/ NEWS: New Bolts On Everest

This topic has been archived, and won't accept reply postings.
UKC News - on 04 May 2009
[Everest at Sunset, seen from Kala Pattar, Nepal., 2 kb]Kenton Cool reports from Everest:

"A small group of Western guides assisted by a number of Sherpas spent most of the morning working on the Yellow Band of Everest."

"The team cleared away loose rock and cut away old rope... and a number of bolts were also placed in this area of compact rock."

Read more at http://www.ukclimbing.com/news/item.php?id=47261

Richard Gilbert - on 04 May 2009
In reply to UKC News:

This strikes me as a commercial decision, designed to encourage more paying, insufficiently skilled, clients to join guided parties.

But does anyone other than those clients, guides and sherpas do these routes anyway?

I can understand why people who make their living on the mountain want to make it safer and to encourage others to come and pay their wages but it does moderate the experience for everyone.

How frustrating to lose the Everest onsight!
French Erick - on 04 May 2009
In reply to Richard Gilbert:
Might be commercial but as you mentioned yourself nobody do these things anyway...I know I never will so I couldn't care less what they do up there.

Plus those guides are still risking their lives up there to make a living so why not.
jon on 04 May 2009
In reply to UKC News:

What length of rope do I need to lower off it, then?
simon_D - on 04 May 2009
In reply to French Erick: I think if you can't protect the route adequately (i.e. with the frozen ropes) then some well spaced and logically thought out bolt placements would benefit everyone who attempts the route. Which poor sod carried up the hilti!
Tobias at Home - on 04 May 2009
In reply to jon: i just hope they taped up the lowest bolt when they did it.
jon on 04 May 2009
In reply to Tobias at Home:

Absolutely.
jonnie3430 - on 04 May 2009
In reply to Richard Gilbert:
> (In reply to UKC News)

> But does anyone other than those clients, guides and sherpas do these routes anyway?
>

If the circus wasn't there along with the attendant cost for peak fees, I might think about it. As they are there I wouldn't.
jim hughes - on 04 May 2009
In reply to Tobias at Home: The best comment ive seen all day, Is it a project still.
davefount - on 04 May 2009
In reply to Tobias at Home: thats made my day!
James Moyle - on 04 May 2009
In reply to UKC News: Has Bruce Hooker seen this yet - I sense a big "I told you so"
Ensô - on 04 May 2009
In reply to UKC News:

fair enough, until i've climbed everest i cant have much opinion on it, though i imagine if i ever do that route i'll be greatly appreciative of those bolts
Serpico on 04 May 2009 - 78.148.10.94 whois?
In reply to UKC News:
1st bolt at 7700m, I'm going to need a longer clipstick.

Still not as bad as the first bolt on The Directissima at Kilnsey though.
Bulls Crack - on 04 May 2009
In reply to jon:

Any one done the SDS?
Ackbar - on 04 May 2009
In reply to UKC News: Absolutely ridiculous. Total offense to mountaineering history!!!!!! All involved should be ashamed!
liz j on 04 May 2009
In reply to UKC News:
In the larger scale of things, a few bolts are small fry compared to the discarded oxygen bottles, old rope, flattened tents and bodies that litter the mountain. If it means that an area is safer to cross than before, and with less tat, then surely that is what matters. Everest is a commercial circus, so is the Cosmiques Arete on a weekend, shall all the bolts on there be removed as well??
It's not just about clients and their guides either. The sherpas have families to support in the valley, and to them, Everest is their livelyhood, so why should their job not be made a little bit safer.
Bolt debates don't really interest me that much, but I'm sure that a few bits of metal on Everest are not going to detract from anyone's experiences up there. If you want a pure ascent, then pick another mountain, because you sure ain't going to get one on Everest, bolts or no bolts!!
Brendan Hanratty on 04 May 2009
In reply to UKC News: well the description of the in stitu ropes sounded pretty dangerous so a replacing them with a few bolts sounds like a good idea plus the visual impact of a few bolts has to be less than a load of rope and tat.


does this mean people will now have to climb this section instead of simply climbing up fixed ropes?
pec on 04 May 2009
In reply to UKC News: Since when has something being being dangerous been a justification for placing bolts?
This is a very sad development and whilst I know its a cliche to say so, it will be the thin end of a wedge.
Dr.Strangeglove - on 04 May 2009
In reply to UKC News:
Seems very sensible and probably prettier than some frozen tat - just curious though - will the bolts vary in size much with changes in temperature and if so will this damage the surrounding rock and loosen the bolts? or is the local temperature fairly constant??
johncoxmysteriously - on 04 May 2009
In reply to UKC News:

Absolutely unbelievable. Still more amazing are some of the comments here, along the lines of how if it makes it safer it can only be a good thing. It never ceases to amaze me how very, very thick some of the contributors to these forums are.

jcm
Dr.Strangeglove - on 04 May 2009
In reply to johncoxmysteriously:
Given the current state and usage of the two routes it seems a reasonable step. They are
in effect high altitude via ferrata - I do not like them but once established they should
be made as safe as practicable. "Real" climbers can get their kicks elsewhere on the mountain -
its big enough FFS.
andy farnell - on 04 May 2009
In reply to Serpico:
> (In reply to UKC News)
> 1st bolt at 7700m, I'm going to need a longer clipstick.
>
> Still not as bad as the first bolt on The Directissima at Kilnsey though.

Or Dominatrix.

IMHO a couple of well place mats below the Yellow band should do the trick. These poncy mountaineer's with their fixed ropes, I mean come on, they're not even climbing the bloody thing, it's just one big posh expensive Via Ferratta.

Andy F
liz j on 04 May 2009
In reply to johncoxmysteriously:
> (In reply to UKC News)
>
> Absolutely unbelievable. Still more amazing are some of the comments here, along the lines of how if it makes it safer it can only be a good thing. It never ceases to amaze me how very, very thick some of the contributors to these forums are.
>
> jcm

Since I take that remark to include me, I can now see why, on your admission you are an opinionated bigot. For your information, I am certainly not thick, and I have better things in life to get angry about than a couple of bolts on a mountain that I have no inclination to climb. If the people who make their living from taking paying clients up, western guides and sherpas alike, have decreed that this step will make their job just that little bit easier, then that is their business. Without the commercial expeditions, Nepal would be a very poor country indeed. As it is, the children of the Kumbu region have access to schools and hospital treatment that would otherwise be absent. Commercialism on Everest is not going to go away, end of story.


Stuart the postie - on 04 May 2009
In reply to UKC News:

Retro bolting after the FA 56 years ago, what an insult!!!

Stuart
Michael Ryan - on 04 May 2009

In reply to liz j:

John can be abrasive Liz. The trick is to not take his rants personal - difficult I know.

