Douchebaggery on Kangchenjunga

Search
Go

Discussion Topic

Return to Forum List
Post a Reply
Messages 1 - 20 of total 87 in this topic << First  |  < Previous  |  Show All  |  Next >  |  Last >>
zardoz

Trad climber
Denver, Colorado
Topic Author's Original Post - Jun 1, 2011 - 01:46pm PT
http://climbing.about.com/b/2011/05/31/american-climber-abandoned-to-die-by-sherpas-on-kangchenjunga.htm


Be wary of the sherpas you hire out there.
bluering

Trad climber
Santa Clara, CA
Jun 1, 2011 - 02:02pm PT
Wow!

She's lucky.
survival

Big Wall climber
A Token of My Extreme
Jun 1, 2011 - 02:15pm PT
30 climbers summit in one day?

Pack 'em in like chord wood, hire more sherpas of less experience, throw in money and the mixture gets dangerous.
Stewart Johnson

climber
lake forest
Jun 1, 2011 - 02:29pm PT
yep, people want money for services rendered. saving some cracker really doesnt matter, a tip does.
its a reflection of our own selfish western ways.
nothing new here, carry on.
zardoz

Trad climber
Denver, Colorado
Topic Author's Reply - Jun 1, 2011 - 03:03pm PT
Yeah, right Stewart. It was Whitey's Western Ways behind all of it.

STFU.

Most of the sherpas are good people. Just these two need to be called out.
Stewart Johnson

climber
lake forest
Jun 1, 2011 - 03:20pm PT
zakly zardoz,
trying to resell o2 gave them away as the bad eggs among a great people.ive got great sherpa friends ive had for for thirty years. so im not going to shut the fuk up.
zardoz

Trad climber
Denver, Colorado
Topic Author's Reply - Jun 1, 2011 - 03:28pm PT
It wasn't a blanket STFU, but do STFU about your apologist Westerner guilt sh#t.
Randisi

Boulder climber
Soon to be in China
Jun 1, 2011 - 03:28pm PT
Let's remember we've only heard one side of the story.
Jan

Mountain climber
Okinawa, Japan
Jun 1, 2011 - 03:29pm PT
I'll be interested to hear what my Sherpa friends have to say about this when all the points of view have been heard. This kind of behavior and the publicity involved will be taken very seriously by reputable Sherpas and climbing agencies.

The name of the climbing agency involved has not been revealed but that would probably give some hints. They certainly seemed to have drilled it into their personnel that getting every piece of gear off the mountain was the most important part of getting down. Also, I would like to know where these Sherpas were from.

What struck me about the story was that they had no training whatever in dealing with altitude sickness. Instead, they seemed to take at face value what an obviously sick and admitedly difficult client told them about not wanting to eat or drink, use oxygen or medicine and wanting to be left alone. They may well have misunderstood her belligerence as part of a difficult western personality rather than a life threatening condition.

Then too, the youngest Sherpa member of the group was morally conflicted and maybe himself suffering from altitude to collapse in a heap rocking back and forth crying as described.

The other thing we don't know is what went on before this episode. The Sherpas may have felt agrieved for the whole expedition and thus not in the mood to extend themselves further after a sucessful summit. They may have had good reasons for just wanting off the mountain as soon as possible.

As for bargaining over the oxygen bottle, that can go two ways. My Sherpa friends note that western people often promise all kinds of things to get to the top enticing the Sherpas to risk their lives for free trips to America and jobs etc. and then don't remember any of it back in base camp. It would not be too surprising if the Sherpa in this case similarly distrusted the motives of his client and wanted payment up front as a result.
Stewart Johnson

climber
lake forest
Jun 1, 2011 - 03:48pm PT
perhaps a summitt day tip was not offered,which is standard.
or just poor organization on the mountain. it will happen again.
as long as the western people come.
om mani padni om
more money coming soon.
Dingus Milktoast

Gym climber
Run like the wind.
Jun 1, 2011 - 03:56pm PT
I've not been and without some external funding, never will. But a question for those of you who know - and this is not loaded in anyway, just general curiosity....

when did Sherpas go from baggage handlers to professional guides to personal guides and 'contracted saviors'? Perhaps I'm being unkind with those quoted words, I don't know its why I ask. I thought sherpas opened the routes, established the camps, fixed ropes over risky parts to the top. I assumed some 'climbers' like that Pittman woman on Krakauer's Everest, paid some sherpa to short haul them to the top - in that situation I would expect the personal porter to stay with the client to the bitter end.

