/ Is this the future of mountaineering.........

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SimonHolloway1 - on 25 May 2012
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-beds-bucks-herts-18199899

I'm not in any way trying to diminish Leanna's achievement, she is a lot more hardcore than I am, but I cant help but notice one particular section and feel a little sickened that this is what modern mountaineering has come to:

"there were quite a few bodies attached to the fixed lines and we had to walk round them...there were a couple who were still alive".

This is just like with David Sharp's death in 2006 on everest, where loads of people walked straight past him, and only a couple of people (Russell Brice and a couple of sherpas) attempted to help.

I have never been to high altitude and I will accept that at that height, rescue is very difficult. But the fact that Everest has now become so bastardised and those that pay to climb it are so disgustingly obsessed is weird!

I always thought mountaineering is done out of enjoyment of the mountains, but from this behaviour it does seem that the parties are too gung-ho and selfish. Is a summit picture to brag about when they get back to their office job SO important that they forget about their fellow human beings?! I'm not even sure what a client could do to help.....but maybe that is the problem? Should the leaders help?

If any of us were leading a group up the Clogwyn y Person arete, and we came across someone needing help, would we just climb past because the group had paid to get to the summit? No! I'm sure some smart arse will comment saying that the situations are not the same, but I think that the principle is the same.

In an article for the New Zealand Herald Sir Edmund Hillary described this attitude of leaving people dying on Everest as “horrifying”, in the same article Graham Dingle is says “...the tradition of always helping a fellow mountaineer in trouble is being overtaken by ambition and the large sums of money tied up in any climb of the mountain. People who should not be on the mountain were now climbing it…”

What do other people think?

Simon
goose299 - on 25 May 2012
In reply to SimonHolloway1:
Hear hear! Completely agree!
A human life is worth so much more than the picture and let's face it, who can have a sense of satisfaction when they know they did it by potentially leavin someone to die.
Escher - on 25 May 2012
In reply to SimonHolloway1: I think 'horrifying' sums it up. How proud they must be! As you say only a very few years ago there was a scandal about leaving someone to die. And yet this season it seems to be part of the game. What comes next? Is there no thought for the poor soul who is dying? Even if it is just 'that could be me, would I want to be trudged past, if it was me lying there dying?"
tistimetogo on 25 May 2012
In reply to SimonHolloway1:

Agree with you completely.
Except for
"not in any way trying to diminish Leanna's achievement"
How can it not?
NottsRich on 25 May 2012
In reply to Escher: I do hope she has been mis-quoted there. Something like "There were quite a few bodies attached to the fixed lines and we had to walk round them [whilst they were being rescued]" and "There were a couple who were still alive [and in the process of being rescued]"
In reply to NottsRich:
> I do hope she has been mis-quoted there. Something like "There were quite a few bodies attached to the fixed lines and we had to walk round them [whilst they were being rescued]" and "There were a couple who were still alive [and in the process of being rescued]"

Totally agree. I normally just ignore all the Everest stuff but this sounds terrible. In the UK, if you left a scene of an accident without doing anything to help, isn't it actually a crime?

I don't want to say this is an exact parallel, but going round dying people to go climbing for the day - how do you end up in that mindset?

speekingleesh - on 25 May 2012
In reply to TobyA:
> Totally agree. I normally just ignore all the Everest stuff but this sounds terrible. In the UK, if you left a scene of an accident without doing anything to help, isn't it actually a crime?
>
In France yes, but AFAIK the UK doesn't have such a law (though there was talk of introducing it).
blob737 - on 25 May 2012
In reply to SimonHolloway1: not often that i like to stick my head in to these debates, but i have to agree that what is quoted is horrific, and completely against the mindset of a person who is doing a sport we all recognise as dangerous, and therefore helping others, particularly in times of emergency etc has to be top priority. I think id get 1000% more satisfaction knowing that i might have saved someones life/or put them to rest where they died if that is the case, than selfishly summited and grabbed a quick facebook profile. If people are dying on the fixed ropes which are put up to make it easier for them to climb, then they are clearly not of the aptitude/experience yet to attempt a feat like everest. Surely before you decide to do everest you should be prepared for it as if the fixed ropes arent there/fail on the way. I completely agree with your comment in the op about people who shouldnt be climbing on the mountain now being there. The reasons are purely financial - if one ego-tistic office man decides it will impress everyone around him to have a photo up there, and is willing to pay enough for the pleasure, he goes right to the top of the list whereas the people who should be there are the ones who have trained for years, with imense experience of all sorts of climbing. The system to allow people on the mountain should be changed.
JayPee630 - on 25 May 2012
In reply to blob737:

Totally DOES diminish her achievement IMO, it's disgusting behaviour and she should be ashamed and given suitable short shrift from all climbers and mountaineers, as should those that guided her.
blob737 - on 25 May 2012
In reply to speekingleesh:
> (In reply to TobyA)
> [...]
> In France yes, but AFAIK the UK doesn't have such a law (though there was talk of introducing it).

and speekingleesh - i dont think there is a law which specifically states that, but i belive if you are found to have left the scene of an accident, in a position that you could have helped/stopped it, then you become assistant to the accident and therefore if the accident is a crime, you have assisted in the crime, and if the person involve died, then you become an assistant to whatever caused the death. Im not sure weather it would apply though to an accident that had no criminal nature, and you just happened to pass a bloke dying on the other side of the road. I would assume though that you have a duty to do something to prevent the persons 'right to life' being breached, and therefore would have commited an offence yourself by not doing anything.
Milesy - on 25 May 2012
In reply to SimonHolloway1:
> "there were quite a few bodies attached to the fixed lines and we had to walk round them...there were a couple who were still alive".

I won't say much about the quote until I see it in its full context and in full but I at a glance I think think that is disgusting.

> This is just like with David Sharp's death in 2006 on everest, where loads of people walked straight past him, and only a couple of people (Russell Brice and a couple of sherpas) attempted to help.

You might want to research a little deeper into the David Sharp incident. Brice's team which included the New Zealand amputee guy who lost his legs on Mount Cook actually acknowledged David Sharp and his condition on the way *UP*, decided that they couldn't do anything for him and then continuing ascending. The discovery channel program was edited to make it look like they only found him on the way down which was untrue.

Be quiet though - you are not allowed to have an opinion on the Everest Circus here unless you have done it yourself or as someone might know someone who's dog was walked by someone who knows someone who is going for the summit and they are brave, ambitious and doing it for a good cause.
Milesy - on 25 May 2012
Just to add a note. Look into the Lincoln Hall incident and it has shown that rescue on Everest with team work is possible if people are willing to pitch and ditch their summit attempts.
Wesley Orvis - on 25 May 2012
In reply to SimonHolloway1:

I'm not in any way trying to diminish Leanna's achievement

I am, it's absolutely disgusting and offensive, every time i hear one of these Everest stories it makes me sick. Sorry but even just spending time with that person so they don't die alone would be enough to cancel my summit attempt, not that i would want to climb Everest anyways with the circus show that's going on. If you have summited Everest and walked past bodies that are still alive without helping you are scum in my book and i hope the same fait awaits you.

Ban oxygen apart from for emergencies and simple only real mounatineers will attempt the summit of Everest!!!!!
radson - on 25 May 2012
In reply to Milesy:

yeah pitch in and the person can walk.
Milesy - on 25 May 2012
In reply to radson:
> (In reply to Milesy)
>
> yeah pitch in and the person can walk.

I assume you are being sarcastic there. The excuse that they can't walk so nothing can be done is not exactly hard science. The people summitting are not medically qualified to determine that someone can not walk or that they will be unable to move down. Lincoln Hall was deemed unable to walk but walk he did and made a full recovery.
Bobz - on 25 May 2012
In reply to SimonHolloway1: An absolute disgrace !!!! I hope that she and all the others who walked past a dying person(s) sit down with themselves and re-evaluate what they have done (I don't say achieve as it inappropriate)At best I would say their ascent is flawed. I also beleive that the commercial companies bear some responsibility and should make more of an effort to rescue injured or dying peoples. If ANY member of a commercial expedition should fall into trouble then the whole focus of ALL peoples on the mountain should be to help. If need be to bring down a body. There is a lot of talk about rubbish being left on Everest and the occasional 'clean-up' expeditions. Why not show some compassion and bring down the bodies of those who have perished, they are someones husband / wife / son / daughter etc
GrahamD - on 25 May 2012
In reply to Wesley Orvis:

I suspect that Doug Scott, Dougal Haston, Chris Bonnington, Edmund Hilary will be dissapointed that they no longer qualify as mountaineers.
Lord_ash2000 - on 25 May 2012
In reply to SimonHolloway1: IT does say on like the next line ""Our Sherpa helped one of the people but a couple were so far gone they didn't even know we were there. It was the most horrendous thing to see."

So the guide did make an effort. The clients they are taking up are little more than baggage, not much use in a rescue
Ron Kenyon - on 25 May 2012
In reply to SimonHolloway1:

Just come back from Nepal after a trip with Mera Peak and up to Gorek Shep - not quite Everest but a great view point. I saw a film in Namche Bazaar of the 2008 Everest season about the sherpas but also showed the number of folk, crowds and queues on Everest - there were I believe a 1000 people at Everest Base Camp - and it looked more like the path up Snowdon or Ben Nevis on the route up the Lhotse Face with the queues.

The sherpas basically rigged the mountain - climbers ready in base camp - and when conditions allowed they are off (not sure if some blows a whistle or fires a gun).

They have paid their $60000 or what ever and the summit is in folks' vision. It seems to be someone else's job to look after the dying.

The filmed showed that without the sherpas most ascents would not happen - they are great guys - we had a great team with our group - however sadly they are also in the firing line as well - especially in the Khumbu icefall. We have sadly heard recently of the death of some of the climbers - however was there mention, in the media (I was out there), of four sherpas being killed in the icefall at about the beginning of May. The weather turned bad at that time and some of the expeditions gave up.

Would I climb Everest - it would eb great to follow in the footsteps of Tenzing, Hillary etc - but with all those people - no thank you.

I have not climbed Mt Blanc or the Matterhorn - perhaps for the same reason (though money and time is another aspect for Everest) - fancy skiing Mt Blanc sometime though.

Everest does make a lot of money for many - and especially the local sherpas. It attracts a mix of people and it is stuck with being the "biggest" and all that brings with it.
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In reply to Will:

I normally do not criticise individuals but she is such an egoist, for me (and i assume most) mountaineering is a personal thing. She is only young so perhaps she will reflect and I hope she does
GrahamD - on 25 May 2012
In reply to SimonHolloway1:

I for one am not getting on my high horse about this one. I've never been in remotely this situation to know for sure how I'd react.

All I would say is that experience has shown just how frighteningly thin the veneer of humanity is. I suspect that the majority of wartime attrocities are committed by otherwise ordinary people.
Bellie - on 25 May 2012
In reply to Lord_ash2000: Something doesn't add up here. I may be missing something but according to the report on Outside, four confirmed deaths - al of which were confirmed dead on or around the 19th.

If Leanne summited on the 24th... how could the bodies have been 'from the day before' and how could two have been alive.

Has there been more deaths we are unaware of?

Neil Williams - on 25 May 2012
In reply to GrahamD:

"I've never been in remotely this situation to know for sure how I'd react."

There is that. When you get in a genuinely scary situation often adrenaline takes over which often makes you look after yourself first. That said, the description given sounds pretty calm.

Many mountaineering books seem to refer to finding people who are alive but at such a high altitude are beyond help, though.

So I would agree with you that I have no idea how I would react. But what I read about Everest etc makes me want to stick to lower-level stuff.

Neil
Bellie - on 25 May 2012
In reply to Bellie: Ah it says she summitted on the 20th. Still confused by the claims there were some still alive, which goes against the report from Outside.
fxceltic on 25 May 2012
In reply to SimonHolloway1:

agree with everyone elses comments, on face value.

However I note she is also claiming the 7 summits (according to her spokesperson and bbc), which isnt true as she hasnt climbed Carstenz pyramid, just Kozciusckzo. The latter option is entirely disengenuous in terms of the highest mountain on each continent.
itsThere on 25 May 2012
In reply to NottsRich: a year from now at uni, someone will have a few too many and ask the blunt question "how can you just walk past" hope she has been mis-quoted and there is more too it than the bbc will print.
Furanco C - on 25 May 2012
In reply to SimonHolloway1:

Why pay 40 grand to go and climb Everest, when you can go climb something far harder, mor inspiring and completely untouched at Danby Crag? People need their heads looking at.

What a joke.
Orgsm on 25 May 2012
In reply to SimonHolloway1:

Bonatti said (translated version in mountains of my life)

"Our lives relfect our intolerance, our insensitivity, our egoism, our lack of integrity. We lament that things are going badly, but in the final analysis we ourselves are resposible, all of us: we are like so many drops of water making up an ocean....

What should we hope for in that "new world" to which we often refer in our well-meaning discussions? To my mind we should hope we have learned our lessons, and will dust off once more those values we have wrongly thought outmoded. We must become ever more human and more moral, if we wish to survive in the "new world" we alone have created, for ourselves....

"

We could learn much from Bonatti
Wesley Orvis - on 25 May 2012
In reply to GrahamD:
> (In reply to Wesley Orvis)
>
> I suspect that Doug Scott, Dougal Haston, Chris Bonnington, Edmund Hilary will be dissapointed that they no longer qualify as mountaineers.

Do you just search this forum to insult anything i put on here? please change your profile picture so i can recognise you, cause if i ever meet you on the hill i will be having serious words and i will be leaving you in a worse state than a night on Everest will.

fxceltic on 25 May 2012
In reply to Wesley Orvis:
> (In reply to GrahamD)
> [...]
>
> Do you just search this forum to insult anything i put on here? please change your profile picture so i can recognise you, cause if i ever meet you on the hill i will be having serious words and i will be leaving you in a worse state than a night on Everest will.

nice.

Im not sure the post deserved that kind of response.
Sir Chasm - on 25 May 2012
In reply to Wesley Orvis: Yay! Internet hardman strikes again. Take that.
Wesley Orvis - on 25 May 2012
In reply to fxceltic:
> (In reply to Wesley Orvis)
> [...]
>
> nice.
>
> Im not sure the post deserved that kind of response.


No maybe not but i don't think i have put a comment on here over the last few year's without this prat insulting something i have said and he is becoming extremely annoying.
Simon Caldwell - on 25 May 2012
In reply to GrahamD:
> I for one am not getting on my high horse about this one. I've never been in remotely this situation to know for sure how I'd react.

Ditto.

Extreme altitude can do strange things to your mind. Of course we all happily sit here behind our keyboards safe in the knowledge that we'd stop to help carry the bodies down - and on Snowdon we all would. Is everyone certain that they'd do the same on Everest when suffering from altitude and oxygen starvation? I'd like to think I would, but it's quite possible I wouldn't (even ignoring the financial aspects).
Wesley Orvis - on 25 May 2012
In reply to Sir Chasm:
> (In reply to Wesley Orvis) Yay! Internet hardman strikes again. Take that.

Like

RockShock on 25 May 2012
In reply to Toreador:

Apparently, some have the guts to do it: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-18204231
GrahamD - on 25 May 2012
In reply to Wesley Orvis:

> Do you just search this forum to insult anything i put on here?

Don't flatter yourself.

I have a dig at anyone who is spouting bollocks.
Kid Spatula - on 25 May 2012
In reply to Wesley Orvis:

I used to be uptight, bad tempered, very irritable and stressed but after finding mountains all this has changed,I and am now very calm relaxed and fun to be around. If i ain't walking or climbing in them, i am looking out at them from my window.

