NEWS: Bolts On Everest


Discussion Topic

Return to Forum List
Post a Reply
Messages 1 - 20 of total 40 in this topic << First  |  < Previous  |  Show All  |  Next >  |  Last >>
Mick Ryan

Trad climber
Kendal, English Lake District
Topic Author's Original Post - May 5, 2009 - 03:14am PT
Kenton Cool reports for from Everest.

"On the 2nd of May, after deliberation and coordination among the leading Everest teams, a small group of Western guides assisted by a number of Sherpas spent most of the morning working on the Yellow Band of Everest. The Yellow Band is situated above Camp 3 on the South (Nepalese) side of the mountain at approximately 7700m. The team cleared away loose rock and cut away old rope, making the forthcoming summit pushes this season a safer proposition."

"In doing this work, a number of bolts were also placed in this area of compact rock."

See also:

"Yesterday was a historic day for route making on Everest. Kari Kobler donated his Hilti bolt gun and guides Willie Benegas and Adrian Ballinger drilled six new 10cm Mammut stainless steel bolts up on the Yellow Band to anchor two new ropes one for up traffic and one for down. Good work you guys. In the process they also cut down over 30kg of old rope. The immediate benificiaries will be the sherpas, who have had to deal with a spider-web of old ropes over the years. Now, this is much safer for them. When the climbers start going up to the Col in the next few days they will find that this makes it a lot faster and less confusing. We are hoping to do the same thing up on the Geneva Spur next, and hopefully up in the rock step below the South Summit too."

Eric Simonson, IMG Expedition Leader at

Best regards,

Mick Ryan

Todd Gordon

Trad climber
Joshua Tree, Cal
May 5, 2009 - 03:29am PT


May 5, 2009 - 03:37am PT
all time classic tg!

Big Wall climber
San Luis Obispo CA
May 5, 2009 - 03:41am PT
Like the failure of popularizing surfing culture, to ill crowding effect, we are now suffering the effects of enticing the masses to join our sport.

And, I am to be partially blamed for this terrible state of affairs, because I make it safer for anybody to go up, where no mere mortal man could otherwise go up.


Barcelona, Spain
May 5, 2009 - 04:18am PT
Nice tat on the cherub - what is that, a Moomintroll? Also, it's good to see Tom chasing Jerry in the background. Fixe hardware - made in Catalunya.

Trad climber
May 5, 2009 - 04:21am PT
Sport routes have been a long time coming to Everest. I welcome the safe, bolted moderates for the masses.

Also, Todd your couch is blocking my bivy spot and I won't be able to sleep with those cartoons blaring.

Trad climber
Ouray, Colorado
May 5, 2009 - 10:26am PT
Let's take it to the next level and put in escalators, Everest is a farce- good for some guides though, and I'll bet an ascent can be a terrific pick up line in a Manhattan wine bar. The only ones I have sympathy for are the sherpas, they work hard and live in one of the World's poorest nations.

Gym climber
Mammoth Lakes, CA
May 5, 2009 - 11:36am PT

I was going to say the same thing....

Bolts, hah. Get real and put in an escalator! We need to start getting serious about this safety stuff...

Tartarus, black hole of the internet
May 5, 2009 - 11:41am PT
If any one is actually following the climbing on Everest, then you know that there are approximately 500 climbers this season. the entire route is being fixed with ropes, except the section through the western cwm (top of the khumbu to base of Lotse face), thanx to the sherpas that actually climb the route.

The route is a quasi via-feratta. Bolts just are gonna make it safer simply because it facilitates fixing done by the few. Hardly makes a difference to the clients.

If you're an idealist like me, than you understand everest was lost a long time ago.
But take heart there is one guy doing the whole thing without assist.
"My goal is to make minimal use of porters, fixed rope, and supplemental oxygen while on the climb. I agree with Mark Jenkin's statement that style IS substance when climbing big peaks. While the general public doesn't care about style, I do. At the same time, I'm not going to walk away from a sure shot at the top if it means violating a self-imposed style rule. But it does mean that I start by playing the game in a certain way, and only 'cheat' if I feel it's absolutely necessary."

