/ 200 going for Summit of Everest !!
A 73-year-old Japanese woman has become the oldest female to scale Mount Everest, breaking the record she set a decade ago.
Would you really want to climb a mountain, any mountain, under those conditions?
> Would you really want to climb a mountain, any mountain, under those conditions?
Well they used to say the death rate in the Himalayas was 1 in 12 which is much worse than these numbers. And you went.....
Don't know if this link to assbook will work, but if not it's on David Lim's page of a photo taken by Ralf Dujmovits
Looks like a colony of ants !!
Simple solution: ban oxygen bottles on the mountain.
My thought exactly but you are not allowed to hold a negative opinion on the Everest Circus on here in case someone is friends with someone doing it.
Can you post the real link please?
I tried counting the people in the line and make it 146...
Anyway I agree, it is indeed an incredible/ unbelievable photo.
Outrageous that shot
It makes slightly more sense like this, but not sure?
> Looks like a colony of ants !!
Looks like Mt Blanc most weekends in Summer. I'm sure plenty of people on this forum have endured the procession just for a taste of the biggest Alpine summit (mea culpa!).
This is just the same thing at a more exclusive level.
Solution to what exactly? You would get less people going, for sure, but what particular problem does that solve?
> This is just the same thing at a more exclusive level.
I am not so convinced. Sure there are plenty of guided parties going up but there are plenty of people going up and also failing on their own plans and own steam. When I eventually do it I will be doing it myself. I could never be comfortable in being dragged up by a guide.
The majority of people do use a guide for Mt Blanc, though, and not everyone uses a guide on Everest.
> The majority of people do use a guide for Mt Blanc,
I'm sure you're not right about that.
> Well they used to say the death rate in the Himalayas was 1 in 12 which is much worse than these numbers. And you went.....
I'm talking about the crowds not the chance of being killed, I really wouldn't want to climb Everest in a crowd of 200 people.
That is an amazing photo.
NOT what I go into the mountains for.
Sad news about the deaths, whatever you think about the approach to climbing.
An article written by someone at basecamp who interviewed people from the teams involved: http://www.outsideonline.com/outdoor-adventure/climbing/mountaineering/everest-2012/Five-Confirmed-D...
I'd be prepared to bow to superior knowledge on that (serious, no sarcasm emoticon, if there is one) but certainly the Goutier route and hut seem to be predominantly guided - at least it was on the one day I've been up there !
The camera never lies, but photoshop can mislead.
> The majority of people do use a guide for Mt Blanc, though, and not everyone uses a guide on Everest.
Have you not got the two mountains mixed up?
I don't think so, although Everest looks like Mt Blanc - by and large a trail of guided ants with a few non guided ants in between.
I'm sure it felt like that! Going on allocations of bed places, I'd say roughly a third of the people in the hut are being guided.
> The majority of people do use a guide for Mt Blanc, though, and not everyone uses a guide on Everest.
I don't think that is the case although I can't prove it, just judging by the immpression given by the people heading up to the refuge.
What about the people who do not stay at the Gouter hut as well. Is it likely that more experienced people do not need to strike from the highest point and will be coming up from the lower hut? Then of course the people coming from the other sides of the mountain.
> Simple solution: ban oxygen bottles on the mountain.
Looks like a supply and demand issue, why don't the Nepali's increase the price and decrease the number of permits each year until their revenues start to level off. It's long since ceased to be the target for adventurous new lines and is just a cash-cow anyway.
And equally, the South Col route isn't the only route up Everest.
Is it not a photo of climbers leaving camp 3 on the Lhotse face? In which case 40-50 degrees would be about right. Presumably the camp is under the (fairly stable) seracs to offer some protection on what is otherwise a fairly exposed slope.
Yes but the North col is traditionally a bust trade route as well with masses of queues building at the bottle necks on that side. Watch Brice documentary from when he was on the North before the chinese stopped giving him a permit.
The only expedition I followed with any interest this year was Conrad Ankers attemp on the west ridge. Likewise I followed the various British Army attempts on the west ridge. I have a lot of respect for Himalyan mountaineering - but those snakes of jumars is not it.
