"FISTICUFFS ON EVEREST" - The Daily Fail at it again

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Messages 341 - 360 of total 590 in this topic << First  |  < Previous  |  Show All  |  Next >  |  Last >>
Jan

Mountain climber
Okinawa, Japan
May 4, 2013 - 12:27am PT
It always helps to be in the position of moral authority.

Either you're very tall or those Tibetans have very stunted growth.

And out of curiosity, did you ever get your socks back?
Stewart Johnson

climber
lake forest
May 4, 2013 - 10:05am PT
Jan im only a six footer. so yes Tibetians are short in Kharta.
and since i had ten pairs of socks and they had none i ended up bartering for yak bells etc. cheers and thanks for your knowledge!
Jan

Mountain climber
Okinawa, Japan
May 4, 2013 - 10:17am PT
I thought Stewart, since you mentioned the Kangshung Face previously, that the theft probably happened in Kharta. They're kind of known for that even among Sherpas. I'll bet their average height has declined since 1959 because of lowered nutrition when the border was sealed and the major trade route from Nepal was destroyed.

It's interesting how things go in cycles. Isolated communities when first opened up often have a once- in- a- lifetime, grab- what- you- can- attitude. Later, they realize there's more to come and more to be made by accommodating. Still later, it seems from the recent Everest episode, a new phase is entered when they try to regain control and a still bigger portion of the wealth.
crankster

Trad climber
South Lake Tahoe, CA
May 4, 2013 - 12:48pm PT
Why is it so hard for some of you to admit the Sherpa's might have really screwed up? They are human beings, not mythical creatures.

Jan has made her decision, regardless of the facts.
Ron Anderson

Trad climber
Soon to be Nipple suckling Liberal
May 4, 2013 - 12:59pm PT
hhmmmm Jan,, or crankster,,, Jan,, or crankster....decisions decisions...
bhilden

Trad climber
Mountain View, CA
May 4, 2013 - 01:06pm PT
I have to kind of agree with Crankster on this one. Sure, there are cultural difference between the sherpas and westerners, but regardless of what happened, violence is not the answer. The sherpas screwed up by resorting to violence. That's the bottom line. You can make up all the excuses you want, but that's it.
Bruce Kay

Gym climber
BC
May 4, 2013 - 01:11pm PT
I think we should send Blue Ring over there to arbitrate.
Jennie

Trad climber
Elk Creek, Idaho
May 4, 2013 - 01:56pm PT
I suggest your criticism of Jan is inapt, Crankster. Perhaps re-reading the thread will convey notions you overlooked or failed to light upon.

Jan expressed in the beginning that the assault by Sherpas was a huge mistake. Conveying insight into why they lost control is not advocating they were right in attacking the Europeans ...or proposing Sherpa own the moral high ground in every dispute with western climbers.

Jan's study and familiarity... of and with the Sherpa ...qualify her in reviewing the events and attaching cultural insight. Please don't intimate she is playing cozy with Sherpa offense at the expense of western "innocence"in this dispute.
Reilly

Mountain climber
The Other Monrovia- CA
May 4, 2013 - 02:01pm PT
FISTICUFFS ON SUPERTOPO! Same as it ever was...
Stewart Johnson

climber
lake forest
May 4, 2013 - 02:16pm PT
Kangschung face approach
Kangschung face approach
Credit: Paul Teare
Dealing with the cunnning Tibetians was good mental preparation for climbing the east face with four people.
rockermike

Trad climber
Berkeley
May 4, 2013 - 02:28pm PT
Jan, curious, what is your background? From reading your posts over the years I gather you live in Okinawan now, and lived in Nepal earlier? Just my guess. I'd like to know more. What do you do for a living in such exotic places?
Bargainhunter

climber
May 4, 2013 - 02:48pm PT
The Sherpas did screw up. Mob mentality trying to smash people's heads with rocks?!??!!...Just for climbing past them on the designated Sherpa line fixing day? Sounds like a petty, immature argument that escalated into inexcusable nearly fatal mob violence. Fortunately the woman was there to prevent the lynchings and murders of some fine alpinists.

Where were the sidars in controlling them? Any leader or member of a guided group there should have the backbone to stand up to this and demand to have every Shepra involved fired. Anyone clipping onto a fixed rope up there now directly plays a role in condoning that violence. But I doubt the Western guides and their clients are about to do what is morally right and leave the mountain in protest and shortchange their pocketbooks or their summit dreams of glory.

I wonder when the Nepalese government will nationalize the guiding on the peak and set their own terms?

