Everest Bodies

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  • Everest Bodies
  • Premier Icon jambalaya
    Subscriber

    It’s a more exclusive club and they don’t leave anyone to die.

    @nick It’s not about exclusivity, it’s about achieving something. More people are interested in climbing Everest than swimming the channel. Also a rescue in the channel is pretty straightforward as you are accompanied by a boat. Rescue on Everest is very difficult to impossible.

    nick1962
    Member

    I think it’s good to see the realities of death occasionally

    Like at Bow roundabout?

    Premier Icon unknown
    Subscriber

    From what I’ve read there are 2 key things about those who pass someone to continue their summit attempt. Firstly the margins of error are so small that once someone gets to the point where they need help it’s too late, you can’t do anything so you may as well do nothing. That sounds harsh, but secondly there is a kind of contract implicit in making an attempt – you know the risks and the consequences and that people would walk past you just as you’d walk past them. Sadly there’s also the fact that an attempt is seriously expensive and there aren’t any refunds of you miss your one chance because you waited with a dying man.

    I have no personal experience even close to this, it’s only based on what I’ve read, bit I can identify with pushing your limits and chasing a goal. To me it seems incredibly honest, you go in with your eyes open and don’t complain if it goes wrong. I can’t say if I’d still think that as I sat there dying though. I suspect they probably don’t have time to reflect on much beyond the next breath.

    I do agree that it’s sad what Everest has become, that it’s not as respected as it should be.

    maxtorque
    Member

    nick1962
    I think it’s good to see the realities of death occasionally

    Like at Bow roundabout?

    Not really the same:

    Everest = people dying after taking a calculated risk

    Bow roundabout = people BEING KILLED BY SOMEONE ELSE through inattention or carelessness whilst going about their normal activities

    Premier Icon teamhurtmore
    Subscriber

    Hillary +1

    Why would people not make moral judgements, Mountaineering had changed a lot over the past 30 years and not always for the better. Much of what we see on Everest symbolised the dark side of the sport.

    When I did a lot of climbing in my youth there were two important messages I was told: (1) the best mountaineers are the ones who know when it is correct to turn around and (2) you look after our fellow climbers. How much of these core lessons still exits on the Everest gravy train?

    Evererst is a sacred place for the Nepalese. Perhaps above all we should remember that.

    deadlydarcy
    Member

    Funny how much sacredness a few thousand dollars buys you though.

    Premier Icon scotroutes
    Subscriber

    Team Hurtmore wrote:

    Evererst is a sacred place for the Nepalese.

    It is also a massive cash cow for them – both as a nation and as individuals who often use their Sherpa experience to “better” themselves and their families.

    Premier Icon teamhurtmore
    Subscriber

    True DD, but not in the ha, ha sense.

    deadlydarcy
    Member

    Indeed, more funny, peculiar.

    thegreatape
    Member

    When I did a lot of climbing in my youth there were two important messages I was told: (1) the best mountaineers are the ones who know when it is correct to turn around and (2) you look after our fellow climbers

    Sounds like a description of Ed Visteurs

    athgray
    Member

    Everest is a mountain where all sense of morals go out the window. I love climbing but reckon it takes a certain sort of person to try climbing it. I would rather climb with someone that I could trust at the other end of the rope. Not for me. Comparisons to cycling deaths are ill judged IMO.

    globalti
    Member

    To get an idea of the massive scale of Everest and the numbers who climb it, have a look at this picture then xoom in on the base camp along the moraine at the bottom of the picture:

    https://s3.amazonaws.com/Gigapixel_Trees/Pumori_Spring2012_EBC_Full/EBC_Pumori_050112_8bit_FLAT.html

    FunkyDunc
    Member

    Personally I don’t have a problem with it, its an extreme environment, where unlike most places in modern life if you make a mistake/it goes wrong you pay the price, you cant just call some one to bail you out.

    Maybe they should ban the package holiday attempts, which would reduce the litter, by reducing the numbers on the mountain itself, but people would still die.

    Premier Icon mintimperial
    Subscriber

    Pic 7 on there is Pete Boardman, I think. The chap just sort of leaning back as if he’s enjoying the view. He died with Joe Tasker whilst attempting the then unclimbed NE ridge. He was a good writer, fans of mountaineering literature should read his Shining Mountain and Sacred Summits if they haven’t already.

    wobbliscott
    Member

    The reality is that rescue from these places is impossible and for a team or an individual to stop and assist someone in trouble will spell almost certain death for them. These people by the time they get into trouble are minutes away from death, where real life saving help is hours away, so unfortunately for them they’re doomed already and any attempt to assist is probably futile. These guys must know what they’re getting themselves into and accept the risk/consequences. It’s not as if you can just rock up to Everest and climb it on a whim. These climbers take months to get up there and multiple expeditions gaining experience so it’s not the first time they’ve been there or attempted it.

