Climbing Everest is Not Climbing

Search
Go

Discussion Topic

Return to Forum List
This thread has been locked
Messages 1 - 91 of total 91 in this topic
TWP

Trad climber
Mancos, CO & Bend, OR
Topic Author's Original Post - May 23, 2019 - 09:18am PT
https://www.washingtonpost.com/sports/2019/05/23/utah-mans-quest-ends-tragically-after-reaching-top-mount-everest/?utm_term=.6a2ef7da8d0a

This article provides countless pivot points from which one can make the point which is the title of this thread.

Who would go to "climb Everest" after seeing this photo of a line at the top longer than a checkout line at Walmart (by a factor of ten) and knowing that will be your grand experience. To stand in line, hand held all the way by Sherpas, sucking on an oxygen bottle you hope doesn't run dry, in order to tell yourself (and your fellow human beings) how great you are? And pay a big fat fee to do so?

Getting a tattoo and the ambition to climb Mt. Everest: moral equivalents in my book.

Supertopo forum only has a few more days until it expires; thought I'd help the fire go out with my own blaze of flaming invective.
ron gomez

Trad climber
May 23, 2019 - 09:35am PT
Go do it, come back and tell us how “trivial” it is. I know plenty of hard ass climber that have...and haven’t reached the top
Peace

Jan

Mountain climber
Colorado & Nepal
May 23, 2019 - 10:04am PT
Just curious TWP

What's the highest altitude that you've been to?

What's the coldest temperature you've ever climbed in?

What's the strongest wind you've ever climbed in?
TWP

Trad climber
Mancos, CO & Bend, OR
Topic Author's Reply - May 23, 2019 - 10:39am PT
18,700 feet

way below zero

over 75 mph

Jan, you asked, I answer. I am neither proud nor especially enamored with any of my own personal achievement(s) which I acknowledge are - in a relative sense - all trivial and inconsequential. There is always someone who is bigger, better, faster, smarter. And the converse. One's relative position upon this sliding scale of ability that applies to every person and endeavor is not as important as one's intention in undertaking any action. I am a Buddhist. I do point out that any person who believes they have done something "great" or "important" by climbing Mt. Everest as a guided client these days - in reality - has very little to write home about.

Ron, nothing is "trivial" in an absolute sense. It's all context. It's not "trivial" for a person with asthma to take the next breath, but it is totally trivial for a trained athlete to accomplish any number of athletic endeavors that are "beyond the ordinary."

Jan, adding 10,000 feet with an oxygen bottle might turn out to be identical to 18,000 without.

Jan

Mountain climber
Colorado & Nepal
May 23, 2019 - 10:43am PT
That's way better than most Everest critics.

But do you really think adding another 10,000 feet would be nothing?

ontheedgeandscaredtodeath

Social climber
Wilds of New Mexico
May 23, 2019 - 10:47am PT
I guess there is prerequisite to having opinion, so:

21,000+ feet (using two tools and front pointing, not slogging)
Below zero
Super windy.

The line looks pretty lame. I’d go in a second if I could!!



TWP

Trad climber
Mancos, CO & Bend, OR
Topic Author's Reply - May 23, 2019 - 10:51am PT
You can! For $70,000 or so.
Lynne Leichtfuss

Sport climber
moving thru
May 23, 2019 - 10:56am PT
Of course climbing Everest is climbing, by any definition. All the other things are ancillary. I could not climb Everest because I am no longer young enough, I greatly dislike the freezing winds and cold, crowds, dead bodies and trash.

El Cap can be crowded and dirty. Are you telling me because of that it's not climbing?

Finally, this could be the last super Topo Troll. :)))) Cheers, lynnie
i'm gumby dammit

Sport climber
da ow
May 23, 2019 - 10:57am PT
Damn that line is crazy.
Is Everest on the Ikon or Epic Pass?
WBraun

climber
May 23, 2019 - 10:57am PT
Kilian Jornet ran up and down twice in 2017 without supplemental oxygen without Sherpas.

He didn't need no $70,000 either .....
TWP

Trad climber
Mancos, CO & Bend, OR
Topic Author's Reply - May 23, 2019 - 11:14am PT
I thought WBraun would back me up. He has before. Thanks. I'll take his opinion any day over most others on Supertopo.

Yeah, I wanted to start "one last" ST troll - that was climbing oriented. Looks like I succeeded. Where's Moose and Donini?
ManMountain

Mountain climber
San Diego
May 23, 2019 - 11:32am PT
I have a lot of respect for self-guided Everest summiteers, and those that summit without O's, guided or not. I respect anyone who's summited Everest using a commercial guide service for their physical conditioning and mental stamina, but not their climbing skills.