The other side of this is that old ropes from prior seasons are easier to remove, thus keeping the mountain free of old rope debris.
I hope they bolt K2, that thing is dangerous.

Big Wall climber
Stoney Point
May 5, 2009 - 11:53am PT
How much to climb Everest? Big Deal, solo a Big Wall and you may have balls.


Tucson, AZ
May 5, 2009 - 12:16pm PT
this is almost as bad as adding those bolts to Double Cross.

.... almost.
Delhi Dog

Trad climber
Good Question...
May 5, 2009 - 12:25pm PT
"Let's take it to the next level and put in escalators, Everest is a farce- good for some guides though...
...The only ones I have sympathy for are the sherpas, they work hard and live in one of the World's poorest nations."

And here in lies the dilemma with me...
I do agree with the whole Everest farce thing, and as Ragz sayz it was lost long ago.

But, isn't this some variation of the "end justifies the means" issue too?


Since people are going to pay to get guided up, AND guides will take them up, with of course the Sherpas doing the bulk of the work-taking more than their share of the risks, doesn't it seem reasonable for them to have the pro. those bolts provide?

Without them the danger (and work) truly only increases for them.
And, they ARE the locals right?

I haven't seen any evidence that less paying customers are now climbing Everest than prior to any Sherpa death or injury. Bolts or no bolts these folks will still head up there.

I guess it could be argued their chance of success increases with the increase of Sherpa safety...

But I'm curious, is it the bolts themselves that will make any difference...

Cleaning up all that ratty shite is good, but there sure is plenty more up there.

Anyway, with the road up there and the Hotel going in on the Tibet side it's all kind of a moot point anyway right?



Trad climber
Mountain View, CA
May 5, 2009 - 12:50pm PT
I am not that concerned about the bolts, but was really does concern me is that expeditions take responsibility to remove all the stuff they bring to the climb. That means tents, oxygen bottles and trash. And, I don't think burning all the trash at basecamp and then tossing the remains down a crevasse is OK.

Whether it is a commercial or non-commercial expedition getting all your stuff(not just the climbers) off the mountain should be number one priority. I don't care how many people climb Everest, but if they turn it into a trash heap that would be a real tragedy.
Unfortunately, maybe it is already there.

Delhi Dog

Trad climber
Good Question...
May 5, 2009 - 12:56pm PT



Big Wall climber
Phoenix, AZ
May 5, 2009 - 03:17pm PT
Bryan and Coiler? You up for a high altitude chop-shop mission?

God, that would be hilarious...

Michael Kennedy

Social climber
Carbondale, Colorado
May 5, 2009 - 03:52pm PT
Agree with Jim - the only people to sympathize with are the Sherpas. They do most (if not all) of the hard work and spend the greatest amount of time in the danger zone. Can't blame them for trying to make the job site safer and more efficient.

Lots of "real climbing" has been done on Everest, but those days have been sadly over for many years (at least on the South Col and North Ridge).

Even for the guided client there is a huge difference between actually climbing a mountain (following a guide across glaciers and up technical ground, helping set up camps, carrying your own gear, making at least a minimal effort to take care of yourself) and what now seems to constitute a "guided ascent" (having your meals delivered to the tent, having your gear and oxygen delivered to each already-set-up camp, clipping into a fixed rope at basecamp and following that to the summit and back).

Unfortunately the same thing is now happening on K2.

But there are still thousands of sub-8000m peaks to find real adventure on.

Like these guys:


Trad climber
May 5, 2009 - 03:54pm PT
Hey, at least there's less bolts on the ~30,000 foot hunk of rock then the salathe wall... perspective I guess.

Hobart, Australia
May 5, 2009 - 05:26pm PT
kind of surprised those were the first!

I know Willie does good work wherever he climbs, so I reckon it was a job well done.
Dingus Milktoast

May 5, 2009 - 08:50pm PT
Where's the American Chopper

Vrroom Vrroom!


Trad climber
the base of the Shawangunk Ridge
May 5, 2009 - 08:52pm PT
what does it cost (roughly) to climb it unsupported?
Messages 1 - 20 of total 40 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

Recent Route Beta
Recent Gear Reviews