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


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raymond phule

May 12, 2013 - 04:15am PT

The international climbing community is all up in arms about this because one (actually three) of their elite climbing gods were allegedly attacked for some discrepancy, or other. We have essentially only heard from one side, so don't have all the info, but we do have well documented evidence of years of the Sherpa being "abused, annoyed, threatened, flamed upon" (all in that vid in fact) & disrespected, looked down upon and much more. Where is the outcry regarding that?

Because I am outraged about it and the lack of empathy that has been displayed here in regards to the Sherpa (& the porters, etc) and the ongoing blind eye towards an injustice that has been present for generations.

So the Sherpas should be allowed to do whatever they want because they are and have been treated badly in the past?

What about analyzing the actual situation and try to decide what was right and wrong in that situation? Is it really ok to make death treats and throw stones at 3 climbers because you think that other climbers treat you badly?

Trad climber
SoCal Hodad, surfing the galactic plane
May 12, 2013 - 10:02am PT
So the Sherpas should be allowed to do whatever they want because they are and have been treated badly in the past?

ALLOWED? Are we their mommas and poppas? Their police dept? Their boss? Their owners? Their masters? Their whatever?


Should certain climbers be allowed to continue doing what they have been doing?

What about analyzing the actual situation and try to decide what was right and wrong in that situation.

Good idea. I would never have thought of that (just kidding)!

Frankly, we have been trying to make light of it, but have only bits and pieces, and with most coming from the climbers camp. It would be nice to know the whole situation, have both sides weighing in! That probably ain't gonna happen here on ST, though, or not for some time, anyway. Therefore, maybe we should just give it a rest, eh?

Is it really ok to make death threats and throw stones at three climbers because you think that other climbers treat you badly?

Because you think that other climbers are treating you badly? Are you implying that there is a possibility that they were not being treated badly by other climbers?

Regardless, I guess it would depend on how badly other climbers are treating me, for how long, and if there was no end in sight. And if the 3 climbers were following suit, had just done the same thing. And, if sooner or later it was going to put me and my fellow climbers in harms way. Perhaps it had in the past, and we had narrowly escaped being harmed. And when the 3 are confronted about it, rather than agree that it wasn't cool and apologize, they became defiant and called me and my mother names. Might seem like it was the only option (ok) in the heat of the moment.

Once again, we don't know the whole story.

Mountain climber
The Other Monrovia- CA
May 12, 2013 - 01:19pm PT
Right on, Coz.

Trad climber
Kalispell, Montana
May 12, 2013 - 02:31pm PT
How do you know if the guy sitting next to you in the bar is a guide?

He'll tell you.

Trad climber
May 14, 2013 - 01:41am PT
I agree with Coz this wouldn't have happened...

Jan is it true that the commercial guide services are charging $65,000 for one client or group and then paying the sherpas $6000 maximum for 3 months of work? If so that is also part of why this occurred.

The pay should be in line with the danger AND in line with what the guide service is charging in my opinion...I haven't seen you (Jan) condemn the guide companies but they should be condemned by EVERYONE if this is thier business model.

For what it is worth I have also pissed off people from another culture this past year, and supertopoians also while in truth trying to do a good deed...learned my lesson the hard way!!

Mountain climber
Okinawa, Japan
May 14, 2013 - 01:53am PT
Yes it's true that the client is charged $65,000 and the Sherpas get $6,000 for three months' work. Obviously that's not fair but I haven't mentioned it because that will for sure never change until the Sherpas put a lot of pressure on them. I think that's coming, but not for another ten years probably. Between the low wages and the lack of respect, there's plenty to feel bad about if you're Sherpa and yet almost everyone comes away from knowing them impressed by their cheerfulness and selflessness. It is truly humbling.

And sorry you had a cross-cultural misunderstanding. The only people who never do though, are those who stay in the safe cacoon of their own culture.

Trad climber
minneapolis, mn
May 31, 2013 - 07:46pm PT
interesting write-up in the latest issue of The New Yorker. Looks like a preventable goat-f*#k. My guess is the Sherpa were a bit thin-skinned, but I wasn't there.

what's funny is Steck saying something like this about Denis the Kazah: "It's a good thing Denis was higher up on the mountain when this sh#t went down. Dude was in the Kazakh army for a spell. He's not going to take a punch in the face and say, 'thanks, could I have another?'"

Good read. I'm sure your local public library has a hard copy.