I also have a great deal of respect for those that summit lesser peaks without fanfare. There are at least 109 mountains on Earth with summits greater than 23,600 feet, many of which are more difficult than Everest, some unclimbed to this day. If you're jonesing for the extreme difficulties of high altitude mountaineering Everest is not the only option.
Jan

Mountain climber
Colorado & Nepal
May 23, 2019 - 11:35am PT
adding 10,000 feet with an oxygen bottle might turn out to be identical to 18,000 without


That's a really interesting question actually. Something to get my Sherpa friends to debate.


Meanwhile my objection to these annual threads trashing Everest is twofold.

-You're trashing the livelihoods of people living in one of the poorest countries in the world

-no one does a similar thread on any of the trade routes in the Valley (thanks Lynne for pointing that out) or any of the other problematic areas like free soloing. If somebody dies after summiting Everest, it's "what stupid jerks" and if anyone dies free soloing "they died doing what they loved" and condolences to their families.

You troll, I point out hypocrisy. Nothing personal.
TWP

Trad climber
Mancos, CO & Bend, OR
Topic Author's Reply - May 23, 2019 - 11:42am PT
Good point about the livelihood of the Nepalese. I am not critical of the locals at all. In 2018, I went on an expedition to Pakistan/Baltistan trekking on the glaciers of the Karakoram. My strongest impressions from the trip were my entirely positive and appreciative assessments of all Pakistanis I meet during the trip, especially the Balti porters. I should post a TR about that aspect of my trekking experience and might get off my ass and do so. Or at least post a synopsis of that experience on this thread.
John Duffield

Mountain climber
New York
May 23, 2019 - 11:44am PT


Have we ever had an Everest summiteer come back here and say it wasn't climbing?

Above around 20,000 feet breathing competes with eating and drinking. You get so oxygen starved you don't want to do either. Can't sleep, you nod off and the organism feels it is strangling and wakes up in alarm.

But is that climbing? Or simply deprivation. I guess you could stick your head in a plastic bag and get somewhat the same sensation.
Lynne Leichtfuss

Sport climber
moving thru
May 23, 2019 - 11:49am PT
And then there is always the definition of climbing which is ascending or if you're a plant, growing upward. :)))
TWP

Trad climber
Mancos, CO & Bend, OR
Topic Author's Reply - May 23, 2019 - 11:55am PT
"no one does a similar thread on ... any of the other problematic areas like free soloing."

You just gave me (or anyone else) an excellent idea for another "last time around the campfire before lights out" thread that might get interesting.
i'm gumby dammit

Sport climber
da ow
May 23, 2019 - 12:02pm PT
to be fair, none of the yosemite trade routes have 200+ people lined up nose to butt on their final pitch like in the pic there. I thought the photo was photoshopped for the story when i first saw it.
Bad Climber

Trad climber
The Lawless Border Regions
May 23, 2019 - 12:04pm PT
It's "climbing" but still kinda lame. Effing fixed lines top to bottom! Sherpas and guides doing all the real work of leading. It's desperate slogging with a fairly high death rate. No thanks.

BAd
Radical Rebirth

Trad climber
Texas
May 23, 2019 - 12:09pm PT
One of these things again that can be seen equally accurate from opposing perspectives. I thought Nepal was the most impoverished place I’ve ever been. Haiti was like 1st world compared to Nepal. Even now, this is a hard thing to comprehend. In Haiti there are orphanages and in Nepal the orphans sniff solvents in the streets.


Just walking up to Everest and gazing at the mountain from 18500 feet was the greatest adventure trip of my life and that list includes Antarctica, Patagonia, Africa, Madagascar and the Arctic among others. You are 5000 feet higher than the summit of Mount Whitney just upon waking up in Everest base camp. You are definitely climbing if you step on Everest’s slopes, as well as rolling the dice with your life. I’m sure it won’t be too long before poor judgment, ego and monetary gain collide once again with Everest; we will wake up to photos of a bright, fruit-colored, conga line that is frozen in place on top of highest mountain on earth.
Reilly

Mountain climber
The Other Monrovia- CA
May 23, 2019 - 12:10pm PT
Next time I see Tom Hornbein I’ll be sure to remind him of how lame his climb was.

And my friends Chris Chandler and Ray Genet, whose bodies are still up there,
were as badass as they come.
fear

Ice climber
hartford, ct
May 23, 2019 - 12:11pm PT
It's become a high-altitude circus of death. A freakshow. Sorta another checkmark for the triathlete crowd. There are sooo many other places to climb without waiting in line I simply can't fathom why...

EdwardT

Trad climber
Retired
May 23, 2019 - 12:25pm PT
It's "climbing" but still kinda lame. Effing fixed lines top to bottom! Sherpas and guides doing all the real work of leading. It's desperate slogging with a fairly high death rate. No thanks.

BAd

It's a sanitized, commercial clusterf*ck.

Guide companies doing everything the can to get their clients to the summit.