However I'll attempt to translate John's post.

I think John is concerned about where this will stop, if it indeed will grow. Many classic routes in the Alps have been bolted to make it easier and safer for guides to take their clients up. John appears to be concerned that the natural climbing environment is becoming 'developed' for commercial gain. That the spirit of climbing adventure is being emasculated and homogenised in pursuit for personal financial gain.

Perhaps he fears that if bolts are placed on a small section of Everest they will be placed on the rest of the route, and then perhaps they will be linked by metal wires like a via ferrata from the base to the summit.

Then if that happens it will happen on other classic Himalayan peaks. Perhaps he knows that money and commercial gain is a very powerful force and really there is no stopping it.

Perhaps he feels there are better ways of helping the children of the Kumbu region, like Community Action Nepal... http://www.canepal.org.uk/

Then he feels exasperated that mere mortals and intellectual lightweights like the rest of us cannot see this - so he responds by insults.

He is very passionate about what he believes in.

But there again what do we really care about all this, as most of us won't be climbing Everest anytime soon.
Dominic Green - on 04 May 2009
In reply to Stuart the postie:
Well, it wasn't exactly done as a clean alpine style ascent in the first place was it? I can't really imagine that anyone attempting that route nowadays can fool themselves that they are doing it 'by fair means'. I mean there are ladders, fixed rope etc. If you want that kind of experience then you have to go elsewhere already. Who is it an insult to exactly?
liz j on 04 May 2009
In reply to Mick Ryan - UKClimbing.com:
Thanks for the clarification. Insult taken on the chin ;-)
mickyconnor - on 04 May 2009
In reply to UKC News: Does the 'new' in the title imply there are already 'old' bolts?

Dr.Strangeglove - on 04 May 2009
In reply to johncoxmysteriously:
and just to enter into the spirit of your post.....

>
> It never ceases to amaze me how very, very thick some of the contributors to these forums are.
>
> jcm

Is this because you have the memory of a goldfish or the intellect of somebody with a PaO2 of 42?
robdan - on 04 May 2009
In reply to UKC News:
Why bother with bolts just put up a few more ladders like below, it would make it much easier, I got this one from my local Chinese.

http://7summits.com/images/details.php?image_id=30&sessionid=a53e37fcc6876cae7b238f80a814eefa
Tony Holdsworth - on 04 May 2009
In reply to UKC News: What does it matter - it's a mountain besmirched by the greedy and those who wat to buy "glory". Put an escalator up it and have done.
Alun - on 04 May 2009
In reply to Mick Ryan - UKClimbing.com:

A splendidly worded post, Mick.

I'm not sure subtlely insulting jcm's arrogance was enough though. Reading his contributions becomes insufferably boring after a while, whether one agrees with the sentiments behind them or or not.
James Oswald - on 04 May 2009
In reply to Alun:
Agreed.
Mr-Cowdrey on 04 May 2009
In reply to andy farnell:
> IMHO a couple of well place mats below the Yellow band should do the trick.

bit highball dont you think lol

manumartin - on 04 May 2009
In reply to UKC News: The bullshit is there to be ignored. If the punters want to be dragged up then leave them all to it.
All of this only goes to reinforce, in my mind, the incredibly impressive ascent and descent of the Kangshung face by Stephen Venables and the rest of that team. (although only he topped out). Clean mountaineering at the highest levels - as was the Australian 'White Limbo' expedition in 1984.
radson - on 04 May 2009
In reply to UKC News:

I think Lizj wrote a very good post.

There is still fantasy ridge, white limbo, western ridge, east face etc available for the purists.
radson - on 04 May 2009
In reply to UKC News:

and just to add, bolts to the South col would have ruined my unique pristine wilderness experience.

http://www.ukclimbing.com/images/dbpage.html?id=112370

Orlov - on 04 May 2009
In reply to UKC News: another vote against them.
liz j on 04 May 2009
In reply to Orlov:
> (In reply to UKC News) another vote against them.

Sorry, but you don't get a vote until you get rid of your L plate ;-)
Brendan Hanratty on 04 May 2009
In reply to Dr.Strangeglove:
> (In reply to johncoxmysteriously)
> and just to enter into the spirit of your post.....
>
> [...]
>
> Is this because you have the memory of a goldfish or the intellect of somebody with a PaO2 of 42?

assuming an arterial stab here?
ads.ukclimbing.com
Brendan Hanratty on 04 May 2009
In reply to robdan:
> (In reply to UKC News)
> Why bother with bolts just put up a few more ladders like below, it would make it much easier, I got this one from my local Chinese.
>
> http://7summits.com/images/details.php?image_id=30&sessionid=a53e37fcc6876cae7b238f80a814eefa

how does that slope warrant a ladder?!

and were moaning about a couple of bolts!
Dr.Strangeglove - on 04 May 2009
In reply to Brendan Hanratty:
The big haematoma gives it away every time.....
Tobias at Home - on 04 May 2009
In reply to UKC News: who would have made the decision to bolt this? the locals, the guides, the clients or the owners of the tour groups?

i don't care about the physical damage to the mountain - but if it were the guides behind this i think it quite sad that they put commerciality above their original love of mountaineering.
radson - on 04 May 2009
In reply to Tobias at Home:

I suspect they are putting their lives of their clients, sherpas and themselves first.
liz j on 04 May 2009
In reply to Tobias at Home:
I'm sure that Kenton will be putting some of his hard earnt cash from Everest towards his next expedition to an unclimbed line on some remote mountain somewhere. I have yet to come across anyone who has as much enthusiasm for climbing and mountains as him, whether he is taking a client up an easy route in the Alps, climbing Everest with Ran Fiennes or pushing the boat out with his mates.
Tobias at Home - on 04 May 2009
In reply to radson:
> (In reply to Tobias at Home)
>
> I suspect they are putting their lives of their clients, sherpas and themselves first.

in that case maybe we should all chip in to build a funicular to the summit.

liz j on 04 May 2009
In reply to Tobias at Home:
Now that would be one hell of an expensive lift ticket, I'll get my snowboard waxed now....
radson - on 04 May 2009
If you were the commercial guide and leader of 10 climbing sherpas and 8 clients, what would be your priority?
Tobias at Home - on 04 May 2009
In reply to liz j:
> (In reply to Tobias at Home)
> I'm sure that Kenton will be putting some of his hard earnt cash from Everest towards his next expedition to an unclimbed line on some remote mountain somewhere. I have yet to come across anyone who has as much enthusiasm for climbing and mountains as him, whether he is taking a client up an easy route in the Alps, climbing Everest with Ran Fiennes or pushing the boat out with his mates.

