/ NEWS: More Bolts on Everest plus Mobile Phone Antenna
This year he reports on more bolts being placed and of a new mobile phone antenna...
Read more at http://www.ukclimbing.com/news/item.php?id=53237
I have to say, after reading Dark Shadows Falling, I believe that Everest represents everything wrong with climbing today.
Cliche and predictable but true!
My gut reaction is that it is being "progressively" (i.e. there will be more bolts to come) bolted by certain companies to increase buisness by reducing costs, turn around time and accessibility to clients.
Sherpa's and climbers should accept the danger as part of the intrinsic nature of Everest, and should respect it as a wild environment.
And to pre-answer certain responses;
9 bolts in almost 9000 metres does not make a sports route but where is the line?
Sherpa's do have a right to earn money from their own country, but again where is the line between a few bolts and 20 Starbuck's at base camp?
"Everest is currently considered (rightly or wrongly) a commercial mountain"
And here we have everything that is wrong with the commercialisation of mountaineering. What self-appointed group decided this for the world?
>What self-appointed group decided this for the world?<
The Nepalese government (though naturally they were not self-appointed).
I was on Snowdon at about 8 ish last night, bank holiday monday, and saw very few people and no one on Crib Goch at all.
A stunning mountain
and Kili etc.
I agree, but commercial should mean increased safety, not mod cons. The mountain provides employment and what I would imagine is a fairly substantial income to the country. A few bolts, say under a dozen won't really change the character of the region.
My personal opinion is that a handfull of bolts on everest is nothing compared to the huge amount of rubbish which is regularly left by expeditions. At least the bolts have the function of protecting sherpas and climbers. What does discarded equipment and rubbish do for anyone?
> "Everest is currently considered (rightly or wrongly) a commercial mountain"
> And here we have everything that is wrong with the commercialisation of mountaineering. What self-appointed group decided this for the world?
As Jim points out, it is the decision of the Napalese government, and entirely within their sovereignty to decide the level of commercialisation.
And it's not really appropriate for European, who have allowed their mountains to be littered with bolts, pegs, fixed ropes, fixed cables, cable cars, railways, huts, hotels, military installations etc etc to say that the Nepalese ought to keep their mountains free of such things.
I'm split on this one - I'm 100% behind safeguarding Sherpa's as they're all too often undervalued, but I don't think that bolting is a solution. With reference to Joe Simpson's "Dark Shadows Falling", this only exacerbates the mindless egotism of the inexperienced and wealthy, such as the Japanese team who could barely jumar up fixed ropes. An earlier poster said that a few bolts on the Yellow Band is nothing compared to the flotsam left by commercial expeds - I agree. Before people start banging protection into the mountain, commercial guides should concentrate efforts on cleaning up after themselves before access to the mountains is lost.
As for the phone mast, I'm gobsmacked. Just imagine being amongst the greatest mountain range on earth and the nokia tune rings out.
> As for the phone mast, I'm gobsmacked. Just imagine being amongst the greatest mountain range on earth and the nokia tune rings out.
Why? Phones are part of life. I use mine when on the hill all the time.
As much as it might spoil the remoteness I would find it a pretty cool experience to be able to ring my son and say I was at the top of Everest!
That was not the point of my comment. Their commercialisation is charging people to get on the mountain. Fine, no problem. What has happened is that people who are a proxy for the charge (and make money themselves by guiding etc) are now making decisions about the ethics of the mountain using the commercialisation as a justification. It is that which annoys me.
It's not the Nepalese who have done this... Also, that's a non-argument. This is my personal view - if I could turn back time and ensure the Alps didn't get covered in shite, then I would. However, I can't.
Makes it easier to claim you are 'working from home' as well. :-)
I've got away with an afternoons bouldering, wonder if a 3 month long expedition might be pushing it too far.... :)
Maybe they could make the whole Yellow Band a high level Via Ferrata!
Why is bolting Everest worse than bolting a limestone cliff back in the UK?
Bolting Everest is arguably more ethical than the bolting of sport crags back home. Reducing the risk for sherpas helps entire communities (ie the Sherpas survive and continue to support their families financially) whereas you could regard the bolting of sport climbing crags as entirely unnecessary...
Even if we ignore the sherpa's safety argument, why is their so much interest when it's Everest that's being bolted? I don't imagine their are many popular mountains in the Alps with less than 9 bolts!
I don't know where I stand with the bolts argument as a whole but I don't understand why Everest receives so much more attention on these matters. After all, does it being the tallest make it any more special than alot of smaller mountains?
Discarded equipment and rubbish does not increase traffic. Bolts do.
> Discarded equipment and rubbish does not increase traffic. Bolts do.
I really dont think some bolts will make everest more busy. It is hardly via ferrata.
> It is hardly via ferrata.
Not yet it aint...
> I really dont think some bolts will make everest more busy. It is hardly via ferrata.
Following fixed lines from base camp to summit is almost the definition of via ferrata!
Lack of fixed pro doesn't kill people on everest, cold and altitude does.
Lets get back to pure values, a time when men were men and we treated sherpas according to traditional british imperial values.
Run up the flag and fetch me my afternoon gin and tonic, there's a good chap.
To most Nepalese, Tibetans, Chinese etc., the mountains are a sacred place - so much so that many Sherpas refuse to cook meat and drink alcohol whilst on the mountain,and as such their Gods will not look favourably upon them. We, as visitors should respect their beliefs and not spoil their homeland and offend their religions for our convenience. Enough damage has been done with the O2 bottles, tents, corpses left behind by western commercial treks - more should be done to clean up the mess already left behind.
> To most Nepalese, Tibetans, Chinese etc., the mountains are a sacred place
To many Sherpas, the mountains are a way of making a living.