Summitting Everest by whatever means is still an impressive feat. But it's not nearly as impressive as it was 30 years ago... before the days of guided outings. And it's not as impressive as the crowd-free expeditions to other 8000 meter peaks.
donini

Trad climber
Ouray, Colorado
May 23, 2019 - 04:11pm PT
It really depends how you define “climbing.” Take the examples of a hill and a flight of stairs. Some people would say they hiked up a hill and some would say they climbed it. Do you ascend, climb or walk up stairs?
Getting to the issue of Everest. It is a fact that with guides, sherpa support, fixed ropes and oxygen many oeople who possess only rudimentary climbing skills ascend, climb or hike up one of the two normal routes in Everest every year.
They pay a lot of money and put in considerable physical effort to do so. Your own definition of climbing can be used to categorize what they do.
The people who ascend, climb or hike up Everest can also use their own definitions to describe what they do.
stevep

Boulder climber
Salt Lake, UT
May 23, 2019 - 04:11pm PT
People here have bagged on all sorts of other climbing for being too dangerous, too crowded, too damaging to the environment. Plenty of folks commented on the cluster that the cables on Half Dome can become. No reason Everest should be exempt.

I do have sympathy for Nepal and its poor. And am happy that climbing and mountain tourism helps out.

And it certainly takes effort to get up there and back safely. But that doesn't make that conga line at 28K any less awful looking to me. And it sounds like it might also have been the cause of the fatality.
Chaz

Trad climber
Straight Outta Crafton
May 23, 2019 - 04:26pm PT
Forgetting about the altitude and weather, how hard is the crux move-pitch-or-whatever on Everest? How long's the hard part(s) go?

From the photos I've seen, if situated at sea level and climbed on a sunny day, the toughest moves look to be about 4th class.

Don't get me wrong: climbing 4th class at altitude hauling and breathing tanked oxygen while dressed like the Michelin Man is probably tougher than anything I've ever done in the mountains. Especially for the guy on the sharp end.
Jan

Mountain climber
Colorado & Nepal
May 23, 2019 - 06:53pm PT
In a way the issues here are similar to those on the Half Dome Cable route. The difference is the much much lower death rate and the fact that no one's livelihood is involved on Half Dome. Otherwise, opinion here is pretty unanimous that both may be climbing but not the kind any of us would want to do.

Meanwhile I've been thinking some more about TWP's question of whether climbing from 18,000 to 29,000 with oxygen was the equivalent of climbing to 18,000 without and I don't think so. Once one gets to the death zone at 26,000, the body begins deteriorating toward termination whether you're on oxygen or not. It just happens slower if you are on it. While people have been known to get altitude sickness and die at 18,000 it's relatively rare. Not so, above 26,000.

Of course altitude sickness is a tricky thing. I've been deathly ill at 17,000 (cured by going down to 15,000) and I've been to 20,200 without even a headache climbing without oxygen, Sherpas or fixed ropes. The difference was the speed of ascent.

The average altitude at which people's thinking gets screwy, with and without oxygen, would be yet another interesting thing to study.
Radical Rebirth

Trad climber
Texas
May 23, 2019 - 09:24pm PT


It’s obviously getting pretty ridiculous. I can definitely lean to the opinion that this is as far from true climbing, self reliance and exploration as you can now get. Some sort of perversion of bucket lists, consumerism and ego where the true journey is lost; in its place is a self absorbed, goal-driven obsession; where death comes for you as you join the ultimate cluster f*#k at the top of the world.
Jan

Mountain climber
Colorado & Nepal
May 24, 2019 - 03:36am PT
Agreed, but I think you can say this about a lot of sports. We know that American style football is terribly destructive of human brains, causing dementia in otherwise healthy men as early as their 30's yet the show continues on because poor Americans, ego obsessed and consumer oriented, play the game in spite of the statistics while other thrill seeking consumers pay to watch people damage their health. And then there's hockey and boxing.....
Radical Rebirth

Trad climber
Texas
May 24, 2019 - 05:14am PT
Yes, Jan , very true

Not to mention riding motorbikes.
okay, whatever

climber
May 24, 2019 - 06:46am PT
I attempted to climb Manaslu in 1978, when I was 24, but we didn't make it because the snowfalls were so constant and heavy that the avalanche danger was very high. We just ran out of time, in the end. I have climbed Denali, in 1976, which, even back then, was a zoo. There were hundreds of people on the mountain, and sanitation was already a big issue even 43 years ago.
WBraun

climber
May 24, 2019 - 07:00am PT

Just see all those people having a fine day together on this nice Everest mountain while you greedy armchair critics don't want them there .....
Reilly

Mountain climber
The Other Monrovia- CA
May 24, 2019 - 07:06am PT
With the toffs dropping at one per day this week think of the poor Beemers and Land Rovers whose owners aren’t returning.
donini

Trad climber
Ouray, Colorado
May 24, 2019 - 07:07am PT
One less person at the water cooler in a Manhatten law firm.
ECF

Big Wall climber
Ridgway CO
May 24, 2019 - 07:22am PT
Most of what people call “climbing” isn’t what we used to do BITD.
A guy in my town soloed E without O 40 years ago.
He CLIMBED E, those people today? I have no idea what to call that other than wealthy stupidity.

