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Thread: Opinion piece on climbing Mt.Everest.

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  1. #1
    Senior Member richard's Avatar
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    Opinion piece on climbing Mt.Everest.


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    Senior Member CaptCaper's Avatar
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    Being the Mountain has been conquered years ago and what it takes to try to summit it I think all of these climbers are selfish and just plain off the wall.

    Think about it. It cost a fortune and takes months to try so families,work etc are put aside. And your chances of dying are high. Really small minded climbers too me. The world has much better experiences for a person with their family. Doc Beck the survivor of the famous fiasco with Rob Hall said he wish he never did it as it was a burden on his family as well.

    I would be embarrassed to say I climbed Mt Everest thou I probably would of died too being the death rate is so high.

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    Senior Member dug's Avatar
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    Numbers slightly outdated:

    Number of people to attempt to climb Mt. Everest: approximately 4,000.
    Number of people to successfully climb Mt. Everest: 660.
    Number of people who have died trying to climb Mt. Everest: 142.

    About 4% of those who tried died doing so.



    To each their own; I won't judge them for doing something they want to do.

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    Senior Member TJsName's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dug View Post
    Numbers slightly outdated:

    Number of people to attempt to climb Mt. Everest: approximately 4,000.
    Number of people to successfully climb Mt. Everest: 660.
    Number of people who have died trying to climb Mt. Everest: 142.

    About 4% of those who tried died doing so.



    To each their own; I won't judge them for doing something they want to do.
    Are those unique people, or does it count people who have made multiple attempts and summits?
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    Senior Member dug's Avatar
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    I believe it is total attempts/summits, so there would be several who have done it multiple times.

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    Senior Member TJsName's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dug View Post
    I believe it is total attempts/summits, so there would be several who have done it multiple times.
    Wow, that's fewer than I would have guessed.
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    Senior Member DayTrip's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TJsName View Post
    Wow, that's fewer than I would have guessed.
    The numbers are far worse, in percentage terms, on other peaks like K2 and Annapurna. At one point 1 in 3 people who climbed Annapurna did not come back.
    NH 48 4k: 48/48; NH W48k: 46/48; NY 46: 6/46

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    Moderator bikehikeskifish's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DayTrip View Post
    The numbers are far worse, in percentage terms, on other peaks like K2 and Annapurna. At one point 1 in 3 people who climbed Annapurna did not come back.
    Not only are K2 and Annapurna more technically difficult, there are far, far fewer other people there able to assist. Sounds like the top echelon expeditions help the lesser ones out on Everest fairly often.

    Tim
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    Senior Member DougPaul's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bikehikeskifish View Post
    Not only are K2 and Annapurna more technically difficult, there are far, far fewer other people there able to assist. Sounds like the top echelon expeditions help the lesser ones out on Everest fairly often.
    Also far fewer people to get in the way...

    Many of the routes have sections that are single-lane with no passing (such as the region near the Hillary Step).

    Yes the more experienced often help those in trouble, sometimes giving up there own chance at the summit in the process.

    Doug

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    Senior Member DayTrip's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bikehikeskifish View Post
    Not only are K2 and Annapurna more technically difficult, there are far, far fewer other people there able to assist. Sounds like the top echelon expeditions help the lesser ones out on Everest fairly often.

    Tim
    Absolutely. Lending oxygen, ropes, setting the ropes, first aid, weather forecasting, etc. And then they go pull their butts off the mountain when they get in trouble too. I've watched a ton of documentaries of Everest and there are certainly some seriously sketchy companies taking your money and putting your life in their hands. I wonder what those clients did for research on the companies they select or if it was strictly a price based decision. If I was ever at the fitness level required and had the money Everest would not be on my "list".
    NH 48 4k: 48/48; NH W48k: 46/48; NY 46: 6/46

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    And yet climbers routinely walk by climbers suffocating without even bothering to help. The English chap who died next to Green Boots comes to mind. Something like 46 people walked by him intent on their own glory.

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    Senior Member iAmKrzys's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by egilbe View Post
    And yet climbers routinely walk by climbers suffocating without even bothering to help. The English chap who died next to Green Boots comes to mind. Something like 46 people walked by him intent on their own glory.
    I have not heard about this case before, so I tried looking it up. I presume this is the case of David Sharp mentioned here: https://www.markhorrell.com/blog/201...orror-stories/ If so, then according to the article: "Forty climbers passed him that day, and although many stopped to help him, he was too far gone and all of them eventually abandoned him."

  13. #13
    Senior Member dug's Avatar
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    If someone is too far gone to get up on their own, there's no way you drag a 200lb. person down that unless you are trained at it.

  14. #14
    Senior Member TCD's Avatar
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    That's correct. If you try to drag or carry someone from a place like that, all you are going to do is add yourself as a second victim. Even on (relatively) low altitude Aconcogua, there are bodies along the route because no one can carry them down without risking joining them. Of course everyone is familiar with the story of the late Anatoly Boukreev rescuing victims and carrying them over his shoulder at night back to their tents at Camp IV. But he was superhuman at the time. The other 99.9% of climbers simply cannot do that.

    If you choose go up there, you just have to understand the risk/reward ratio for that particular form of recreation. Sure it's a shame that 10 or 11 people have died up there in one season. But for perspective, NHTSA stats show that 840 bicyclists were killed by cars in the US in 2016. It's just not as dramatic as "Mount Everest!" so we don't make headlines about it.

  15. #15
    Senior Member DougPaul's Avatar
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    At those altitudes, one is at the edge of survival. Even with full acclimatization (which takes ~6 weeks*) only a few can function or survive without supplemental oxygen. Many can barely take care of themselves while their bottled oxygen holds out and few have the extra margin to be able to help others.

    * Commercial expeditions often rush the acclimatization process resulting in poorly acclimatized climbers.

    The summit day is long and exhausting--one starts around midnight and hopes to return to the high camp before dark. A number simply die of exhaustion compounded by the lack of oxygen, often on the way down.

    Sherpas have been living at high altitudes for many generations and have (genetic) adaptations which enable them to do better at altitude than most outsiders. Near the summit, climbing rates of 20 or 30 breaths per step are common. The highest that one can live at continuously is about 16000 ft. Above that one deteriorates (slowly or quickly, depending...).

    Doug

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