Obviously I can't really say. I'd imagine that the Gouter might well have the largest proportion of guide/clients - for the ease of ascent from there. But of course the Cosmiques actually belongs to the Compagnie des Guides de Chamonix and up to now it's been a much nicer place to stay with a strict booking policy and many local guides would prefer to stay there. I also know quite a few guides who prefer the TÍte Rousse... and then there's the Italian side. I roughly counted 153 people on that photo of Everest. If you add up the capacities of the huts - Cosmiques, Gouter TÍte Rousse and the campers, you'd see that that would be a quiet day on Mont Blanc!
These problems: Litter, erosion, dead bodied strewn across the hill, people claiming to have "climbed Everest" when in fact they have walked up a significantly lower mountain breathing bottled oxygen
I have been tentatively planning for Everest 2013 with a Sherpa Friend/Guide (I just returned from Nepal). This is our basic strategy to avoid the crowds. But, then again, by 2013, it may be a lot of people's.
I don't buy the argument that oxygen brings the mountain down. No more than crampons, axes, ropes, down clothing, satellite weather forecasting, sherpas and porters and everything else that make 8000m ascents possible. Oxygen is no different.
But it's a physiological fact that oxygen makes it equivalent to operating at a lower altitude. Crampons and axes don't do that.
And? They still ascended to 8000m regardless of air pressure and relative difficulty.
This thread is surely due for "You are all just jealous" style post? Normally when people decry such worthy goals as climbing Everest this is what happens :-)
> And? They still ascended to 8000m regardless of air pressure and relative difficulty.
And you don't seem to see the difference between basic safety equipment and an artficial aid that allows the body to perform as if it's on a peak hundreds of metres lower?
To Bruce - I'm jealous of the amount of money they have; imagine the years of climbing fun you could have without another soul around for all the dosh it takes to get on a guided Everest trip.
As I'm sure millions of people around the world are jealous of the amount of time and money we have to piss away on climbing. I tend to number myself as a 'has' rather than a 'has not'
Of course 02 makes it easier and therefore not as pure a style of ascent. That still doesn't mean its not a valid ascent.
Think of it as onsight versus headpoint if it helps.
> As I'm sure millions of people around the world are jealous of the amount of time and money we have to piss away on climbing. I tend to number myself as a 'has' rather than a 'has not'
Oh naturally. My point was that it seems rather a shame to spend all that money on high altitude queuing, when you could be doing first ascents in central Asia, or Antarctica, or Greenland...... each to their own though.
Messner said something along the lines of oxygen reducing Everest to a mere 6000m walk, though no doubt an exaggeration, it's a valid point. I guess you could view oxygen as a safety aid, reducing the chance of frostbite, etc. But on the other hand it does seem to give some people enough rope....
Did anyone else hear the interview with Kenton Kool this morning on the radio?
He was saying that last week when they had the last weather window, presumably when the photo was taken, people were queuing for over 2 hours at the Mallory step. No wonder some didn't get back to their tents.
I propose the following question to you then.
Who is more of a mountaineer?
Doug Scott and Dougal Haston who climbed the south-west face using oxygen on the ascent (they ran out)
Someone who jumars up fixed ropes on a trade route with sherpas, using prestocked camps but does not use oxygen.
This is where your argument falls flat on its face I am afraid.
Messner isn't exactly known for his own ethics. Read Bonatti's musings on Messner in his books.
Personaly i think its more like an onsight versus a top rope with a couple of people yarding on it to pull you up.
I really dont see the point of climbing a mountain because of its height and then using oxygen to make it lower... Just climb a smaller mountain. The mess that mountain is in is a joke.
> The camera never lies, but photoshop can mislead.
I think they've just rotated the camera a little so they can fit in as many people into the shot as possible! The people are the subject of the pic, not the mountain.
> This is where your argument falls flat on its face I am afraid.
Not at all, it doesn't change the physiological effects of oxygen in the context of the overwhelming number of climbers on Everest.
> These problems: Litter, erosion, dead bodied strewn across the hill, people claiming to have "climbed Everest" when in fact they have walked up a significantly lower mountain breathing bottled oxygen.
Does that mean you don't rate Hillary's/Tenzing's ascent? They used prestocked camps and had a much shorter summit day/route. (albeit with an onsight of the final rock step on the ridge!). Did they just climb a significantly lower mountain, breathing oxygen. Does that mean that Messner's solo in 1980 is the only true climb by your logic?
I have no respect for people who are hauled up fixed ropes in massive lines even if they do not use oxygen.
Is jumaring up fixed ropes not physically easier and thus require less oxygen input than someone who is battering up a difficult route?