My buddy is on E right now, but on the North Ridge, and it’s a very different thing.

I waited in a shorter line to meet the Dalai Lama.

So how long until the Sherpa figure out they can put up a second set of lines and charge more for the “Express VIP” fixed lines?

They should build a giant circus human cannon, and just shoot people at the summit, fatality/success ratio might go up or down, hard to say.

Looks like the line for the bathroom at Indian Creek.
FredC

Gym climber
Santa Cruz, CA
May 24, 2019 - 08:11am PT
What bums me out is that 49 years ago I was inspired to become some kind of climber (turned into a boulderer) from finding "The Ascent of Everest" in my 7th grade homeroom.

Then to see this photo where the biggest hazard is probably getting behind a slow person or group. The change from the early days just seems crazy. It is shocking to see this place, almost a sacred place turned into this. "Pave paradise, put up a parking lot..."

That was followed a few years later by "Everest, the West Ridge" which has to be one of the most beautiful books ever.


PS:
I am hella going to miss the climber humor of this place. It does feel like some kind of campfire where we all have something in common.

When someone writes that it looks like a bathroom line I know I am with my people somehow.

brotherbbock

climber
So-Cal
May 24, 2019 - 08:15am PT
https://www.cnn.com/2019/05/24/asia/everest-climbers-intl/index.html

That cluster fuk killed a woman.

Trump

climber
May 24, 2019 - 09:00am PT
I remember the first time I climbed Royal Arches what 35 years ago we got stuck behind these noobs who were freaked out by the pendulum. Fortunately we convinced them to let us pass them - those guys didn’t make it down that night and we would have had to bivy up there behind them!

Meanwhile my buddy and I were congratulating ourselves on what bad ass climbers we were, Royal Arches being the biggest climbing adventure we had ever been on.

Climbing pfft! To each his own I guess.
formerclimber

Boulder climber
CA
May 24, 2019 - 09:54am PT
^^ "She had become stuck in the "traffic jam" above camp four" - soon will be in California local news
Minerals

Social climber
The Deli
May 24, 2019 - 02:27pm PT

https://news.yahoo.com/three-more-deaths-overcrowded-everest-075220256.html
Jan

Mountain climber
Colorado & Nepal
May 24, 2019 - 08:01pm PT
A Norwegian just played his saxophone on the summit of Everest. It made me think of John Bachar. His group went up the Tibetan north side which is always less crowded.
Fritz

Social climber
Choss Creek, ID
May 24, 2019 - 08:29pm PT
Jan! I'm slightly sorry for stealing your quote on this thread, but I wanted to add to it.

The average altitude at which people's thinking gets screwy, with and without oxygen, would be yet another interesting thing to study

For some of the poesters on this thread, that altitude appears to be sea-level.
Sierra Ledge Rat

Mountain climber
Old and Broken Down in Appalachia
May 24, 2019 - 11:18pm PT
16,500 feet, on my two feet

-35 degrees F

Strongest wind was on the Palisade Glacier in winter - gusts lifted me off my feet and blew me back a few feet. That's something like 100 mph winds.
healyje

Trad climber
Portland, Oregon
May 25, 2019 - 01:01am PT
I've always considered it high altitude tourism as opposed to alpinism once it was done unaided, without fixed lines or supplemental oxygen; how many people would be in that picture under that criteria?
Don Paul

Social climber
Washington DC
May 25, 2019 - 06:34am PT
TWP you are exactly right. What a horrible freak show. Only reason to climb this is for bragging rights. Hopefully the reality shown in the photos will make the bragging less effective. The Indian media refer to them as trekkers.

Seems like one part of the problem is the two way traffic on the ridge. Too bad there is nowhere to put a rap route to descend another way.
donini

Trad climber
Ouray, Colorado
May 25, 2019 - 07:05am PT
It’s a great source of income for the local people, perhaps that is why the government doesn’t do a better job of regulating the number of people. Nepal is one of the world’s poorest countries.
Peak bagging to an extreme degree. The pinnacle of bucket list items. I get a kick out of seeing those privileged people clustered along that ridge like sheep going to their slaughter.

Stewart Johnson

Gym climber
top lake
May 25, 2019 - 07:17am PT
Yes like lemmings Jim
I feel privileged having gone to
Everest before the tour operators

On the East face(Neverest buttress)I didn’t see anybody
Besides my three teammates!
Sorry no photo
I’ve cleaned house
Pretty much done here
WBraun

climber
May 25, 2019 - 07:49am PT
You evil supertopo people saying mean things about those poor people climbing that Everest mountain.