Mountain climber
Okinawa, Japan
May 31, 2013 - 11:41pm PT
Here are some Nepalese points of view. I must say every Sherpa that I've heard from is blaming the western climbers. The most neutral statement I've heard yet is, the foreigners made a big mistake". Here are some comments posted to public forums.

The first one comes from Sonam Sherpa who posted a letter to the editor on explorersweb.com

Thanks a lot to Madson [edit: Garrett Madison] for explaining the details of what happened between sherpas and three European climbers.

Simone is internationally certified mountain guide, uli steck is one of the super fast and solo climber, and beside that Simone have been working on the himalaya mountain for many years as a guide, and as being a guide i think he should analyse the situation before he went on the mountain. He should have known what it used to be like on the mountain before.If they want to do the solo climb over the lothse face, why they choose the same day of fixing team, was it the only best day for them during whole year???

If they wanted to contribute the sherpa team, why didn't Simone party informed that to the fixing team before? why did not Simone and Uli steck realize that a sherpa was got hit by a block of ice from Simone's crampons and this poor sherpa was bleeding on the extremely exposed ice wall???

Many medias says simone have been doing free helicopter rescue to all the sherpas and porters, can he show the details which date and where did he free rescued the sherpas and the porters???

Even after all this great mistake as being such a well known and experienced international mountain guide, how come he use such a offensive and hurtful words like "mother f*#ker"??? -maybe its normal for simone but not normal for the mountains and the peoples.

As a guide i understand that we always respect and follow the local rules and regulations of each country so that the things always goes as it should be.
Uli steck writes on his face book that what was his mistake? While just verbal negotiations was going on, Uli steck slap one of the sherpa and then the fight began, is that right???

I heard that there was only 3-4 sherpas involved in fight, but why did Simone party say that about 100 sherpas attacked three of them? Do you think if 3 is attacked by 100 peoples would they be alive now???

When there was this incident, why did not simone party mention the name of the sherpa those who fought with them instead of blaming millions of innocent nepalese sherpas???

Please, help the Sherpas because they are very innocent, very helpful and very honest. It's first time that this three climbers dominating all the sherpas in the history of the sherpa people. Please understand that these sherpas works on everest mostly once in spring and rarely in autumn and let them do their work. If people like simone want to climb everest i think there are four seasons opened to climb everest and there are so much routes on Everest where they can climb by themselves, no thing will restrict them.

I know many peoples are jealous that Everest is in himalaya not in your garden, but for sure Sherpas are not feeling like what you feeling. All sherpa welcome everyone and appreciates to all climbers around the world for their great supports to the Sherpa peoples.

From Ganesh Sharma on the same website.
Ganesh is a Hindu name and Sharma is a name from the Newar ethnic group
showing that other Nepalese, agree with these sentiments.

Thanks for the comment I really appreciate it. But it is sad to know that everybody are against Sherpa people to spit their anger.This conflict between Sherpa and Westerner climber had happened for the first time in the history of Everest. But nobody have to forget that how important are the Sherpa people for western climber in order to achieve their goal just for to live their lives by earning few amounts.

I know few companies have formed the organization to set up the fixed rope up to the summit. And now it become commercialize. But this idea was also came for the Western leader to earn money from another way. Which was started by Russel Brice from Tibet side to raise money from different agents and take responsible to fix the rope all the way. And when he was banned in Tibet then he started to run the expedition from south. So, his agent and himself begin to collect money and buy ropes and pays extra amount to their sherpa to fix the rope all the way to Summit. Now what is going on Everest is that some Nepalese agency along with Western are collecting huge amount of money to fix the line to the summit. Which are not accepted by many Nepalese agencies. But there is no option and just have to accept their rules.

So, my opinion is that issue should be raised for those agencies instead of Sherpa climber because they are treated by agencies and western climber as a porter on Everest like the owner treated the donkey while they are carrying the loads and just get food for day and night. This exactly happened to the Sherpa Climber. I have even heard that some veteran climber during IMAX 1996 Everest treated Sherpa Climber as a porter and hired them just to carry loads up to south col. He stated "You are my porter and I paid your agency to work here so you have to work as my order". So, in this point where is the harmony of human being towards Sherpa climber??

And nobody has to forget that for each and every expedition is not become a successful expedition without a support of Sherpa climber. So nobody have to forget how important Sherpa are in the mountain. I know this is happened by few Sherpa due to their agent but not by all. Each and every expedition agent even they are western are having Sherpa. For god sake to not undermine Sherpa Climber.