James. There is as much eastern expeditions as western ones up there and likewise garbage.
As for religious issues, the death of one Sherpa due to peg failure trumps all, plus don't feel sorry for Sherpas, they exploit the rich - not the other way round (I wonder how long it took for people to stop feeling sorry for the exploited zermatt guides?).
> And here we have everything that is wrong with the commercialisation of mountaineering. What self-appointed group decided this for the world?
That's an interesting question. It seems to me the central problem of Everest is excessive popularity. And the root cause of that seems to be the evolved delusion in the media that guided ascents of summits have some genuine credibility.
If Geoffrey Ginormous-Bonus on sabbatical from Goldman Sachs had it made clear to him by serious mountaineers that any hypothetical ascent of Everest, that he might be able to buy for himself, was less of any accomplishment than a couple of teenagers surviving their first season in Chamonix, then he would go away and put his money down for Virgin Galactic, or some other more straightforward act of ego-stroking. But serious mountaineers are making too much of a buck out of the Everest gravy-train to do that. As are most of the climbing media.
Credibility with whom? Everest is known because it's the highest mountain in the world. That's all the mainstream media knows or cares about. Why on Earth should they care about a bunch of anoraks who seem to think there's a hierarchy in the quality of ascents?
Geoffrey Ginormous-Bonus honestly doesn't give a stuff about two teenagers in Chamonix - why should he? He wants to climb the highest mountain in the world. That's all there is to it.
Well that's well worth sacrificing our principles for.
Can I bolt Time For Tea, that top bit looks quite scary. If it was bolted I wouldn't have chickened out like I did last time. Then I could ring my wife from the top and tell her I'd just done my first E3. How cool would that be!
Yawn yawn yawn. The old Everest bashing crew comes out again.
You see, guided ascents of Everest do hold quite a large amount of credibility in 99.99% with the paying public. Part of the 0.01% who don't, include angry keyboard bashers on UKC who clearly put themselves in the category of (in your words) 'serious mountaineers' (to which I assume you consider yourself to be part of). Where can I join this elite group? Do they meet every quarter to snigger at Everest attempts and toss each other off to stories of climbing E5s, or maybe the time they lived off beans for a full season in the Alps, with only 3 Francs in their pocket and a homemade harness made from their mother's hair?
I've been up a few 8000ers, guided and unguided and trust me, surviving my first season in Chamonix as a teenager didn't compare to the emotional, physical and metal challenge of hauling my arse up an 8000er.
I speak from experience. I can only assume you don't.
> 'serious mountaineers' (to which I assume you consider yourself to be part of).
You do like to jump in with both feet when it comes to dishing out abuse (I've just read some of your other posts ands there's definitely a theme developing). Seems like your cruisin' for a "fight" whenever you get the chance.
Not that I'm accusing you personaly of poor ethics as I've no idea in what style you climbed your 8000ers.
"...toss each other off to stories of climbing E5s, or maybe the time they lived off beans for a full season in the Alps, with only 3 Francs in their pocket and a homemade harness made from their mother's hair?"
There's always a smile on my face when I type. Maybe I should do more smileys. I don't mean to be terse and abrupt :) :-D
they (Sherpas) exploit the rich
Can you expand on this? I always assumed they were getting paid to do a job.
Glad somebody is...
Are you with Alex Huber on the minimum wage for Sherpas?
> Yawn yawn yawn. The old Everest bashing crew comes out again.
There are actually some valid points being made here, not just Everest-bashing.
That statement pretty much embodies why Everest has become a commercial mountain - it has become a trophy for people who can afford it rather than the great mountaineering challenge which it once was. It sounds like a place full of people who want to have climbed it rather than people who actually want to climb it (I'm obviously making a sweeping generalisation there).
I'm under no delusions that climbing an 8000er is easy by any means, and I'm sure it is a fantastic experience for those who choose to attempt one, but my problem with it is that climbing on Everest seems to have become so detached from many of the things which make climbing and mountaineering so great; adventure, decision-making, independence, self-reliance, commitment, ethics, respect for the mountain etc etc.
In all honesty though, we may as well accept that Everest is monopolised by commercial expeditions and is no longer a "mountaineer's mountain", so it makes perfect sense to put bolts there if it makes things safer for all concerned.
What on earth does this mean? Please expand a little.
There. You've hit the nail on the head. Has it not occurred to you that some people may wish to attempt an 8000er just for the pleasure of doing so. You know, doing something without worrying if it's a 'true' mountaineering experience (whatever that means) or worrying if you'll get the respect off 'real' mountaineers (again, whatever that means), is actually quite enjoyable. Like a lot of things in life, people work hard to put themselves in a position to afford and take the time to do things they want to do. Being guided up Everest may be one of those things.
Anyone who thinks that hauling themselves up a relatively untechnical 8000m peak (such as Everest) is the greatest climbing achievement on earth is clearly deluded. But the resentment that people have for Everest climbers is just ridiculous.
One of the problems people have with guided Everest clients is that they can afford to blow between 10k-25k on what is essentially a holiday. They normally have money - lots of it. This is where the root of the resentment lies.
Please remove that chip from your shoulder. The resentment is for how some of those organising guided expeditions are dragging the mountain down to a certain level to make their (and their clients') lives easier.
Balls. I couldn't care less if somebody has £1 or £100M.
> >. It sounds like a place full of people who want to have climbed it rather than people who actually want to climb it
> What on earth does this mean? Please expand a little.
Lots of people would enjoy saying they have climbed X (where X is a route/wall/mountain) but would not actually enjoy the process of climbing it. They would rather the experience were in the past than the present. Usually X will be a well-known objective to their peers. It's an ego thing.
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