Ring a bell? Ooh the irony!
Simon Caldwell - on 25 May 2012
Bjartur i Sumarhus on 25 May 2012
In reply to Ron Kenyon: "when conditions allowed they are off (not sure if some blows a whistle or fires a gun)."

High 5 for making me laugh :-)))

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Bjartur i Sumarhus on 25 May 2012
In reply to Toreador: and a high 5 for you too

"My stock answer is to point out that I’m a climber and that Everest isn’t a climb, but a walk. This usually gets the person at the other end a bit confused and flustered as they check their notes. “Yes” I usually continue “If you have to step over a dead body half way up then it’s classed as walk. On real climbs the bodies fall to the bottom”.

winhill - on 25 May 2012
In reply to SimonHolloway1:

Contrast and compare?

An Israeli mountaineer abandoned his climb to the summit of Mount Everest, 300 meters away from the peak, in order to help an injured Turkish climber.

Had he chosen to complete his ascent, 24-year-old Nadav Ben-Yahuda would have become the youngest Israeli to reach Everest’s summit, the Jerusalem Post reported on its website.

Ben-Yahuda said he and his Sherpa guide saw a friend he had made at the base camp, 46-year-old Turkish-New Yorker Aydin Irmak, lying unconcsious on an icy ridge during the climb. “When we saw my friend Aydin there was no question,” Ben-Yahuda said as reported by Sharon Udasin of Jerusalem Post.

Ben-Yahuda lifted Irmak over his shoulder and began an eight-hour descend to Camp IV, without gloves and an oxygen mask as his had broken earlier.

The minus 40 degree Celcius cold left severe burns on both men's faces and Ben-Yahuda's ungloved fingers suffered frostbite and may need to be amputated, he said. The men eventually reached Camp IV and were evacuated by a helicopter.


Although this report isn't clear, he sounds like he was ascending, without gloves (or he left the gloves behind) and oxygen, 300m from the summit then simply shouldered the guy and walked down. mmm...

http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/israeli-man-gives-up-quest-to-reach-everest-summit-to-save-turkish-...

It's made the news cos dem joos and dem turks hate each other.
Joe G - on 25 May 2012
In reply to Toreador:

That's a good bit of writing, but the funniest thing is that despite all the naughty words in Andy's article my work computer still let me view it, but when I tried clicking on the other blog (that lass who got to the top of Everest) my computer gave me the following message:

Access has been blocked because:
Tru-View has categorised this page as Offensive & Tasteless
speekingleesh - on 25 May 2012
In reply to blob737:
>
> and speekingleesh - i dont think there is a law which specifically states that, but i belive if you are found to have left the scene of an accident, in a position that you could have helped/stopped it, then you become assistant to the accident and therefore i...

Again I'm pretty sure this isn't the case. You need to show that the bystander had a duty of care towards the injured party and, short of a few specific cases, there is no assumed duty of care between you and the man on the street.
AlH - on 25 May 2012
In reply to Joe G: Wow artificial intelligence gets it right!
Simon Caldwell - on 25 May 2012
In reply to winhill:
> Contrast and compare?

I guess the main difference is that the Israeli stopped to help a friend, the dying people that Ms Shuttleworth passed by were strangers.
Calder - on 25 May 2012
In reply to Lord_ash2000:
> (In reply to SimonHolloway1) IT does say on like the next line ""Our Sherpa helped one of the people but a couple were so far gone they didn't even know we were there. It was the most horrendous thing to see."
>
> So the guide did make an effort. The clients they are taking up are little more than baggage, not much use in a rescue

But they were still alive. It's pretty obvious what these people they decided was more important. And it's not human life.

When I erad The Villain years ago, the story that stuck most in my head was the one where he turned around about 200m from the summit of some Russian mountain because his partner was seriously flaking out from the altitude. He said he could have bagged the summit easily and been back within 30 minutes, but he didn't. So it's also pretty clear which he thought more important - and to me, Whillans got it right.
HAL 9000 on 25 May 2012 - cpc1-runc3-0-0-cust441.1-3.cable.virginmedia.com
In reply to SimonHolloway1:

There's been a few threads about this and some calling for 'true' mountaineers to boycott this mountain. I reckon we should just change our perspectives and objectives of the sport. I propose a new sport called Rescueering. The object is to wait at the foot of any 8000m peak and wait specifically for when some dipshit gets themselves in trouble. Then you Rescueer to the top as quick as possible and perform the fastest rescue. The race will be on for the first solo summit rescue from Everest with no oxygen. Obviously every one in the Rescueering community will know that a solo summit rescue from K2 (without oxygen)is harder.

Let's face it, there are 14 year olds climbing Everest now and they're only going to get younger. There'll be pregnant women giving birth on the summit one day.(Oh dear have i just given someone an idea?)Now that would make Rescueering history?!

You heard it here first. Rescueering. Any body wish to join my new Rescueering Mountain Club?
SimonHolloway1 - on 25 May 2012
when i say i dont want to diminish her achievement, i mean being the youngest woman to do all 7 summits. Thats pretty hardcore
Bobz - on 25 May 2012
In reply to SimonHolloway1: if my dad had paid for my expeditions I could have done that. as he didnt and is a tight wad I have completed none of the 7 summits.
loopyone on 25 May 2012 - 10.7.86.161 [v2035.eth0.proxy01.pf2.sxgfl.ifl.net]
In reply to SimonHolloway1: It is hard to believe this young womans callous behaviour and the way she is using the fact that people were dying to 'elevate her achievement'
SimonHolloway1 - on 25 May 2012
In reply to Will: haha true, what i mean though is that this thread isnt a complete dig at her other summits, just more at this attitude of summit bagging that has crept into himalayan mountaineering
MJ - on 25 May 2012
In reply to HAL 9000:

Any body wish to join my new Rescueering Mountain Club?

Would you only rescue a live one, or would any body do?
Wesley Orvis - on 25 May 2012
In reply to HAL 9000:

Hahaha quality love it!!!!
Bobz - on 25 May 2012
In reply to SimonHolloway1: i agree. just thought i would mention how my parents have let me down
SimonHolloway1 - on 25 May 2012
In reply to Will: hahah my parents dont like all "that stuff" and dont like me doing it......i doubt they would consider paying for my crazy dreams
fxceltic on 25 May 2012
In reply to SimonHolloway1:
> when i say i dont want to diminish her achievement, i mean being the youngest woman to do all 7 summits. Thats pretty hardcore

she hasnt done all 7 summits. She hasnt done carstenz pyramid
HAL 9000 on 25 May 2012 - cpc1-runc3-0-0-cust441.1-3.cable.virginmedia.com
In reply to MJ:

That's one of the questions the RMC will ask in it's interview of prospective members. In the RMC a rescue is a rescue - live or dead.
victorclimber - on 25 May 2012
In reply to SimonHolloway1: I have said for many years ,the rise in so called Adventure Holidays ,yes and climbing walls ,and I do use them to great enjoyment,,Magazines and the cult of the celebrity climber ,and Boulderer,have all added to people wanting to get to the Top ..Everest is now a farce ,but Money talks and so it will continue to be so.
summitjunkie - on 25 May 2012
In reply to SimonHolloway1:
> when i say i dont want to diminish her achievement, i mean being the youngest woman to do all 7 summits. Thats pretty hardcore

...not if you're being guided (or as appears the case for many of these 'youngest to climb Everest' types, being for all intents and purposes winched up) and have everything paid for by daddy. Real mountaineering it ain't!
SimonHolloway1 - on 25 May 2012
In reply to summitjunkie: true
Tyler - on 25 May 2012
In reply to SimonHolloway1:

I find the attitudes on here a bit strange in that the survivors are portrayed as callous, egotistists with more money than sense whilst those that die are hapless victims, trampled underfoot by grasping capatalists when in fact they are all the same really. Fate doesn't filter out the good and the bad and those that die would probably do the same as those that don't in similar circumstances.

If you go to Everest and attempt to summit during one of the 'windows' you are 99% certain to pass someone in difficulty, if you decide before you go, that you will help such a person you go out to Everest pretty certan you will fail so surely if you want a realisitc chance of summiting you've got to go thinking you will not help anyone. Similarly, people must go out accepting that can't expect rescue by the rest of the peak baggers and sponsored walkers there. Like 'real' mountaineers they are on their own, surely that self reliance is to be applauded?
EeeByGum - on 25 May 2012
In reply to SimonHolloway1:

> I always thought mountaineering is done out of enjoyment of the mountains

When you aren't a mountaineer but have paid tens of thousands of dollars for the opportunity to reach the summit of the world's highest point, enjoyment doesn't come into it.
Simon Caldwell - on 25 May 2012
In reply to victorclimber:
There were no climbing walls or adventure holidays when I was a kid, but I always wanted to climb Everest. Probably Blue Peter's fault.

As soon as I started mountaineering and found out what was involved in terms of financial outlay and objective danger, it lost its appeal.
fxceltic on 25 May 2012
In reply to Tyler:
> (In reply to SimonHolloway1)
>
> I find the attitudes on here a bit strange in that the survivors are portrayed as callous, egotistists with more money than sense whilst those that die are hapless victims, trampled underfoot by grasping capatalists when in fact they are all the same really. Fate doesn't filter out the good and the bad and those that die would probably do the same as those that don't in similar circumstances.
>
> If you go to Everest and attempt to summit during one of the 'windows' you are 99% certain to pass someone in difficulty, if you decide before you go, that you will help such a person you go out to Everest pretty certan you will fail so surely if you want a realisitc chance of summiting you've got to go thinking you will not help anyone. Similarly, people must go out accepting that can't expect rescue by the rest of the peak baggers and sponsored walkers there. Like 'real' mountaineers they are on their own, surely that self reliance is to be applauded?

Telling yourself that you dont "expect" rescue prior to the event is not that relevant.
For starters, if you were thinking you might need rescuing before you even go then you probably shouldnt be going at all.
Second, if you are in difficulty people should still stop and help, because its the right thing to do, whether you expect it or not. I bet when youre dying up there your attitude probably shifts a little.

The stuff about not expecting rescue, theres nothing that can be done at that attitude etc is the stuff people tell themselves in order to justify their actions that will achieve whatever their goals are (in this case summitting). Much of these justifications have been disproved a number of times over the last 20 years of commercial activity on everest.

Even if you cant save them, theres a huge gap between stepping over them and rescuing them where a little compassion could go a long way.
francois - on 25 May 2012
In reply to SimonHolloway1: I actually want to diminish her achievement! People who don't stop to help injured/dying climbers might achieve the summit but somehow fail in their moral duty of care towards other human beings. I find it pretty hard to respect that attitude. Let's hope she more compassionate with the animals in her care in her future career.

thommi - on 25 May 2012
In reply to Tyler: Oh yes, self reliance over morality everytime. I mean where would we be if people actually gave a shit about each other? The world'd be a mess. Oh, hang on. :-(
johncoxmysteriously - on 25 May 2012
In reply to SimonHolloway1:
> when i say i dont want to diminish her achievement, i mean being the youngest woman to do all 7 summits. Thats pretty hardcore

No it's not. It's look-at-me wankery, involving mainly the expenditure of money and fossil fuels.

jcm
Calder - on 25 May 2012
In reply to fxceltic:
> (In reply to Tyler)
> [...]
>
> Telling yourself that you dont "expect" rescue prior to the event is not that relevant.
> For starters, if you were thinking you might need rescuing before you even go then you probably shouldnt be going at all.
> Second, if you are in difficulty people should still stop and help, because its the right thing to do, whether you expect it or not. I bet when youre dying up there your attitude probably shifts a little.
>
> The stuff about not expecting rescue, theres nothing that can be done at that attitude etc is the stuff people tell themselves in order to justify their actions that will achieve whatever their goals are (in this case summitting). Much of these justifications have been disproved a number of times over the last 20 years of commercial activity on everest.
>
> Even if you cant save them, theres a huge gap between stepping over them and rescuing them where a little compassion could go a long way.

^^ A much better written version of what I wanted to say.
Bellie - on 25 May 2012
summitjunkie - on 25 May 2012
In reply to Bellie:
> (In reply to SimonHolloway1)
>
> Saw this posted on Outdoors Magic.
>
> http://www.planetmountain.com/english/News/shownews1.lasso?l=2&keyid=39597

A very interesting bit of the interview with Simone Moro - very pertinent to the current discussion:

"Perhaps I was mistaken in not calling them alpinists. Probably they are or they think they are, but I'm astonished every time I see people who don't know how use a jumar, how to open and move it. I'm amazed when I see people who need help in putting on crampons, who are given a hand by Sherpa to walk along a ledge to have a crap. In short, none of these things are new here on Everest, these are the people who pay, who provide a living for the Sherpa, agencies, lodges and helicopters."
fxceltic on 25 May 2012
In reply to johncoxmysteriously:
> (In reply to SimonHolloway1)
> [...]
> when i say i dont want to diminish her achievement, i mean being the youngest woman to do all 7 summits. Thats pretty hardcor
>
> No it's not. It's look-at-me wankery, involving mainly the expenditure of money and fossil fuels.
>
> jcm

and I repeat, she has not done the 7 summits as she has not climbed carstenz, which in many respects is the hardest of the 7.

Tyler - on 25 May 2012
In reply to fxceltic:

> Even if you cant save them, theres a huge gap between stepping over them and rescuing them where a little compassion could go a long way.

But if compassion isn't going to help why bother blowing £50k and the chance of a life time for a few platitudes. What's really required is a professional rescue service on the mountain payed for out of the peak fee, that way the tourists could do what they do best (put some money into the local economy) and rescue could be left to the experts. The issue then would become that clueless people's attitudes would become even more ambivalent to the risks and push themselves deeper into trouble assuming they'll be rescued. D
Milesy - on 25 May 2012
There is a major difference between two scenarios:

1. Two people are making their way down in difficulties and one gets into trouble, and one has no choice but to leave the second behind to save theirself. That is self preservation and the force of that is millions of years of evolution.

2. Someone is making their way UP the way, and passes someone in difficulty. If you have several hours to spend continuing ascending to the summit and back then you have more than enough energy to attempt to help the troubled person in some way. Even helping them get down a couple of hundred metres might be enough to give them life. It many documented expeditions mountaineers have recovered from the brink of death by descending just a short distance below.
Bjartur i Sumarhus on 25 May 2012
In reply to Calder:In reply to fxceltic:
"I bet when youre dying up there your attitude probably shifts a little."

Agree...it's all a bit "no athiests in the fox hole" for me.
fxceltic on 25 May 2012
In reply to Tyler: stopping with compassion in mind could in turn lead to people realising rescue is possible or the person isnt as bad as feared, more people may then live, or least not die alone.

In reality I think people would get more from that when they look back on the trip than summitting, even if they didnt think it at the time.

to paraphrase, bad stuff happens when good people do nothing.
doz generale - on 25 May 2012
In reply to Bellie:
> (In reply to Lord_ash2000) Something doesn't add up here. I may be missing something but according to the report on Outside, four confirmed deaths - al of which were confirmed dead on or around the 19th.
>
> If Leanne summited on the 24th... how could the bodies have been 'from the day before' and how could two have been alive.
>
> Has there been more deaths we are unaware of?

Perhaps the people she saw that were still alive were rescued by another party?
summitjunkie - on 25 May 2012
In reply to Tyler:
> (In reply to fxceltic)
>
> [...]
>
> But if compassion isn't going to help why bother blowing £50k and the chance of a life time for a few platitudes....

Empathy and compassion are two of the main things that separates 'normal' people from psychopaths and sociopaths. The money shouldn't even come into it, or, if I see you in trouble on the mountainside are you going to say, "No, don't help me mate. After all, you've spent thousands getting here!"

