everest. In 2004 she became the first Kentuckian to climb the world's highest mountain.
Douthitt, 67, of Breathitt County, leaves Kentucky in April for what he says will be his last attempt.
Halpin said her climb went smoothly, but she became sick at times on the mountain and developed a high-altitude cough so severe it tore cartilage on her ribs. "It was excruciating," she recalled. "I was pretty sick when I got back to Kentucky; my body was just spent. I got home in June, and I had the cough for at least a month afterward. I guess I came through it all right. I wouldn't do it again."
Halpin now lives in Jackson Hole, Wyo., and is the mother of two young boys. But nine years ago, she was a relatively new but enthusiastic mountain climber who moved quickly from peaks like Oregon's Mount Hood to attempt Everest.
Everest was her last major climb. She went back to the mountain to visit the base camp a few years ago but didn't attempt the summit.
"Having good guides going with you is as important as anything," she said. "Another important part of a successful climb is the cleanliness of your camp. If you're going to get sick with all the germs that are brought up there all the time, you're not going to have any success at all."
John All, a professor at Western Kentucky University, climbed Everest a few years after Halpin. Douthitt hopes he can join the list.
"If he is going with good group, I'd say he already has a foot in the door," Halpin said of Douthitt.
- (Reuters) - A young Nepali sherpa climber has become the world's first woman to scale Mount Everest twice in a week, Guinness World Records has confirmed.
Chhurim Sherpa, 29, climbed to the 8,850 meter (29,035 feet) Everest summit on May 12 and 19 last year.
"This is a big recognition for me," Chhurim, who like most sherpas is known by her first name, told Reuters.
Chhurim, who hails from the Solukhumbu region in northeastern Nepal that is home to Mount Everest and other notable peaks, returned to the base camp for some rest after her first ascent only to head back up the peak seven days later.
"It was difficult and hard while climbing up a second time. But once I reached the top everything was fine," she said.
"I was very happy that I could accomplish what I had always wanted to do."
She said she wanted to return to Mount Everest sometime but had no immediate plans to do so.
Mount Everest has been climbed by about 4,000 climbers since it was first scaled by New Zealand beekeeper Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay Sherpa in 1953.
Apa Sherpa, a Nepali climber who lives in the United States, holds the record of 21 ascents of Mount Everest.
(Reporting by Gopal Sharma, editing by Elaine Lies)
(This story was refiled to correct the spelling of camp in paragraph four)
- To use Mountain Climbing as an excuse to raise funds...that's revolting. If they took the money that they used for the trip, they would do more good.
- Fund raising has leeched into every single fun thing in the world.
Concerts, climbs, dinners, everything.
- I am totally anticipating this year's Everest expiditions. Anyone have any favorites yet?
I've been watching the Discovery Channel's Everest: Beyond the Limit on Netflix - it's really interesting. Anyone who hasn't already, should watch this program as it shows all the characters who attempt to climb Everest up close and personal: the diehard climbers as well as the self-obsorbed dillettantes. I found the show to be very addictive.
One of the climbers in the first season encountered a man dying on his decent from the summit. It really affected him terribly. You can also see a few of our famous dead bodies on Everest on this program. The expidtion leader, Russell Brice, uses them to coax down some of his climbers who refuse to turn around after being told to do so.
- I guess the USAF guys have the best chance and are climbing it in the proper way -- experienced team members without psychological wounds training diligently.
I don't think the Kentucky guy with the knees is going to do too well without a lot of help from his Sherpas (if he was them).
- I like the gay guy, I think his name is Cason something. I saw him on AC, he has climbed all the other six summits so odds are in his favor. I agree the Kentucky guy is not looking good and it seems like a waste of money. Can someone link to ALL of them or do we have to go to their separate pages? Thanks, getting excited for something I never cared about before!
- I've found interesting articles on this link (from the last thread).
Everest 2013: The Continuing Search for Mallory & Irvine’s Camera
...Tom Holzel, who conducted a thwarted search expedition in 1986, took a new approach to locating the camera using two images; one from a photo taken in 1933 and another taken in 1984 from a SwissPhoto, AG, Learjet flying over Everest. This last image was very high-resolution.
