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

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bmacd

Trad climber
100% Canadian
Apr 29, 2013 - 03:01am PT
Jan you should read read the account on Simone's web site, you have it wrong about who was climbing above who

http://www.adventure-journal.com/2013/04/violence-hits-mt-everest-as-sherpas-fight-with-ueli-steck-others/
Jan

Mountain climber
Okinawa, Japan
Apr 29, 2013 - 03:20am PT
The Sherpa lead climber was above everyone, but Moro, Steck and Griffith were above several Sherpas who were at belay anchors resting and probably above others a pitch or so below (there were 17 Sherpas there altogether). M,S, and G crossed over two lines that were between the lead Sherpa and the belayers and resters - unroped. There have been numerous fatalities on that wall from world class climbers unexpectedly slipping there. I can see the concern.

Beyond that, the Sherpa teams are accustomed to being the first up the mountain. The icefall doctors always go up there first and fix ropes. M,S, and G broke that protocol in their haste to go up and now their expedition is probably prematurely finished. By the crowded standards of the Alps, climbing over people and their ropes is ok. The Sherpas however, come from a different culture and I'm sure, feel their perogatives, responsibilities, and livelihood are threatened by do it yourself crews. They come from a culture of hierarchy, protocol, and face saving, all of which were ignored.

The Sherpas also responded very badly as a group and need to understand that and not just blame the three leaders who were taken off the mountain. Those three can always plead oxygen deprivation and overwork, the same excuse for the bad behavior of so many of their clients over the years.
neebee

Social climber
calif/texas
Apr 29, 2013 - 03:40am PT
hey there say, jan, and all...

just learning and listening to all this, thanks for sharing,
there is always so much more to all these things than meets the eye...


orle

climber
Topic Author's Reply - Apr 29, 2013 - 06:35am PT
Thanks Jan, what a sad episode. I didn't know that Steck/Moro/Griffith were up there attempting a new line but it seems like peak season might not be the best time for that. Didn't Ueli run up Everest in a single-day push last year, just a few days before the Sherpa fixed the route? Hope he's ok..

Simone Moro - the Pilot whom rescued injured Sherpas off of Everest last year, extracted bodies from Pumori via long line, and retrieved the body af a Canadian woman from the south col, arrived this spring in Kahtmandu bringing from Europe, his own higher capacity Eurocopter to support yet more rescue efforts this year on Everest.

Three Cheers for a Hero, a Gentleman, and a world class Himalayan Athelete

I'll second that. Dude's a total legend and has his heart (and head) in the right place. He deserves a f*#king medal and not a beating, obviously. Baffling how medieval this whole act seems.
Jan

Mountain climber
Okinawa, Japan
Apr 29, 2013 - 07:18am PT
We won't begin to get the whole story from the Sherpa side until they all come back to Kathmandu in early June. Then the interesting stories will begin and we'll have a better idea of the personalities and viewpoints of the various people involved.

Meanwhile, Adrian Ballinger has written a very well balanced account of what he was told by both Sherpas and western mountaineers. It turns out some western people also became violent against Sherpas and the two groups were separated by peace making Sherpas and westerners working together.

He concludes, "to me multiple mistakes were made from both sides".........."The professional climbers involved could have and should have chosen somewhere else to acclimatize on this day, instead of solo climbing above the rope fixing team".......

"With that said, the response from some (not all) of the Sherpa was inexplicable and inexcusable. Regardless of the disagreement, or the inappropriate language used by the western climbers, the threats and attempts at violence by the Sherpa involved were wrong".

http://www.explorersweb.com/offsite/?source=http%3A%2F%2Falpenglowexpeditions.com%2Fblog%2Feverest-best-and-worst-0&lang=en
WTF

climber
Apr 29, 2013 - 08:20am PT
Ha rich tw#ts being humped up the hill versus real mountaineers.

Sherpas better realize that the west can make it possible for them to be poor and hungry again when no one wants to go to the highest dump in the world.

Hey Sherpa clean up your mountain. It's a dump and well the big momma has a way of cleaning you from her flanks if she thinks your not respecting her and others.

Real men climb K2

Just saying.

couchmaster

climber
pdx
Apr 29, 2013 - 09:18am PT
Possible interpretation:

Sounds like the Sherpas, who were working to fix lines, got pissed when the aggressive as#@&%e westerners climbed above them both disregarding the request not too, and then knocked sh#t onto them. The westerners said "you told us not to touch the frikkan rope you were fixing and we didn't, and furthermore, we didn't knock sh#t down on you when we crossed above you, you're just making sh#t up".

Sherpas: "No we didn't, you knocked ice onto our heads....asswipes"

Asswipes: "Yes you are making sh#t up".

