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Thread: Everest -- Hurry up and Wait!

  1. #1
    Senior Member ChrisB's Avatar
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    Everest -- Hurry up and Wait!

    If you think Franconia Ridge has crowding problems in peak season, then take a look at this photo shot this week of the summit ridge on Mt.Everest.

    As the related article describes, people are literally dying to climb this "trophy" mountain.

    I'm guessing 80% of the folks pictured are being guided by commercial outfits who manage all logistics and lead them by the rope up the hill.

    What's next - South Col septic problems and Base Camp restaurants and hotels?

    cb
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    Strange days indeed -- most peculiar, mama
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  2. #2
    Senior Member DayTrip's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ChrisB View Post

    What's next - South Col septic problems and Base Camp restaurants and hotels?

    cb
    That's not "next" - it is now. There are many documentaries out there about what a total s***hole that entire valley is turning into from the volume of people going there every year. Several countries have already led "trash clean up" missions to try and alleviate the problem of all the old air cylinders, debris and other trash left behind by expeditions. There is even a "special hidden valley" along the way where all of the barrels of septic waste from base camp gets dumped. Apparently you can smell it from a mile away - literally.
    NH 48 4k: 48/48; NH W48k: 46/48; NY 46: 6/46

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    Senior Member DayTrip's Avatar
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    From the same article you linked: https://www.foxnews.com/world/mount-...ge-dead-bodies
    NH 48 4k: 48/48; NH W48k: 46/48; NY 46: 6/46

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    Senior Member ChrisB's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DayTrip View Post
    That's not "next" - it is now. There are many documentaries out there about what a total s***hole that entire valley is turning into from the volume of people going there every year. Several countries have already led "trash clean up" missions to try and alleviate the problem of all the old air cylinders, debris and other trash left behind by expeditions. There is even a "special hidden valley" along the way where all of the barrels of septic waste from base camp gets dumped. Apparently you can smell it from a mile away - literally.
    Yup, and Nepal bears some responsibility for what they have allowed to happen within their borders. Caught between the third world and the first, it's been very hard for them to set realistic limits on the lucrative tourism trade that employs their people and supports their economy.

    Meanwhile private guide services worldwide engage in economic colonialism and reap the rewards.

    Same as it ever was...
    cb
    Nobody told me there'd be days like these
    Strange days indeed -- most peculiar, mama
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  5. #5
    Senior Member Puma concolor's Avatar
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    One of my climbing buddies (with whom I summited both Denali and Rainier) was amongst the masses on the summit of Everest on Wednesday. He's a lifelong mountaineer who went after his dream and succeeded. I followed his expedition from start to finish and was occasionally in contact with him. There was no talk of "trophy" hunting or the slightest hint of braggadocio. He was serious about what he was doing and was well aware that things can go wrong up there. Genuinely happy for him. Dude nailed it.

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    Senior Member ChrisB's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Puma concolor View Post
    One of my climbing buddies (with whom I summited both Denali and Rainier) was amongst the masses on the summit of Everest on Wednesday. He's a lifelong mountaineer who went after his dream and succeeded. Dude nailed it.
    Great, I hope he made it up AND down safely.

    That said...

    Climbing Everest with a commercial guide service indicates to me that you are in great physical shape, have LOTS of $$$. It does not say much about your climbing skills, mountaineering judgement or decision making ability.

    Guided services have summitted socialites on short-ropes and clients who never before used crampons. I'm not sure what it even means to summit Everest in this day and age.

    It's similar to tagging along on 100 Highest bushwhacks in order to get the list. Which is OK, but not the true experience implied in the activity and the award.

    Just my 2 cents,
    cb
    Last edited by ChrisB; 05-25-2019 at 05:07 PM.
    Nobody told me there'd be days like these
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  7. #7
    Senior Member Puma concolor's Avatar
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    2 cents noted.

    Been playing this game for almost 30 years and one of the things that I've consisently observed is that folks in the climbing/mountaineering/hiking communities consistently respect others who are doing the same things they're doing while consistently disrespecting what others outside their own circles are doing. It's welrd. One would think that those who love the outdoors would applaud the goals that others outside their own narrow disciplines value ... but that's not the case at all. Hikers applaud hikers. Climbers applaud climbers. Mountaineers applaud mountaineers. Etc etc. The hell with the rest.