What would you do Tyler - think about the money and the adulation of fawning females in a bar years after when you say, "Yeah, I'm a real man; I've climbed Everest."?
summitjunkie - on 25 May 2012
In reply to fxceltic:
> (In reply to Tyler) stopping with compassion in mind could in turn lead to people realising rescue is possible or the person isnt as bad as feared, more people may then live, or least not die alone.
>
> In reality I think people would get more from that when they look back on the trip than summitting, even if they didnt think it at the time.
>
> to paraphrase, bad stuff happens when good people do nothing.

.... and to save someone's life is the greatest gift you can give.
Tyler - on 25 May 2012
In reply to fxceltic:

> In reality I think people would get more from that when they look back on the trip than summitting, even if they didnt think it at the time.

I doubt it otherwise they'd just join the local mountain rescue team (I'm sure the Kensington MRT is looking for members)
Tyler - on 25 May 2012
In reply to summitjunkie:
> (In reply to fxceltic)
> [...]
>
> .... and to save someone's life is the greatest gift you can give.

Well that's lovely but it's not why you spend all that money to go. If that's how people thought no one would go but instead give £50k to the Red Cross
Tyler - on 25 May 2012
In reply to summitjunkie:

> if I see you in trouble on the mountainside are you going to say, "No, don't help me mate. After all, you've spent thousands getting here!"

> What would you do Tyler - think about the money and the adulation of fawning females in a bar years after when you say, "Yeah, I'm a real man; I've climbed Everest."?

I wouldn't go near the place. It seems there's a high probability that if you went you'd end up having to make the choice between rescuing/consoling someone and therefore blowing your chance of a summit or abandoning someone on the hill to go for glory. Either outcome would leave you feeling pretty shit so it's not worth it.
David Martin - on 25 May 2012
In reply to Tyler:

To be fair, if someone is literally dying in front of me I'd happily pay 50k to be able to save their life. Not so sure I could give that sort of cash to a charity though.
summitjunkie - on 25 May 2012
In reply to Tyler: Most sensible thing you've said throughout this thread, Tyler, and, given the circus that has been Everest for well over a decade now, probably the most sensible thing for all mountaineers to do - it's just not worth it with the high number of obviously egotistical glory seekers that currently scale Everest whilst not quite being up to the challenge! ;-)
Tyler - on 25 May 2012
In reply to summitjunkie:

Just read back through my replies to see if I said anything that wasn't sensible but couldn't find anything, so I'm guessing I wasn't meant to interpret the above as implying I had.
summitjunkie - on 25 May 2012
In reply to Tyler: correct
fire_munki on 25 May 2012
In reply to Tyler:

> I wouldn't go near the place. It seems there's a high probability that if you went you'd end up having to make the choice between rescuing/consoling someone and therefore blowing your chance of a summit or abandoning someone on the hill to go for glory. Either outcome would leave you feeling pretty shit so it's not worth it.

Agree with that. I do think though going past someone in distress to go climbing is pretty f***ed up. If you saw someone having a heart attack next to the Alt a Mhullin but you knew you were going to be first on Point Five in fantastic conditions, so just walked around him and carried on up, well I reckon most of us would have a pretty low opinion of such a person.

My dad was first on the scene of nasty car accident a few years ago. The guy's legs were trapped and the car had a small fire burning. My dad managed to get to a house and get a fire extinguisher (he now carries one in his car!) and put the fire out as the fire and ambulance crew arrived. It turned out the driver was quite drunk so crashing was his own fault - but I think any one would have to be pretty hard hearted to say well he deserved to burn! Your point that everyone on Everest knows what they're getting into sort of feels the same. Sure they do, but I still hope I wouldn't use that as a reason to walk past them.

It's all pretty depressing isn't it? :(

Wesley Orvis - on 25 May 2012
In reply to Milesy:
> There is a major difference between two scenarios:
>
> 1. Two people are making their way down in difficulties and one gets into trouble, and one has no choice but to leave the second behind to save theirself. That is self preservation and the force of that is millions of years of evolution.
>
> 2. Someone is making their way UP the way, and passes someone in difficulty. If you have several hours to spend continuing ascending to the summit and back then you have more than enough energy to attempt to help the troubled person in some way. Even helping them get down a couple of hundred metres might be enough to give them life. It many documented expeditions mountaineers have recovered from the brink of death by descending just a short distance below.

Well put it's what i was thinking!!!!

Neil Williams - on 25 May 2012
In reply to TobyA:

"get a fire extinguisher (he now carries one in his car!)"

I carry one as well, always have, just because my Dad does in his. I reckon it (and a first aid kit) should be a legal requirement, TBH. You never know when they might come in useful.

Neil
French Erick - on 25 May 2012
In reply to SimonHolloway1:
First time I've read a full thread on the topic. Not unexpectedly it's pretty dull stuff.

Being a silly foreigner I need a few definitions made in clear and concise English.

Can anyone define for me: Mountaineering. My own understanding was that it was activities done in the mountains... is hiking mountaineering??

hardcore. Harcore is eating marmite and remaining cool as a cucumber when a boundary is being hit for the first time after 4 hours of test match.

I am not trying to diminish the use of stereotypes here at all.

I, and that is just me (anyone is clearly allowed to disagree...they'd just be wrong obviously), could not give a toss what happen up there. It is not a normal place, being as though there is only one of it.

If that lassie manage to sweet talk her daddy into paying her the 7 summits... good on her. Plenty rich folks do sweet F*** all with their money anyway. She is showing some fortitude in being driven. She still might be morally wrong. aren't we all? I've only gone onto an everest thread because I got a bit bored of today's crop of porn. Am i morally wrong.

Thus, I think after me reading an answering, I have not achieved anymore wisdom. I don't think I view the OP, Everest summiters, or indeed anyone in this long post in any better/worse light.
My only satisfaction is that someone has either been cursing my name or cracked a smile at my very stupid and decidedly subversive answer.

Let's the pedant attack my English, the morally virtuous attack my viewpoints and the vast majority of the world not even acknowledge this post. Indeed, who gives a rat's arse!
Bjartur i Sumarhus on 25 May 2012
In reply to French Erick:

Clearly none of you have read the section on "death" in Mark Twights seminal tome "extreme Alpinism"

'This is about obsession, the addiction of going harder, higher, for longer. About the times you got away with it and survived when others did not. Death in the mountains can be as ugly as a falling stone surprising an innocent hiker on the trail. Or it can be as beautiful as seven men struggling through a storm day after day, giving everything they have to life and living it. But one by one they die. Slowly. From cold, from exhaustion, from having fought so hard. Until only two remain. I say this is beautiful because the greatest human act is the act of survival.'
Calder - on 25 May 2012
In reply to Game of Conkers:
> (In reply to French Erick)
>
> Clearly none of you have read the section on "death" in Mark Twights seminal tome "extreme Alpinism"
>
> 'This is about obsession, the addiction of going harder, higher, for longer. About the times you got away with it and survived when others did not. Death in the mountains can be as ugly as a falling stone surprising an innocent hiker on the trail. Or it can be as beautiful as seven men struggling through a storm day after day, giving everything they have to life and living it. But one by one they die. Slowly. From cold, from exhaustion, from having fought so hard. Until only two remain. I say this is beautiful because the greatest human act is the act of survival.'

And this thread is about the ugly side of death in the mountains.
C-3P0 on 25 May 2012 - cpc1-runc3-0-0-cust441.1-3.cable.virginmedia.com
In reply to Game of Conkers:

Survival is nothing compared to a game of conkers.
Trangia - on 25 May 2012
In reply to speekingleesh:
> (In reply to TobyA)
> [...]
> In France yes, but AFAIK the UK doesn't have such a law (though there was talk of introducing it).

You are right it is not Law in England and Wales, don't know about Scottish Law. There was a case in Sussex a few years ago where a child minder allowed her charge to fall into a shallow pond (just a few inches). He drowned because she did absolutely nothing to help, just went into a flap and started screaming. The coronor was very scathing of her for not attempting to do anything, but also confirmed that she hadn't actually broken the law
Trangia - on 25 May 2012
In reply to SimonHolloway1:

About 10 years ago or threabouts there was a terrible exceptionally low temperature snow storm which hit the Himalaya resulting in numerous deaths throughout the region and to people on expeditions. At the time fee paying expedition members, who had adequate tents and cold weather gear, were heavily critised for not making helicopters they had chartered available to help in the immediate relief operation. There were even cases of expedition members not allowing porters into their tents (because they'd paid for them) leaving them to die of exposure outside.
fxceltic on 25 May 2012
In reply to Trangia:
> (In reply to SimonHolloway1)
>
> About 10 years ago or threabouts there was a terrible exceptionally low temperature snow storm which hit the Himalaya resulting in numerous deaths throughout the region and to people on expeditions. At the time fee paying expedition members, who had adequate tents and cold weather gear, were heavily critised for not making helicopters they had chartered available to help in the immediate relief operation. There were even cases of expedition members not allowing porters into their tents (because they'd paid for them) leaving them to die of exposure outside.

similar to the stuff said about the south african team on everest in the 96 disaster

JJL - on 25 May 2012
In reply to Wesley Orvis:

> please change your profile picture so i can recognise you, cause if i ever meet you on the hill i will be having serious words and i will be leaving you in a worse state than a night on Everest will.

From your profile: "I and am now very calm relaxed and fun to be around."

Re-order your medication?
mr pointy on 25 May 2012 - client-86-27-22-155.glfd.adsl.virginmedia.com
like i said in a previous thread summit fever is a poor excuse for the lack of humanity . i have a good mind to post on her facebook page but whats the point glam up your accent by saying things like that well shes been to the top and in my book she gone the lowest too with that statment i dont care where you are everest or in on the terra firma ever heard of jus saying "look we cant get you down anything else i can do ? or a hug a message to loved ones a whole host of things you could of spent your time doing instead of just walking on by. in truth im ashamed to be english if thats the lack of humanity she is willing to promote summit fever? i think not summitt selfishness id say
henwardian - on 25 May 2012
In reply to SimonHolloway1: You can look at any situation where people are dying and say how terrible it is, the fact of the matter is that everyone who is up there dying CHOSE to be up there and went full well knowing that dying was a very real possibility. Furthermore, people love to say "you could have helped them, how can you leave them to die" without thinking that, for instance, every time you decide not to give to charity you are probably allowing someone to die who would otherwise live (and that poor starving child sure as hell didn't choose to be born in [current African starvation zone]). Finally, it takes a darn sight less effort to give a few quid to charity and save a life than it does to haul somebody down Mount Everest.
So, in the end, are you really all just saying that it's fine to kill people or leave them to die when they are not close-by enough to see?
mr pointy on 25 May 2012 - client-86-27-22-155.glfd.adsl.virginmedia.com
In reply to henwardian: its the choice they make at that moment whitch defines them i give to charity regulary i cant help everyone but i do what i can like i say its the choice of get to the top of a high place or maybe comfort/help somone its a no brainer for any deceant person id have thought
henwardian - on 25 May 2012
In reply to mr pointy:
> (In reply to henwardian) its the choice they make at that moment whitch defines them i give to charity regulary i cant help everyone but i do what i can like i say its the choice of get to the top of a high place or maybe comfort/help somone its a no brainer for any deceant person id have thought

Well, no, not really. In absolute terms there is no difference between someone walking past a dying person to get to the top of Everest and you deciding to watch TV of an evening, rather than work a second job to give more money to charity. In both instances a life could be saved but is not because the person decides some of their own ends or wellbeing is more important.
I'm not trying to demonise you or anything. I'm just saying that people often jump on this bandwagon without really thinking it through. And if they did, they would probably have to say "fair enough, nothing wrong with walking past a dying person" or be forced to admit that helping someone rather than persuing ones own ends has sod all to do with morales and everything to do with the innate difficulty of looking into the face of dying man/woman/child next to you and doing nothing to help.
Bruce Hooker - on 25 May 2012
In reply to SimonHolloway1:
> when i say i dont want to diminish her achievement, i mean being the youngest woman to do all 7 summits. Thats pretty hardcore

Someone else has invented "rescueering", this sounds like "Guinessbookofrecordseering" :-)

It seems to impress some though... the next step is youngest woman to do all 7 summits with one hand behind her back... no end to the "challenges" to be bagged with a bit of imagination.
Eric9Points - on 25 May 2012
In reply to SimonHolloway1:

It strikes me that if there are hundreds of people on Everest every season now, it should be possible to ensure that no ones dies of altitude sickness and/or exhaustion. Not quite sure how it would work exactly a funded rescue at the South col perhaps or just an agreement that guides are contractually bound to help anyone in distress and can call on their clients for help, that sort of thing.
Wesley Orvis - on 25 May 2012
In reply to Bruce Hooker:
> (In reply to SimonHolloway1)
> [...]
> It seems to impress some though... the next step is youngest woman to do all 7 summits with one hand behind her back... no end to the "challenges" to be bagged with a bit of imagination.

I would be more impressed with "youngest woman to do it without been carried by three sherpas" or "youngest woman to do it without ignoring a dying person"

loopyone on 25 May 2012 - host86-140-111-57.range86-140.btcentralplus.com
In reply to SimonHolloway1: I did actually leave a post on her blog pointing out her callousness, seemed to last about 1o minutes before someone removed it.
henwardian - on 25 May 2012
In reply to tatty112:
> (In reply to SimonHolloway1) I did actually leave a post on her blog pointing out her callousness, seemed to last about 1o minutes before someone removed it.

All aboard the brainless bandwagon. Lets villify others for what we do every day!
mr pointy on 25 May 2012 - client-86-27-22-155.glfd.adsl.virginmedia.com
In reply to tatty112: well to me its just wrong however you look at it i had the misfortune of serving in afghan and whatching a friend put his life on the line to save somone he didnt really know while rounds are pinging all around says to me that it comes down to humanity and goodwill he didnt have to get out of that ditch he could of just left him out there and carried on with the firefight and hoped he made it but risked himself in order to hopfuly bring him back im not saying either herself or others could have carried them down i know enough about the big hill to know that aint a possiablity but who knows 100 mtrs or even 50 could have made that diffarence between life and death i know id have had far more respect for her if she came on bbc to say well i went to go to summitt and found mr x lying there we done wot we could but i guess it just goes to show this sport can be a very selfish pastime man against the mountain and nothing else really seems to matter
loopyone on 25 May 2012 - host86-140-111-57.range86-140.btcentralplus.com
In reply to henwardian: It was more because i wanted to see if she was aware of the criticism that may be levelled as a result of how she has put herself across. If you're happy to take the plaudits you have to able to take the criticism too. She clearly can't.
thommi - on 25 May 2012
In reply to henwardian:


Well, no, not really. In absolute terms there is no difference between someone walking past a dying person to get to the top of Everest and you deciding to watch TV of an evening, rather than work a second job to give more money to charity. In both instances a life could be saved but is not because the person decides some of their own ends or wellbeing is more important.

This.has to be the biggest load of tosh I have read in my life. I'm sorry but if you genuinely believe that, then I genuinely feel sorry for you.

This thread is so depressing its unreal. Sad face.
thommi - on 25 May 2012
In reply to henwardian : the more I think about what you've said the more it annoys me. It is as simply as this.... it is through same as walking past a dying person. End of. That is all it is akin to because that is all it is.
Goucho on 25 May 2012
In reply to GrahamD: I'm in agreement with you on this one, as I have no personal experience as to how I would react at 8000 metres with the summit insight, but I hope my humanity would override my ambition. The again, if you've spent $60,000, maybe tunnel vision is understandable.