I'm sure he will. It still doesn't take away from the fact that placing bolts on a line that 100s have climbed since the 50s runs contrary to the non-commercial world of mountaineering.

I don't really care for the mountain per se but it is sad that guides will do this to a "yak route" and then go elsewhere and climb lines without clients and without bolts in an ethical structure completely at odds with what they do on with clients.

Surely there is at least an element of hypocrisy and elitism in there?

Anyway, what I really want to know is what Tenzing and Hillary would have said about the matter...I guess they had to wait until the first ascentionists couldn't protest at the retrobolting.

Tobias at Home - on 04 May 2009
In reply to radson:
> If you were the commercial guide and leader of 10 climbing sherpas and 8 clients, what would be your priority?

so just so we know where we stand, is there a formula based on the number of ascentionists that determines whether a route can be botled?

is there much pressure in the scottish guiding community to bolt scottish mountain crags?
liz j on 04 May 2009
In reply to Tobias at Home:
But surely then, all the ladders should be decreed to be unethical as well?? Maybe Everest is no longer a pure mountain in the same sense that it was on the first ascent, but times have changed, and unless commercial expeditions to the mountain are banned, people are going to continue to pay to climb it. I fail to see what damage a couple of bolts are going to do to an already exploited route. If I was climbing it, I would rather see one new rope than the tattered remains of the last ten years.
radson - on 04 May 2009
I'm not really following your point Tobias.

Everest by South Col is not a pristine wilderness experience. It is 500-ish people per season, trying to make their way to the top with the aid of ladders, 1000's m of fixed line and jumaring their way to the top. 90%-ish are on Oxygen from Camp 3.

For most people, it is a siege mentality and very far removed from other types of climbing. This facet of Everest will not change. For the purist, the two normal routes of Everest are not an option, although they can use base camps to attempt alternative routes, even from the North Col and Camp 2 on the South side.

In my opinion, considering the amount of 'climbers' on normal routes, the bolting of the upper rock section to make the process safer for everyone involved with the bonuus of making the higher part of the mountain cleaner, sounds a sensible option.


AlH - on 04 May 2009
In reply to Tobias at Home: I'm not sure some of the arrogance isn't in us transposing our views of climbing to another place. Just because we feel that bolting in the mountains is undesirable (and I'm not a fan) does that give us a right to judge what happens on a mountain that isn't even in our country. Not every nations' climbers agree with our ethical standpoint so religiously. For many bolting a busy, poorly protected step on a mountain route that is undeniably a commercial honeypot will be just common sense. I do find it a little distateful given the history but I accept the realities of that route mean that the Guides and Sherpas who will be conveying clients of varying ability have a right to make a decision about what is appropriate there.
I don't feel it is necessarily at odds with their ethical structure either. Many of those guides will be like Kenton, using their profile and their time with clients to educate them about the limitations of their climbing experience by making them aware of what 'real' adventure and climbing can be about.
Al
AlH - on 04 May 2009
In reply to Tobias at Home:
> (In reply to radson)

> is there much pressure in the scottish guiding community to bolt scottish mountain crags?

No but we aren't dealing with the same issues and we aren't (usually) fixed to one route. We can choose where to go with some knowledge of the nature of the route. We can make that decision with clients, pitching the risk at the appropriate level. Everest is Everest, you can't take a better protected line. Also many of our clients in Scotland are there to learn so that they can go and do it for themselves rather than just to say they have done it. When a client does come and ask for a specific route the Guide or Instructor will decide if they think it is appropriate in terms of difficulty and conditions and discuss what that involves with the client. They will normally undertake a route with a fair bit of safety margin (in terms of their and their clients' ability vs the grade of the route, the weather and the protection). If they don't have the margin they feel is necessary they don't guide the route. In Scotland changing the situation with bolts is against the local ethic and would result in an outcry. That safety margin is, IMHO, a lot narrower on Everest so Guides and Sherpas took a collective decision to improve things. This does not appear to be against any local ethics so where do we get off telling them its wrong?
Al
Brendan Hanratty on 05 May 2009
In reply to liz j: so just to clarify; there is now a few bolts and 1 fixed rope (all safe) instead of numerous old ropes with dodgy, unsafe anchors. the article states that multiple climbers were using these ropes as anchors and to climb.


seems to me (although iv never bee there) that the mountain is now safer and if that doesnt matter to the purists, its now much cleaner and natural looking

plus seen as everyones now going to use the bolts its going to limit damage to the mountain isnt it? less gear/tat being left, less damage to the surroundings, and less bodies laying about the place
ray - on 05 May 2009
In reply to Mick Ryan - UKClimbing.com:
>
> In reply to liz j:
>

Perhaps he knows that money and commercial gain is a very powerful force and really there is no stopping it.
>
you know it too Mick, which is why this news item/thread/forum exist eh?

;)
johncoxmysteriously - on 05 May 2009
In reply to Alun:
>
> I'm not sure subtlely insulting jcm's arrogance was enough though. Reading his contributions becomes insufferably boring after a while, whether one agrees with the sentiments behind them or or not.


I'm afraid I can't remember any of yours (or Mr Oswald's) or I'd be able to comment on those as insightfully as you on mine, I'm sure. Sorry about that.

It's got nothing to do with my sentiments, and everything to do with the fact that 'it makes it safer so it must be a good thing, and that's all there is to it' is a breathtakingly dim observation. By that token, as someone pointed out, it'd be a lot safer to go the whole hog and build a bloody chairlift.

jcm
johncoxmysteriously - on 05 May 2009
In reply to Dr.Strangeglove:
> (In reply to johncoxmysteriously)
> and just to enter into the spirit of your post.....
>
> [...]
>
> Is this because you have the memory of a goldfish or the intellect of somebody with a PaO2 of 42?

Yes, well you're right, of course. I should be used to it by now.

jcm

johncoxmysteriously - on 05 May 2009
In reply to liz j:
> (In reply to johncoxmysteriously)
> [...]
>
> Since I take that remark to include me

If you say so. I didn't count the posts on the same lines, I'm afraid.

>For your information, I am certainly not thick, and I have better things in life to get angry about than a couple of bolts on a mountain that I have no inclination to climb.

Much better things, I agree.

>If the people who make their living from taking paying clients up, western guides and sherpas alike, have decreed that this step will make their job just that little bit easier, then that is their business.

Really? And no doubt the same applies on every crag paying clients in this country use, right?

>Without the commercial expeditions, Nepal would be a very poor country indeed. As it is, the children of the Kumbu region have access to schools and hospital treatment that would otherwise be absent. Commercialism on Everest is not going to go away, end of story.