    There was a dude I got in a spat with 20 or so years ago on the old AMC forums who aspired to one day climb Everest and I made some of the same arguments that you're making now. His response was that it was basically none of my business what he valued. Took me a bit to come around ... but he was right. 100 percent. His real name, by the way, appears at the top of the line of signatures on my NEHH completion certificate. If you truly love the outdoors, you don't stress about the ways in which others express their own love of the outdoors. "You do you" ... as the saying goes.

  8. #8
    Senior Member ChrisB's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Puma concolor View Post
    2 cents noted.

    Been playing this game for almost 30 years and one of the things that I've consisently observed is that folks in the climbing/mountaineering/hiking communities consistently respect others who are doing the same things they're doing while consistently disrespecting what others outside their own circles are doing. "You do you" ... as the saying goes.
    It is not my intent to denigrate you or your friend. Sorry if that was how you read my post. Getting up and down Everest is an achievement any way you do it.

    I will simply cite the Kate Matrosova bummer to remake my point: This intelligent, fit and dedicated woman had been guided on Elbrus and Denali. Yet our insignificant Northern Presis did her in. How could this happen? Her failures were ones of judgement born of inexperience: When to cancel a climb due to wx, when to bail on a route, what equipment to bring, how light to go, etc. etc.

    You can learn much from guided climbing. But until you are responsible for the sharp end, I believe the climb is not fully yours to claim.

    For the record, I claim membership in the hiking, climbing and mountaineering communities and have been active in each for a long time (although not so much lately:!)
    cb
    Nobody told me there'd be days like these
    Strange days indeed -- most peculiar, mama
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  9. #9
    Moderator bikehikeskifish's Avatar
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    Taken to the extreme, unless you solo it, is it truly "yours"? What's really left in the northeast that's truly wild these days? Not a whole lot. The NEHH has herd paths and tracks for anyone to follow. Doing them in winter, albeit with several friends, was about as challenging as I think they can be. Nothing was ever certain, especially in Baxter and in the "Six Pack". Do I claim them? Yes. Did I share the sharp end (and planning) with others? Yes. I did it my way

    My favorite is "Do Strava KOMs count if I'm in a group?" - Most of the few I have are solo but some came with a group, and many I've lost came from people in a group. In the end, I am only really competing with myself (and, as I age, I get fewer and fewer PRs.) Things evolve, and experiences change.

    And Puma, your experience, I have observed, transcends all activities. It's "odd" when one person does it, and then all of a sudden, everyone is doing it.

    Tim
    Bike, Hike, Ski, Sleep. Eat, Fish, Repeat.

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    Senior Member skiguy's Avatar
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    Guides come in different flavors. In other words the way Guides guide is not homogenous across the board. The same goes for their clients. To take all individuals that are guided and pigeon them into the same hole is IMO rather arbitrary. To degrade everyone's accomplishment because they used a guide is just plainly not seeing the bigger picture. For the record there have been more than one world class climber that have used guides. A discussion on style and ethics could go on here for years.
    "I'm getting up and going to work everyday and I am stoked. That does not suck!"__Shane McConkey

  11. #11
    Senior Member ChrisB's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by skiguy View Post
    Guides come in different flavors. ... To degrade everyone's accomplishment because they used a guide is just plainly not seeing the bigger picture
    Agreed.

    I was guided by George Hurley many years ago. Even then he was the Grand Old Man of North Conway climbing.

    I booked him to do the Black Dike mid-week, but when we got up to the base there was a party already starting up the first pitch. He watched them for a moment and turned to me and said "We don't want to be behind them. No Black Dike for us today." I whined about how I really wanted to do the Dike bla, bla bla and he listened patiently and then suggested we do the route next door, Fafnir.

    As I followed him up Fafnir I watched ice debris rain down the Dike as the two climbers made their way up pitch 2 and 3. I then knew what I was paying him for. Had it been my call I would have been in the firing line under those other climbers. He knew better.

    Important lessons learned from a guide: Be aware of your environment, assess real-time risks, be flexible and change the plan when indicated.

    Thank you Mr Hurley.
    cb
    Last edited by ChrisB; 05-26-2019 at 10:12 PM.
    Nobody told me there'd be days like these
    Strange days indeed -- most peculiar, mama
    .

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