Wow, retro-bolting the first ascent route on the highest mountain in the world, decades after the FA, using a power drill, and posting the write up on the web, with full names of the engineers. The unfortunate thing is that none of this is at all surprising.
According to the article the bolts were installed as part of a new rappel anchor that completes a new rap route which will allow those descending an alternate way around the traffic jams at the Hillary Step.
"There's been a drought for last ten years, and it's getting drier and drier. And we had to acclimate to those changesóby changing the route, changing the way we set up the anchorsóseveral years ago," Benegas explained. Commercial teams made a controversial decision to retro-bolt parts of the 1953 route, adding six bolts on the Yellow Band in 2009 and ten to twelve more above the Triangle Face last year to replace what used to be ice anchors. "It's all dirt," Benegas says. "We have to take responsibility, we have to make it safe otherwise were going to see 200 deaths in one shot."
Are you anti bolters saying that if a short section of wall fell off a nice El cap route, one which had a nice crack in it, that the blank section should not be bolted? Cause the ice is gone baby, which makes it a different proposition.
In our role as old fart armchair mountaineers armed with ADSL and plentiful beverages, it's our duty to post crusty paeans to the past, which serve to annoy and stimulate the young rule breakers on to bigger and better achievements.
Wait a minute, scratch that, this thread is about making money, not climbing mountains. Sorry.
The mountains should be a "free" place. That means if people want to place bolts, they can place bolts. If people want to climb without using those bolts, they are also free to do so - witness first "free" ascents of previous aid climbs or bolted climbs. The standard routes on Everest are already beyond being clean anyway. What's the real difference if someone fixes a rope using ice screws or places a bolt when the ice melts? If you are jugging a rope, who cares how it is fixed (for style purposes)? I do not see people complaining about the ladder on the North Side. It's still a fixed rope and I do not think someone can claim that a few bolts looks bad on a mountain that size (go complain about human waste, oxygen bottles, human bodies, etc.). Everest is Everest and that is that.