Sherps: "No we aren't."


It's a high risk environment and the Sherpas are most likely more conservative. So they "discuss". Repeat till fists flies.



Move on and climb.
Ron Anderson

Trad climber
Soon to be Nipple suckling Liberal
Apr 29, 2013 - 09:32am PT
i dont understand why any one was removed from base camp. In a population like that, whats the odds of any of them running into each other- gotta be a few thousand there at least!
crankster

Trad climber
South Lake Tahoe, CA
Apr 29, 2013 - 10:08am PT
Sherpas are there for a financial reason. Yes, 99% of people summiting via SC route owe it to them, but they don't own the mountain.
Jan

Mountain climber
Okinawa, Japan
Apr 29, 2013 - 10:20am PT
Actually the Nepalese government owns the mountain and sells permits to climb it. That's a large part of the problem since the more people they pack in there, the more money the impoverished government makes. They can close the mountain at any time as they have others, though that seems unlikely. They can more easily ban both individual Sherpas and individual foreign climbers who are deemed to be troublemakers.
crankster

Trad climber
South Lake Tahoe, CA
Apr 29, 2013 - 10:36am PT
Try climbing over guides on the regular route up the Matterhorn. These so-called tourist routes are a horror show.
local1

Mountain climber
CH
Apr 29, 2013 - 10:47am PT
MOUNT EVEREST, NEPAL

At about 8am on 27th April 2013 Simone Moro (IT), Ueli Steck (CH), and Jonathan Griffith (UK) left Camp 2 to reach a tent at around 7200m (lower Camp 3) on the Lhotse Face of Mount Everest. A team of high altitude sherpas were 'fixing' the Lhotse face and the climbers were asked to not touch the fixed ropes they were establishing. As such the trio climbed about 50m away and to the side of the Sherpa team to avoid disturbing them in their work. It should be noted that all three climbers have extensive climbing experience all over the world and were very aware of the work being carried out by the Sherpas and the respect given to them for it.
When the three climbers reached the height of their already established tent, they traversed across the snow and were forced to step over the lines of the Sherpas to reach their tent about 20 meters to the side. The climbers chose to step across the lines at a belay stance where 4 other sherpas were attached to the ice face whilst their lead climber continued to fix the line above. Stepping over the lines does not interfere in any way with the work being carried out. The climbers were soloing and not using ropes so there was no rope tangling either. In addition by passing beneath the lead climber no ice or snow could be knocked down on him.
Jonathan Griffith was in the lead at this point and after crossing the rope and traversing another 15 meters on a snow ramp Ueli Steck followed. At the point where Ueli Steck stepped over the rope the lead climber noticed the climbers below and began shouting and banging the ice with his axe erratically. Still shouting down at the climbers, he fixed his rope and abseiled down to the belay stance. As Ueli was soloing and therefore not attached to a rope it was natural that he should hold his hands up to take the impact of the force arriving on him form the lead climber abseiling right on to him. This prompted the lead climber to accuse Ueli Steck of 'touching him'. In between hitting the ice with all his force and screaming at Ueli Steck 'why you touch me' he said that they had kicked ice down on them and injured a Sherpa. Seeing as the trio were climbing a completely independent line and entirely on snow this is highly unlikely.
Ueli Steck tried to help calm the situation by offering to help fix the lines up to Camp 3 but this only made matters worse. Simone Moro then joined the team and the lead climber turned on him wielding his ice axe in his direction. Simone swore at the lead climber as is the natural reaction when faced with this aggression. No amount of talking would calm the lead Sherpa down and as a final act of defiance he ordered his whole team of 17 Sherpas off the Lhotse Face and back to Camp 2. There was no reason to descend off the mountain because of the three climbers. They had not touched or interfered with the Sherpa's work. To help smooth things over Ueli Steck fixed a further 260m of rope to Camp 3.
By the time the climbers descended back to Camp 2 some 100 Sherpas had grouped together and attacked the three climbers. They became instantly aggressive and not only punched and kicked the climbers, but threw many rocks as well. A small group of Westerners acted as a buffer between the out of control mob and the climbers, and they owe their lives to these brave and selfless people. Nevertheless all three climbers were attacked as well as many of the Westerners who were trying to calm the situation down. The climbers were told that by that night one of themwould be dead and the other two they would see to later. After about 50 minutes the crowd had calmed down and the climbers, who had been pushed away and told to hide, had regrouped and were told that if they weren't gone in one hour that they would all be killed.
The climbers packed the bare essentials and made a circuitous route back down to the base of Mount Everest in heavily crevassed terrain with no rope on, feeling that given the current situation this was the safest place to be.
The Sherpas said that the reason they attacked the climbers was because they had knocked ice down on a Sherpa below. As it stands no Sherpa has come forward to show any injury. Furthermore on an ice face getting hit by chunks of ice is a very natural occurrence. The climbers believe that the lead Sherpa was tired and cold and felt that his pride had been damaged as the three climbers were moving unroped and much faster to the side of him. Whatever the reason may be, there is no reason to instigate vigilante rule and to try and kill three visiting climbers.
The Nepalese authorities have taken the matter very seriously as have commercial teams on the mountain. At the moment the 3 ring leaders have been taken off the mountain and the Police, Ministry of Tourism and the head of the Sherpa Association are investigating.
The three climbers feel that they don't believe that their actions were the reasons behind such a mass attack. They believe that the reaction was from a far more deep rooted and long term problem, which is the way that Nepalis feel treated by Westerners on the mountain and this was a uprising against that. The three climbers are completely independent and not part of any commercial expedition.
The three climbers would like to extend a huge thank you to all those who saved their lives at Camp 2 and to those who are now taking over the investigation.
local1