> Did anyone else hear the interview with Kenton Kool this morning on the radio?
Kenton's a nice bloke ( a kool dude too ) he needs to start steering himself away from the shit that's happening up there.
> Does that mean that Messner's solo in 1980 is the only true climb by your logic?
It's never been truely climbed by the reductio ad absurdum "naked free soloing is the purest style" (this is the Mornington Crescent of ethical disussions on UKC, so I win)
> Is it not a photo of climbers leaving camp 3 on the Lhotse face? In which case 40-50 degrees would be about right. Presumably the camp is under the (fairly stable) seracs to offer some protection on what is otherwise a fairly exposed slope.
If you watch this video, even just the first 30 seconds, you'll see the angle looks right:
Don't they then have to camp on the South Col? How could 300 people camp there? And in any case, where have the come from? There's surely not space for all those in the camp under the seracs...? What an utter nightmare.
> I am not so convinced. Sure there are plenty of guided parties going up but there are plenty of people going up and also failing on their own plans and own steam. When I eventually do it I will be doing it myself. I could never be comfortable in being dragged up by a guide.
IMHO the fact that you hire a guide doesnít necessarily mean that you will be dragged up a route. If you are appropriately fit, and know what you are doing, the guided trip will be more like climbing with a friend who knows more than you.
I have climbed guided and non-guided (for instance because I wanted to go climbing and there was no partner available), and although I agree a non-guided climb is definitely more fun and challenging, I donít think you will be dragged up a route just because you hired a guide, everest, MB or anywhere else.
re: "They still ascended to 8000m regardless of air pressure and relative difficulty."
I ascended to 36,000 feet in a 757 on the way back from Kalymnos last week. I'm not claiming it as a proper ascent though.
In 1978, Messner and Habeler were the first to climb Mount Everest without supplemental oxygen. And therefore the first to climb it in good style.
They climbed it in the the best style to date. Beyond that its hazy - is a solo via a new route (eg Venables)better style than unsupported, (eg Cropp)
Is the line up to the Hilary Step so narrow that people have to move in line like that ? or is it just down to the difficulty of trail breaking ?
> In 1978, Messner and Habeler were the first to climb Mount Everest without supplemental oxygen. And therefore the first to climb it in good style.
You say that, but he used his knees whilst climbing over the Hillary Step.
Great photos from those first up the ridge this season: http://vertical.expenews.com/en/expeditions/220/dispatches/3791
> They climbed it in the the best style to date. Beyond that its hazy - is a solo via a new route (eg Venables)better style than unsupported, (eg Cropp)
Venables only did the last bit above the Col alone - that is not solo. But an incredible effort on their part.
Kropp used the Sherpa route in the icefall for all but his first trip up - that is not unsupported (thought that term has little use or currency in mountaineering) - and eventually summited with the advantage of a Sherpa track.
Best style to date as of 1978? Style will always have a high degree of subjectivity. Habeler & Messner did their climb on the back of a large Austrian expedition using O2 and Sherpas. This was noted at the time, by others on the 'team'. Some would say the 1963 US team who put Hornbein and Unsoeld on the summit via the West Ridge did a better effort. New route up a big natural line, hard climbing, a team effort. produced a good book.
You also need to remember that before the 1990s, western climbers were doing more work shuttling loads and setting the icefall, and up high were working on 2 litres a minute, not 4 like now. The much-derided Dick Bass summited Everest on 2 l/m with no fixed ropes on the final ridge. That was the norm, now considered almost unthinkable.
I agree, especially about Loretan-Troillet. One of the great adventure feats of all time.
Bourkreev called Messner's solo "the climb by which all others are judged" or words to that effect.
But I think Graham's comment was referring to the 1978 Habeler-Messner climb, that it was the best up to that point.
> I have no respect for people who are hauled up fixed ropes in massive lines even if they do not use oxygen.
> Is jumaring up fixed ropes not physically easier and thus require less oxygen input than someone who is battering up a difficult route?
Jumaring up fixed ropes at altitude isn't easy either, nothing at that altitude is easy and the amount of people who could batter up a difficult route at altitude is a very small number indeed. Try it and see.
Yes. No. Yes, no.