    It’s brutal.

    There was an expedition a few years ago I think to try to retrieve some bodies off the mountain. I’m not sure how well that went.

    mudmonster
    Member

    Thought pic 7 was Hannelore Schmatz

    athgray
    Member

    Only just noticed that you can see the fixed ropes going up past green boots.

    FunkyDunc
    Member

    Wobblis I think you will find that quite a lot of people who start up Everest have spent many hours googling it, and then go and climb it on a whim as they have a big bank balance.

    That’s half the problem that there are very inexperienced people going up.

    Premier Icon wiggles
    Subscriber

    I’ve been to a talk by Richard Parks after his 737 challenge (link below if you hadn’t heard of him/what he did) and he basically described Everest as being completely crazy with all the people waiting to desperately get a gap in the weather to reach the summit etc

    Puts it in real perspective when he said how hard it was after everything else he did that year. Oh and his parents had to remortgage their house to fund the Everest trip 😯

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Richard_Parks

    Premier Icon cloudnine
    Subscriber

    Theres heaps of tents at the base camp.. where do they all go to the toilet?? Is there frozen poo everywhere?

    I read once that it takes over 10 “fresh” rescue personell to get an imobile person down from the death zone… in good conditions. I wonder what a coherent dedicated rescue team would take? 50 personell on rotation to the south col in groups of ten in case a rescue is required? How many of those would die just to keep a presence.

    When you trawl through all the everest literature it is loaded with successful rescues. Almost always the rescued person is still able to move on thier own; the ones that dont end well almost always involve some one who can no longer move, extreme weather (survival mode) or just too few climbers at the scene or nearby to assist… tired, oxygen deprived, dehydrated, horrendous exposure down the mountain side.

    Stories like those of David Sharp make the headlines, but not the background. On his own, no sherpa support past base camp, no radio, noone really knowing where or who he was. Not surprising it turned out the way it did.

    One of the best Everest books is “into the silence” by wade davis. Takes you on a trip from the first sightings of everest to mallory’s last climb, via the trenches of ww1.

    mikey74
    Member

    Very sad images. I agree this thread should be left as harsh reality is never a bad thing to confront.

    I vaguely remember a story about a Japanese team who lost one of their party during an attempt. There was no way they were going to get the body down so they returned the next year with a 20 strong team to try and bring the body down. They got about 100m and abandoned the attempt, leaving the body behind.

    I personally think that Everest should be made off limits unless you have a demonstrable climbing background, but then again that would limit the financial gain Nepal benefits from, so I doubt it will happen.

    Premier Icon Sandwich
    Subscriber

    To be certain of rescue you need to be on the hill with a Royal Marines team.

    Not many people get carried down from just under 8600m.

    Cloudnine, there’s lots of crevasse toilets on Everest!

    Premier Icon thepurist
    Subscriber

    I remember hearing an interview on R4 with a woman who’d been part of a team climbing Everest when they came across the group that had been just ahead of them. She abandoned her attempt and stayed with one chap until he died. Harrowing stuff.

    IanMunro
    Member

    I doubt a single person could bring down an injured person themselves anyway without significant support etc/

    The thing I took from Dark Shadows Falling was that yes you probably won’t be able to save the person. But that doesn’t mean you have to leave them to die alone, to not offer any comfort, or to try and pretend they’re not there like a beggar on a street. It’s dehumanisation.

    ti_pin_man
    Member

    So much armchair speculation as always. Here’s an idea. Charge them a tax for litter removal. Then pay the Sherpas this money to retrieve the litter from base camp and bodies where safe to do so. I know logistically none of that would be as simple as it sounds, but a concerted clean operation would help it return to the dangerous wilderness it should be and also give some peace for families to bury their loved ones. Maybe ban summiting one year and get the big money tax to be spent respectively. Honouring the fallen.

    Marin
    Member

    Altitude and its effects are very hard to understand unless you’ve experienced it and felt what it does to your body and brain. Unfortunately like lots of things in life mountaineering has become commercialised and you no longer have to be invited to join an expedition but just need the cash to pay for it. Hence lots of your fellow climbers would not have built up a relationship with you on the rope so sadly would not give up ambitions and dreams to help you and will highly likely be incapable of doing so anyway. I’ve a mate who was a commercial guide on Everest who says he could spot the people from day one who had no chance of summiting and unfortunately these are the people who would need to help you if things go wrong. The media loves stories of high altitude disaster but I would say it really is just a case of pay your money take bigger chances climbing with people you don’t know.

    mrlebowski
    Member

    I’ve often thought about attempting Everest.

    But…

    This confirms my decision not to do so.