I called the president of Nepal and he said he talked to TRump and they are shutting down this evil slanderous forum on June first because of you evil mean people ......
TwistedCrank

climber
Released into general population, Idaho
May 25, 2019 - 07:51am PT
Give them oxygen and they’ll be peaceful as Hindu cows.
the Fet

climber
Tu-Tok-A-Nu-La
May 25, 2019 - 08:19am PT
Yeah all those people taking a 1-2% chance of death are just doing it for bragging rights. They are being carried to the summit. And oxygen completely negates the risk of dying from altitude sickness. I bet you could sneak in without paying for a permit and just make a bunch of trips carrying all your gear in. Everyone should be able to do what professional mountaineers do even if they have other interests, jobs, and families. It’s not not what I want to do so they are lame for doing it.
Reilly

Mountain climber
The Other Monrovia- CA
May 25, 2019 - 08:49am PT
The whole clown show reminds me of the scene in “In Bruges” where Colin Farrell is being ‘chased’ by the fat American:

“Give it a rest, fatty!”
Michael Browder

Mountain climber
Chamonix, France (Oregon originally)
May 25, 2019 - 03:06pm PT
It gets tiresome to listen to people on Supertopo over the years spout off about something they know absolutely nothing about.
TWP

Trad climber
Mancos, CO & Bend, OR
Topic Author's Reply - May 25, 2019 - 04:26pm PT
It is absolutely tiresome over the years to read posters complain about the supposed ignorance of ST posters ... when those complainers know nothing about either the poster's experience OR the subject matter in question.
Reilly

Mountain climber
The Other Monrovia- CA
May 25, 2019 - 04:30pm PT
It gets tiresome to listen to people on Supertopo over the years spout off about something they know absolutely nothing about.

Like we haven’t stood in line at the mall? 🙄
donini

Trad climber
Ouray, Colorado
May 25, 2019 - 04:39pm PT
ST has been tiresome for me when people pontificate ad nauseam about politics and religion. There is, however, a pretty decent accumulation of climbing knowledge and experience although much of it is now delivered from the rocking chair. The saving grace that’s kept me here.
The pic of the clusterf*#k on Everest needs no special knowledge for the viewer to rightly discern something is amiss.
the Fet

climber
Tu-Tok-A-Nu-La
May 25, 2019 - 04:56pm PT
The picture of that line on Everest makes me feel almost the same way as seeing the lines on the Half Dome cables.

A. I have no desire to get stuck in that clusterf*#k.

B. Even though it’s not my cup of tea, I’m not going to be all righteous and claim those people are lame because their dreams and goals are not mine

C. Something is amiss. Like Half Dome in a thunderstorm but much worse. People are dying because they can’t get down in time. They are issuing too many permits and/or people are choosing to go up in an extra dangerous situation because they’ve spent so more effort, time and money they get summit fever. Half dome is less crowded now. But I’ve heard it’s just as risky because it’s so hard to get permits people don’t back down when they should because they’re afraid they won’t get permits again.

D. That’s the way you want to go? Really? Seems like the Tibet side would be worth the extra effort for reduced crowds. Like I’d rather wait until I can climb snake dike or RRNWFHD. And I know it’s not realistic but as a rock climber I see all that exposed rock and think there’s gotta be an alternate route to avoid the traffic.
donini

Trad climber
Ouray, Colorado
May 25, 2019 - 05:07pm PT
Ahhh...the cables, good analogy. A lot of people feel the cables are justified because of their “historical” precedence. I say hogwash...if that’s the case let’s bring back the firefall and feeding grizzlies in Yellowstone.
aspendougy

Trad climber
Los Angeles, CA
May 25, 2019 - 06:44pm PT
"Extrapolating the numbers used in the study, an analysis done by the BBC estimates older climbers (doing Everest) have a 25% risk of dying, while young climbers have only a 2.2% risk of death. And the most dangerous aspect of climbing Mount Everest is not trying to reach the summit — it is trying to get back down."

So the BBC team says it is quite a risk to climb Everest if you are an older climber, but they don't define precisely what is "old."

It is interesting how even in non-alpine climbing, many good climbers have died descending.
donini

Trad climber
Ouray, Colorado
May 25, 2019 - 07:27pm PT
I never shake hands until I am DOWN. Too many climbers let their guard down once they summit.
TWP

Trad climber
Mancos, CO & Bend, OR
Topic Author's Reply - May 25, 2019 - 08:16pm PT
And now the death toll from waiting in line to summit has reached 10!