What a stupid drama...I cannot believe so many people sign up on these guided tours to clip into a fixed rope and jumar up the mountain. Hanging out in basecamp while the sherpas unwind spool after spool of rope for you to jug? Sorry friends, but who is attracted to this type of mountain activity? Plenty of people with cash to spare evidently....pathetic.

I'm on Ueli side. Here's the link:

http://www.outsideonline.com/outdoor-adventure/climbing/mountaineering/everest-2013/Brawl-On-Everest-Ueli-Stecks-Story.html

Ken M

Mountain climber
Los Angeles, Ca
May 4, 2013 - 03:42pm PT
Why is it so hard for some of you to admit the Sherpa's might have really screwed up? They are human beings, not mythical creatures.

Jan has made her decision, regardless of the facts.

I think that if you were on an ice route, in sketchy conditions where several have died before, doing something technical, and I came along, and in spite of your repeated requests not to get on top of us, I did anyway, and knocked ice down one top of you, when we got off the slope, when I came over and told you that you were a bunch of motherf*ckers for being in my way...........

I would expect you to give me a knuckle sandwich (not just the *threat* of a knuckle sandwich, which is what happened, here)

But apparently because they are just the "help", and not "real" climbers, they aren't entitled to the same emotions that most climbers would feel...
Jan

Mountain climber
Okinawa, Japan
May 4, 2013 - 06:39pm PT
For rockermike- I am an anthropologist. My research specialties are the Sherpa people and the cultural ecology of the central Himalaya. I've worked on a couple of foreign aid projects in Nepal for the Swiss and New Zealand governments. The latter includes the original drafts for the Sherpa history and culture sections of the Sagarmatha/Mt. Everest National Park guidebook and the original designs for the Sherpa museum in the park. Mostly though, I've made my living teaching Anthropology and Asian Studies to U.S. military and government employees overseas, for the University of Maryland, first in Europe and for the past 30 years, in Okinawa. I go back and forth to Nepal every couple of years. One of my main interests is the impact of tourism on the Sherpas.

Dover

Trad climber
New England
May 4, 2013 - 07:08pm PT
Jan,

I just wanted to say "Thank You" for all your insights. I've really learned a lot about cultural differences from your posts. It is so easy to step into 'stuff' when you are outside the culture.

I also appreciate your advocacy of the Sherpas and their struggle. From your telling of the story, I can readily understand their perspective. It is a valid one. You are a great friend to that people.

Jan

Mountain climber
Okinawa, Japan
May 4, 2013 - 07:12pm PT
Thanks dover, I try.

For the Record - one more time.

I do not condone violence by anybody!

I am a social scientist and my task is to record what exists and try to figure out why. Of course I have my personal preferences and it's no secret that I admire the Sherpas. I am very well aware also that they use the threat of group violence to get people to conform their behavior to the group norm. Traditionally they lived in a situation where there was no government and no police force. Community pressure was all they had to maintain order. Even today when they're up on the mountain, beyond the reach of the police, that's all they have.

I don't believe they intended to kill Moro, Steck, and Griffith on their sacred mountain. I do believe they intended to let them know that all of the Sherpa climbers, not just a few, found their disrespect intolerable. They wanted Moro on his knees to apologize for insulting them and their mothers as such curses are taken much more seriously in their culture than ours. I am sure they also intended to scare the wits out of the three and chase them off the mountain which they did. The only thing they did wrong from their own point of view was draw blood after being jostled by a hapless observer who led them to believe there would be a physical fight. Drawing blood, even when killing an animal is considered very bad.

I think the Sherpas judged it pretty well from all the various sources I have read. The majority opinion among Sherpas for sure and the people there to climb the mountain, who are the source of their livelihood, is that the three western climbers used the Sherpa paths, ladders, and ropes through the Khumbu icefall multiple times and then ignored the Sherpa's safety and honor by tromping past them while they laid more fixed line. As long as they used the fixed ropes down below they were not doing a completely independent climb as claimed and were subject to the same rules of the mountain as everybody else, and their claims to total independence, like so many before them, were deemed hypocritical.

I dare say if the three climbers involved were rich noobs rather than world famous mountaineers, most people here would side with the Sherpas which represents yet more hypocrisy it seems to me. In the end, the way I see it, the three alpinists involved have brought yet more regulation to the mountain and only strengthened the Sherpa's position. While true climbers will deplore what Everest has become, it is what it is, and the actions of Moro, Steck, and Griffith have narrowed the possibilities for independent climbers even further. I am of course interested in other interpretations.
adatesman

climber
philadelphia, pa
May 4, 2013 - 08:34pm PT
From a mostly lurker, Jan- you're awesome. :)
kolos

climber
Hungary
May 4, 2013 - 09:43pm PT
Jan,

First of all thanks for the clear statement about the disapproval of the violence. Unfortunately many messages posted by you seemed to me as a justification of these acts.