Nor are many other deplorable things. But as you say it's not going to go away, and that would remain true whether they place bolts or not. It's just a small unpleasant step further. I'm disappointed in KC. I thought better of him, but hey, once you become a prostitute, the world looks different.

Mind you, I'll forgive him as being the subject of my favourite ever UKC post, the very politically correct gentleman on one of those interminable threads about why there are no black climbers, who observed that there were lots of black climbers in the UK, for example Kenton Cool. Priceless.

jcm

johncoxmysteriously - on 05 May 2009
In reply to radson:
> If you were the commercial guide and leader of 10 climbing sherpas and 8 clients, what would be your priority?

Maybe I wouldn't be. Obviously if I were my priority would be money, in the same way as I presume yours was self-gratification.

jcm
radson - on 05 May 2009
In reply to johncoxmysteriously:

Money, really? There are easier ways to make money and as for self-gratification. Yes I love being in the mountains, so you got me there.
TonyG - on 05 May 2009
In reply to UKC News:

Well, thank God it was Kenton who was involved in this, and not someone who is less popular amongst the UKC community!! ;-)

Whilst I agree on some level with most of you that this is on a mountain far away that I'll probably never climb, this is extremely sad and most probably the thin end of a big fat wedge!!

Bolts on Mt Everest is very different from bolts on the Cosmiques Arete. Everest is far better known around the world and is the aspiration of far more people. It enjoys infinitely more singular status than the Cosmiques Arete because of the small fact that it is the highest mountain in the world. The routes on its flanks were attempted, failed and succeeded on by some of the best in the business throughout the last 8 decades of mountaineering history. So, which of the two better serves as the setting for a discussion on climbing ethics?

Yes, a bolted anchor and one fixed rope is less of an eyesore than tat and frozen ropes. Yes, the anchor is now safer. Yes, it is safer for sherpas and guides as well as paying clients.

No, the prettiness of the anchor was NOT a factor in this decision on a mountain that is littered with O2 cylinders, old ropes, tents and bodies (and more fool anyone who imagines it was). No, risk is part of climbing, and the fact that someone is a paying client SHOULD NOT change that fact.

Can you see the schism that commercialism brings into climbing? For myself, on the one hand I have no objection to guides and clients, but on the other it saddens me that the money side of the equation always wins out, and Everest is the greatest example of this in mountaineering. This is only the start. It sounds from this thread as though Mt Everest is already lost in the minds of most people on UKC. Okay then, whatever.

In the end, crap things happen because they grind us down and grind us down until we reach the stage where we say things like "who cares, it's not a mountain I'm ever likely to climb anyway". But it was a mountain that a lot of inspirational climbers thought was worth climbing at one time, and I'd be very surprised to hear any of them now say that they were happy with the way things have gone on the normal routes of Everest. But it's unavoidable, for sure.

Perhaps one of the interesting and difficult factors here is the character of someone like Kenton. He seems like a great guy, certainly nobody would doubt his ethics and ambitions as a climber in any way, and he's obviously one of the most popular of the top British climbers of the day. What's interesting there is that he is able to straddle a divide that most people have traditionally fallen clearly on one side or the other of. Kenton is able to coexist happily in the cutting edge world of climbing and the commercial guiding world. Somehow this seems to muddy the waters for a lot of people when they hear news like this.

All respect to Kenton for the seriousness with which he approaches the business of climbing hard alpine style, and also the job of helping paying customers to achieve their dreams and come back safely.

But before we all debate this bolt issue, could we perhaps try and imagine that instead of Kenton who is breaking the news to us, we have just heard that some unknown French guide has placed bolts on Everest (or some other scenario that might be less palatable to the UKC massive). That might lend a more balanced response. I don't think any of us would argue against the fact that the way a piece of information is packaged has an effect on the way we receive it.
Michael Ryan - on 05 May 2009
In reply to TonyG:
> (In reply to UKC News)
>
> It sounds from this thread as though Mt Everest is already lost in the minds of most people on UKC.

Hi Tony,

'most people on UKC' ... you are making the common mistake that those who have posted on this thread represent the opinions of those who have read the news report and who haven't posted and that because some who have posted on this thread agree with the actions described that all who read UKC have the same opinion,.

That is not the case. The majority read, a minority post There is no collective UKC opinion on this subject.

Mick
TonyG - on 05 May 2009
In reply to Mick Ryan - UKClimbing.com:

That's very true. Sorry, I should have been more specific and limited the comment to the replies here. Thanks Mick :-) In a discussion like this it's easy to slip into the bad habit of making generalisations. I hope that the gist of what I'm trying to say comes through from my post.

Tony
Michael Ryan - on 05 May 2009
In reply to TonyG:
> (In reply to Mick Ryan - UKClimbing.com)
>
> I hope that the gist of what I'm trying to say comes through from my post.

Very much so.

Thanks.

Michael Ryan - on 05 May 2009
More reportage and comment here:

http://www.alanarnette.com/alan/everest2009.php

A previous posting mentioned putting bolts into the Yellow Band. And there is more talk of improving the route on the south side. IMG's post the following:

"Yesterday was a historic day for route making on Everest. Kari Kobler donated his Hilti bolt gun and guides Willie Benegas and Adrian Ballinger drilled six new 10cm Mammut stainless steel bolts up on the Yellow Band to anchor two new ropes — one for up traffic and one for down. Good work you guys. In the process they also cut down over 30kg of old rope. The immediate benificiaries will be the sherpas, who have had to deal with a spider-web of old ropes over the years. Now, this is much safer for them. When the climbers start going up to the Col in the next few days they will find that this makes it a lot faster and less confusing. We are hoping to do the same thing up on the Geneva Spur next, and hopefully up in the rock step below the South Summit too." Eric Simonson, IMG Expedition Leader at http://www.mountainguides.com/everest-south09.shtml

By bolts they are referring to steel screws that are drilled into the rock. Since they are attached to solid rock, a high pressure gun is used to drive them into the limestone. The fixed line is then threaded through the ring on the end of the screw. This makes for a solid attachment for the fixed rope. Otherwise, ropes are attached to temporary anchors that can slip out thus not providing any support for the fixed rope.

To some, this feels common sense and appropriately makes the route safer in dangerous places. For others it is further evidence that Everest is looking more like a tourist route than a mountaineer's home. There are arguments on both sides. However if you think that a Sherpa may make 3 to 5 times more carries through these sections than a client climbers, it is all justified to keep these guys safe. I guess if a climber objected to these improvements they could always not use that anchor or rope - however unlikely.

A similar discussion has been ongoing for years on the north side about the ladder on the Second Step. Installed by the Chinese decades ago and even upgraded by modern climbers recently, it now allows north summits for the 99.999% of the climbers who could not free climb that section without the ladder. An improvement or a crutch?