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/05/25/world/asia/everest-death-traffic-jam.html
rottingjohnny

Sport climber
Sands Motel , Las Vegas
May 25, 2019 - 08:40pm PT
Worked with this cool unassuming guy that sold his tent company to BD...He’d tried some rock route on Everest and had done some nasty alpine routes in Alaska.. After viewing some lame-ass documentary on Retards doing the conga on Everest , I asked Todd if he wanted to go back up to Everest...” F*#k no “ was his short answer...” being at that elevation is like a bad case of the flu “..
Majid_S

Mountain climber
Karkoekstan, Former USSR
May 25, 2019 - 11:43pm PT
internet made it like that ok

facebook, instgram,blah blah blah took every little place we had to ourselves from us

next time you do FA, keep it a secret, no need to write TR



neebee

Social climber
calif/texas
May 26, 2019 - 12:09am PT
hey there, say, TWP and all...

this has been very interesting, to hear everyone's thoughts and shares...

and, in a pretty civil way, ...

some of our LAST BITS of taco, here...


thank you all for sharing and giving different aspects to think on, as to all this...


rile-- i saw the photo, and at first, it was hard to believe, yet--
by now, i have learned that THAT is so...



jan-- i always love to hear your personal news, as to teh sherpas, etc...




thank you all...
donini

Trad climber
Ouray, Colorado
May 26, 2019 - 07:39am PT
Majid, the Genie is out of the bottle....no secrets anymore. The only things that will determine the size of crowds will be the quality of climbing and the access. The Seven Summits are their own special category....the ultimate bucket list ticks for the privileged with good motors.
formerclimber

Boulder climber
CA
May 26, 2019 - 07:59am PT
internet made it like that ok

facebook, instgram,blah blah blah took every little place we had to ourselves from us

next time you do FA, keep it a secret, no need to write TR

Yes...
The internet hype is also partially responsible for real estate overpricing/bubble in the Western states, drawing the hordes to move to inhospitable environments that lack water to support these populations (even Phoenix is having a bubble now)
One should keep their secrets to themselves. I was once asked to write a book/guide about my favorite semi-secret camping areas...heck no - never.
kunlun_shan

Mountain climber
SF, CA
May 26, 2019 - 11:47pm PT
https://www.nytimes.com/2019/05/26/world/asia/mount-everest-deaths.html
Jon Beck

Trad climber
Oceanside
May 27, 2019 - 12:57am PT
The internet hype is also partially responsible for real estate overpricing/bubble in the Western states, drawing the hordes to move to inhospitable environments that lack water to support these populations

total BS, there were boom and bust cycles long before the internet existed. Back in the 80s they said that sunny weather for the Rose Bowl parade would cause 10k people to move to California. Can you really blame the TV? The population was migrating to the coasts long before social media.

Climbing went mainstream before the widespread use of the internet. What did climbers do before social media? I remember pouring over the new climbs each month in Climbing Magazine. Any yeah, the mags had the slander going on too. It is just real time now, instead of monthly installments.

MikeL

Social climber
Southern Arizona
May 27, 2019 - 06:37am PT
There are parts of the conversation that remind me of how Alan Shepard / Scott Glenn supposedly characterized the danger in their first ascents into space. There was little (or nothing) they could really control. They strapped rockets to their backs and took their faith in the grace of god.

There are many things that one can do with significant probabilities of death. Anyone ascending into a death zone, no matter with how much support, qualifies for being in the activity. Ever had cancer?

"Climbing Everest?" seems to be a meaningless question.

I smile at what Jan wrote: "You troll, I point out hypocrisy. Nothing personal."
donini

Trad climber
Ouray, Colorado
May 27, 2019 - 07:34am PT
I don’t think the question posed is about ascending into the “death zone.” The question is what to call the process currently in use to get people there. Depends on your definition of what climbing is. It’s not climbing in my book when you have a huge monetary incentive to herd as many people as possible, by any means necessary, into a place where, frankly, many of them shouldn't be.

Alex Lowe once told me that after guiding Everest successfully he realized that he didn't have the proper margin of saftey to deal with sudden adverse conditions that his inexperienced clients would not be able to cope with. Alex decided not to guide on Everest again. This was the year before the tragedy that led to the book “Into Thin Air.”

I have serious concerns about the current situation where people who have marginal climbing skills are herded up Everest with enormous Sherpa support, fixed ropes and copious oxygen.
Climbing, to me, means carrying your own gear, pitching your own tent, and negotiating mountainous terrain without the aid of fixed ropes provided by paid employees.

I don’t believe people should be in the “death zone” on Himalayan peaks solely because they have the desire and money to do so. I believe that people who venture there should have a long apprenticeship during which they have developed the personal skill set to deal with the adverse conditions that can develop so quickly. I also believe that using fixed ropes placed by others to negotiate difficult terrain is more like ascending a via ferrata than climbing. I also believe that on a mountain you should cook the food you eat and carry and set up the tent you sleep in. Being in the high mountains should be based on the skills that you have developed and not about the money you paid others to get you there.


AP

Trad climber
Calgary
May 27, 2019 - 09:16am PT
You invented a new word, Jim "fuxed ropes" Sounds appropriate for the Everest sh**t show
TWP

Trad climber
Mancos, CO & Bend, OR
Topic Author's Reply - May 27, 2019 - 09:16am PT
Donini has come right out and stated the case "why" the Jetsetters climbing Everest are in fact, NOT "climbing."