I don't believe they intended to kill Moro, Steck, and Griffith on their sacred mountain. I do believe they intended to let them know that all of the Sherpa climbers, not just a few, found their disrespect intolerable. They wanted Moro on his knees to apologize for insulting them and their mothers as such curses are taken much more seriously in their culture than ours. I am sure they also intended to scare the wits out of the three and chase them off the mountain which they did. The only thing they did wrong from their own point of view was draw blood after being jostled by a hapless observer who led them to believe there would be a physical fight. Drawing blood, even when killing an animal is considered very bad.

One paragraph and many things to react on:
Maybe they did not want to kill the 3 climbers, but throwing big stones into a tent and the alleged pen knife usage does not really support this point. These acts had the potential to get very serious or fatal. Thank God, the brave woman was around and your hypothesis was not tested.

Disrespect. I think this is really the point. Or rather one or couple of hurted egos. You immediately jump in the middle of the scene and start that the western climbers used ugly words on the Sherpas and their mothers. Yes, that is true. But why??? As far as I see this was triggered by the Sherpa leader who abseiled on the 3 climbers who were on an icefall without belay. How would you react??? This was also a very dangerous maneuver which could have been lethal.
The next question: Had the 3 climbers the right to be there on that very day? I think the answer is yes. They had the same rights on the mountain as the Sherpas: all of them paid a price for Nepal to have a go on the highest mountain of the world. The Sherpas were there because the expeditions which employed them paid for the mountain. Actually Moro and co. already established a tent in 3rd camp so as I understood they were well ahead of the commercial expeditions. Their route did not interfere with the Sherpas until that point. Since they wanted to go to their tent they had to cross the fixing line. Apparently they did this with great care and nobody was hurt. Except the ego of the leader who probably felt the the fast-moving westerners abash him in front of the other Sherpas.

I think the Sherpas judged it pretty well from all the various sources I have read. The majority opinion among Sherpas for sure and the people there to climb the mountain, who are the source of their livelihood, is that the three western climbers used the Sherpa paths, ladders, and ropes through the Khumbu icefall multiple times and then ignored the Sherpa's safety and honor by tromping past them while they laid more fixed line. As long as they used the fixed ropes down below they were not doing a completely independent climb as claimed and were subject to the same rules of the mountain as everybody else, and their claims to total independence, like so many before them, were deemed hypocritical.
The usage of the Khumbu icefall "infrastructure" is a big question. I think that the 3 climbers paid for this part since this is essential to get into position on a certain part of the mountain. If they did not then this can be criticized (nobody came forward with this as far as I know) but no way can be a justification of the further acts.
Did they ignore the Sherpas safety or honor? I think the Sherpas safety and honor was 1000 other times and 1000 times more ignored and compromised during the Everest climbs. We all know cases when these brave men were sent to drag down some halfdead millionaire as#@&%e westerner from the mountain who got in that position because of their inabilities and the bad judgment of the commercial expedition bosses. And are you really sure that this was the first time that swear words were used at Sherpas and their mothers? It is a shame but I am quite sure that this happens on a daily basis in the camps. Still we do not see a mob with covered faces to search for their truth.
No, I think this is really the "bad apple" case. It is sad to say but nothing extraordinary happened on the mountain that day. Nothing which does not happen 1000 times in a season. A couple of hurt ego drove a lot of other companion crazy using his power and position. I think a disservice to the normal majority if we try to explain this situation with cultural differences.

bhilden

Trad climber
Mountain View, CA
May 4, 2013 - 10:37pm PT
I keep hearing everyone talking about how the sherpa's safety was put at risk. In reading the accounts of Moro and Steck, the sherpas, while tied into the ropes on the Lohtse face swung ice axes at both Steck and Moro while they were climbing unroped.

What's that all about? No mob mentality there. Just an upset sherpa who was trying to knock an unroped climber off a 50-degree ice face.

And, couldn't you make the point that if the sherpas are going to make a living by being paid by Westerner's money that the sherpas should make an attempt to understand the culture of those who are paying them?
crankster

Trad climber
South Lake Tahoe, CA
May 4, 2013 - 10:50pm PT
Beg on your knees for forgiveness or we might kill you. Give me a f*#king break. Some of these lunatic Sherpa's need to go to jail. I'm sick of all this apologizing for them.

Jan, you're starting to make me ill. Ken already has.

No f*#king ice rained down on the poor, innocent Sherpa's. They got their pride and honor hurt, not their bodies. If they don't like it up there they should get a job doing something else.
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