People have been climbing over bodies on Everest for decades, but the reason it happens more often now, is down to the guiding companies - there are by default so many more people climbing (loose use of the term) the mountain now.

Maybe, when the family of someone killed on one of these guided trips, files a successful and bankrupting law suit, forcing the other guide companies to run for cover, this mountain might regain some of it's dignity again.

At the end of the day there's a world of difference between 'climbing' Everest, and 'getting up' Everest. The highest mountain in the world deserves the latter.

And of course, it is the guiding companies who are the biggest facilitators of the 'vulgar circus' which Everest has become.


thommi - on 25 May 2012
In reply to thommi: ....the same...... blimin predictive crap.
henwardian - on 25 May 2012
In reply to thommi:
> (In reply to henwardian ) the more I think about what you've said the more it annoys me. It is as simply as this.... it is through same as walking past a dying person. End of. That is all it is akin to because that is all it is.

You are not being logical here, you are being emotional. If we are all going to villify someone then there should be a sound basis for it and there isn't.
As far as I can tell all you have said is "your argument is not valid because it is not valid", are you trying to prove your point using tautology?

If you are going to disagree with me, at least give me a proper reason for your disagreement.
thommi - on 25 May 2012
In reply to Goucho:


At the end of the day there's a world of difference between 'climbing' Everest, and 'getting up' Everest. The highest mountain in the world deserves the latter.

Not sure I understand this sorry. Surely it deserves the former, and is.bastardised by that latter no?
thommi - on 25 May 2012
In reply to henwardian: it is illogical. You are saying that a removed process is the same as one with direct involvement. You'll say I'm being emotional again but really anyone with one iota of sense will understand that the statement is bollocks. Quite playing devils advocate. :-(
henwardian - on 25 May 2012
In reply to thommi:
> (In reply to henwardian) it is illogical. You are saying that a removed process is the same as one with direct involvement. You'll say I'm being emotional again but really anyone with one iota of sense will understand that the statement is bollocks. Quite playing devils advocate. :-(

How are you directly involved with the climber on the mountain that you do not know and had no contribution to the efforts to get him/her there?
ChrisHolloway1 - on 25 May 2012
In reply to henwardian:
> (In reply to SimonHolloway1)the fact of the matter is that everyone who is up there dying CHOSE to be up there and went full well knowing that dying was a very real possibility.

Good job mountain rescue don't adopt that attitude isn't it?
thommi - on 25 May 2012
In reply to henwardian: I give up. :-( this is too depressing for words. I bet you think you're clever but being awkward for the sake of it is just.... well. I think most people would consider coming face to face with another human being who was dying would consider it direct involvement, at least I hope and pray they do. It is inexcusable, end of.
Goucho on 25 May 2012
In reply to thommi: Thank you for the correction - must read post before submitting in future :-)
ads.ukclimbing.com
Bruce Hooker - on 25 May 2012
In reply to henwardian:

> Well, no, not really. In absolute terms there is no difference between someone walking past a dying person to get to the top of Everest and you deciding to watch TV of an evening, rather than work a second job to give more money to charity.

There is really and in many countries one would be breaking the law. As said earlier on under French law this could be called "Non assistance to a person in danger". So if this person climbed past a dying French climber then their families could possibly launch a court action... maybe it's time someone did, it might put an end to this sordid farce.
thommi - on 25 May 2012
In reply to Goucho: know exactly what you meant though fella, and agree.
loose overhang - on 25 May 2012
In reply to SimonHolloway1: All those participating in this conquest circus should be required to contribute to the establishment of a recovery station through the fees they pay, perhaps located at the South Col (if feasible). I can't see that the Nepalese would be against this as it might help to increase the number of participants who would see it as helping to create a safer ascent.
Bruce Hooker - on 25 May 2012
In reply to loose overhang:

> who would see it as helping to create a safer ascent.

Wouldn't that just make things worse?
loose overhang - on 25 May 2012
In reply to Bruce Hooker: I don't think it's going to get better anytime soon.
birdie num num - on 25 May 2012
In reply to SimonHolloway1:
This is the way Num Num sees it: Everest is a very accessable high altitude via ferrata, big business and keeps a lot of local folk employed. Anyone who believes this will change, think again. You pay your money, you take your choice. Num Num would rather have a quiet day in the Clwydians.
RockShock on 25 May 2012
In reply to Goucho:
> (In reply to GrahamD).
>
> People have been climbing over bodies on Everest for decades, but the reason it happens more often now, is down to the guiding companies - there are by default so many more people climbing (loose use of the term) the mountain now.
>
>

Ok, but you do see a difference between climbing over body of a dead person and a body of person that still can be saved or at least helped, don't you?
Goucho on 25 May 2012
In reply to RockShock: Of course I do.

But I have friends who have experience of Everest (not guided) and other 8000 metre peaks, and they do say that the unfortunate aspect, is that you probably aren't really in a position to 'physically' help someone down off the mountain in many cases, and that staying with someone in order to provide comfort in possibly their final hour(s) could well put you in danger.

8000 metres + is a pretty extreme environment, and I suppose until you have been there yourself, you can't really comment on exactly how you would react and behave yourself.

However, I do believe that those paying for a guided ascent, are often lambs to the slaughter in the making.
blob737 - on 25 May 2012
In reply to HAL 9000: im definately up for the rescueering club!
Milesy - on 25 May 2012
In reply to Goucho:
> is that you probably aren't really in a position to 'physically' help someone down off the mountain in many cases, and that staying with someone in order to provide comfort in possibly their final hour(s) could well put you in danger.

It seems to me that this has almost became a universal 8000m excuse for the behaviour. No one can really challenge anything other than your word on it can they. The Lincoln Hall incident shows that people who have been written off are not nessarily so. There is no excuse on personal safety if you are ascending and choose to keep doing so. Anyone with basic rope skills and equipment should be able to set up a system to lower someone down a slope. Get them down just a few hundred metres and see if they recover. Get them back to the last camp, supply oxygen and altitude medicines. Get them down further. Doing this in the teeth of a storm on descent might be a different kettle of fish but not while ascending on what is likely a good weather window. :s
Mr Lopez - on 25 May 2012
In reply to Goucho:
> (In reply to RockShock) Of course I do.
>
> But I have friends who have experience of Everest (not guided) and other 8000 metre peaks, and they do say that the unfortunate aspect, is that you probably aren't really in a position to 'physically' help someone down off the mountain in many cases, and that staying with someone in order to provide comfort in possibly their final hour(s) could well put you in danger.

http://tinyurl.com/pe9r7
Jimbo C - on 25 May 2012
In reply to SimonHolloway1:

This is not the future of mountaineering, but sadly it looks like it is the future of Everest for the forseeable.
Mr Lopez - on 25 May 2012
mattrm - on 25 May 2012
In reply to Toreador:
> (In reply to victorclimber)
> There were no climbing walls or adventure holidays when I was a kid, but I always wanted to climb Everest. Probably Blue Peter's fault.
>
> As soon as I started mountaineering and found out what was involved in terms of financial outlay and objective danger, it lost its appeal.

Ditto. If I was going to spend 40k and several months on mountaineering, I'd do totally different stuff, for sure. Thankfully my family largely have a brain and I've rarely had the 'would you climb Everest' question directed at me.
radson - on 25 May 2012
Milesy, I was not being sarcastic. In the classic 'case study'. Lincoln Hall could walk, David Sharp couldn't. If a person is not able to move above the Balcony they are f*cked, pure and simple. The worst think Leanna could do on seeing someone immobile would be to stop and try and help. If the person could walk, then yes, I think the best call would be to request her accompanying sherpas to help the person down and perhaps help co-ordinating with the surrounding teams. Whether those particular sherpas agree to assist or not, is obviously purely up to them and an assessment of how much danger they put themselves and their team.
lazzaw - on 25 May 2012
In reply to Goucho:
> But I have friends who have experience of Everest (not guided) and other 8000 metre peaks, and they do say that the unfortunate aspect, is that you probably aren't really in a position to 'physically' help someone down off the mountain in many cases
With absolutely no personal experience of climbing higher than my stairs, and from the comfort of my living room, I'd expect that this is probably the case when you and your partner are the only people in the area and one of you is injured. Is it still the case when >200 people are trying to summit in the same day and the injured person could be passed by 100 people ascending and the same 100 people on their way back down?
Goucho on 26 May 2012
In reply to Mr Lopez: Not quite sure what you mean?
Goucho on 26 May 2012
In reply to lazzaw: I'm not justifying it, and I could no more step over a fellow climber in distress, than knaw my own legs off.

Also, bearing in mind that it would seem there are a large number of 'paying' climbers on Everest who couldn't take care of themselves if circumstances became difficult, I doubt they would have the skills to rescue someone else.

The guides on the other-hand, should be setting a far better example and ethos regarding going to the aid of a fellow climber.
Morgan Woods - on 26 May 2012
In reply to fxceltic:
> (In reply to SimonHolloway1)

> However I note she is also claiming the 7 summits (according to her spokesperson and bbc), which isnt true as she hasnt climbed Carstenz pyramid, just Kozciusckzo. The latter option is entirely disengenuous in terms of the highest mountain on each continent.

Hey Australia is a continent thank you very much!
Timmd on 26 May 2012
In reply to Mr Lopez:
> (In reply to Milesy)
>
> http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/may/25/climber-rescue-summit-everest
>
> There really is no excuse

...
Ben-Yehuda, who spoke to AP just before leaving Nepal for urgent medical treatment in Israel, said he could not say with certainty how he would have reacted if he had come across a stricken climber he did not know. Oxygen is in such short supply and the conditions are so harsh, he said, that people on the mountain develop a kind of tunnel vision.

"You just think about breathing, about walking, about climbing," he said. According to Ben-Yehuda, the fundamental questions going through the mind of a climber heading for the peak are: "Are you going to make it?" and "When is the right time to turn back?"

And once a climber begins the descent, the all-embracing question becomes: "How fast can I go down?"
...

I like to think i'd help, but I found this bit at the end interesting.
SimonHolloway1 - on 26 May 2012
its a bit of a minging situation for the guides, on one hand they may want to rescue the person which would mean sending their group back etc... but they also are thinking about the health of their business i.e. if word gets out that they dont follow through on what they're paid for (in the eyes of the client that is to summit) then they may lose business......

its a battle between morality and ambition
Damo on 26 May 2012
In reply to Goucho:
> (In reply to RockShock) Of course I do.
>
>
> However, I do believe that those paying for a guided ascent, are often lambs to the slaughter in the making.

A *guided* ascent? No, that's not really true. Most of the deaths in recent years are from inexperienced climbers using just budget bare-bones BC only services + Sherpas, who are in over their heads and push too hard. Some who go that path make it, some don't.

I won't paste it here, but have a look at: http://www.summitpost.org/phpBB3/bad-news-from-everest-t62155.html My long post is about half-way down the page.

Lincoln Hall? I knew Lincoln for years, and had a good chat to him a couple of times about what happened on Everest. He was at great pains to make the point that HE could walk, eventually, and David Sharp could not, despite people (Brice Sherpas) trying to get him to walk. Lincoln fully understood the Sherpas leaving him behind at first because he was completely unconscious, totally unresponsive (they poked him in the eye = nothing), let alone not mobile. It was only after he recovered alone overnight and was found the next morning that he was rescuable, so he was rescued.

Lincoln did not like being used as an excuse why other people in other situations could not be rescued.

Damo on 26 May 2012
In reply to Damo:

Sorry, that last line was worded badly, pre-coffee. It should read:
"Lincoln did not like his experience being used as some kind of counterpoint as to why other people in other situations were not rescued."
henwardian - on 26 May 2012
In reply to ChrisHolloway1:
> (In reply to henwardian)
> [...]
>
> Good job mountain rescue don't adopt that attitude isn't it?

This isn't really a valid point. You have taken one statement out of the middle of a paragraph of reasoning and treated it in isolation, that is not tackling the argument.
Also, there is a difference between someone who goes out walking/climbing and someone who has accepted the responsibility to rescue people (be it in a paid or unpaid capacity). Mountain rescue have accepted responsibility for going out and rescuing people where as this girl clearly accepted no such responsibility.

Obviously I don't want this to come across wrong, I have the utmost respect for the coastguard and mountain rescue services in the UK and have been extremely thankful for their assistance in the past.
henwardian - on 26 May 2012
In reply to thommi:
> (In reply to henwardian) I give up. :-( this is too depressing for words. I bet you think you're clever but being awkward for the sake of it is just.... well. I think most people would consider coming face to face with another human being who was dying would consider it direct involvement, at least I hope and pray they do. It is inexcusable, end of.

I _know_ I am clever :D
haha, just joshing.

I am drawn to play devils advocate but I only make the effort to type it onto UKC when I think there is actually a point to be made.
I detest the circus of everest as much as anyone here but my approach is more "if people want to do something stupid and they are responsible adults then give them the requisite warnings by all means but it's their choice in the end", thus if someone wants to join that menagerie, I think they accept a few things, including:
The chances of frostbite/death etc.
The chances that someone else on the mountain who has paid loads of money will be a dick to you.
The chances that your paid up guide might be a dick to you.

You cannot go to Everest without being aware of these things. If you don't want to accept them, don't go (or climb with genuine partners on a route other than the normal one). The attitude is created by the people who go there and those same people reap the consequences, sounds like karma playing out if you ask me.
Wide_Mouth_Frog - on 26 May 2012
In reply to SimonHolloway1:
Alan Hinckes - "There was nothing realistically that she could have done," he said.
ericinbristol - on 26 May 2012
In reply to Wide_Mouth_Frog:

What about provide comfort, including simple companionship, to the dying? She could have done that.
henwardian - on 26 May 2012
In reply to SimonHolloway1: Oh, and to everyone who said they would not walk past a dying person, you need to check out all the psychology experiments that prove that most people would walk past a dying person even if just walking along the street and helping would put them in no danger at all.

We all like to think we wouldn't walk past a dying person and I'm sure 95%+ of us would say that we would stop to help but that is not born out by reality.
In reply to henwardian:

> You are not being logical here, you are being emotional.

Logic doesn't have much of a place in moral philosophy, and that's what you are arguing here.

I don't think they are the same and can give reasons Egypt not, although not whilst typing on my phone. Google the trolley dilemma though.
C3-P0 on 26 May 2012 - cpc1-runc3-0-0-cust441.1-3.cable.virginmedia.com
In reply to TobyA:
> (In reply to henwardian)
>
> [...]
>
> Logic doesn't have much of a place in moral philosophy.
>


Eh? Surely you need logical basis to move on to and argue any ethical/philosophical debate. What a ridiculous statement. Morality is but one branch of an all encompassing subject.
ITS on 26 May 2012
In reply to SimonHolloway1:

In reply to the OP:-

"there were quite a few bodies attached to the fixed lines and we had to walk round them...there were a couple who were still alive".

I think that comment just about sums up the selfish, thoughtless, me, me me state of Britain today, and the ethos of a lot (not all) of the people who go to climb Everest.

If this is an accurate report, then the people involved should be ashamed, and their ascent derided by all right-thinking people. Who in their right mind can walk round people who are still alive.

Even if they are beyond saving, perhaps they could be afforded more respect than someone stepping round them in order to achieve their own so-called "glory".
ericinbristol - on 27 May 2012
In reply to ITS:
>
> If this is an accurate report, then the people involved should be ashamed, and their ascent derided by all right-thinking people. Who in their right mind can walk round people who are still alive.
>
> Even if they are beyond saving, perhaps they could be afforded more respect than someone stepping round them in order to achieve their own so-called "glory".