Holzel used imaging technology to compare the photographs and discovered that the location of an ice ax marking a certain fall of the two climbers, was misplaced by 60 yards. Everyone was looking in the wrong place! Following the new line, he identified what he calls an “oblong blob”. The blob is near where the Chinese porter reported his sighting in 1975.
Holzel strongly believes this is Irvine who is thought to have been carrying the Vest Pocket Kodak camera when he and Mallory disappeared.
Now Holzel wants to be certain by taking a new image with another flyover using the latest advancements in photography, but he needs $10,000. Once he proves the location of Irvine, he wants to continue the search with a small team that would include Thom Pollard and Jake Norton of the 1999 expedition.
Kodak Scientists have consulted with them on the project so if they find the camera, they have processes on how to handle it to prevent further damage...
- Bump for start of the season!
- Very interesting, r131.
The '96 team thought they had found Sandy and were surprised to find it was Mallory. But the body was not in the position the Chinese climber described.
The Chinese climber described the "English dead" as lying on his side with his cheek pecked out by goraks. Mallory was found face down so he was protected from the birds.
I hope someone finds Sandy and the camera. I'd certainly be interested to see what's on it.
- One of Mallory's cheeks was certainly pecked out.
Look at the bottom part of his body.
- Ha ha r134, you're right. Cool picture.
- Well, then. r134, I stand corrected!
- Yes, there's a description in the previous thread about the condition of Mallory's body. Goraks had pecked through his buttock and burrowed to eat his internal organs.
I'm amazed at how wildlife has adapted to survive at those altitudes.
- From Outside magazine, a new article, "Climbing's Little Helper" about dexamethasone abuse on Everest - and the consequences.
- R138: thanks for the article!
I'm curious why the doctor prescribed such large amount. It is interesting how many times Asian Trecking is mentioned in the articles posted
- I was SO tempted to post this as a separate thread but then thought better of it.
[quote]Oregon teen is first person with Down syndrome to reach Mount Everest base camp
- r140, don't we have an 'everyone is a special snowflake and can do ANYTHING they set their minds to' thread somewhere for that post?
I'd have created one by now if I could.
On another note, I have a book about the Sherpas themselves: their culture, how they started guiding, and the recent problems on the big mountains.
I'm just finishing a book on Antarctica and it's next in the queue.
- Along the lines of special snowflakes on adventures, I posted this link a few months ago. Nutty, no pun intended.
- It's so specific now, first Asian man over 35, first nut allergy sufferer. The word first doesn't even connote anything special anymore.
- Mount Aconcagua, Kilimanjaro, Elbrus and Everest are all explorable on Google Maps’ “street view” tool, thanks to a neat update.
The company announced this week that it had added 360-degree views of several popular mountain passes and peaks. A group of Google employees took the photos with a lightweight tripod and fish-eye lens over a series of hikes in 2011.
- Gay Mountaineer Has Sights Set On Everest
Cason Crane has only two more of the world's tallest mountains to climb as he raises money and awareness for gay youth suicide prevention. Did we mention he is only 20 years old?
- I saw him on Anderson r145, he seems like he has a good chance. I didn't know he was only 20. I will be rooting for him.
- Me too, R146.
Looks like the season has begun. I just read that a group from India are on their way and should summit in May.
- Google Streetview is featuring the camps of the 8000m peaks this week. Pretty fascinating stuff.
- Is Mount Everest getting too peepular?
- I just realized that pickle relish recipes is a stealth soap thread, I wonder if people think this is too. It just seems random I am sure. So the summit should be in exactly a month. Can't wait to read the stories.
- I can't wait until Robert Scorpio and Tiffany Hill summit Everest, R150
- Tonsillitis on the mountain!
- Oh that sucks! Imagine doing all kinds of training and shit and then getting an infection on the mountain. I still have my tonsils and don't know about tonsil striking illness. Is it contagious? Wouldn't you be down for awhile? How can he climb on? Man, he made allowances for everything but that I bet..
- I hope that kid with tonsillitis is just going to base camp and isn't planning to climb the mountain.
Per Ang Jangbu with IMG the Icefall Doctors have finished fixing ropes to camp 1, so the glacier/icefall crossing portion of the route has been prepared.