Tim summited with Greg Mortimer in 1984 via the Great (Norton) Couloir, a new route without O2 and just one Sherpa friend helping out down low. The route is sometimes called 'White Limbo', after the late Lincoln Hall's book of the expedition, which was named after a song by Australian Crawl, and was really only meant to apply to a big icefield part of the way up, as their route climbed it, rather than climbing all the couloir proper.
In 1990 Tim returned and walked from the sea to EBC. He did go solo up to the Lho La, no mean feat, to attempt the west ridge solo, but bailed low. He then summited via the South Col route, not using O2. This climb, and the book of it, was the origin of the gear brand Sea To Summit, which is now quite big.
In 1988 an Australian expedition put three climbers on the summit via the South Col route, having done all their own load carrying and icefall fixing, no Sherpas. They were probably one of the last expeditions to do this.
You are on the same wave length as me here. I don't rate Messners style and I wont't change my mind on that.
Hornbein and Unsoeld's climb was absolutely outstanding. To the others who are not aware of it if you read the books "Fatal Mountaineer" which is a posthumous account of Unsoeld's life of climbing, and of course "The West Ridge" by Hornbein himself.
Then when you talk about Kukuczka and Voytek - again these guys get massive respect for me for their style and self sufficiency. This is what moutaineering means to me. Not fixed ropes, sherpa short roping and jumaring.
Certainly physically easier than climbing alpine style in the Himalyas, setting camps yourself, carrying loads yourself and leading the route ahead.
It might seem to be physically easier on paper, jumaring up a rope, but it aint. I've met bucketloads of people who are expert climbers and mountaineers and they still struggle due to the altitude. I struggled from day one but I am a punter!
I do see where you're coming from but the amount of people who can carry off Himalayan mountineering alpine stylee is a small number.
If you're the one fixing the ropes, does it count as using fixed lines? you lead the route, so surely not?
> If you're the one fixing the ropes, does it count as using fixed lines? you lead the route, so surely not?
Despite this thread, no one is actually keeping count ;-)
I actually have a bit of a problem with the Hornbein/Unsoeld route. Not the climb itself or them getting praised for it, but rather the fact that it's always described as a first ascent of the "West Ridge". What they really did was something that would more accurately be described as the "Western Cwm-West Shoulder-Hornbein Couloir" route; their route climbs along a relatively flat section of the true West Ridge, and only for a portion of the route's total length, before heading out onto the North Face via the Hornbein Couloir. The true "West Ridge" route is the full integral ascent of it by Stremfelj and Zaplotnik in 1979.
re: "I don't rate Messners style and I wont't change my mind on that."
He'll be absolutely gutted to hear that.
So we'll ignore his solo in 80' then?
Nice to see someone with such an impressive pedigree in mountaineering as yourself, judging so many other people's style and achievements.
And I don't think any other ascent really measures up. I wonder if anyone else will ever go and solo it during the monsoon in order to get the route to themselves and so achieve a true solo.
The Venables ascent has to be right up there - I believe Messner himself was impressed.
> And I don't think any other ascent really measures up. I wonder if anyone else will ever go and solo it during the monsoon in order to get the route to themselves and so achieve a true solo.
> The Venables ascent has to be right up there - I believe Messner himself was impressed.
Apart from summiting, the amount of work the four of them did low down just to get halfway up that route is incredible. Makes me knackered just thinking about it, because I know I couldn't do it. Their route was repeated by the Chileans who were first up this season (Jordan et al) in '92 and they said the route had changed since '88, actually got easier.
Solo in the monsoon? Or just after? In the last twenty years a few have tried - Ed Viesturs, Robert Anderson, Masafumi Todaka and probably others - but with no luck. It seems getting over 8000m is OK(!) but it's pushing up the last several hundred that stops everyone, even Inurateggi and friends on the Hornbein a few years ago. They feel they could get up, but not back down again by themselves with any safety. That's why Messner's climb is so impressive - he kept going all the way and got back down.
Seems another crowd going up, contradicting other reports. Suicide, he says:
"Groping the summit"? Oh the indignity of it all ... ;-)
> The majority of people do use a guide for Mt Blanc, though, and not everyone uses a guide on Everest.
And your point is?
Yes, they did. However, in their day Messner and Habeler had yet to make their ascent of Everest without supplemental oxygen, and many believed that it was physiologically impossible. Times change and what is regarded as acceptable style changes too. In my opinion, an opinion shared by many others, it is no longer acceptable to claim an ascent if supplemental oxygen is used.
What a bloody shame.
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