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Re: 3 dead, 2 missing on Mount Everest after congested climbing, poor conditions near summit

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avatar 3 dead, 2 missing on Mount Everest after congested climbing, poor conditions near summit
May 21, 2012 08:31AM
KATMANDU, Nepal — Three climbers died and two others were missing while descending from the summit of Mount Everest — a toll that raised concerns about overcrowding in the “death zone” at the top of the world’s tallest peak. The deadly weekend unfolded as an estimated 150 climbers tried to reach the top Friday and Saturday as they rushed to use a brief window of good weather in an otherwise troubled climbing season. Many had been waiting at a staging camp for several days for their chance to head to the summit.

This has become a serious problem, similar to Half Dome cables. The more I read about the long lines near the Hillary Step, the more I believe this has become too Disneyland-ish. Many people that go aren't prepared at all. While It's impossible to be fully prepared for conditions @ 8500m, many people don't realize how truly grueling it is up there. It's easy to dish out the money, read about it and go "I can handle it, no problem." Once up there, different story. People can't think clearly, summit fever takes over, and money is the usual cause for lack of objectivity (for climber/sherpa/local govt). I'm usually for people's right to enjoy nature, the outdoors, etc - but some things have become nonsensical too.
I couldn't agree more. Only that I think Mt. Everest is a zillion times worse than the cables. One of the victims was from Germany so I had a good chance to follow the local press. From what I can say - and I don't have ANY kind of alpine or high altitude experience - he seemed to be prepared (if it is possible to prepare for this kind of altitude) but died within a very short period of time from HACE HACE - Wikipedia after he summited.

He was a doctor so he certainly knew the risk. To make things even more tragic apparently he was part of a volunteer group that was supposed to remove trash and waste from Mt. Everest. I don't know if this is true but several sources say so.

Usually I'm also for people's right to enjoy nature etc. but in my opinion this has nothing to do with enjoying nature. To me it's more the vanity in mankind that people risk their lives (and with a casualty rate of 6,x% it is certainly a high risk compared to any other outdoor activity). It has no value whatsoever. Yes, Tenzing Norgay and Hillary were cool (maybe we have to throw Mallory in the mix) and maybe the first summit without oxygen (which was a suicide mission in itself) but after that.....tssss....

But most important I'm angry about the tremendous amount of trash and waste these "great outdoor-people" are leaving on Mt. Everest.

Having said all that: I truly feel for every family who are suffering from the losses as it is very sad that a loved one has gone.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 05/22/2012 03:41AM by Half Dome Hiker.
From NG. Looks like a bit like the cables back in 2010.

Please wait to be seated
Thanks for the photo. The line looks crazy - courageous people marching along to the top. Here are detailed descriptions of the notable markers on the way up:

Everest Summit Path

I must say my chances of survival up there are close to zero.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 05/22/2012 11:00AM by Ohnivy-Drak.
According to several sources approx. 200 people are expected to try for the summit during the upcoming weekend. This potentially means "hours of delay" at hotspots like the Hillary Step. Let's keep our fingers crossed nobody gets hurt or worse.
Why not have an escalator the last 500 or 600 meters. That would speed these guys up. Maybe have a little stand at the top to help fund the project. Sell T Shirts and stuff. Like I climbed all this way and all I got was this lousy T Shirt

Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 05/24/2012 12:17PM by telfair ave.
An escalator wouldn't be climate controlled. I was thinking a nice aerial tram from base camp would do the trick and handle all the crowds with aplomb. They could then have Thomas Keller open a three-star Michelin Restaurant on top of Everest. A restaurant with great food and a great view!

avatar Re: 3 dead, 2 missing on Mount Everest after congested climbing, poor conditions near summit
May 23, 2012 07:27PM
There's always the helicopters.
Local news are reporting that another German climber died on Mt. Everest after breaking his leg in 8610m altitude (8848m summit).
Name, age and more details are unknown but the death has been confirmed by local officials.


Outside Magazine are reporting these news as well.

Take a look at this incredible video. This has NOTHING to do with sports, outdoors or anything else. All those idiots should be banned from the outdoors for life. How irresponsible is this just to stand on top of that stupid mountain?!

Really bad day on Mt. Everest

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 05/24/2012 10:11AM by Half Dome Hiker.
I seriously doubt I could handle the altitude at base camp.
Half Dome Hiker

Take a look at this incredible video. This has NOTHING to do with sports, outdoors or anything else. All those idiots should be banned from the outdoors for life. How irresponsible is this just to stand on top of that stupid mountain?!

Since your username is "Half Dome Hiker", I would say for some it would be the same reason you decided to summit Half Dome, and for others Mt. Whitney.

Just like climbing Half Dome, summiting Everest becomes a personal quest for many people. They want to to it probably for a number of reasons but a couple of them probably would be because they think 1) it would be a great challange, and 2) it would be cool to stand on top of the highest place on Earth. It doesn't have to be a sport to be worthwhile. And I would disagree with you that it has nothing to do with the outdoors, simply because it has everything to do about being outdoors in a very inhospital place where death is a real possibility and not some abstract concept.

Summiting peaks is something I'm not too interested in myself. I rather look at and take photos of the grand mountains than be on top of them. Even summiting Half Dome has never really appealed to me too much (because of the crowds). Maybe if the new permit system makes climbing Half Dome more of a "wilderness" experience, I'll consider it in the future.

That said, I can definitely understand the appeal of people who would want to summit both Half Dome and Mt. Everest. They're iconic mountains and their iconic status is a strong attraction in it of itself (as it is with Mt. Whitney).

Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 05/24/2012 03:55PM by plawrence.
""the fact that many climbers are so exhausted and woozy from their efforts at altitude that they have a hard time even remembering what happened during their own climbs""

I love the idea of reaching mountaintops. But if you can't remember where you have been it defeats the purpose for me. I just hate that this will be used to justify the limits placed on Half Dome hiking and the "crowds" there. With Everest, I understand the tight weather time frames that create a restricted travel time. I haven't seen any evidence that the Half Dome cables have any sort of crowd problem at 8:00 am or 3:00 pm. I can't get over EMPTY cables in the afternoon of a perfect weather August summer day. Yes, I've seen the pictures of the crowded Half Dome cables but I can match those with pictures of my own. And yes I am frustrated that when the time comes for me to do the hike with my boys the toughest part of the trip is going to be getting the permits---all because of the "crowd" perception.
The cables issue might be overstated/overblown, but a ranger should be on the saddle to monitor the traffic on weekends (Fri-Sun) & holidays (Mem/4th/Labor). When it's crowded, it tends to be really crowded. Opposite for normal weekdays. Not much in-between. At least that's the feeling I get (from what I've seen).
I agree with most of what you have said. Is it challenging to climb Mt. Everest?! You bet. Could I do it?! No. Do I want to?! No. I'd rather hike/walk through the deserts of the Southwest for a couple of days not seeing a single soul for days.

And yes, I hiked Half Dome. Way before it was the thing to do. And it was challenging for me 'cause where I live the highest elevation is 550ft. within a 200 mls radius. smiling smiley Not mentioning the long 12-15 hrs. flight to get to California in the first place. You haven't missed anything as there are "better" hikes around and just like you I hope that the new permit system will provide a more enjoyable experience.

And of course I understand why people like to hike Half Dome, climb Mt. Whitney or climb Mt. Everest. However if I take a close look at the latest developments at Mt. Everest the only thing greater than the mountain must be mankind's vanity. I feel it is just irresponsible what's going on there and I am angry about all the trash, waste and crap left behind.
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