- Although not everything on the site is accessible to non-members, there is some good info about the climbing season. It also lists those climbers that will be blogging.
- First death of the season is a Sherpa. He was fixing lines.
- Damn, I hate when the Sherpas die. They are actually doing it to earn a living.
'Icefall doctor' fatally falls into Mt Everest crevasse
2013-04-08 2:40 PM
KATHMANDU: An “icefall doctor” has died after falling into a crevasse in Mount Everest on Sunday, the Annapurna Post reported.
Mingmar Sherpa (45) who died after a fatal fall while returning from Camp 2 was one of the six icefall doctors assigned to set and maintain the safest path in the world’s highest peak for this season.
They were returning to Camp 1 after laying down a series of ladders across the crevasses yesterday. The site is said to be 200 metres away from the Camp 1.
According to Captain Siddhartha Gurung of Simrik Air, who was involved in the rescue operation, five others in the group are safe.
Sherpas who maintain the safest path in the mountains for other climbers are regarded as icefall doctors.
The deceased hailed from Goratapting of Solukhumbu and was currently residing in Dingboche of the district. He was into the profession for nine years and was regarded as an experience icefall doctor.
He is survived by his wife and a son.
Captain Gurung informed that Sherpa’s body could not be lifted from the incident site due to unfavourable weather conditions.
Due to bad weather we forced to stay over in Febiche today, he told the Annapurna Post, “We will head to the site tomorrow morning (Monday) along with a team of experts for the rescue operation.”
Mountaineers are heading to the Everest base camp for the upcoming climbing season.
- So he is yet another dead body on Everest. I wonder if they will bring him down. I want another Shriya Shah or Sandy Hill to shake shit up over there. They should all start annoying each other soon.
- I read that they were able to bring Mangmar down. I will post a link if I can find the mention.
The kid with tonsillitis is doing better.
- Actually, the link I posted at R156 said it took several hours to retrieve Mingmar Sherpa's body. So they were able to helicopter his body off the mountain.
- Oh, sorry r160 and r161. I just read the part that said they weren't able to get him down and didn't notice that they did. Glad to hear tonsilitis guy is doing better. This has not been an auspicious start for the climbers.
- Really, the Sherpas do ALL the work. They practically shovel a path up to the summit as well as install lines and lay down ladder bridges across the crevasses. How can any climber take any satisfaction from an Everest climb when other people are doing ALL the work??
I watched a couple seasons of the Discovery Channel's Everest reality program and there was one guy from Britain who was planning on climbing up Everest one way (via Nepal?) going down the Tibetan pass, then climbing back up the Tibetan side and climbing down to Nepal. This would have made him the first person to ever do this.
He climbed up via Nepal rather easily, but going down via Tibet was difficult as there weren't any trails yet going down that side. All along he had a top Sherpa by his side.
Once he got down to Tibet he decided to quit - not because he couldn't do it, but rather, because he realized that the Sherpa was doing all the work and that he (the Brit) would get all the recognition for completing this rigorous task - not the Sherpa who was a much better climber than he was.
- [quote] I watched a couple seasons of the Discovery Channel's Everest reality program and there was one guy from Britain who was planning on climbing up Everest one way (via Nepal?) going down the Tibetan pass, then climbing back up the Tibetan side and climbing down to Nepal. This would have made him the first person to ever do this.
I'm pretty sure that British guy is a spy.
- [quote]How can any climber take any satisfaction from an Everest climb when other people are doing ALL the work??
I will wager that if you climbed Everest yourself with the aid of Sherpas, you would come back and tell us that it involved an enormous expenditure of effort on your part. And you would be right.
- Sherpas are relatively dirty people. They could be a lot cleaner, now that money is pouring into the area. But they are originally from Tibet and hygeine is a low priority there. In the high mountains of Tibet and Nepal, locals have for centuries used layers of dirt to protect the skin from the sun. It's an adaptation that can contaminate anything, including yOur food and drink.
- Breathitt County's Martin Douthitt is on his way home after giving up his effort to climb Mount Everest, and he could be back in Kentucky by Thursday.
Douthitt plans to fly out of Katmandu, Nepal, on Tuesday and is expected to arrive in Lexington sometime Thursday, according to Rita Lawson, who works at Douthitt's True Value Hardware business in Jackson.