Those factors are the exact ones I had in mind when beginning this thread in the first place.

Now I will offer a story that offers a comparison diametrically the opposite of the Sherpa-assisted, oxygen-supported, Hilton-in-th- High Mountains, via ferreta that has become "climbing" Everest.

With apologies for the crime of self-aggrandizement, I offer a personal trip report of my own climbing in 1971 of the high volcanoes of Mexico. Should be obvious after reading it that I can criticize the current state of affairs from a position of having "walked the walk" of a different style.

http://www.supertopo.com/tr/Reminiscences-of-Improbable-Success-on-Mexicos-High-Volcanos-Popo-and-Citlalteptl/t12631n.html
Reilly

Mountain climber
The Other Monrovia- CA
May 27, 2019 - 09:21am PT
If we’ve all agreed that this isn’t ‘climbing’ then why are we still talking about it?
Like the Nepalese gubmint is gonna listen to us?
Jan

Mountain climber
Colorado & Nepal
May 27, 2019 - 10:47am PT
"fuxed ropes" on Everest about sums it up.

Meanwhile, the Nepalese Dept. of Tourism has taken notice of all the international criticism (and the possibility that it may deter future $11,000 climbing permits) and have stated that one solution might be to keep the season open longer. Right now the official end is May 30 but the season could be extended with more repair work to the khumbu glacier which melts and shifts more every day.

The other possibility would be to publicize and encourage post monsoon climbing in October though it is much colder then.
climbski2

Mountain climber
The Ocean
May 27, 2019 - 02:36pm PT
I remember a couple long conversations I had with Alex Lowe about Skiing Everest. He scared me when he told me he passed out up there while doing without Os. Alex freaking Lowe was pushed to the max up there.

I decided I did not want to die skiing.The Khumbu seems like the dumbest route I have seen people do on any mountain. Decided only a person with poor judgement or someone desperate for money would do the Khumbu. Russian Roulette is an idiotic game.

I lost respect for anyone who does it the way most people do it these days.
JOEY.F

Gym climber
It's not rocket surgery
May 27, 2019 - 04:19pm PT
Just read another guy from Colorado perished today.
He and the guy from Utah seemed to have had a lot of experience under their belts.
I agree with you Donini and the OP, regarding the definition of climbing. However, their motivation I find admirable.
Stewart Johnson

Gym climber
top lake
May 27, 2019 - 08:16pm PT
No oxygen no sherpas
Four people
New route on sight
Those were the days on mt Everest
Kangchung face
In 1988

zBrown

Ice climber
May 27, 2019 - 11:22pm PT
^Looks like five to me, but you are the expert here! :)



What is "Mountain?"

Eh

By what standards should we measure “the best mountains in the world”?

Should it the most popular mountains? The biggest and tallest mountains? The most challenging for climbers? Or perhaps the most historically significant to the region in which they’re found?

For us, the best mountains are those that capture the imagination of locals and visitors alike. The ones that have played a role in local folklore for centuries, and which continue to draw travelers from around the world today.

It’s not just size that matters here. It’s the dynamic landscapes. It’s the flora and fauna found in the area. Chances are good that, if a mountain has been protected by National Park or UNESCO World Heritage Site status, it’s probably worthy of your bucket list consideration.Underlined


https://greenglobaltravel.com/top-10-mountains-in-the-world-for-your-world-travel-bucket-list/
HeschMonster

Trad climber
Morro Bay
May 27, 2019 - 11:31pm PT
Werner, not to get too off topic here but that one's been pretty well debunked, there's little to no evidence that he actually summited.

Kilian Jornet ran up and down twice in 2017 without supplemental oxygen without Sherpas.
kunlun_shan

Mountain climber
SF, CA
May 28, 2019 - 12:18am PT
there's little to no evidence that he actually summited.

says who? more info please.
Q- Ball

Mountain climber
but to scared to climb them anymore
May 28, 2019 - 06:49am PT
If I climb a hill in my yard is that climbing?

No... But to some folks it is a mountain. I will never frown upon anyone trying to climb a mountain. We all have our reasons to do crap. Thumbs up and great job is my reply.

One mans anthill is another mans treasure. Who am I to judge?

Hugh or Qball
formerclimber

Boulder climber
CA
May 28, 2019 - 07:06am PT
"The internet hype is also partially responsible for real estate overpricing/bubble in the Western states, drawing the hordes to move to inhospitable environments that lack water to support these populations"

total BS, there were boom and bust cycles long before the internet existed. Back in the 80s they said that sunny weather for the Rose Bowl parade would cause 10k people to move to California. Can you really blame the TV? The population was migrating to the coasts long before social media.

