Topic Author's Original Post - Jul 11, 2013 - 12:00am PT
There is an excellent article in the August online edition of Outside Magazine titled, The Invisile Man, A Western History of the Sherpas on Everest. It's certainly the best article on the subject that I've ever read. It also sheds some interesting new light on the fight with Moro and Steck last spring.
“It’s the guilt of hiring somebody to work for me who really had no choice,” [climbing guide Melissa] Arnot told [Grayson Schaffer] last October in Nepal... “My passion created an industry that fosters people dying. It supports humans as disposable, as usable, and that is the hardest thing to come to terms with.”
Since passage of the 2002 Tourism Act Amendment, Nepal’s Ministry of Tourism and Aviation has required all local trekking agents to purchase rescue and life insurance for their porters. Sherpas working above Base Camp need at least $4,600 in death coverage and $575 in medical, while low-altitude porters must be insured at $3,500. Each expedition must also cover its Sherpas with, collectively, at least $4,000 in rescue insurance... When it comes to rescue insurance, the $4,000 coverage is almost meaningless. High-altitude helicopter rescues, which became routine starting in 2011, have drastically increased the chances of surviving an accident above Camp II. They also cost $15,000 each—more than three times what the required insurance will cover.
Reinhold Messner ... had harsh words for mountaineers who want it both ways. “Climbers who cross ladders set by Sherpas at the Khumbu Icefall,” he told the crowd, “then go up without ropes and claim to be special are parasites.”
“I never wanted my kids to be mountaineers,” Lhamu Chhiki said. “I want to give them an education so after they are raised they can do something other than mountaineering.”
anybody who wants to discuss the ethics of climbing big oxygen depleted mountains and what might or might not be considered "cheating" within that game, needs to take the time to read this article.
for at least the widows and children left behind, mt. everest is the postmodern reincarnation of an early 1900's kentucky coal mine.
Interesting read, thanks for posting. Human action, incentives, trying to improve from current situation, and ethics, it's got all the substance needed for a good story. The answers are a bit more challenging to agree upon.
Thanks for posting up. I'm in the middle of reading it and it's very worthwhile and important to learn about. Hopefully, this will help shed some light on something that seems to have been in the dark for too long.