    Why? I don’t want place myself in a position where I may have to become so de-humanised that I’d have to either put my own selfish gain in front of someones else’s pain, or just to survive I’d have to leave someone else to die.

    I couldn’t live with myself if I was faced with those choices.

    Premier Icon aracer
    Subscriber

    The reality is that rescue from these places is impossible and for a team or an individual to stop and assist someone in trouble will spell almost certain death for them. These people by the time they get into trouble are minutes away from death, where real life saving help is hours away, so unfortunately for them they’re doomed already and any attempt to assist is probably futile.

    Except in the case of David Sharp, he was in trouble when people passed on the way up and still alive when they passed on the way down, so clearly not “minutes from death”. Also given that lots of people went past on the way up, made the summit and came back down, clearly stopping and trying to help on their way up wouldn’t have killed them.

    Yes he might have been immmobile, but I don’t think anybody explored trying to get him to move (by for example giving him some oxygen) when he was first found. There is also the case of Lincoln Hall a few days later who was successfully rescued from a similar height on the mountain after spending a night in the open.

    I accept the concept that when you go up you accept the risk and that you are not somebody else’s responsibility to rescue, which is all very well as an abstract concept, but surely when you’re faced with the reality of somebody dying on the mountain things change a bit if you have some humanity?

    Premier Icon aracer
    Subscriber

    mrlebowski – the question is, would you happily pay tens of thousands in order to make an attempt on the summit but abandon it in order to try and save somebody’s life? Because for me that would be the reality – I don’t think reaching the summit could be so important. Clearly for most people who go up the summit is more important than it would be for me…

    globalti
    Member

    I skied the Valleé Blanche with one of the British guides who knock around Chamonix when they’re not knocking around Everest. This chap is very prominent indeed on the Everest scene and in fact at that time he and some fellow guides were building an hotel at base camp level on the Chinese side – dunno if that ever got finished. There seemed to me to be a basic contradiction in claiming to love mountains and wild places yet being at the forefront of the commercial exploitation of the very same mountains. I found it difficult to like the man for that reason.

    “Sitting to our left, about two feet from a 10,000 foot drop, was a man. Not dead, not sleeping, but sitting cross legged, in the process of changing his shirt. He had his down suit unzipped to the waist, his arms out of the sleeves, was wearing no hat, no gloves, no sunglasses, had no oxygen mask, regulator, ice axe, oxygen, no sleeping bag, no mattress, no food nor water bottle. ‘I imagine you’re surprised to see me here’, he said.”

    Licoln Hall was in a very different state to Sharp… very bizzare.

    butcher
    Member

    From a world where death is so often hidden, I find these images really fascinating.

    If I were ever to die on Everest, I think I’d like my body to be preserved and on view to passing climbers, thrashing them with the dark history of the mountain.

    robdob
    Member

    mrlebowski – the question is, would you happily pay tens of thousands in order to make an attempt on the summit but abandon it in order to try and save somebody’s life? Because for me that would be the reality – I don’t think reaching the summit could be so important. Clearly for most people who go up the summit is more important than it would be for me…

    There is no amount of money which would stop me helping someone live, no matter how slim their chances. I don’t know how anyone can live with themselves doing anything else.

    robdob
    Member

    Francys Arseniev, an American women who fell while descending with a group (that included her husband), pleaded with passerby’s to save her. While climbing down the side of a steep section of the mountain, her husband noticed she was missing. Knowing that he did not have enough oxygen to reach her and return to base camp, he chose to turn back to find his wife anyway. He fell to his death in the attempt to climb down and reach his dying wife.

    That would be my story – I would go back. Wouldn’t even hesitate.

    legend
    Member

    robdob – Member
    I don’t know how anyone can live with themselves doing anything else.

    Climbers tend to be a different breed, capable of stepping over their own dying mothers just to summit the stairs

    mrlebowski
    Member

    mrlebowski – the question is, would you happily pay tens of thousands in order to make an attempt on the summit but abandon it in order to try and save somebody’s life? Because for me that would be the reality – I don’t think reaching the summit could be so important. Clearly for most people who go up the summit is more important than it would be for me…

    Here’s the thing: very normal & decent people attempt Everest, some very normal & decent people become so disorientated that they make terrible decisions. I wouldn’t want to be in that environment where such a thing is possible – it disgusts me. So, I wouldn’t go. Everest is a sad place for me, a place where good people can & do do terrible things/are forced to have to make awful choices. Choices in any normal environment would never be considered.

    No thanks. I’d rather not be faced with such grimness. The price is too high.

    PeterPoddy
    Member

    There is no amount of money which would stop me helping someone live, no matter how slim their chances. I don’t know how anyone can live with themselves doing anything else.

    Agreed. Its what separates humans from animals IMO.
    Ive thought for a while that Everest was nothing more than a grim theme park in some ways and this thread confirms it.

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