and I bet you thought Twight was dead????


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Mountain climber
Jan 29, 2013 - 12:45pm PT
Have never used Diamox myself. Fortunately I acclimatize well and easily. A few people I know who struggle at altitude (they take a couple days longer to feel ok) and have tried Diamox find the side effects worse than the benefits. My gf, for example, had so much disconcerting body tingling and nausea from the drug that mere altitude sickness was much preferable.
Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Jan 29, 2013 - 12:45pm PT
A little something Twightful for y'all...

The man has never been short on shrieks or opinions. LOL

Trad climber
Chapel Hill, NC
Jan 29, 2013 - 01:03pm PT
Yeah...the worst side-effect is that Diamox makes beer (or any other carbonated beverage) taste like shit!

Mountain climber
Anchorage AK, Reno NV
Jan 29, 2013 - 01:24pm PT
Well that shit's out of the kit for sure then. You can cheat, use IV drugs.. a helicopter or a tram for all I care..

But don't be f*#king with the BEER!

Social climber
Jan 29, 2013 - 02:16pm PT
Twight: the gift that keeps on giving :-&#41;
Twight: the gift that keeps on giving :-)
Credit: Tami

Jan 29, 2013 - 02:34pm PT
Cheating is commonplace and doping is rampant, even at the lowest levels of sport
Such a great line.

This outstanding piece deserves attention among non-climbers...ny times op-Ed level.

Big Wall climber
Terrapin Station
Jan 29, 2013 - 02:53pm PT
Is Twit still an as#@&%e, or did he get over that?

Trad climber
Central Valley, CA
Jan 29, 2013 - 03:19pm PT
So Mallory, Irvine, Hillary, and Tenzing all cheated their way up Everest and didn't inspire anyone in the process?!


Trad climber
Ouray, Colorado
Jan 29, 2013 - 03:25pm PT
Paul, they were climbing into the unknown with equipment....ropes protection gear, clothing, tents, sleeping bags, and oxygen gear that people today would be aghast at using. They also didn't have satellite connections to get instant weather reports and the body of knowledge concerning 8000 meter peaks was minimal. Most importantly, they didn't have fixed ropes on every slope that was a teeny bit steep.
Given all of that....yes, their achievements were notable, and, yes, they are very deserving of our respect.
Something you already know.
Vitaliy M.

Mountain climber
San Francisco
Jan 29, 2013 - 03:32pm PT
So Mallory, Irvine, Hillary, and Tenzing all cheated their way up Everest and didn't inspire anyone in the process?!

At that point it was not a proven fact that humans CAN get up that thing without O2. They were in an unknown zone.

Now we do know it is possible for those who train hard enough and get lucky enough. It would be cool if getting up Everest would be done only by those who do it without O2 (and other drugs that bring the mountain down to your level). Than the achievement would actually mean something. Something only a few can do, you know? Kind of like red pointing a 5.14 or something, not every guy with enough money can do it. Have to put a life time of work into it.

Jan 29, 2013 - 03:38pm PT
The historical point that Paul brings up is interesting, but I think it is worth considering that through the history of sport people have felt free to simultaneously: (1) admire the achievements of those who played by a different set of rules than the present day athlete (and, in some instances, used methods that are called cheating today) and (2) be persistent in the belief that today's definitions of cheating are valid.

One case, in point, is Hall of Fame football player Lester Hayes and his use of "stickum." Simultaneously, history shines favorably (the hall) on his achievements and unfavorably (continued ban on "stickum") on his methods, because that "cheating" was not yet against the rules.
Patrick Sawyer

Originally California now Ireland
Jan 29, 2013 - 03:44pm PT
I never even heard about Diamox before this thread. Guess I have to look it up. My best altitude heights are the three Mexican volcanoes. Not that difficult and I was the only one in the party to do all three (yeah, big deal, point is I had no altitude problems, but then, in the Death Zone, it is different of course).

Oxygen use, hmmm, if I was to climb an 8,000 meter peak, would I at least carry a canister? I don't know, but I hope you can ask me about it someday.

As long as I do not leave it laying as garbage on the mountain.

But I agree the use of O2 on Everest is contentious. But I think that more criticism should be aimed the climbing pimp companies that line their pockets by allowing "non-climbers" to go on expeditions.

Am I being judgmental? Why not, this is a very judgmental thread. That said, I am trying to cut down on being judgmental (and opinionated), as I just had a major falling out with my oldest brother over judgment, words and email flames (my fault but he should know better. Hah hah).