Mountain climber
CH
Apr 29, 2013 - 10:51am PT
He concludes, "to me multiple mistakes were made from both sides".........."The professional climbers involved could have and should have chosen somewhere else to acclimatize on this day, instead of solo climbing above the rope fixing team".......

They were on the way to their tent, beyound the C3 - they had to cross the fixed lines. Where else to go and besides, the mountain doesen't belong to someone.

I double Jan's insights as I am in contact with the guys - it is more behind then a crossing of fixed lines

Sad story! If you know Ueli and the others you would know, that they give big respect to the work of the sherpas.
steve shea

climber
Apr 29, 2013 - 11:25am PT
"It's so crowded, nobody goes anymore"...Yogi Bera. Jan is correct Everest is a money machine for the Govt. of Nepal. But if the Ministry of Tourism keeps over booking the south side, they will have essentially crapped in their own messkit. Even fit non climbing athletic types will forego attempting Everest with a trekking co should this keep up. That photo of the line up last year did not do the ministry much good. Now this. But then again maybe most paying to jug the SCol route just see at it as another athletic event like the Iron Man etc where they are used to being in crowds. And it is Everest. Sure isn't climbing to me.
There is a beautiful mountain just down the way on the Tibetan border. Gyachung Kang. It has a south facing spur that looks like the Walker and has huge faces. The cool thing is that on the summit your feet are under 8000m but your head is almost at 8000m. Do a shoulder stand and your there. No fights on that mountain.
Jan also has it on another point as well. The Sherpas see self sustaining alpine expeds as a threat, financially. Therefore a threat to their way of life. Unfortunately this is not limited to Everest. Seen it first hand and long before this.
Ron Anderson

Trad climber
Soon to be Nipple suckling Liberal
Apr 29, 2013 - 11:55am PT
We at "SOE" condemn the violence, the crowds, the trash, the Sherpas, the clients, and the guides..



jschaefer

Sport climber
Munich, Germany
Apr 29, 2013 - 12:33pm PT
Oh, isn't Mr Wool Stick the cousin of Mr. Yvon Clochard, the famous clothing expert?
survival

Big Wall climber
Terrapin Station
Apr 29, 2013 - 12:36pm PT
By the crowded standards of the Alps, climbing over people and their ropes is ok. The Sherpas however, come from a different culture and I'm sure, feel their perogatives, responsibilities, and livelihood are threatened by do it yourself crews. They come from a culture of hierarchy, protocol, and face saving, all of which were ignored.

That sounds pretty true. But to resort to gang mentality and outright thuggery when the guys returned to camp 2? It seems they HAD to know that it wouldn't go well for them in the long run.

And people wonder why I go SO FAR out of my way to avoid climbing above or beneath other parties. A mini example that rears it's head is our climb of Birdland last year. Parties came up beneath us, one accused us of not yelling rope as we descended to the side of them, then they dropped a piece of gear on us as we continued down the wall. Some choice words were shared by all......


Everest is the ATM of the Nepali government. Put westerners in, take money out. Sherpas stuck in the middle.
Reilly

Mountain climber
The Other Monrovia- CA
Apr 29, 2013 - 12:37pm PT
It always takes two to tango.
weezy

climber
Apr 29, 2013 - 12:45pm PT
i see this becoming a thing. UFC meets alpinism. let's breath some life back into the biggest chosspile on the planet. two men climb up and square off with ice axes at each camp. three minute rounds, points for every good "stick". whoever doesn't die, wins. redbull needs to get on this sh#t.
GhoulweJ

Trad climber
El Dorado Hills, CA
Apr 29, 2013 - 01:09pm PT
We should send in the Drones.
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