I totally agree. See http://www.ukclimbing.com/forums/t.php?t=507175
In reply to C3-P0: Formal logic is one of the most technical branches of Philosophy, I'm sure there are some philosophers who might see this thread and tell you of some philosophers who have applied formal logic to questions of ethics, but at least from the level of philosophy I did to get a masters, ethics always seemed rather far from formal logic we were taught because the premises were under constant debate.

But really, my point was against the chap who said not taking a second job and giving all that money to charity was "logically" the same as walking past a dying person. I think 'logically', they are not the same at all, and indeed his argument is a reductio ad absurdum position where basically doing anything becomes not doing something different to help someone else. It would be impossible to act morally if you aren't willing to draw some sort of boundaries around responsibility.
thommi - on 27 May 2012
In reply to TobyA: spot on. Put far better than I could manage. :-)
JamButty - on 28 May 2012
In reply to ericinbristol:
> (In reply to ITS)
> [...]
>
> I totally agree. See http://www.ukclimbing.com/forums/t.php?t=507175

last point on this link sums it up for me, we all would like to be treated this way.

http://www.ast-services.co.uk/articles/casualty-care.php
SimonHolloway1 - on 29 May 2012
Owain - on 29 May 2012
In reply to SimonHolloway1: sit down troll
Damo on 29 May 2012
In reply to SimonHolloway1:

Linking to an article that links to your own blog, eh Simon? Good work.

Somewhat ironically given all this, when that Guardian page comes up, over on the right is an ad/review of a new book 'What Money Can't Buy' by Michael Sandel, about the moral limits of markets.
From the review:
- 'how the encroachment of market values can change the character of an industry'
- 'the expansion of markets, and of market values, into spheres of life where they don't belong'
- 'the introduction of market values had killed the old ideas of collective responsibility'
- 'are there certain moral and civic goods that markets do not honour and money cannot buy?'

http://www.guardianbookshop.co.uk/BerteShopWeb/viewProduct.do?ISBN=9781846144714

SimonHolloway1 - on 29 May 2012
In reply to Owain: i beg your pardon?
SimonHolloway1 - on 29 May 2012
In reply to Damo: its there on the guardian website, all i'm doing is pasting in a article that links directly to the subject matter, no personal agenda at all.
ads.ukclimbing.com
Owain - on 29 May 2012
In reply to SimonHolloway1: You made your point with your first post but now you add to your own debate from a different article which is the same point just to reactive the thread. Ahem TROLL
SimonHolloway1 - on 29 May 2012
In reply to Owain: i think it is you sir, who is a troll i.e. someone making "inflammatory" remarks to get a response.

you just need to chill out, i was only posting the link that directly applies to the subject matter.

why does there always have to be someone like you trying to put people down....i think you should just grow up a little?
Owain - on 29 May 2012
In reply to SimonHolloway1: Simon give it rest it. What do you hope to achieve accept causing more heated debate among the climbing community around this accent. Your first article was clear in that respect but the fact you are trying to reinforce it suggests you are getting off on these replys.
SimonHolloway1 - on 29 May 2012
In reply to Owain: again, i'm not sure if you are reading my replies right, so i'll simplify it....the news article is the same as the topic, i was only pasting it to show that it is actually being reported not just talked about by climbers.

But even if i was "trolling" as you say, whats the harm in that, i'm not getting money, im not getting anything from it.....nor would i be affecting anyone.....so what is your problem?

Lets just leave it now and you can go back to being the mean minded individual that you are, by yourself without taking the micky out of me....go and find some small animals to hurt or something

Damo on 29 May 2012
In reply to SimonHolloway1:
>... i'm not getting money, im not getting anything from it.....

Simon, no one has accused you of war crimes, or bolting grit.

Look at it this way. The Guardian is a major newspaper, one of the most read and respected english-language online news 'papers'. Over the years they've had all sorts of high profile people write for them, and on mountain matters they often have Ed Douglas do very good pieces.

Now this article, dealing with one of the, if not *the* mountain issue of the moment, involving in this case a Briton, references only one climbing-industry source. You. No quotes from Bonington, Hinkes or the AC. No reference to any other climbing community source or forum - just a hyperlink to your blog. I find this unusual. Was this pure chance? Good luck to you, if so. But surely you can see it might look a little odd, more so now that you've linked back to it.

Your blog may not be a commercially trading business in the normal sense, but it is promoting you professionally. Nothing at all wrong with a bit of indirect promotion and networking, especially if it doesn't violate the spirit of the entities involved, and adds something for everybody.

But in these matters full disclosure is often useful. Even if you just say "this bloke contacted me out of the blue and we told him what we thought". On the other hand, in these situations, when people get overly defensive it makes them look like they've got something to hide, even if they don't.
ChrisHolloway1 - on 29 May 2012
In reply to Owain: Owain, first off, learn to spell. Secondly Simon is my brother and I can tell you for a fact that he doesn't "get off" on trolling, he is one of the most mellow people you will ever meet, he rarely posts on here and when he does it is to offer an opinion or to help people not to incite any kind of hatred, even flicking up the thread and reading his replies to the criticism of Leanna Shuttleworth you can see he is still trying to point out he believes she has achieved something, kindly refrain from making your daft accusations, and don't turn this thread into a slanging match, Simon was not trying to troll or wind anyone up, just point out that the issue of ethics was reported in a newspaper.
ChrisHolloway1 - on 29 May 2012
In reply to Damo: Just to clear up this blog thing; we both only noticed that we had been put on there last night when I looked at the blog stats (has a traffic section that shows where hits are coming from) and we had a few views from a link on the Guardian website, naturally I clicked it, it linked to article above, and that's how we found out. I have emailed asking why we were not informed, but not sure I will hear back. But we're not interested in self promotion, we don't freelance, we're not looking for jobs, I'm a teacher and Si works at a centre, we just write the blog together for fun, we both like gear, and we both like writing. Had we been asked I would have said no, simply because I'm not interested in people making the usual "who are these nobodies?" comments, something neither of us want on something we do purely for fun.

Hope that clears things up :)

Damo on 29 May 2012
In reply to ChrisHolloway1:
> (In reply to Damo) Just to clear up this blog thing; we both only noticed that we had been put on there last night when I looked at the blog stats (has a traffic section that shows where hits are coming from) and we had a few views from a link on the Guardian website, naturally I clicked it, it linked to article above, and that's how we found out. I have emailed asking why we were not informed, but not sure I will hear back.
> Hope that clears things up :)

Yes it does, thanks.
Owain - on 29 May 2012
In reply to ChrisHolloway1: Chris, I'm in no way trying to offend your Brother but what is the point in reiterating the OP by linking an article from a newspaper? The article provides nothing to the debate but it just happens to be linked to your blog. The Everest saga has been going on for years and it's clear that you both have strong opinions towards the ethics. Maybe try and do something about it instead of voicing your disapproval through this media which achieves nothing.
summitjunkie - on 29 May 2012
In reply to Owain:
> Maybe try and do something about it instead of voicing your disapproval through this media which achieves nothing.

Gotta disagree with you there, Owain. This thread has given rise to over 150 replies, many with healthy debate regarding assistance to those in need and its primacy over achieving the summit. Overall, for UKC, the thread has proved quite thought-provoking for quite a few UKC'ers, which, in my book, ain't 'nothing'.
ChrisHolloway1 - on 29 May 2012
In reply to Owain: I believe that Simon was just trying to point out that the debate was being discussed in other places than just UKC. I did mention to him that I wouldn't have posted it, since he's not been around UKC long enough to realise that his genuinely innocent post would be taken to have an ulterior motive.

Shall we just leave it, no sense in prolonging this argument is there?

As for doing something about it, point me in the right direction of what I can do and I'll happily get involved.
Owain - on 29 May 2012
In reply to ChrisHolloway1: Right you are, have a good one.
ChrisHolloway1 - on 29 May 2012
In reply to Owain: You too :)
jkarran - on 29 May 2012
Each of us every single day could do something simple to save someone's life, something much cheaper and simpler than rescuing stricken climbers off Everest. Generally we don't. I don't. We don't care, we're self interested and more than willing to don blinkers so the suffering of others doesn't encroach on our reality. Barracking a teenager for perhaps naively admitting she's no different from everyone else up there or down here seems a little unfair. Are you *that* sure of what you'd do in her shoes? I'm not.

jk
MG - on 29 May 2012
In reply to jkarran:
Are you *that* sure of what you'd do in her shoes? I'm not.


I suspect most people are rather horrified at the nature of the whole circus rather than any one person. But yes, I am pretty sure I know what I would do in her shoes, which is not attempt to climb Everest in the first place - I don't see how the prospect of stepping over the dead and dying can be in any way appealing.
Milesy - on 29 May 2012
In reply to jkarran:

I could say that I would stop. I don't seem to suffer from bystander apathy. It happens all the time though.

A few years ago I got off a train and was running to catch my mates and I tripped on my laces, went flying onto a road and smacked my face of the ground and half knocked myself out. My trainers actually went flying off my feet in a cartoon fashion and I lay there bloody and dazed and not a single person stopped to help me that got off the train or who was sat in their car at the time. After what felt like an eternity I dusted myself off and crawled to the pavement and collected myself.
johncoxmysteriously - on 29 May 2012
In reply to SimonHolloway1:

Strangely enough I met one of these Everest payers this weekend in the usual circumstances - ie them needing to be rescued from some fairly easy route.

jcm
Tyler - on 29 May 2012
In reply to johncoxmysteriously:

It happens all the time, people come up from London and before you know it they are limping along the Snowdon path in completely inadequate footware......
Damo on 29 May 2012
In reply to jkarran:
> Each of us every single day could do something simple to save someone's life, something much cheaper and simpler than rescuing stricken climbers off Everest. Generally we don't. I don't. We don't care, we're self interested and more than willing to don blinkers so the suffering of others doesn't encroach on our reality. Barracking a teenager for perhaps naively admitting she's no different from everyone else up there or down here seems a little unfair. Are you *that* sure of what you'd do in her shoes? I'm not.
>
> jk

I'm not either, I think it's a real dilemma. It's not really new though. People may have read about Don Whillans (in 1972?) admitting they couldn't help Harsh Bahaguna and telling him to his face ("You've had it, mate") and Joe Simpson recounting how in the early 90s Ronald Naar had instructed his clients at the South Col not to go help a dying man who was waving for help.

The difference now is that it is communicated to the outside world so quickly, it makes it more real, seemingly more avoidable, and because it has now happened again, publicly, when the memory of the David Sharp incident is still in memory.

Of course we could all do something to help stricken people dying in Africa or closer to home, but in these situations the dying person is right in front of the person passing by - not on another continent. And the person passing by is not fleeing for their life, or forced to pass on, they're just on a mountain climb, a holiday, and they could stop if they want.

Of course, that may not do any good - we know that. I've climbed to 7000m a few times, and I've tried to lift the dead weight of an unconscious person at sea level. No way I could do both at once, and I'm bigger and stronger than most. It's simply not possible for one or two climbers to carry an incapacitated climber any distance at that height. If they can walk, it's another story altogether, especially with a few Sherpas to help. I don't think we'll ever know if these recent deaths fit the second category rather than the first.

I've spent quite a bit of time on mountains wearing five layers of clothes, goggles and mask, knackered, nervous and dodging the wind. Recognising other people and what's going on with them can be almost impossible, on top of just keeping yourself warm and safe, let alone any clients you may have. You're in a very closed little world, much more than could ever be realised from an armchair at home. You simply have severely limited physical and mental resources to deal with anything non-central to safely moving up, or down. It's just human frailty, we're all afflicted by it, the problem is that if we know that, should we put ourselves in these positions?

I should add in here, for the record, that this issue is not helped by some people attempting Everest woefully unprepared and inexperienced, practically inviting disaster. They are a danger to others as well as themselves and can challenge the sympathy of others more responsible. Likewise pride, ego and ambition have caused some climbers to deny, after the fact, that their rescue was necessary, and this doesn't help the issue. The famous Juan Oirzabal(sp?) is a prime example of this, having been helped/saved at least three times by strangers and denying it each time.

Years ago I would have jumped at the chance to go to Everest, but nowadays I'm not so sure. I know in these situations I would feel a real urge to push on, if I thought the stricken person was a goner. After all, what can I do? And I may not get another chance, right? On the other hand, if it was my partner or family member stricken, I'd hate to think of them dying alone, dismissed by passersby as not worthy of time or effort in the last moments of their life, hoping and waving for help, but seen as an obstacle to someone's gap year project. That would be twisting a knife into what is already almost unbearable grief.

I know it's been the practice, but I think it's wrong. The norm needs to be changed. A new norm of doing everything possible until the person is dead might be needed, and anything else is considered unacceptable. We've tolerated bad things in climbing as acceptable, then eventually changed them when we realised we should. This might be one of those things.

ericinbristol - on 29 May 2012
In reply to Damo:
>
> The norm needs to be changed. A new norm of doing everything possible until the person is dead might be needed, and anything else is considered unacceptable. We've tolerated bad things in climbing as acceptable, then eventually changed them when we realised we should. This might be one of those things.

I agree completely, and the more of us - individual climbers, mountaineering associations, commercial climbing companies - who openly endorse this the better.

ads.ukclimbing.com
Damo on 29 May 2012
In reply to ericinbristol:

However Eric, as a counterpoint, I know that some of the guides will say - speaking from their experience, and correctly, sadly - that there will be people who will take advantage of such new norms.

These people would believe, although probably never say it, that there is now safety in numbers and if they get into trouble now then they will be rescued, whereas before they would be left for dead, victims of their own folly.

They won't bother to get the skill or experience, will cut corners, pay the minimum $15-20K to be allowed on the hill, then get in way over their head, knowing that they will be rescued by the trained guides and Sherpas of the expeditions funded by people who prepared better and paid $60K.

How do you deal with these selfish idiots?
Damo on 29 May 2012
In reply to Damo:
> (In reply to ericinbristol)
>
>
>
> How do you deal with these selfish idiots?

Which might lead to the situation proposed in this thread: http://www.ukclimbing.com/forums/t.php?t=507172 by Radson, who I should add, has actually stopped to help someone on the summit ridge of Everest, but had his thread hijacked by me, who has not.
Richard White on 29 May 2012
In reply to ericinbristol:

I agree as well.

I am still finding it hard to understand how a 19 year old girl can walk past someone so obviously in need of help and comment on it so off handedly - "There were also a couple who were still alive."

And then they came across another man - "As we passed he raised his arm and looked at us. He was dead when we came back down."

At that age I knew that doing something like that was absolutely wrong.

It is just unbelievable.
GrahamD - on 29 May 2012
In reply to jkarran:

> Each of us every single day could do something simple to save someone's life,

Very true. You don't have to go beyond, say, Kings Cross, to be able to walk straight past people in need of potentially life saving help. I'm sure plenty of 'holier than thou' posters on this thread have done just that.
MG - on 29 May 2012
In reply to GrahamD:
> (In reply to jkarran)
>
> [...]
>
> Very true. You don't have to go beyond, say, Kings Cross, to be able to walk straight past people in need of potentially life saving help.

Really? I don't think I have knowingly walked passed someone who has subsequently died as a result of not getting my assistance.

However, I have certainly abandoned a long-desired to climb help people out - carrying on regardless didn't cross my mind, or, I am sure, the other three or four people who stopped.

ericinbristol - on 29 May 2012
In reply to Damo:

Good question, and a few thoughts in response. The fact that a principle may have unintended but foreseeable consequences does not invalidate the principle (I am not suggesting that it is your view that it does). What is needed is separate action to minimise the likelihood of those coming about, and that means thinking about who gets the permits issued to them, for what price and based on what code of conduct. Not a neat answer, but perhaps something along those lines.