But (and this is the crux of it) what does a working sherpa owe to some stranger on some cold-assed deadly mountain? I'm serious about this question - absent a contract I don't see where this expectation of rescue comes into play?

Cheer
DMT
Jan

Mountain climber
Okinawa, Japan
Jun 1, 2011 - 04:09pm PT
All good questions without good answers.

As for a contract, that's a western concept. Things in Asia operate on the basis of relationships and feelings and beyond that, money.

Maybe the problem is that too many Sherpas already have sacrificed themselves for thankless clients so now it has come to be expected?

Other than idealistic romanticism, what is the point of anyone sacrificing their life for someone who is going to die anyway? I am haunted by Rob Hall's decision to stay with his dying client, sacrificing not only himself but his wife and unborn child's future lives.

I'm betting that the Sherpas on Kangchenjungma thought Cleo was going to die as well, no matter what they did, and that's the main reason they left her.
Stewart Johnson

climber
lake forest
Jun 1, 2011 - 04:26pm PT
i agree jan,
and shes lucky shes not still up there.
survival

Big Wall climber
A Token of My Extreme
Jun 1, 2011 - 04:32pm PT
It's true that climbers used to expect to take care of themselves and maybe get a helping hand when things got rough.

But it's a stretch when you expect someone, probably with a family and no deep relationship with you, paid or not, to save you when you can't save yourself.

Climbing mountains is dangerous. It says so right on the new stuff I buy at REI.....
LuckyPink

climber
the last bivy
Jun 1, 2011 - 04:46pm PT
Another case of Princess climbing
Jebus H Bomz

climber
Jun 1, 2011 - 04:56pm PT
I am not at all a mountaineer, but the sherpa-supported ventures we hear about are the antithesis of the style I would want to practice if I were. A bunch of type A's see some quantified objectives and just have to achieve them, unable to see how pathetic and ill-informed the means they use to acheive actually are. But they have money, so I guess the sherpas are paid not to laugh.
ontheedgeandscaredtodeath

Trad climber
San Francisco, Ca
Jun 1, 2011 - 05:03pm PT
I googled the climber, she appears quite accomplished (and lucky). I suppose she was aware that if you have problems up high there might not be much anyone can do about it, even if they want to help.

If 30 people summited there must have been tons of people around basecamp and I can see being reluctant to give a bunch of gear to strangers claiming there is an emergency, especially if my job depended on getting that gear back to my employer.

It's hard to tell from the article who was responsible for what or who was with which group.



Dingus Milktoast

Gym climber
Run like the wind.
Jun 1, 2011 - 05:05pm PT
First person, from one of them that saved her:

http://www.anselm-murphy.com/

DMT
Brian in SLC

Social climber
Salt Lake City, UT
Jun 1, 2011 - 05:22pm PT
Be interesting to see how this plays out. My bet is we aren't getting a clear picture of what happened (and may never). Doesn't jibe with what I've heard and seen over there.

Have friends headed back to KTM in the next day or so (from Lukla). Be interesting to hear if they've heard of this. KCS connection and all.

Crazy stuff.
Tinkerbell Sweetheart

climber
Jun 1, 2011 - 05:23pm PT
This whole story/thread reeks of affluent, spoiled, unqualified Westerners trying to buy their way to a summit at the expense of poorly paid and treated Sherpa's (perhaps they make a decent living relative to their standard of living, but I'm sure it's a pittance relative to Western standards).
Messages 1 - 20 of total 87 in this topic << First  |  < Previous  |  Show All  |  Next >  |  Last >>
Return to Forum List
Post a Reply
 
Our Guidebooks
Check 'em out!
SuperTopo Guidebooks


Try a free sample topo!

 
SuperTopo on the Web

Review Categories
Recent Trip Report and Articles
Recent Route Beta
Recent Gear Reviews