Mountaineering is full of these controversies - gives people something to do while stuck in tents during storms. And this will be yet another discussion. I am sure both viewpoints will have their immoveable supporters.

Michael Ryan - on 05 May 2009
In reply to Mick Ryan - UKClimbing.com:

and at: http://www.jagged-globe.co.uk/news/despatches_list.html?id=32

"This week saw a couple of our mountain's strongest up high above Camp 3 cleaning up the Yellow Band. In years past this has been a tangled mess of new and old rope with Sherpas and climbers alike pulling hard at whatever was available. It took a concerted effort of the teams organising here to get the necessary equipment and manpower up and organised, but finally we've cut out over 400 meters of old and frayed rope and replaced this with six well-placed bolts on the Yellow Band. Now, we'll leave it to the armchair enthusiasts to debate the ethics back home, but here it's the Sherpas, hauling massive loads sometimes 9 or 10 times up and down this section of the mountain, who get the last word.

"Oh Di (brother), long life!"

All the best from BC,

Mara & team"
Brendan Hanratty on 05 May 2009
In reply to UKC News: still, we are debating a few bolts on a mountain which is climbed with ladders here, surely worse than a bolt or two?
Al Evans on 05 May 2009
In reply to liz j:
> (In reply to UKC News)
> In the larger scale of things, a few bolts are small fry compared to the discarded oxygen bottles,

Old oxygen bottles (not ours) just dumped on Everest
http://www.ukclimbing.com/images/dbpage.html?id=103425
Actually our sherpas made the effort and brought some down (I think they are worth money.
Al Evans on 05 May 2009
In reply to pec:
> (In reply to UKC News) Since when has something being being dangerous been a justification for placing bolts?

What other reason is there?
TonyG - on 05 May 2009
In reply to Al Evans:
You know what he meant, Al.
Al Evans on 05 May 2009
In reply to TonyG: No really I dont, explain please. Unless they are aid what are bolts for except to make a climb safer?
TonyG - on 05 May 2009
In reply to Al Evans:
A "reason" discusses why we do something. A "justification" discusses the appropriacy of doing something.

Of course you're right about the reason for placing bolts. That's black or white. But as you know, there's a lot of debate about the justification of placing bolts. I'm thinking that's what he was alluding to...

Tony
francoisecall - on 05 May 2009
In reply to TonyG: Nobody is forcing anybody to use the fixed ropes and bolts. If you want to climb "pure" you can still do it.
Tobias at Home - on 05 May 2009
In reply to francoisecall:
> (In reply to TonyG) Nobody is forcing anybody to use the fixed ropes and bolts. If you want to climb "pure" you can still do it.

Are you causing trouble Francoise? :-)

i'm sure you know that the "you don't have to use the bolts if you don't want to" argument doesn't really hold water....
tony on 05 May 2009
In reply to Mick Ryan - UKClimbing.com:
> (In reply to Mick Ryan - UKClimbing.com)
>
> and at: http://www.jagged-globe.co.uk/news/despatches_list.html?id=32
>
> "This week saw a couple of our mountain's strongest up high above Camp 3 cleaning up the Yellow Band. In years past this has been a tangled mess of new and old rope with Sherpas and climbers alike pulling hard at whatever was available. It took a concerted effort of the teams organising here to get the necessary equipment and manpower up and organised, but finally we've cut out over 400 meters of old and frayed rope and replaced this with six well-placed bolts on the Yellow Band.

This thing of sorting out old ropes (some of which may be dangerous) seems to be one of the justifications for the bolts. Why not make sure all that rubbish is cleared at the end of each commercial season, so that at least the mountain gets cleaned once a year? The cost for this could be met by the guiding companies adding a clean-up surcharge to their paying customers.
In reply to UKC News: Does anyone know what all these fixed ropes were attached to before the bolts were placed?

A few bolts on Everest seems fairly insignificant to me, as most people use 1000m of fixed ropes, get Sherpas to carry their bags and use in-situ ladders!

But then it seems so far removed from my climbing, that I feel my understanding of it is quite limited.

Jack
Tobias at Home - on 05 May 2009
In reply to Jack Geldard - Editor - UKC:
> (In reply to UKC News) Does anyone know what all these fixed ropes were attached to before the bolts were placed?
>
> A few bolts on Everest seems fairly insignificant to me, as most people use 1000m of fixed ropes, get Sherpas to carry their bags and use in-situ ladders!
>
> But then it seems so far removed from my climbing, that I feel my understanding of it is quite limited.
>
> Jack

i don't think it is really about the route no longer being a "mountaineering" route because a handful of bolts have been placed.

a bolt is unlike any other form of protection. it has more in common with chipping holds than anything else available. they have a place - for sports climbing and for bringing routes down to the level of the climber - where I don't think they have a place is on the most iconic mountain in the world on a 50yr old route -unless you're selling a bastardised form of mountaineering to your clients.
Richard Gilbert - on 05 May 2009
In reply to francoisecall:

In response to this argument, I've always felt it imprudent not to use protection where it is available. Once the bolts/fixed rope/ladders are there, it's crazy not to use them. I'd just rather they weren't there in the first place!
In reply to Jack Geldard - Editor - UKC:
> (In reply to UKC News) Does anyone know what all these fixed ropes were attached to before the bolts were placed?

"In the past, rope has been tied to existing old rope frozen in place with little or no idea what is securing the rope to the mountain...

http://www.ukclimbing.com/news/item.php?id=47261

In reply to Tom Briggs - Jagged Globe: That is exactly my point Tom!

Jack
Tobias at Home - on 05 May 2009
In reply to Tom Briggs - Jagged Globe: Hey Tom. Were Jagged Globe involved in helping place these bolts?
Michael Ryan - on 05 May 2009
In reply to UKC News:

Just in case this gets lost:

Yesterday was a historic day for route making on Everest. Kari Kobler donated his Hilti bolt gun and guides Willie Benegas and Adrian Ballinger drilled six new 10cm Mammut stainless steel bolts up on the Yellow Band to anchor two new ropes — one for up traffic and one for down. Good work you guys. In the process they also cut down over 30kg of old rope. The immediate benificiaries will be the sherpas, who have had to deal with a spider-web of old ropes over the years. Now, this is much safer for them. When the climbers start going up to the Col in the next few days they will find that this makes it a lot faster and less confusing. We are hoping to do the same thing up on the Geneva Spur next, and hopefully up in the rock step below the South Summit too."