Lawson said Monday that the information was based on emails received over the past few days. No one at the store has been able to speak with Douthitt directly, she said.
According to e-mails and other information that has drifted back to Kentucky from Nepal since late last week, Douthitt apparently developed intestinal problems, possibly an inflammation called dysentery, which forced him to cancel his planned assault on Everest, earth's highest mountain.
The problem developed while Douthitt and other climbers were making the challenging, 12-mile trek from Lukla, Nepal, to the base camp on Everest at 17,000 feet. At one point on the hike, Douthitt's illness forced him to remain behind at a small village overnight, then catch up with the other hikers later.
- Fight! Fight!
- That is why I think these climbs are absurd. The sherpas go up and down all the time and are nameless, yet someone pays to be led around by them is the one that is doing the climb and gets the glory?
- Sherpas get glory in their own community.
- [R96] It's not Peter Boardman. The photo was taken by Neal Beidleman in 1996 (so not Rob Hall, either) and appears on the back cover of some editions of Jon Krakauer's Into Thin Air. Beidleman was a guide on Scott Fischer’s Mountain Madness team that climbed Everest via the South Col route. He went nowhere near the North East Ridge where Boardman's body lies. In addition, the clothing and the position and appearance of the body do not match published accounts.
For more information, see the Talk page of the Wikipedia article on Boardman.
- Is there a centralized list of people who have summited?
- So who died this year?
- Where is there a talk page on Wikipedia?
- This is sad, though they died on K2.
LIFE AND HEALTH AT HIGH ALTITUDES IN THE MOUNTAINS
Everest base camp on Tibetan side.
The boiling temperature of water is so low that boiling water from a pot doesn't burn when it touches the skin. Vehicles often breakdown because of the elevation and are restarted again after fluid is sucked from the engine with a tube. Tibet is so cold and arid that metal spoons sometimes stick to the lips and germs that cause many diseases can not survive. Lice, however, like to crawl all over the body to get warm.
Tibetans on the dry Tibetan plateau have little water for washing and have traditionally considered washing to be an unhealthy, harmful practice. As a result many Tibetans are very dirty: their faces and hands are sometimes covered in a layer of greasy yak-butter and dirt, their clothes are caked in dirt and their hair is matted.
When Tibetan nomads do wash, they tend to rinse their faces and hands in yak or goat milk. To protect their skin and beautify themselves some nomad women apply a salve to their face made from boiled milk curds. Some people go through the entire life without ever taking bath.
Many Tibetans go barefoot even in sub-freezing temperatures. Not surprisingly their feet have thick leathery dark calluses on them. To keep from getting frostbite in severe cold they wrap their feet in woolen rags. To prevent snow blindness men wrap their long braids over their eyes and women smear black soot under their eyes.
- Hey Canadian DL'ers. Tonight on CBC News Network, the Fifth Estate is doing a story "Into the Death Zone", with a focus on the death of Shariya Shah.
- Are there more dead bodies on Mount Everest; or is this more Dead Bodies on Mount Everest?
- so Jake Gyllenhaal and Josh Brolin are doing a movie about the 1996 disaster?
- Glad to see this thread bumped. Apparently so, R180. I wonder how the disaster will translate to the screen. It seems like it's a story better cut out for print.
- Could the Malaysian flight have made it there? That would work out well for the body count.
- Haven't read this whole thread, but did someone mention the asshole who brought an espresso machine with him? I really laughed at that.
- That was a woman (Sandy Hill Pittman), R183. I think it's debated whether she actually brought an espresso machine, but she sounded like a real pill and demanded that sherpas carry all sorts of heavy equipment (like a huge phone) up the mountain for her.
- Here's a link to an interview with Sandy Pittman from 2006, ten years after the Everest Disaster. She's talking with a reporter to discuss a few things from up on the mountain.