Will we reconcile, I doubt it, unfortunately.

I don't know much about Mark Twight. But I have met Jello a couple of times and have the utmost respect for him.

Trad climber
Bolinas, CA
Jan 29, 2013 - 04:22pm PT
Donini and Vitaly....Paul obviously agrees with you. One needs only to watch Conrad Anker's "The Wildest Dream" to see just how hard it was and still is to climb Everest with the equipment Mallory used despite Conrad's modern knowledge of what it takes to climb Everest. Agree with climbski2, especially in the context of climbing in which everything and anything are used to achieve. As long as your honest, who gives a flip? And also agree with Vitaly that you can make your own rules, especially in a less public or societal (at large)venue like climbing but you should still be honest about it. As climbski2 says 'the only real rule' which is universal. If Armstrong was honest the first time he was asked, all would be forgiven. And it may be too late for Ray Lewis who has already denied use and claims to be an instrument of God. Although Twight makes for great reading and makes points most of us probably agree with, it is hard to take from such a hypocrite.

Social climber
An Oil Field
Jan 29, 2013 - 04:59pm PT
I have to take Diamox to cross Vail Pass.

Boulder climber
Salt Lake, UT
Jan 29, 2013 - 06:24pm PT
Armstrong was a totally different deal. Professional athlete being paid for what he was doing and publicly denying that was using the drugs to gain advantage. I know people that didn't race in Europe because of the drug scene. It affected them.

Diamox or O2 for Joe Blow is different. Not much different in my mind than hiring sherpas or hiring a trainer. Not really how I'd want to do it, but them doing it doesn't really affect my experience unless they are littering O2 bottles all over the place.

Boulder climber
Somewhere on 395
Jan 29, 2013 - 06:35pm PT
^^^^ in Twights defense, he admits that
Jim Brennan

Trad climber
Vancouver Canada
Jan 29, 2013 - 06:36pm PT
If everyone would just stop using oxygen, there would be a level playing field...

Social climber
Jan 29, 2013 - 06:44pm PT
Well, you can give up oxygen you want but I am going to continue to use it until the day I die!

Social climber
Jan 29, 2013 - 08:09pm PT
I cannot think of a single test-piece that puts him in the realm of a Jello, or Messner... Nada nothing.

How about 'Beyond Good and Evil'? He was Piolet D'or nominated for that route. Or is anything but the true summit just an attempt?

And yes. MFT does actually care what others think about him - he's authored his own Wikipedia page. Twitters about himself endlessly. Has his own Youtube channel now.

Does Donini have a Youtube channel? Marko Prezelj Twitter?

MFT may be right about some-things. But, in his own words: "talk - action = zero". He left plenty of junk in the hills when he couldn't be f'd carrying it. And he 'finished' several well-sprayed routes early, just as the grade was about to start punching above 5.10.

Hollywood actors that MFT personally trained for several months speak of how he redefined mountain climbing and seem confused when they speak of him breaking "world records in mountain climbing" - watch the 300 movie interviews. Where would they have gotten that confusion from?

FAKT: House lead all the hard pitches on there big pushes. MFT "retired" from climbing when House said he wanted to start trying for FA'
s on bigger, more technical climbs in true alpine style. As for MFT's big spray about Hunter with Backes - they were following someone else's topo up a somewhat established route - it was rad, but redefining-cutting edge?

It only annoyed me because this dude confuses me. Everyone (especially himself) talks of how bad arse he was. But couldn't climb hard technical rock. Declared FA's that finished before the summit. Leaves crap on mountains because he couldn't be f'd carrying it. Makes an alpine style attempt on Everest and lamblasts others - then uses oxygen that another team had carried-up and stored for themselves when his partner gets sick. And cheats on his wife, when she was essentially paying all the bills so he could 'afford' to live and climb in Chamonix for years.

Funny guy - maybe? Class act nice guy? - I've never met him, informed only by what he has written about himself (with a different slight).

He ought not be an ethical voice for extreme modern alpinism - because he never lived by it.

A long way from where I started
Jan 29, 2013 - 11:15pm PT
I didn't know him well, but did run into him a few times in the 90s when he was at the height of his climbing fame. He was modest, humble, and friendly. And since I had nothing to offer him in terms of career boost or fame, there was no need for him to fake any of that. It just seemed to be how he was.

Maybe some of you guys who are clawing at him ought to think about just how well you really know him.
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