Eric Simonson, IMG Expedition Leader at http://www.mountainguides.com/everest-south09.shtml
In reply to Tobias at Home:

Guides, Willie Benegas and Adrian Ballinger placed the bolts. Willie is working for Jagged Globe, Adrian for Himex.
Tobias at Home - on 05 May 2009
In reply to Mick Ryan - UKClimbing.com: if the hilti is too heavy to carry to the south summit will they leave the bolt gun up there a la maestri? :-)
TonyG - on 05 May 2009
In reply to Mick Ryan - UKClimbing.com:
> (In reply to UKC News)
"We are hoping to do the same thing up on the Geneva Spur next, and hopefully up in the rock step below the South Summit too."
Eric Simonson, IMG Expedition Leader

Surely they're not going to forget to bolt the Hillary Step, are they?
In reply to TonyG:
>
> Surely they're not going to forget to bolt the Hillary Step, are they?

OMG!

Soren Lorenson - on 05 May 2009
In reply to jonnie3430:

>
> If the circus wasn't there along with the attendant cost for peak fees, I might think about it. As they are there I wouldn't.


Babelfish translation: If it was free and I could get it to myself I might drag my arse off of a computer chair. Off course it wouldn't be a circus if I was there myself, more like a solo clown show.
James Prowse - on 05 May 2009
In reply to TonyG:

I see a big difference between placing bolts on mountain routes that have previously been protected traditionally, and on routes where in-situ fixed ropes are used to haul yourself up the mountain.

Climbing on fixed ropes doesn't require the climber to protect the route or to climb the route (in a conventional sense), and failure on such a section would be largely down to the strength of anchors that the climber can't see, or check out. Where this is the accepted style already, bolting really isn't changing much ethically, it's just decreasing the chance of unexpectedly falling off the mountain and dragging a few others with you for the ride. But then I'm a boulderer so I would say that :)

The other case, of bolting routes where the accepted style is leader placed protection, seems completely different.
johncoxmysteriously - on 05 May 2009
In reply to TonyG:
> (In reply to Mick Ryan - UKClimbing.com)
> [...]
> "We are hoping to do the same thing up on the Geneva Spur next, and hopefully up in the rock step below the South Summit too."
> Eric Simonson, IMG Expedition Leader
>
> Surely they're not going to forget to bolt the Hillary Step, are they?

To be honest it's ridiculous that the Hillary Step is still there. It wouldn't take much effort to get enough explosive up there simply to blow it away and leave a nice smooth snow slope. It would make it much sfer and easier for everyone. We have to remember that the health and safety of local workers is involved etc, etc, etc....

jcm

MattDTC on 05 May 2009
In reply to Tom Briggs - Jagged Globe:
How does Jagged Globe feel about the additon of these bolts?
Tobias at Home - on 05 May 2009
In reply to MattDTC:
> (In reply to Tom Briggs - Jagged Globe)
> How does Jagged Globe feel about the additon of these bolts?

see as it was one of their guides that did it - i assume they wholeheartedly support it.

In reply to MattDTC:
> (In reply to Tom Briggs - Jagged Globe)
> How does Jagged Globe feel about the additon of these bolts?

The first I heard about it was after the event. I don't have a problem with it. It's good that they've cut out 400 metres of old rope and prevented an accident waiting to happen IMHO. I think some people are a bit naïve about what fixed gear exists in the mountains. The North Face of the Eiger is covered in stainless steel bolts. Everest clearly has great symbolic value, but the rock is not exactly Cornish Granite - whether it's a peg or a bolt is fairly academic.
McBirdy - on 05 May 2009
In reply to UKC News: Thus making it even easier to justify taking illequipped inexperienced unfit nupties to their death at altitude.

Why doesn't someone go the whole hog and just build a fenicular railway to the top? So long as people don't actually get out at the top station and walk around it will still be 100% sensitive to the mountain itself and to the natural environment. sic.
craigloon - on 05 May 2009
In reply to UKC News:

What the critics of this action seem to be overlooking here is that the bolts were put in as anchors for ropes to replace some really dodgy, frozen-in fixed ropes. It's like arriving at an abseil point and finding some decrepit jumble of tat that is going to come away at the first opportunity. Do you a) Leave it there because, hey, its more authentic, or b) cut it out and replace with a nice new bit of cord?
francoisecall - on 05 May 2009
In reply to Tobias at Home: Actually it is possible to climb bolted routes without using the bolts. I have done so in the Mont Blanc massif when there was a good crack system to place protections. It allowed me to protect the routes actually better than with the bolts! I have also "missed" bolts on Piola routes behind the Envers because he has painted them the same colour of the rock and I can't see them anyway.
johncoxmysteriously - on 05 May 2009
In reply to craigloon:

There is option (c) of course, which is simply to climb up without the fixed rope. Installing bolts so you can put in a fixed rope is in principle no different to installing a travelator. It's only an accident waiting to happen because they need to get large numbers of insufficiently competent people up there in order to make the quantity of money they want to make. If Jagged Globe and their like were less greedy, this wouldn't be necessary.

The fact the Alps are covered in bolts for commercial reasons is no reason to put them in the Himalaya.

I always love the way bolters ridicule the thin end of the wedge and in the very next breath seek to justify themselves on the grounds there are loads of other bolts and no-one minds them.

jcm
Nic on 05 May 2009
In reply to johncoxmysteriously:

I find myself agreeing with JCM...

...<runs home to lie down in a darkened room>
In reply to johncoxmysteriously:
>
> I always love the way bolters ridicule the thin end of the wedge and in the very next breath seek to justify themselves on the grounds there are loads of other bolts and no-one minds them.

Did your F7b involve the use of bolts?
Chris the Tall - on 05 May 2009
In reply to johncoxmysteriously:
> Installing bolts so you can put in a fixed rope is in principle no different to installing a travelator.

Utter rubbish, as usual. Everest has always been an "anything goes" mountain, where the summit justifies the means, at least for the vast majority of attempts. Oxygen, ladders, fixed ropes, sherpas, pegs - so why not bolts? I can't see how the fixed rope is attached will make the slightest bit of difference to the person being guided up Everest. It will still be a battle of endurance and not technical ability

>If Jagged Globe and their like were less greedy, this wouldn't be necessary.

If Jagged Globe weren't there someone else would be. Maybe blame the Nepalese authorities for allowing so many expeditions to attempt the mountain, but when you're a poor country with one major asset what do expect. It would be very colonial to try to impose British elitist climbing ethics upon them.
craigloon - on 05 May 2009
In reply to johncoxmysteriously:

Yeah, but the point is that the dodgy fixed ropes were already there, so putting bolts in doesn't change that, just makes it safer, as per my abseil analogy.

You're right, not using fixed ropes is an option. But that was also the case before the bolts, so what's changed?
johncoxmysteriously - on 05 May 2009
In reply to craigloon:

Just a little easier to drag the incompetent up the big hill, that's all.