She starts off by mentioning that she doesn't talk about Everest much, as it was "Terrible. At the time, I was in mourning for the loss of our expedition leader, Scott Fischer, I was stunned by my own near-death experience, and my husband had filed for divorce a few months before I went to Everest. It was pretty much the worst year of my life." It's easy to distinguish that she'd been having a hard time with her husband on top of other things, which wasn't evident at all in Into Thin Air. Next, she talks about how much she liked the way Anatoli Boukreev portrayed the climb in his book, and how she wished she'd been able to see Everest how she did years after the experience. She says, "I wish I could've seen Everest then as I do today. I was privileged to have been on Everest three times, and in '96 with such a wonderful team."
Later on in the interview, the subject turns to a very awkward piece of equipment that she'd allegedly brought up the mountain:
A cappuccino maker.
In her defense, she describes the coffeemaker she brought up the mountain as such: "But my coffeepot is a single stovetop aluminum percolator thing that weighs less than two pounds. Once you have the coffee made, you put a little hot water and a spoonful of powdered milk into a lidded mug and shake it really hard to make it foamy. Then you pour coffee into the mug, and it's like a fake cappuccino. I thought it was clever." This gives no support that the coffeemaker was an actual cappuccino machine. Sandy was known for bringing luxury items on the trip, but you have to give her some credit for putting up with a fake cappuccino every day. This says a lot for her, because she acted like she couldn't survive without her laptop, cell phone, fax machine, etc. in the novel.
She rounds off the interview with a statement. "I haven't climbed since '96... I wasn't really in a position to keep climbing. I still think climbing any mountain is a great and worthy goal, and no person should be so... judgmental of other people to dismiss Everest... just because it's already been climbed. I assume that everybody... has his own reasons for being there, and I'm not in a position to judge who's got adequate or inadequate experience. We're all adults and capable of making our own decisions."
- While Sandy seemed clueless, did her presence on Everest contribute to anyone's death? I remember that one of the sherpas spent time short-roping her, but her leader (Scott Fischer) didn't die as a result of her ineptitude, I don't think.
- 11 were killed by Taliban fighters on June 22, 2013 on Mount Nanga Parbat.
- Avalanche kills 12, more missing on Everest
- Poor Sherpas
- EXCLUSIVE: NBC tragedy as FIVE of the 13 sherpas killed by Mount Everest avalanche were employed by network's expedition for next month's Discovery Channel special
- They found another dead Sherpa -- they sound afraid to go look for the rest.
- It'll be a race to the summit, then a race to see who can get their book about the avalanche disaster published first. Assholes.
- Always chuckle when they say it was such a tragedy. Please, you fall off the mountain, ah well, you had no business being there in the first place.
- Everyone talks about the danger of avalanche in the Khumbu Icefall. It actually happens all the time, but climbers just hope that it doesn't affect them.
- Discovery Channel has canceled its planned Mount Everest Jump Live in May because of those killed in the avalanche.
- Those poor Sherpas.
Do they even get a decent cut from all the money that the climbers pay to ascend Everest? The Sherpas should all be rich as fuck, they deserve it, risking their lives like that and basically carrying Westerners up the mountain.
- R196, sherpas make $2000 - $6000 for the season.
The sherpas and the rest of the Nepali community may boycott now. I hope they do.
"KATMANDU, Nepal (AP) — Buddhist monks cremated the remains of Sherpa guides who were buried in the deadliest avalanche to hit Mount Everest, a disaster that has prompted calls for a climbing boycott by Nepal's ethnic Sherpa community.
Nepal's government said late Monday it would consider the Sherpa's demands for more insurance money, more financial aid for the families of the victims, the formation of a relief fund and regulations that would ensure climbers' rights. A committee formed with guides, rescuers and others will make its recommendations Tuesday, said Maddhu Sudan Burlakoti, head of the mountaineering department."
- Just $408 in govt compensation to families of the dead. After #Everest disaster, #sherpas in #Nepal consider strike @newsterrier
- Sherpas will go extinct at this rate.
- So Sandy Pittman went back up to the peak of Everest after the '96 disaster?
- Sherpas tired of this shit:
- I agree that people should stop climbing Mt. Everest, except on some major scientific expedition (like finding the Yeti). It used to be a big deal to go up Mt. Everest. Now it's like Grand Central Station over there.
Death and Anger on Everest
Posted by Jon Krakauer
April 21, 2014
- It sounds like the season has been cancelled, at least for westerners. Asians will still climb, sherpas be damned (they will insource labor.)