Climbing went mainstream before the widespread use of the internet. What did climbers do before social media? I remember pouring over the new climbs each month in Climbing Magazine. Any yeah, the mags had the slander going on too. It is just real time now, instead of monthly installments.

I said partially in what I posted. There're multiple reasons behind the current hype and bubbles, but internet is the top one, I believe.

TV, magazines has spread info in the past but the internet with flood of facebook and instagram picture feeds is surely spreading the word a lot faster.
MikeL

Social climber
Southern Arizona
May 28, 2019 - 07:06am PT
Jim: I don’t think the question posed is about ascending into the “death zone.” The question is what to call the process currently in use to get people there. Depends on your definition of what climbing is.


For some people it IS about getting into a death zone. The sense of a thrill is what attracts them. Money would seem to be the indicator of how cheap it is to feel one's blood flow.

What we might have here in the thread is an example of "moral combat." I think what you're arguing about is a sense of aesthetics--which becomes a sense of ethics.

The conversation certainly is not seeking a denotative definition of climbing. Climbing is simply moving up on rock, ice, and dirt.
Curt

climber
Gold Canyon, AZ
May 28, 2019 - 10:08am PT
Go do it, come back and tell us how “trivial” it is. I know plenty of hard ass climber that have...and haven’t reached the top.

Everest isn't trivial at all, but when your greatest mortal threat comes from waiting in line, it may not be what we normally think of as climbing.

Curt
TWP

Trad climber
Mancos, CO & Bend, OR
Topic Author's Reply - May 28, 2019 - 10:31am PT
Donini's quip about "one less lawyer around the watercolor in Manhattan" proves presient ... except that this year's 11th dead climber (from Conga-Everest syndrome) is a lawyer from Boulder.

This video has more images of the Conga line at various points enroute to the summit.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c9_UPqRDSWA

Standing in that line (and climbing around a dead climber whose body is secured to the fixed line) should give everyone time to contemplate the madness of their endeavor; however, once there, it's simply too late to "pack it in" and go home. On the other hand, I'll bet more than a few did.

Nepal has been far too reasonable and democratic; it needs to raise the fee from $11,000 to $100,000 to thin the crowd (while probably maintaining the same income flow) for this unique privilege.
Don Paul

Social climber
Washington DC
May 29, 2019 - 04:42am PT
Commentary from the Onion:

GENEVA—Saying they had no real problem with wealthy thrill-seekers failing in their efforts to scale the tallest mountain on earth, the entire human population admitted Tuesday that they are, in fact, completely fine with rich people dying on Mount Everest. “These guys shelling out a hundred grand to climb a 29,000-foot peak with a team of Sherpas are obviously aware that many people have died in the attempt, so they kind of know what they’re getting into, right?” said Cleveland resident Richard Warvil, echoing the sentiments of the world’s 7.7 billion people, who acknowledged the deaths of affluent amateur climbers who voluntarily ascend to heights at which oxygen stops reaching the brain don’t really upset them all that much. “At a certain point, you’re kind of bringing it on yourself. Plus, if you have that much disposable income and, of all the things you could do with that money, you choose to spend it on this—well, we’re actually okay with you dying. It may sound harsh, but we’re gonna get along just fine without you.” At press time, sources confirmed no candlelight vigils were being held at the foot of Mount Everest.

This Everest Climber begins his interview by saying he's summitted three times. He not only stepped over dead bodies on the way up, but passed 40-60 people, and ends the interview complaining that "nobody wants to let you pass."

I also notice that the Everest Climbers being interviewed all refer to ropes as "safety lines." I guess they only use fixed ropes and consider them part of the climb.
Rattlesnake Arch

Social climber
Home is where we park it
May 29, 2019 - 06:19am PT
Aw cmon guys...rich dudes need a way to suffer and die too...
divad

Trad climber
wmass
May 29, 2019 - 06:44am PT
it's better than suffering the indignity of an unemployment line or the DMV.
donini

Trad climber
Ouray, Colorado
May 29, 2019 - 06:57am PT
Masters of the universe angst.
Rattlesnake Arch

Social climber
Home is where we park it
May 29, 2019 - 10:58am PT
I'm amazed that the fixed ropes can handle that kind of abuse. A failure would be spectacular...
ontheedgeandscaredtodeath

Social climber
Wilds of New Mexico
May 29, 2019 - 11:53am PT

LOL!

https://www.theonion.com/world-populace-actually-fine-with-rich-people-dying-on-1835075562
climbski2

Mountain climber
The Ocean
May 31, 2019 - 05:31pm PT
I just helped save 7 leatherback turtles tonight...way f*#king cooler than climbing a tonga line to the top of a mountain...

someone please drill a f*#king hole in Everest with a pressurized elevator already.
Messages 1 - 91 of total 91 in this topic
Return to Forum List
 
Our Guidebooks
Check 'em out!
SuperTopo Guidebooks


Try a free sample topo!

 
SuperTopo on the Web

Recent Route Beta