Why hiring Sherpa Climber by western agent? If you compare Sherpa Climber with westerner then you cannot compete with Sherpa Climber because they are mountain goat. Well, maybe technically , Westerner are good but physically nobody dare with Sherpa Climber. I am telling because if there is not Sherpa climbers hired on Mt. Everest then most of the climbers both commercial and noncommercial would have been died on Everest. The westerner leader are just up in the mountain to make critical decision during summit time and walk along with the members. But Sherpa Climber had to carry all loads up to south col and summit around 15 to 30 kg just to earn money for their lives. They have to carry tent, oxygen, food etc. And even during summit time they have to put off their gloves to replace oxygen of the climbing member and even carry their extra oxygen along with their own oxygen bottle.

So, I would like to tell that every record and summit of Westerner climber there is always role of Sherpa climber behind their success. And sad that nobody proudly mentioned their name on their books, journals and movies. Very Very sad to know that all media undermine the Sherpa climber. And also lots of Sherpa climberhad to die in camp 2 and summit but nobody raise the voice for them instead of making big issue of Simone moroís issue.


Mountain climber
Okinawa, Japan
Jun 1, 2013 - 06:05pm PT
And from ac Salaka Sherpa from his Facebook page

Egos is currect word, people doesn't respect the mountain, too many expertise, trying to make hero of them self and No respect for unsong local sherpa climbers. Sea level guiding service being too gridy and look for the ways to promote their company NAME. People needs to learn to share, to respect and to let the experince local to lead. Rather than hogging the whole mountain them self! There are many self-fish company, who think they knows everything and, when things goes wrong they bleam to Sherpa's. They always talk about them self good things and never talk about the negitive and truth about them or, their company. I do know many truth about what's really goes on the mountain and how these people address 60% truth and 40 % LIES.

Mountain climber
Okinawa, Japan
Jun 6, 2013 - 04:32am PT
The Nepalese government used the celebration of the 60th anniversary of the climbing of Mr. Everest to announce that it will raise the mandatory accident and medical insurance rates for mountaineering workers. High altitude workers will now receive up to one million ruppees which comes to $11,055. Base camp workers will receive $8,888 and lower altitude $5,527 worth of insurance.

Trad climber
Elk Creek, Idaho
Jun 6, 2013 - 09:08am PT
Appreciation for you boosting awareness and insight into Sherpa/western relations, Jan.

Ueli Steck, love him or not...it's difficult conceiving of him slapping a Sherpa...
Crazy Bat

Sport climber
Birmingham, AL & Sweanee, TN
Jun 8, 2013 - 07:19pm PT
Am I an idiot? I am a climber groupie. Most of my experience is at belaying an exboyfriend on single pitch climbs. I never had anyone pass me as I was belaying between me and my climber. I would have freaked out. Admittedly I was usually on the ground and it was easy to walk around me.

Every accout I have read indicated the climbers crossed the ropes at the belay stance, above the belay stance. Could they have crossed below? Would that have made a difference?

Just wondering.


Mountain climber
The Other Monrovia- CA
Jun 8, 2013 - 07:40pm PT
When is the rematch? I hope it isn't pay-per-view.

Mountain climber
Okinawa, Japan
Jun 23, 2013 - 08:38am PT

And another Nepalese view.


The Everest Perspective from Nepal: Interview with Tshering Pande Bhote

Posted: Jun 21, 2013 05:30 pm EDT

(By Nick Boudreau) ExplorersWeb caught up with Tshering Pande Bhote, Nepali owner and guide of Himalaya Guides in Kathmandu to get his take on a few of the big questions out of Chomolungma. A six-time Everest summiteer, Tshering was the first Nepali to earn an International Federation of Mountain Guides Associations (IFMGA) guide certification. He is also one of a few to earn New Zealand Mountain Guides Association (NZMGA) & Nepal National Mountain Guide Association (NNMGA) qualifications. Here is what he had to say:

ExplorersWeb: What do you see are the biggest issues facing Himalaya climbing today?

Tshering: I donít find any big issues facing Himalaya climbing today. All over the world the issues are the same. Some people have too much egoism and like to have much credit without much climbing.

ExplorersWeb: Some guides and alpinists have suggested making IFMGA or other certifications mandatory in order to guide on Everest to improve safety. Do you think this is a good idea?