You're right in a way, Jagged Globe and the rest are an affront to mountaineering anyway; this is only a small, if symbolic, step towards perdition.

jcm
johncoxmysteriously - on 05 May 2009
In reply to Chris the Tall:

> It would be very colonial to try to impose British elitist climbing ethics upon them.

If that's really what you think (it's very noticeable how the word 'elitist' is always, but always, the sign of a half-witted post), then presumably you would indeed have no objection to dynamiting the Hillary Step? It will still be a battle of endurance and not technical ability, after all.

jcm
johncoxmysteriously - on 05 May 2009
In reply to alessandro di guglielmo:

Indeed it did. As it happened it was necessary to climb it because someone was in difficulty on a neighbouring trad route and needed assistance from above.

But anyway what is your point? I've never understood this notion that because people have done a sport route they have no right to object to bolts in other places. It's like saying that because your house has a road to it you can't object to a motorway through Snowdonia.

jcm
Michael Ryan - on 05 May 2009
In reply to johncoxmysteriously:
> (In reply to craigloon)
>
> perdition.

Come on John, edify!


Pronunciation:
p&#601;r-&#712;di-sh&#601;n
Function:
noun
Etymology:
Middle English perdicion, from Anglo-French perdiciun, Late Latin perdition-, perditio, from Latin perdere to destroy, from per- through + dare to give — more at per-, date
Date:
14th century
1 aarchaic : utter destruction b. obsolete : loss
2 a: eternal damnation b: hell


In reply to johncoxmysteriously:
> (In reply to alessandro di guglielmo)

> But anyway what is your point? I've never understood this notion that because people have done a sport route they have no right to object to bolts in other places. It's like saying that because your house has a road to it you can't object to a motorway through Snowdonia.


Although I disagree with your other posts in this thread John, I did like that analogy.

Jack


John2 - on 05 May 2009
In reply to Jack Geldard - Editor - UKC: This sort of thing has been going on on other mountains for some time now, has it not? The Swiss guides bolted the Zmutt Ridge on the Matterhorn in order to make it easier to take clients up that route, and the descent from Nelion on Mount Kenya has been bolted in recent years.

I remember the old descent from Nelion - the descent was (to coin a phrase) no picnic, and added considerably to the experience of climbing the mountain.
GrahamD - on 05 May 2009
In reply to John2:

It isn't only guides that place bolts in the mountains. Plenty of climbers do it as well. If you can accept that belay bolts on El Cap, why not Everest ?
johncoxmysteriously - on 05 May 2009
In reply to GrahamD:

Everest (mainly) isn't pitched, and these aren't belay bolts.

jcm
Dan Walker - on 05 May 2009
In reply to johncoxmysteriously: got a hacksaw you can borrow... ;-)
John2 - on 05 May 2009
In reply to GrahamD: I was criticising the placing of bolts on mountaineering routes (rather than big walls) which had been ascended and descended for many years without their aid.
radson - on 05 May 2009
In reply to Chris the Tall:

I can't see how the fixed rope is attached will make the slightest bit of difference to the person being guided up Everest. It will still be a battle of endurance and not technical ability.

Totally agree.

Although, I dont know the numbers but I think people are overestimating the number of people 'guided' on Everest. Yes most people are part of some commercial group but doesn't mean they are individually guided.
Ens&ocirc; - on 05 May 2009
In reply to UKC News:

tis a sad day when climbers start sayin they dont care about the mountain
liz j on 05 May 2009
In reply to mikeyd:
> (In reply to UKC News)
>
> tis a sad day when climbers start sayin they dont care about the mountain

Where has anyone said they don't care about the mountain??
MikeYouCanClimb - on 05 May 2009
In reply to johncoxmysteriously:
> (In reply to craigloon)
>


> There is option (c) of course, which is simply to climb up without the fixed rope.

Fixed ropes I think are actually more useful on the descent through the yellow band.
Installing bolts so you can put in a fixed rope is in principle no different to installing a travelator.
Which principle is that then? fixed ropes are used for protection, hauling yourself up (not to be recommended) on fixed rope requires lots of energy, the process would be the same if either the rope is anchored by frozen tat or a bolt, a travelator does not require effort!

> It's only an accident waiting to happen because they need to get large numbers of insufficiently competent people up there in order to make the quantity of money they want to make.

This must be an assumption or an opinion based on a few headline incidents , whilst there are a few, there are certainly many more that are competent, they are usually successful people up there.

>If Jagged Globe and their like were less greedy, this wouldn't be necessary.

I thought you said the only reason for bolts was safety. I don't agree that they are greedy, but you have created another reason for your stated fixed opinion/ response by yourself. Why use safety in this context in a negative way anyway?

There are other reasons for using high altitude bolts to anchor fixed ropes, eg to increase speed (especially on descent in bad weather), increase chance of success, decrease the maintenance costs, reduce costs for future people etc
johncoxmysteriously - on 05 May 2009
In reply to ClwydTraveller:

>There are other reasons for using high altitude bolts to anchor fixed ropes, eg to increase speed (especially on descent in bad weather), increase chance of success, decrease the maintenance costs, reduce costs for future people etc

Of course there are. Once mountaineering becomes a business, there are all sorts of sound business reasons for doing lots of things.

The principle by which once piece of fixed equipment is acceptable any piece of fixed equipment becomes acceptable doesn't seem very elusive, but if you can't see it I'm really not sure how I could explain it to you.

jcm
johncoxmysteriously - on 05 May 2009
In reply to radson:
> (In reply to Chris the Tall)
>
> I can't see how the fixed rope is attached will make the slightest bit of difference to the person being guided up Everest. It will still be a battle of endurance and not technical ability.
>
> Totally agree.

Oh for God's sake. You might as well say a few bolts wouldn't make any difference to Right Wall because it will still be strenuous.

jcm
Tobias at Home - on 05 May 2009
In reply to radson:
> (In reply to Chris the Tall)
> It will still be a battle of endurance and not technical ability.
>
then perhaps they could consider a japanese quiz show rather than everest...
Henry L Buckle - on 05 May 2009
In reply to ClwydTraveller:

Ha! Shows what you know. A travelator is not as easy as you think.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MWgHKW02yXM

Imagine that at 8000m

GrendeI on 06 May 2009
In reply to UKC News ok, ok, ok, from a simple point of view... everest has quite a large limestone composition. Most bolts appear in limestone... they're just keeping up with current trend yeah?
TonyG - on 06 May 2009
In reply to UKC News:

Just to add another dimension to the "thin end of the wedge" notion, is there any guarantee that those new bolts won't have vanished under thick ice or snow by the next season? I haven't seen the placements, so can't comment for sure of course, but I'm guessing that it's a big possibility at over 7000m on Everest. So what will they do next season to safeguard the passage of their clients if that happens? Naturally having set the bar this time round, the obvious choice would be to place some more... and so on, and so on. And once it has become commonplace and acceptable to have bolts on the Geneva Spur for fixed ropes, it will be very easy to place some at the top of the Hillary Step for fixed rope. And then one year someone might decide they want the challenge of climbing the Hillary Step free, so let's just add a couple of bolts for protection there. And so on. It's only a few bolts on a huge mountain. It hardly murders the impossible, and it will enhance the experience and success rate for all.