Damo on 29 May 2012
In reply to ericinbristol:

I agree about not invalidating the principle. Perhaps if these things are going to happen - and they can happen to anyone, not just the selfish idiots - then maybe the most practical solutions is to charge everyone a rescue levy, like they charge the icefall levy, and fund a team of twelve Sherpas to rotate six at a time between C2 and the South Col on summit days. It would be the job of these guys to come and assist people in trouble.

Not an ideal solution, but ideals rarely stand up to life.
TOS on 29 May 2012 - 52ob.scansafe.net
In reply to Richard White:
> (In reply to ericinbristol)

> I am still finding it hard to understand how a 19 year old girl can walk past someone so obviously in need of help and comment on it so off handedly - "There were also a couple who were still alive."
>
> And then they came across another man - "As we passed he raised his arm and looked at us. He was dead when we came back down."
>
> At that age I knew that doing something like that was absolutely wrong.
>
> It is just unbelievable.

I know, that's why I posted this on another thread;

Thing is, has anyone bothered to check whether the quote from her is accurate (or in context), or even true at all?...

The example mypyrex gave where he did a trek to EBC, and the media decided it wasn't interesting enough so they sexed it up a tad, is pretty common. I've seen it several times, whether it be in a corporate magazine or a local paper.

Oh, on a bigger level I've also seen the BBC knowingly publish an outright lie just to make a story; anyone remember the 2008 OMM 'rescue' story, and their 'we published a fair picture of the events' comment when hundreds of people wrote to complain?...

Maybe it is true, but then given the above examples, I wouldn't be at all surprised if it turned out to be the work of some bored journalist exercising some artistic license to the max....



GrahamD - on 29 May 2012
In reply to MG:

> Really? I don't think I have knowingly walked passed someone who has subsequently died as a result of not getting my assistance.

Good for you for giving assistance, then.
Richard White on 29 May 2012
In reply to Gaupa:

That's a fair point and I am willing to wait and hear what the actual facts are. Though I doubt the whole truth will ever be known.

But, as you say, the media are not beyond making up these sort of tales.
MG - on 29 May 2012
In reply to GrahamD: I'm not really sure what you are getting at. I don't think many people would deliberately walk past someone dying in the street and do nothing when they felt they could. I assume you either mean this?

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

Which isn't what is going on Everest by all accounts. Instead it seems a concious decision is being taken not to help, rather than assuming someone else will.

Or alternatively because people sleeping round Kings Cross might be very ill we don't drop everything to help? Which is again hardly the same situation as on Everest.
GrahamD - on 29 May 2012
In reply to MG:

It is exactly the same moral decision to either walk on by assuming that either a) you don't want to help b) think you can't help or c) think its someone elses job to help. Arguably in the comfort of not being in a dehabilitated state yourself, the 'right' moral decision should be easier to make at Kings Cross.
JayPee630 - on 29 May 2012
In reply to GrahamD:

What on earth are you on about when you talk about these mythical people dying at Kings Cross? I pass there lots and have never seen any of them. Unless you are making a ridiculous comparison between some homeless people having a hard life and someone in the throws of death on Everest?
C3-P0 on 29 May 2012 - cpc1-runc3-0-0-cust441.1-3.cable.virginmedia.com
In reply to TobyA:

Put like a gentleman sir.
MG - on 30 May 2012
In reply to GrahamD:
> (In reply to MG)
>
> It is exactly the same moral decision to either walk on by assuming that either a) you don't want to help b) think you can't help or c) think its someone elses job to help.

Rubbish. a) shows total indifference to someone else's condition whereas b) and c) don't.
GrahamD - on 30 May 2012
In reply to JayPee630:

So you are qualified to know when a 'hard time' becomes 'life and death' are you ? because fatalities on our streets are more common than you might want to hear.
graeme jackson - on 30 May 2012
In reply to SimonHolloway1: Incredible photo from todays daily mail of around 150 climbers queuing for the climb...
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2151418/The-traffic-jam-30-000-feet-Chilling-photo-shows-doz...
jailhouserock on 30 May 2012 - host-83-217-171-250.sta.dsl.vispa.com
In reply to SimonHolloway1:

Apparently they all have to have sign something saying that summitteers will not attempt to rescue anyone in the Dead Zone - can anyone confirm this one?
paul walters - on 30 May 2012
In reply to SimonHolloway1: I agree. I think Hillary's assessment of the whole mountain tourism enterprise all over the world is about right. There are definitely people on the mountain who should not be there. Any mountain.

Reading the original BBC article, whether true, sexed up or a blatent lie actually made me feel physically sick.
OwenEvans - on 30 May 2012
In reply to goose299:
So what could a person do? Make the stranded person some soup? Hold their hand? Yes, you can encourage them, cajole them to get moving again, but if they can't what can you do? would you have the skills and equipment to hand to get a person down Everest? I think not.
triciauno - on 30 May 2012
In reply to SimonHolloway1: Leanne favourite song is "Walk on by" by Burt Bacharach. Her father may have taught her great mountaineering skills but as a parent he should have taught her compassion for others. The greatest achievement in life surely must be saving a life, or giving comfort to a dying person if rescue is not possible? Also the other guy is right David Sharps help came on way down, as the summit was too important. I as a parent would be extremely proud of Nadav Ben-Yehuda, 24 who 300 yards from the summit decided to help a climber Nadav carried Mr Irmak for hours to a camp at lower elevation. Both suffered frostbite and some of their fingers were at risk of amputation.
Wesley Orvis - on 30 May 2012
In reply to OwenEvans:
> (In reply to goose299)
> So what could a person do? Make the stranded person some soup? Hold their hand? Yes, you can encourage them, cajole them to get moving again, but if they can't what can you do? would you have the skills and equipment to hand to get a person down Everest? I think not.

At least you would have tried, which is a lot more than 40 odd people did for David Sharp.

Wesley Orvis - on 30 May 2012
In reply to triciauno:
> (In reply to SimonHolloway1) Leanne favourite song is "Walk on by" by Burt Bacharach. Her father may have taught her great mountaineering skills but as a parent he should have taught her compassion for others. The greatest achievement in life surely must be saving a life, or giving comfort to a dying person if rescue is not possible? Also the other guy is right David Sharps help came on way down, as the summit was too important. I as a parent would be extremely proud of Nadav Ben-Yehuda, 24 who 300 yards from the summit decided to help a climber Nadav carried Mr Irmak for hours to a camp at lower elevation. Both suffered frostbite and some of their fingers were at risk of amputation.

Well said totally agree!!!
TOS on 30 May 2012 - 52ob.scansafe.net
In reply to triciauno:
> (In reply to SimonHolloway1) I as a parent would be extremely proud of Nadav Ben-Yehuda, 24 who 300 yards from the summit decided to help a climber Nadav carried Mr Irmak for hours to a camp at lower elevation.

Proud? damn right - their son has the strength and fitness of Superman.

Singlehandedly 'carried' a fully grown adult on rocky and icy terrain for 'hours' at 8000m?...

or...

could it be the reality of the story is nothing like the facts reported in the press?

I bet this was more like someone escorting a very slow 'walking wounded' friend down the mountain. Still very commendable, but I'm amazed no-one else is questioning how ridiculous the press story sounds(?).
frankboase - on 30 May 2012
In reply to SimonHolloway1: And this woman wants to go into a "caring" profession??? ("She has a place at Nottingham University to study veterinary science").
Hope her professors know the caliber of the student they are accepting.
gildor - on 30 May 2012
In reply to SimonHolloway1:

I have been reading the mostly venomously critical comments about Leanna with some dismay. Even assuming she did walk past people near the summit of Everest who were in distress, but still alive, there are some questions that should (but mostly haven't) been asked:

1). Was there ANY chance that she could have helped them? Even on small mountains close to sea-level, rescuing someone who is incapacitated is very difficult - ask anyone who has any experience of mountain rescue. One person probably couldn't do it by themself even from the top of Snowdon. Personally, I have never been much above 20,000ft but even at that height,the effect of altitude was quite debilitating.

2). If she couldn't help the person, what should she do then?
Give up and go home in sympathy?
Mill around and stand a very good chance of dying herself?
Or continue ....?

How many of the people who have expressed their "disgust" have any experience of high altitude mountaineering and have any first-hand knowledge of what is possible and what is just not possible?

She is an 18 year old amateur, not a team of experienced professional high-altitude mountain guides. Even with the best will, people die on Everest. It's dangerous. Everyone who goes there knows that very well and in truth, rescuing an incapacitated person from the upper reaches of Everest is usually just not possible.

Hillary, Bonnington, Scott etc. have all climbed Everest themselves for their own reasons (and lost friends along the way) and I don't see that they had any special right to be there that climbers now no longer have. They just had the luck that in their time the mountain was not over-run with thousands of climbers.
GrahamD - on 30 May 2012
In reply to gildor:

It does seem strange to vilify the punter and not the leader of the team that had abandoned the climber to die or, in fact, the leader of any other party. Easy target, I guess, because its easy to categorise her as 'not one of us real climbers'.
In reply to gildor:

> 2). If she couldn't help the person, what should she do then?
> Give up and go home in sympathy?
> Mill around and stand a very good chance of dying herself?
> Or continue ....?

This unfortunate for the young woman because it's not just her who took the last option, so did dozens of others seemingly - but she just described it clearly on the BBC so she can't really avoid being dragged into the discussion as a result I suppose.

It's the immediacy of the moral quandary that is troubling. A friend of mine climbed Lhotse a few days back - she would have been up on the South Col about the time all this was happening. If she had known (and I have no idea if she did) that there were people stuck above them on Everest, her team COULD have abandoned their Lhotse attempt and tried to rescue someone - but I don't think many people would blame them for not having done that. Different mountain, different route, different teams, very unrealistic chance etc. But for the teams on Everest going up and having to climb past (over?) people to continue on upwards - I think that's what many find troubling and you don't have to be an experienced high altitude climber to feel that way.
Sir Chasm - on 30 May 2012
In reply to TobyA: All the people trying to summit should draw lots so there could be a pool of people available to sit with the dying. If you've drawn a ticket you have to wear a purple hat and have to stop at the first dying person. Then when you're dying someone with a purple hat will come and sit with you. And then when that person is dying...
ericinbristol - on 30 May 2012
In reply to gildor:

Address the point made repeatedly. She could have provided comfort to the dying, but once she felt that doing so would jeopardise her safety beyond what she could handle, then head down. And while there she could encourage others to help in whatever way possible and take over. She had the energy to climb on to the summit and back.
Milesy - on 30 May 2012
In reply to gildor:
> Mill around and stand a very good chance of dying herself?
> Or continue ....?

The crux of the matter is that she was on the way UP and not the way down
gildor - on 30 May 2012
In reply to Milesy:

I think the crux of the matter is COULD she have helped? All these discussions also assume that she went past people she knew were in distress but still alive. Do we know this was the case? Reports I have seen say the people died before she arrived there.

These situations bring up very difficult, uncomfortable decisions that very few people ever have to face but to my mind, it is not wrong to leave someone you can't possibly help especially when staying would put your own life in serious jeopardy.

If it was my son or wife or brother etc. I don't suppose I could leave them but this might very well amount to a decision to died with them.
GrahamD - on 30 May 2012
In reply to Milesy:

Why are you picking on the punter ? presumably she had been told to keep up with her guide or die. What was her guide doing ?
Bjartur i Sumarhus on 30 May 2012
In reply to gildor: "If it was my son or wife or brother etc...."

I wonder if the father or daughter would have continued if one of the other had collapsed dying or continued to push for the top?
GrahamD - on 30 May 2012
In reply to ericinbristol:

> Address the point made repeatedly. She could have provided comfort to the dying,

So could anyone by visiting people in care homes or cancer wards. People don't do that for strangers even in those benign situations so why would you expect them to do it where their own life is in peril ?
rlade - on 30 May 2012
In reply to SimonHolloway1:
People who call themselves mountaineers have a duty to hepl colleagues what ever the situation. Sailers don't just sail by a sinking ship.
Bellie - on 30 May 2012
In reply to Milesy: Given the conditions on that day. Keeping moving was probably the best way of staying alive. Having read much regarding the state of mind of climbers suffering from hypoxia, I think anyone in that state would find it difficult to be 'comforted' in death. Probably more chance of being visited by their own family in their minds.

It is difficult trying to tie Leanne's article to the actual events in terms of people who died on or around the 20th, it is hard to work out who all these dead bodies and dying people were? Although a few conflicting reports are knocking about, according to the reports from the scene -those that sadly died, did so in the presence of their own teams.

But I guess the truth will out in the post mortem of the events of the days in May.



loopyone on 30 May 2012 - 10.7.86.161 [v2035.eth0.proxy02.pf3.sxgfl.ifl.net]
In reply to SimonHolloway1: The issue for me is summarised as follows;
1. She had the energy to get to the top and back after passing people who were still alive.
2. She hasn't refuted the newspaper article as being inaccurate in what it's said and she is trying to 'big up' her 6 summit achievements by refering to the dying people who she stepped round like it's something to make us admire her bravery all the more.....
GrahamD - on 30 May 2012
In reply to rlade:

> People who call themselves mountaineers have a duty to hepl colleagues what ever the situation

No, they have a responsibility to themselves and their partners. There is no duty attached to the badge of mountaineer. Code of honour maybe for some but not a duty.

> Sailers don't just sail by a sinking ship.

They are legally obliged to help. Its not necessarily a moral decision.

MG - on 30 May 2012
In reply to GrahamD:

> They are legally obliged to help. Its not necessarily a moral decision.


Are they? But anyway, isn't it a desirable thing that the legal/moral/expected thing to do is to help rather than sail on by? The antics on Everest do seem utterly amoral to me. The "we couldn't do anything" excuse is about as weak as you can get if you don't even make an attempt.

Who can get any sense of achievement from stepping over dead and dying bodies to get to a summit anyway? It sounds more like WW1 trenches environment!
ads.ukclimbing.com
Milesy - on 30 May 2012
Her first mistake was blogging about it and/or supplying a quote to the press. She put herself in the spotlight for scrutiny I am afraid. She is back peddaling now about being misquoted. Nonsense.
Milesy - on 30 May 2012
In reply to Bellie:
> It is difficult trying to tie Leanne's article to the actual events in terms of people who died on or around the 20th, it is hard to work out who all these dead bodies and dying people were?

And thus you have hit the nail on the head about the problem of the full circus.
MargaretR on 30 May 2012 - host-92-3-239-10.as43234.net
In reply to SimonHolloway1:
I warmed to GrahamD's comments a few days ago about Scott, Haston etc.
Walter Bonatti once said "The old traditions of alpinism are dead". Bonatti was described by Doug Scott as “perhaps the finest Alpinist there has ever been”.
GrahamD - on 30 May 2012
In reply to Milesy:

Have a go at the guides rather than the punters. If anyone could have helped it was them. Why is she getting so much flack that is better directed at the likes of Kenton Cool (if you believe there is flack to give). Surely not because he posts here and she doesn't ?
ericinbristol - on 30 May 2012
In reply to GrahamD:

Those are indeed different situations for a range of reasons. Bottom line is that you appear to think it is is fine to do what she, as far as we know, did. I do not. We have substantially different values.
Milesy - on 30 May 2012
In reply to GrahamD:

If Kenton posted and said he passed someone on the way up just as much scrutiny would be put on them. As I said she put her self in the spot light.