Tshering: It is hard to say. Safety wise it is a good idea to at least have one IFMGA guide in a team.

ExplorersWeb: Mainstream news outlets seemed to have latched onto the notion that the Sherpa are to blame for most of the challenges on Everest (i.e. overcrowding, too many inexperienced climbers on the mountains, tensions between Sherpa and western guides/alpinists, etc). Is this true or is there more to this story?

Tshering: My point of view it is more to the story. I see the same number of climbers for the famous mountains all over the world.

ExplorersWeb: What do you think are key changes that would help prevent bottle-necking at the Hillary Step or fights between Sherpa and foreign climbers?

Tshering: I think key changes that would help prevent bottle-necking at the Hillary Step would be proper fixed ropes before the summit day, one line for ascending and one for descending. I climbed six times to the summit of Mount Everest without any problems.

All climbers have to look back a bit for old climbers where everything was at least twice as heavy, not tested and they didnít know the route. Now-a-days fixed rope is up the route, gear is light weight tested, better, warmer, at least twice as good as before. It is human nature like to have more and more creature comforts.

I donít want to talk about fights between Sherpa and foreign climbers. Only one thing I can say is mistake never can be one way.

ExplorersWeb: Finally, is fixing a permanent ladder on the Hillary Step a wise idea?

Tshering: Personally my point of view fixing a permanent ladder on the Hillary step is not wise idea. There should never be any permanent, artificial fixtures on the mountain; keep as it is. Keep nature as it is. All climbers know climbing mountain is risky, thatís why all climbers going to climb mountains accept the risk.

Instead, fix a new rope before the season and take out end of the season. The government should make clear rule and regulation to take care of it and ask it be done by one good related association or organization, which has overall knowledge all about it.

Human waste and rubbish all should be brought down. Also, every climber should pee only in one place every camp, like Alaskaís National Park mountains.


Trad climber
Mountain View, CA/Boulder, CO
Oct 24, 2013 - 12:40pm PT
Those interested in the specific events which happened on Mount Everest should check out Reel Rock 8. One of the films features video of the confrontation which took place at Camp 2 as well as lengthy interviews with the three western climbers, a number of sherpas and also leaders and guides of the commercial teams. It adds a lot of information about what happened and why.
raymond phule

Oct 24, 2013 - 03:47pm PT
Your replay seem pretty biased.

Why was it that Steck had to leave Nepal but Simone stayed for the rest of the season if Simone was the instigator?

I believe that Steck wanted to leave when they decided to not make the climb. Simone stayed such that he could help people with his rescue helicopter.

I don't believe that any of them had to leave.
raymond phule

Oct 24, 2013 - 04:20pm PT

Do you think that Steck was totally unaware of the agreements in place not to climb while Sherpas were fixing?

I don't know but I guess that he could have been. I don't believe that the climbers outside of the commercial expeditions care that much about the commercial expeditions. Especially not when they planned to climb another route.

And you do you think that Steck did nothing more than climb to the side of the fixing party and then step over the fixed lines? That there were no prior exchanges before the fight?
Yes, because that the information that I have. I don't remember all details in this long thread but I believe that many people thinks that stepping over the fixed lines and being on the wall where enough reasons for the incident.

Trad climber
Mountain View, CA/Boulder, CO
Oct 24, 2013 - 04:42pm PT
So, it's all Steck's fault? Did you see the same movie I saw? There was a long segment about how this conflict has been building for years and started way back in 1953 when the British got to sleep upstairs in the British Embassy in Nepal and the Sherpas had to sleep in the garage. There was also some good insights that the younger sherpas are not going to put up with the crap from the expeditions that their older counterparts have been suffering from all these past years.

Trad climber
Mountain View, CA/Boulder, CO
Oct 25, 2013 - 01:51am PT
I think what the movie was trying to say was that the apparent overreaction by the Sherpas was because of issues that went all the way back to the first ascent in 1953. More than once the people being interviewed used the words "the straw that broke the camel's back."

If you buy into that logic then it didn't take much for Steck or anybody else to cause a major riot. For that reason I think it is reasonable to say that Steck didn't do anything very significant. I don't think they were trying to make him blameless. I think the movie was trying to say it didn't take much to trigger something that has been brewing for a long, long time.

Trad climber
South Lake Tahoe, CA
Oct 25, 2013 - 09:35am PT
Are we still talking about the Sherpa Riot on Everest? The one where a large group of them attacked 3 climbers?
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