It's unfortunate that this type of thing can only be borne out with time. But if in several decades from now those "ridiculous" scenarios like via ferrattas on Everest, or hotels at EBC or the south col etc... have in fact materialised, then I hope that all the people who felt that these bolts were not important can remember this discussion very clearly.
Nic_Sandy - on 06 May 2009
Hey what does it matter. Everest has become a business and that totally changes the dynamic, kind of like climbing becoming more popular. AS long as these people stay away from the real mountains that are left who cares? You are always going to have to sacrifice something for your sport why not everest, real folk can get their kicks elsewhere

Al Evans on 06 May 2009
In reply to TonyG:
> (In reply to UKC News)
> It's unfortunate that this type of thing can only be borne out with time. But if in several decades from now those "ridiculous" scenarios like via ferrattas on Everest, or hotels at EBC or the south col etc... have in fact materialised, then I hope that all the people who felt that these bolts were not important can remember this discussion very clearly.

Didn't the Japanese build a hotel at base camp, and then helicopter people i, they had to demolish it as some of the unaclimatised people were collapsing and dying.

Al Evans on 06 May 2009
In reply to Al Evans: It wasn't at base camp it was this

"It is important to walk to higher altitudes while you stay two Day in Namche bazaar. There are options here to trek to Khumjung where you can visit the local school and hospital or to Thame village of Sherpa Everest expediters and of the great Everest Sherpa Tenzing Norgay or to airstrip at Shyanboche (3720m), above the airstrip is the Everest view hotel, which was set up by the Japanese to bring affluent tourists into the region for a prime view of Everest. The scheme was brought down by the fact the hotel was at nearly 4000m and many suffere form altitude sickness.
ojp - on 06 May 2009
All the people who are opposed to the work been carried out, the answer is simple.

If you ever try to summit Everest, don’t clip in and see where it gets you after weeks of sleepless nights and lack of oxygen. I think it’ll be a fast pass to the bottom!

Regards

S
Chris the Tall - on 06 May 2009
In reply to johncoxmysteriously:
> Oh for God's sake. You might as well say a few bolts wouldn't make any difference to Right Wall because it will still be strenuous.
>

And you accuse me of half-witted posts !

My point, if you'd bothered to read it before launching into your tirade, was that the method of attachment of fixed rope has virtually no impact upon the guided climber. Is Right Wall already festooned with ladders, fixed ropes and discarded oxygen cylinders. Hardly a valid comparison, is it ?

> presumably you would indeed have no objection to dynamiting the Hillary Step?

I believe the legal term for this is "Reductio ad absurdum". Also known as the "Is that want you want, cos that's what will happen" school of argument.
Alex C on 07 May 2009
In reply to liz j:
> I have better things in life to get angry about than a couple of bolts on a mountain that I have no inclination to climb.

First they came for the Cosmiques Arete and I said nothing, because I don't want to climb the Cosmiques Arete.

Then they came for the overgrown Lake District quarries and I said nothing, because I don't want to climb in overgrown Lake District quarries.

Then they came for Everest and I said nothing, because I don't want to climb Everest...


I'm sure this puts a few people in mind of the Tami Knight cartoon that's entitled "Mountaineering as it would be if the cola-sucking-potato-chip-gobbling-tv-addicted wretches had it their way..."
Andy Stephenson - on 11 May 2009
In reply to UKC News: I don't get the rants.

This Everest route is, as I understand it, a trade route which (like it or not) is used to ferry various non-mountaineers to a high enough position on the mountain that they consider their large cash investment worthwhile. For most ascentionists it's a test of stamina and determination up which they expect to be cajoled and encouraged by their hired guides. After all, if there's a steep bit they'll most likely be climbing a rope so they don't really climb the mountain.

As such, it's already more 'via ferrata' than mountaineering route. So, what's the big deal if some of the anchors are made more solid?
GrahamD - on 11 May 2009
In reply to Andy Stephenson:

Anyone who gets up Everest deserves to be called a mountaineer (albeit not necessarily a good one), guided or not. Cash alone is not enough and it certainly isn't (up until now) a via ferrata.
Andy Stephenson - on 11 May 2009
In reply to GrahamD: Cash, stamina, determination. Good equipment, strength and fitness as well. Not least, good luck. Mountaineering skill? Debatable; it depends on your guide (I'm no expert, however, and I'm sure that many ascentionists qualify to be termed "mountaineer").

But we're not discussing the definition of "mountaineer" here (although if I claim that this is "more via ferrata than mountaineering route" it's because my definition of "mountaineering" contains a strong element of self-reliance and independence). More than the most elementary mountaineering skill appears unnecessary when being guided up this particular Everest route, whether the bolts have been added or not. So I say that this is NOT a via ferrata, but is closer to one in concept, bolts or no bolts, than to a mountaineering route. I'd compare it to the Hörnli Ridge on the Matterhorn, which is regularly climbed by non-mountaineers (as clients of guides). And is covered in artificial aids and safety equipment.
In reply to ojp:

> If you ever try to summit Everest, don’t clip in and see where it gets you after weeks of sleepless nights and lack of oxygen.

Well for Göran Kropp it got him to the summit. He then climbed safely back down the mountain, got back on his bike and cycled home to Sweden. Kropp was no superman, he was just dogged. He showed everyone else how it could be done. Everyone who pulls on the ropes (whether attached to bolts or not) just is lazier than Göran was.
Mick's Daughter - on 14 May 2009
In reply to ojp:
> All the people who are opposed to the work been carried out, the answer is simple.
>
> If you ever try to summit Everest, don’t clip in and see where it gets you after weeks of sleepless nights and lack of oxygen. I think it’ll be a fast pass to the bottom!

I would tend to agree with you but for one thing. Take a look at how many commercial groups are up there at the moment. If you were to do that route independently and find that you're rather slow up that bolted section because you're not using the fixed gear, you're going to create a hell of a traffic jam. I'm not saying you HAVE to use the fixed ropes, just that it might be better to just do a different route and keep away from the masses.

This topic has been archived, and won't accept reply postings.