There might have not been anything she could have done but if that was me the unknown would always be present regardless of what other guides, ascentionists or people say. I would be haunted for the rest of my life over whether there *WAS* something that could have been done.
jkarran - on 30 May 2012
In reply to JayPee630:

> What on earth are you on about when you talk about these mythical people dying at Kings Cross? I pass there lots and have never seen any of them. Unless you are making a ridiculous comparison between some homeless people having a hard life and someone in the throws of death on Everest?

The point is that there are things we can all do, we choose not to.

£3 http://www.savethechildren.org.uk

I'm not pushing this charity/campaign over any other, just making the point that we're generally not as noble as we might like to think when it comes down to it... Someone else will do it, I can't help, it'll do no good, I'll make things worse, maybe later... pick your excuse.

This weekend I watched a street full of people studiously ignore an unconscious old man in dire need of help. I know I was sorely tempted to look the other way.

Assuming the quote is accurate and hers the 'mistake' this girl has made is not in admitting her inhumanity, it's in naively presenting her normal flawed humanity to the worlds press.

jk
GrahamD - on 30 May 2012
In reply to ericinbristol:

I do not think its 'fine' at all - I think it demonstrates very well how thin our moral veneer really is when put under the spotlight. I don't see it as an endightment of one or two people, I see it as an endightment on the majority of us.
Bobz - on 30 May 2012
In reply to jkarran: i dont think you can compare not giving to chariy as the same as not helping a dying person who is right in front of you!
GrahamD - on 30 May 2012
In reply to Will:


You are right, it doesn't compare because here and now in the comfort of the UK doing something for others dying is actually a lot easier than it is when you are at your limit in a life threatening environment.
gildor - on 30 May 2012
In reply to Game of Conkers:

I don't for a minute expect that they (I) would but it is not the same if it's a stranger as there is no emotional attachment. It still doesn't mean that there would be the slightest realistic hope of helping them. The top of Everest is not remotely the same as the top of Snowdon say...

The civilized imperative to help others in trouble might be the same but the physical ability to do so certainly isn't.

I thinks she shouldn't personally be the target of all this criticism. She didn't put those people in that situation and it would take a star lawyer to make the case that their deaths were her fault. The whole commercial climbing scene on Everest brings these risks and it is a dangerous place. Everest has claimed the lives of many elite high-altitude mountaineers as well as the inexperienced amateurs.

Who know how all the harsh critics here would behave themselves if they were fatigued and hypoxic on top of Everest with their own lives at risk? And do they really think that they would have the the strength to do anything useful?
ericinbristol - on 30 May 2012
In reply to GrahamD:

So, what is your view on what someone in that situation should do? Rather than not addressing it directly, address the situation itself. I think it is wrong to ignore a stricken climber and go for the summit. Even if I couldn't effect a rescue, I should give comfort to them and try to enlist the help of others. Once I felt at more risk than I could cope with, I would go down. Would I instead ignore them and go for the summit? I can't be sure but I really don't think I would. So, what about you? What do you think you should do in that situation and what do you think you would do?
ericinbristol - on 30 May 2012
In reply to gildor:

If you have the strength to go for the summit, you have the strength to comfort the dying.
Bobz - on 30 May 2012
In reply to GrahamD: thats not the point at all, and you know it.
the two do not compare -
i am not saving someone from iminent death right in front of my face when i give to charity, it is not instant, my money could go anywhere, but by stepping round someone on a mountain I am knowingly condemning them to death!
what would you do? push for the summit?
In reply to gildor:

> I thinks she shouldn't personally be the target of all this criticism. She didn't put those people in that situation and it would take a star lawyer to make the case that their deaths were her fault.

Has anyone said that they were? That's just silly.

And I said that its very unfortunate that this discussion has revolved around this particular young woman, she was part of group including much more experienced climbers presumably, but it was her own words - "some were still alive" - I heard her on the Today Programme, that started all this discussion.

And again, its that people were going up when they passed these dying people, not down, that again seems the central point.
GrahamD - on 30 May 2012
In reply to ericinbristol:

I'm under no illusions about being better than average morality wise.

I have already stated that I honestly do not know what I would do because I cannot know what physiological and mental state I would be in in that environment.

Furthermore, given the observed fact that the majority of people in life/death situations do walk on by even in benign environments (and the bigger the crowd, the more likely it gets)I have a nasty suspicion that I might do the same. Its not a nice thought.

Luckily for me and the vast majority of posters sitting on their moral high horse they are unlikely to be so tested in such a public arena.
In reply to GrahamD: You seem to be being very obtuse on this Graham. If you're the first person at a car crash and there are injured, do you not think that you there is a greater imperative for you to try and help than if you drive past a crash when the police, paramedics and fire crew are there already?
ericinbristol - on 30 May 2012
In reply to GrahamD:

Fine you don't know what you would do.

What do you think someone *should* do in that situation? Do you think they should ignore the dying and go for the summit? Or, where rescue seems impossible, comfort the dying, try to enlist others in either trying rescue and providing comfort and heading down when they feel too much in danger?
ericinbristol - on 30 May 2012
In reply to GrahamD:

She was clearly in the mental and physiological shape to go to the summit and back.
Bobz - on 30 May 2012
In reply to GrahamD: Morality is in you to decide what is right. If you already think you will ignore someone dieing without it even happening first, then what is the point! I like to think this discussion will make people step out from the croud and be that person who helps.
I pity the person who asks you for help - you have already decided what you will do, try a bit of empathy
Bobz - on 30 May 2012
In reply to GrahamD: and its not a moral high horse, it is the right thing to do!
MG - on 30 May 2012
In reply to GrahamD:
> (In reply to Will)
>
>
> You are right, it doesn't compare because here and now in the comfort of the UK doing something for others dying is actually a lot easier than it is when you are at your limit in a life threatening environment.

These comparisons you keep making are silly for a number of reasons.

1) We all make large contributions to others' well-being through taxes.
2) The majority of us also make charitable contributions.
3) Almost everyone would help someone dying in the street if we could*.

So the humane and natural thing for almost everyone to do is to help others in need and practically everyone does this very substantially, particularly where the need is obvious and acute. It appears from this and other stories on Everest that many climbers don't and indeed are quite happy to make a pre-meditated decision to not help others in obvious distress. Most people on here seem to find this pretty unpleasant.

*There is the by-stander apathy aspect of course, which is clearly "real". However, the likelihood of problems on Everest, you would hope people would take account of this in advance.


Bellie - on 30 May 2012
In reply to ericinbristol: Just out of interest. What comfort do you think you could give? Or is it more the case that someone would feel less guilty afterwards.

jkarran - on 30 May 2012
In reply to Will:

> i am not saving someone from iminent death right in front of my face when i give to charity, it is not instant, my money could go anywhere, but by stepping round someone on a mountain I am knowingly condemning them to death!

I'm sorry if it puts you in an uncomfortable position but now that I've raised the issue there is no real difference, act and you save a life, don't and you won't, a real person you could have saved dies.

It's understandable that we generally avoid thinking too hard about this!

jk
ericinbristol - on 30 May 2012
In reply to Bellie:

Good question. I think that there is plenty of evidence of people not wanting to die alone. The comfort in the end more than anything is of not dying alone.

Regarding feeling less guilt afterwards, I'm not so sure. If anything, guilt tends to be felt more strongly by those who have become more involved in a situation. But it's probably a mixed picture.
Conan - on 30 May 2012
In reply to Milesy:
> 2. Someone is making their way UP the way, and passes someone in difficulty. If you have several hours to spend continuing ascending to the summit and back then you have more than enough energy to attempt to help the troubled person in some way. Even helping them get down a couple of hundred metres might be enough to give them life. It many documented expeditions mountaineers have recovered from the brink of death by descending just a short distance below.

Absolutely. David Sharpe almost certainly could have been helped down from his position just 2 - 3 hours ascent time from high camp. The terain from where he died was a level section of ridge to the top of the exit gulleys. Then a slow slide down the snow gulleys to high camp.

Climbers would have used only 2 -3 hours of oxygen so spare oxygen would have been in plentiful supply.

There is not enough detail on the exact location of where Leanna saw these people alive and what state they were in so none of us know if it would have been possible to attempt a rescue.
Bellie - on 30 May 2012
In reply to Conan: My understanding was that David Sharpe was frozen solid after spending the night half undressed in the snow cave. As a result the people who found him thought he was dead. Difficult to know how he could have been 'helped' down.
Bellie - on 30 May 2012
In reply to ericinbristol: However once in such a hypoxic state of confusion, where the body is shutting down, you could probably build a snowman next to the person and that would give them as much comfort. Its a horrible position to be in thats for sure and not one I would wish to encounter.
ChrisHolloway1 - on 30 May 2012
In reply to Bellie: Lincoln Hall was described as such, having spent a night on the mountain after being left for dead 1 week after David Sharp died, yet he was rescued.
GrahamD - on 30 May 2012
In reply to TobyA:
> If you're the first person at a car crash and there are injured, do you not think that you there is a greater imperative....

Of course. But in the situation here there are never going to be paramedics on the scene.
ericinbristol - on 30 May 2012
In reply to Bellie:

That could be the case. But it also could not be: there are cases where people, including spontaneously, revive to consciousness in high altitude exposure. It can go either way. Simply assuming there is nothing that can be done is perfectly possibly not true and easily slides into rationalisation of desire for the summit.
Bobz - on 30 May 2012
In reply to jkarran: can you really not see the difference?!

one is an impersonal direct debit, the other is stopping what you are doing to save the life of the person whose eyes are looking into yours and are beseeching you to help!

it does not put me in an uncomfortable postition, and the issue you have raised is nonsense.

of course we should all give more to help our fellow man, but by stepping over his dying form this is condemning him to death.

a charitable donation does not equate to a life saved, what if i donate 1p less than is needed and a child dies - i still donated - there is no way of quanitfying the aid, but saving the dying person infront of you should come as second nature
Conan - on 30 May 2012
In reply to Bellie:

The teams going up that day were actually setting off from High Camp at 10:30pm so the 1st climbers would have got to him about 1am. The reports we heard was that he had severe frostbite but he was still conscious.

He had basically run out of oxygen on his way down and could not get down any further than Green Boots cave so may have been there for as little as 7 hours before the next wave arrived.


History only shows how people can survive. Remember 96
ericinbristol - on 30 May 2012
In reply to ChrisHolloway1:

Beck Weathers was also left for dead, survived and wrote a book about it.
Bellie - on 30 May 2012
In reply to ChrisHolloway1: I think however the two cases are a bit different, and Sadly David, attempting the summit alone was in a far worse state on his way up and was near death when found, unable to move - which is the key thing. How do you get a frozen body to move? they tried and failed.
ChrisHolloway1 - on 30 May 2012
In reply to TobyA: Well said,

Fact is Leanna has just become a public face for the faceless hordes who climb Everest and walk around/over dead/dying people, and is therefore experiencing the brunt of the anger directed towards the mob. She was one of many who walked past the climbers who died during her ascent, and whilst that doesn't change my stance that what she did was wrong, it does need to be understood that this is not solely her fault, it just so happens not many other climbers and being quoted in newspapers and blogs as saying "I had to step over people to get to the summit" (paraphrasing).
GrahamD - on 30 May 2012
In reply to ericinbristol:

> What do you think someone *should* do in that situation?

They can only make the decision when in that situation. It might help, I guess, if they had done the soul searching before getting there.

I certainly don't think they *should* endanger their own life and potentially the life of others in their party just to sit there for an hour or two.
Bellie - on 30 May 2012
In reply to Conan: 7 hours and without gloves, hat or down suit on his top half.
GrahamD - on 30 May 2012
In reply to Will:

The 'moral high horse' refers to those that sit in judgement of some people but who have absolutely no idea of what that person is capable of in the extreme position they were in.
ChrisHolloway1 - on 30 May 2012
In reply to Bellie: A bit different yes, but not hugely so, the core fact is 40 people passed David Sharp in that cave, even a quarter of that number could have a difference. A large group found Lincoln Hall, gave up their summit bid and got him down. If a group had done the same for David would it have been a different outcome, impossible to say. If you watch Everest Beyond the Limit where they found David Sharp, he was found on the way up to the summit and on the way down, only on the down route did people attempt to help him.
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Bobz - on 30 May 2012
In reply to GrahamD: but now you have been talking about it, you at least may be more prepared to stop and help instaad of assuming you wont
GrahamD - on 30 May 2012
In reply to MG:
> (In reply to GrahamD)
> [...]
>
> These comparisons you keep making are silly for a number of reasons.
>
> 1) We all make large contributions to others' well-being through taxes.

Non voluntary taxes ? are you serious ? in that case, punters have paid their peak fees and their tour operators - surely its now not down to them ?

> 2) The majority of us also make charitable contributions.

Usually from the comfort of our homes and not to the point of endangering our own lives we don't

> 3) Almost everyone would help someone dying in the street if we could*.

Not usually if they are stinking of piss and vomit would be my observation


GrahamD - on 30 May 2012
In reply to ChrisHolloway1:

> not many other climbers and being quoted in newspapers and blogs as saying "I had to step over people to get to the summit" (paraphrasing).

Especially those who's livlihood depends on perpetuating the circus.
In reply to GrahamD:

> Of course. But in the situation here there are never going to be paramedics on the scene.

Surely, that only increases the moral imperative to give whatever aid is possible?

Bellie - on 30 May 2012
In reply to ChrisHolloway1: I think Lincoln was able to speak and move upon being found. David was neither. I understood the people who found him on the up thought he was 'past saving' and were understandably astounded that he was still 'alive' on their return. Different outcome if they had tried something when first finding him - like you say impossible to say. But still how do you get a dead weight down from that height?

MG - on 30 May 2012
In reply to GrahamD:
> (In reply to MG)
> [...]
>
> Non voluntary taxes ? are you serious ? in that case, punters have paid their peak fees and their tour operators - surely its now not down to them

You are getting a bit ridiculous with this.


?
>
> [...]
>
> Usually from the comfort of our homes and not to the point of endangering our own lives we don't

No one is suggesting climbers should endanger their lives to help.



ChrisHolloway1 - on 30 May 2012
Bellie - on 30 May 2012
In reply to ChrisHolloway1: Did remind me of the Stan Ridgeway song Camoflage when I read this the other day.

ChrisHolloway1 - on 30 May 2012
In reply to ChrisHolloway1: Meant to add some text to that! In this rescue (which took place same kind of time as the Leanna ascent) 1 climber and 1 sherpa managed to rescue Aydin Irmak who was found unconscious (by some accounts) in the snow.
ChrisHolloway1 - on 30 May 2012
In reply to Bellie: Anyway like we say, no way we can know if the outcome would have been different. Not sure if you have seen it but the footage from Everest: Beyond the Limit when the team discovered David Sharp is very emotional and upsetting to watch, and to see the reactions of the climbers who were unable to help him (particular Max Chaya) was very sad. Worth watching, but powerful stuff.
Bellie - on 30 May 2012
In reply to ChrisHolloway1: It's on my list to watch. I've read quite a bit, and as you say a very sad outcome.
Milesy - on 30 May 2012
In reply to ChrisHolloway1:
> (In reply to Bellie) Anyway like we say, no way we can know if the outcome would have been different. Not sure if you have seen it but the footage from Everest: Beyond the Limit when the team discovered David Sharp is very emotional and upsetting to watch, and to see the reactions of the climbers who were unable to help him (particular Max Chaya) was very sad. Worth watching, but powerful stuff.

Also very manipulating in that the program was edited to make it out that they only discovered him on the way down when they had actually found, dismissed and passed on the way up.
ChrisHolloway1 - on 30 May 2012
In reply to Milesy: Indeed, Mark Inglis dropped them in that one.
Milesy - on 30 May 2012
In reply to ChrisHolloway1:

The New Zealand chap took some heavy abuse from Hillary over it all. They would not have edited the program in such a way if they did not belive in their heart of hearts that passing someone in trouble on the way upwards was acceptable.
Bellie - on 30 May 2012
When I think of the circus of the fixed line, the crowds, and everything that comes with it, its hard to reconcile it with this image.

http://www.dougscottmountaineering.co.uk/prints/pages/0270.html
GrahamD - on 30 May 2012
In reply to MG:

> No one is suggesting climbers should endanger their lives to help.

Stopping and leaving your guide is endangering your own life.
MG - on 30 May 2012
In reply to GrahamD:
> (In reply to MG)
>
> [...]
>
> Stopping and leaving your guide is endangering your own life.

Rubbish. Anyway you are clearly happy with this sort of thing so not much more to say other than it is rather depressing that you appear to be part of a significant minority.

Milesy - on 30 May 2012
In reply to Bellie:
> When I think of the circus of the fixed line, the crowds, and everything that comes with it, its hard to reconcile it with this image.
>
> http://www.dougscottmountaineering.co.uk/prints/pages/0270.html

My favourite is :

http://www.dundeemountainfilm.org.uk/hastononeverestbig.jpg



Bellie - on 30 May 2012
In reply to Milesy: Nice that.
Milesy - on 30 May 2012
In reply to Bellie:

He has an oxygen mask on though so not a real mountaineer ;)
Bellie - on 30 May 2012
In reply to Milesy: But I'm guessing at least he fixed the ropes himself ; )
no_more_scotch_eggs - on 30 May 2012
In reply to Bellie, Milesy:

two of the most amazing photos in mountaineering history,

a reminder of what its all about and why people want to be there

thanks for the links,

gregor
radson - on 31 May 2012
In reply to Bellie:

I do love that pic
Damo on 31 May 2012
In reply to no_more_scotch_eggs:
> (In reply to Bellie, Milesy)
>
> two of the most amazing photos in mountaineering history,
>
> a reminder of what its all about and why people want to be there
>

My favourite from that series is another one, the sunset shining on Dougal Haston as he smiles with his mask off. One of the few photos you'll see of him looking happy.

It might be what people want, and why they go there, but I see it as another instance of poisoning the essence to acquire the image. People use the language and imagery of one era but seek to replicate it for themselves by vastly compromised methods, thus corrupting what they came for.

Like buying a colouring book of Picasso outlines, the sections numbered and paired with the right coloured paint pots (sold separately).
Are you painting? Yes.
Does it look the same? Yes, kind of.
Did you undergo the internal processes inherent in the activity that have instilled it with so much value and prestige over time? No.

It's funny that these images are so iconic, because Doug was not so fussed about Everest. He really wanted to climb K2 and Makalu, and never got up either. Desire is a funny thing.

Also funny to go back through old issues of Mountain and see the underwhelmed reporting of the '75 trip in that mag. It was seen as vaguely distasteful, a bit of an old-style Bonington circus of porters and sahibs and logistics and money and media, reported almost as a cursory side note to whatever other new routes had been done by 'real' climbers. Sound familiar? Of course, they were just jealous ...
Doug on 31 May 2012
In reply to Damo: another piece in the Guardian today written by the gy who took the photo showing the crowds. The article has some further photos,

"Everest has been pushed to its limits, and a complete change of mind needs to take place otherwise we'll see many more tragedies taking place."

He added: "We need to debunk the myth of Everest." Despite a long-held wish to ascend it once more without oxygen, he would not climb Everest again. "It's spoiled for me now," he said. "And it's too dangerous. There are simply too many people on there who should not be there."


see

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/may/30/everest-mountaineer-crowding-hobby-tragedy

Damo on 31 May 2012
In reply to Doug:

Some good info there from Ralf. He of course is the owner of Amical Alpine, one of the major expedition companies guiding big mountains. He's regularly got clients up Nanga Parbat, but has not wanted to guide Everest for years now. His thoughts on crowding are not new. There are plenty of good commercial guiding outfits, like Paulo Grobel's, doing interesting big things with competent clients. Everest has become an outlier.
Annoying Twit - on 31 May 2012
In reply to Damo:
> It might be what people want, and why they go there, but I see it as another instance of poisoning the essence to acquire the image. People use the language and imagery of one era but seek to replicate it for themselves by vastly compromised methods, thus corrupting what they came for.
>
> Like buying a colouring book of Picasso outlines, the sections numbered and paired with the right coloured paint pots (sold separately).
> Are you painting? Yes.
> Does it look the same? Yes, kind of.
> Did you undergo the internal processes inherent in the activity that have instilled it with so much value and prestige over time? No.

I'm sort-of half tempted setting up a business of producing fake "Everest Summit" videos. It would start with collecting specially taken video footage and photographs of the South Col route. Then, I'd put clients into a green screen room wearing the appropriate kit and talking about the various stages of their "summit". Then I'd digitally insert them into the carefully composed Everest footage and hey presto, they've got the materials for some heavy duty bragging.

And I've a sinking feeling that if such a business existed, there would be willing clients :(
Annoying Twit - on 31 May 2012
In reply to Doug:

Looking at the Guardian article, I think there might be a solution that might help maintain the income stream for Nepal.

How about if Nepal insists that no-one is allowed to climb Everest unless they have climbed a certain number of Nepalese peaks of lower altitudes? (There could be a list, and a carefully designed definition of what qualifies as sufficient experience). This would help maintain the supply of tourists for Nepal, while spreading the tourists around a bit, particularly to less extreme peaks.
Bobz - on 31 May 2012
Annoying Twit - on 31 May 2012
In reply to Will:
> (In reply to SimonHolloway1) A Sherpas View on Everest 2012
>
> http://dotearth.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/05/29/a-sherpas-view-of-the-mount-everest-traffic-jam/

Following a link in that article, I arrived here:

http://theweek.myrepublica.com/details.php?news_id=35506

In that article, they mention one possible solution to the problem:

"They could range from proofs of previous summits selected by industry leaders as a prerequisite, as well as proof of training expeditions conducted in Nepal."

They don't say where the mountains that would be selected by industry leaders would be, but if they populated the list with peaks in Nepal, then that would help keep the income stream coming to Nepal, while spreading people around, as in my previous post. So overall, with the training expeditions, quite similar to what I suggested above.
abcdefg - on 31 May 2012
In reply to Ron Kenyon:

> Would I climb Everest - it would be great to follow in the footsteps of Tenzing, Hillary etc - but with all those people - no thank you.
>
> I have not climbed Mt Blanc or the Matterhorn - perhaps for the same reason (though money and time is another aspect for Everest) - fancy skiing Mt Blanc sometime though.

But Ron, there are plenty of routes up Mt Blanc or the Matterhorn other than the Gouter and Hornli Ridges respectively. And, likewise, I presume that if you avoid the 'normal' routes on the south and north sides of Everest, you ought to be reasonably free of the swarming hordes.

For myself, I would say the culprit here is commercially-guided trips - in *any* mountain areas. But the cat's out of the bag on that one: money talks.
Ann on 01 Jun 2012 - host-92-3-225-222.as43234.net
In reply to abcdefg: I agree - there are many routes, some new, up most hills and mountains which include those Munro things.
Strange that there has been no comment about the commercial backers of the young lady in question.
sue hodgkinson on 11 Jun 2012
In reply to SimonHolloway1:
I agree 100% with all your comments Simon. There is something very wrong about mountaineering on Everest. I hope it's not a changing attitude amongst mountaineers to helping others who are in trouble. Should Everest be 'de-commercialised' so that guides and sherpas won't be put under pressure by clients to get to the top at all costs? The primary concern of those on the mountain who do have the experience to help others is for their clients who have paid lots of money and are relying on them to get to the top and keep them alive.
I too have never been higher than the Alps but surely common decency tells us that it is just not right to think its ok to ignore people who are dying in front of us. If it's now become ok to think differently on Everest then its surely time for all involved to rethink what they are doing.
Flat4matt - on 12 Jun 2012
In reply to SimonHolloway1:

Very sad indeed. I think essentially it boils down to either CANT help or WONT help.
The fact is, she and every other person who lift their crampons over the dying bodies, freezing into the mountain will have to live with those images and memories for the rest of their lives, is it really worth paying 40k+?? I think not! Id rather climb the ben hung over, breathing through one nostril thanks!!!!

It would be interesting to see the points of view from the sherpas, being rather spiritual and ofcourse everest being spiritually special to them, how they view ignoring the dying people??? Or is it just meant to be in their eyes???
Matt
Simon4 - on 13 Jun 2012
In reply to gildor:

I agree that there seems to be a lot of keyboard-moralising going on, with rather simplistic comparisons as though the situation was clear cut.

> 1). Even on small mountains close to sea-level, rescuing someone who is incapacitated is very difficult - ask anyone who has any experience of mountain rescue. One person probably couldn't do it by themself even from the top of Snowdon.

I can think (offhand) of 3 occasions when I have been involved with getting people out of trouble on mountains, never higher than 5500m. On one occasion it was no higher than Coire an t-Sneachda, where a guide slipped on some path ice, landed badly, and immediately could no longer walk. It needed 8 people all the time to carry him when a stretcher finally arrived, with 2 in front to spot the way, and replacements at intervals no longer than 10 minutes. Near enough 20 people to carry him all told, and that was only for an hour and a half walk-out, on flat(ish) ground. A small Alpine or Himalayan party has no possibility of carrying someone, especially on serious ground.

On another occasion I and my partner were about 150 vertical m below the summit of Mont Blanc, in seriously deteriorating conditions, blown snow, , unclear traces, semi-blizzard and a biting wind. A weird figure appeared out of the mist, no ice-axe, crampons droppimg off bendy boots and an old-style rigid-frame scout pack on his back. "Where is the way" he demanded, this subsequently turned out to be the only words he could say in English, with very little more in French or German, that and "Czeckoslovakia". He was quite clearly a disaster in the process of happening, and stared at us like a lost sheep, crag-fast over a big drop.

I had a brief shouted conversation with my partner, including the words "do you want to do something, remember he can kill us very easily", response "well if we don't he's dead". So we tied him on with a Parisian baudrier, my large partner went behind to stop slides and I went in front to find the way. The last thing I said to my partner before we started was "he is GOING to fall - you must stop him!". He did, twice in the time it took us to get down to the Vallot hut (so no-one should imagine that ice-axe breaking is useless in the Alps!), by which time we had had enough - we told him to go into the hut and get warm. As he approached the hut, he slipped and disapeared from sight, evidently having fallen to unguessed depths. Nervously we looked over the edge and found he had stopped not far below, then we acosted a party of 5 descending Germans and asked (well ordered really - they were Germans after all!) them to take him with them.

If the Germans hadn't been there, or had refused, what would we have done - to be honest I don't know. It had been quite frightening enough getting him down that far with just he 2 of us. My partner later remarked that descending there was comparatively safe (though quite dangerous enough for me), if we had found someone in such serious trouble and so incompetent half-way up, say, the Coutourier coloir, what if anything would we have done? Were he could really endanger us.

> How many of the people who have expressed their "disgust" have any experience of high altitude mountaineering and have any first-hand knowledge of what is possible and what is just not possible?

The idea that there is a distinct line between helping someone else and endangering yourself is nonsense. Even as an experienced Alpinist, it can be incredibly easy and quick to go from proceeding steadily in control to a cascade of catastrophic events.

> She is an 18 year old amateur, not a team of experienced professional high-altitude mountain guides.

Which does of course raise the question of what an 18 year old with no experience is doing there.

> rescuing an incapacitated person from the upper reaches of Everest is usually just not possible.

The third occasion that springs to mind was in the Tien Shan, where we were in 2 pairs. One pair, that I was in, had reached the bottom of a dangerous ice-slope and were wondering what on earth had happened to the other. To cut a long story short, one of them had been hit by a stone and his knee cut open to the bone, which is not really what you want to see on a 50 degree ice-slope at 5500m in the middle of Central Asia, with evening drawing in and bad weather heading your way fast from China.

We took all the weight off him, bound his leg rigid, dosed him up with the strongest painkillers we had, gave him 2 ski poles and told him at all costs to keep moving, no matter how slowly.

There was no way on this earth that the 3 of us could have carried him if he was unable move on his own, and he was quite aware that he had to keep going, or he would die.

So I don't see that there are easy answers or straightfoward conclusions, especially in the crowded and anoxic conditions on the voie normalle of Everest.

Simon4 - on 13 Jun 2012
In reply to jkarran:
> Each of us every single day could do something simple to save someone's life, something much cheaper and simpler than rescuing stricken climbers off Everest. Generally we don't. I don't. We don't care, we're self interested and more than willing to don blinkers so the suffering of others doesn't encroach on our reality.

Human beings are selfish, some of them claim a higher, more enlighted morality than everyone else, it is almost invariably pretence or done out of a veiled self-interest - or they are just moral snobs, wishing to show how superior they are to the general herd. It seldom counts for much when the chips are down, frequently those with the highest theoretical moral principles are the first to turn tail and run if they feel threatened themselves.

Most people (other than psychopaths) won't do much to deliberately hurt another human being. They will also do very little to help them if there is significant risk or cost to themselves in doing so. We like to pretend that climbers are different, but there isn't much evidence to support this belief.



GrahamD - on 13 Jun 2012
In reply to Simon4:


> Which does of course raise the question of what an 18 year old with no experience is doing there.


Maybe we should ask the question of the people that took her money to take her there ?
MG - on 13 Jun 2012
In reply to Simon4: Notable though that on each occasion you did what you could to help, rather than walk past and ignore the person with the problem. I think this is all that is being expected on Everest. If genuinely nothing can be done, then so be it. But that is very different to not even assessing the situation seriously.

Did you for a moment consider simply stepping over the fallen guide in the Cairngorms and carrying on to complete your climb?
Simon4 - on 13 Jun 2012
In reply to MG:
> (In reply to Simon4) Notable though that on each occasion you did what you could to help, rather than walk past and ignore the person with the problem.

On those occasions, yes. But a week ago in central London a drunk/drugee was stagering about, then walked straight across a busy road with no warning (all the drivers seem to have been surprisingly alert). A crowd of pedestrians, including me, stood and stared, then looked the other way. I THOUGHT about borrowing a mobile phone and phoning the police to get him stopped. There was no evidence that anyone else had that much intention of doing anything.

The lonely/indifferent crowd effect.

I suspect that this is what is now happening on Everest. You are far more likely to help someone when less people are around than when responsibility is diluted by numbers, so we normally associate mountaineers with helping each other, but that may be mostly where there are few people on a route. When it gets crowded, I have often witnessed people getting more and more indifferent to others.

> Did you for a moment consider simply stepping over the fallen guide in the Cairngorms and carrying on to complete your climb?

No, but there was precious little risk in that situation, just a lot of grunt. I'm not sure that I would now take the risks we did for the Czech.

In reply to SimonHolloway1: I've never climbed at anything like 8000m so have no direct experience of the seriousness of even considering trying to help a troubled climber at that height. I also don't feel in any position to moralise about the rights and wrongs of attempting/not attempting rescues at that altitude. What I have found pretty unpleasant about the accounts of climbing past dying people is the seeming, normality of the this. If, as we are now led to believe, the dead and dying are so common place on Everest then something really is wrong. Death and injury are an inevitable part of mountaineering, and a fact that all climbers must accept, but if I knew that my next trip was going to involve seeing so much of it I'd choose another objective. This really sounds like the definition of summit fever.
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