/ Kenton Cool has morphed into Bear Grylls
Is it just me or does the latest video of Kenton Cool getting to the top of Everest along with 1924 Olympic Medal seem totally OTT. If it didnt have Kenton Cool in the heading then i'd have assumed it to be a Bear Grylls video.
I was stuggleing at 1700 meters at the weekend, crakcing head ache crappy nights sleep (might have been to the beer).
I'll be impressed if he does the SW face. But probably no profit in that.
Im sure it will have the Beeb salivating and upon arrival back in the Uk an appearance on The One Show is inevitable. It's sure to raise his exposure.
> I'll be impressed if he does the SW face. But probably no profit in that.
When Grylls gets nominated for a Piolet d'Or then your comparison MIGHT have some truth.
But probably not.
> When Grylls gets nominated for a Piolet d'Or then your comparison MIGHT have some truth.
Perhaps he could get someone waiting the top to give him one the next time he goes up!
The likes of Grylls will be 30ft away from an icecream van up a tree having an epic because his rope snapped and is improvising using the sticks from lolly pops to make a make shift frame to climb down!
I remember Andy Kirtpatrick tweeting Kenton to wish him luck and to also stay away fro the media hype!
Kenton is obviously upping his appearence on TV/Radio etc as Samsung will be cashing in on it. Fait play to him and I'd rather see a Born Survivor episode with Kenton in than Bear.
No comparision at all. Bear would be eating shite up there for a start ;-)
I'm not quite sure what you expect Kenton to say, he went to the top to take the medal up there, and Samsung sponsored him. If he wants that sponsorship to continue, then he has to give them what they want. Who knows, now that climbing sells to the general public, maybe companies like Samsung will come forward and sponsor more low key expeditions to other peaks as well.
Anyway, Bear would be flying to the summit on his paraglider...
What would have been really good, was when he got to the top, he patted his pockets and said: "Eh, I think I might have left it in the tent"...
> What would have been really good, was when he got to the top, he patted his pockets and said: "Eh, I think I might have left it in the tent"...
I was thinking something similar.
I,ll admit that Bear Grylls can be a bit OTT.
But anything he does on tv has been produced for a tv audience, so of course it has been jazzed up a bit.
He deserves a lot of credit for what he has acheived and its a shame that a bit of bad misinformed press gave him such a bad name.
At the age of 23 he summited Everest, and became the youngest briton to do so. Also getting himself into the Guinness book of records.
As a training climb he also become the youngest brit to climb Ama Dablam
a Mere 18 months or so after breaking his back in a parachuting accident.
He is also a Black belt and served with the SASr.
He is currently the youngest ever chief scout.
the list goes on,He has achieved more in 36 years than most will achieve in a life time.
A leading British climber who reached the summit of Mount Everest for the tenth time last month has called for the number of people climbing the world's highest peak to be limited, after one of the deadliest years in its history.
Or to quote Kenton Cool directly...
“I think we’ll move away from the big expeditions with 15 or 20 paying members to go back to smaller, less profitable groups of four or five”
It's not tat.
We have a choice - judge it by our Western standards (rubbish on a mountain top) or listen to the Nepalese views on it. I think it is an entirely appropriate place to leave these prayer flags, whether they are made of brightly coloured nylon or not.
It looked like a pile of rubbish, and I perhaps mistakenly condemned it as such. I was suitably embarrassed at leaping in in error, but then I thought: Does a pile of rubbish get to be OK if it's placed with a religious purpose? (BTW are you sure they're flags? They do look an awful lot like plastic bags.)
On the Nepalese view: We could listen to the Chinese view on coal-fired power stations, or human rights, and decide that how they behave is appropriate, but we don't. Just because we view Buddhism and the Nepalese as generally benign doesn't mean their way is best. Absolute standards are difficult and possibly wrong to impose, but double ones?
And I know it might be relatively insignificant in comparison to the oxygen bottles, dead bodies, tents etc, but it is at that very highest point: is it actually OK?
I'm interested as much because I have made what was an objective judgement on what I thought was a visual intrusion, and then been told the cultural significance and felt duly embarrassed at having made an error. But does the cultural/religious aspect necessarily trump concern for the once-pristine mountain environment?
I also think the pristine mountain environment is a nice sounding ideal but totally unattainable - where does it end ans is it really achievable? Remove all trace of man from Everest....remove all trace of man from Base Camp....remove all trace of man outside of the villages in the Khumbu...do you not see where this is leading?
Of course there's the impossible and probably unnecessary idea of a pristine wilderness, but like you say, a bit of compromise ... however I think what I'm flagging up (hmmm, that was accidental) is: are we giving undue deference to the religious stuff, because it's done by sherpas, who're good guys generally?
Maybe the fact that the sherpas have to do this (for religious reasons) is yet another reason for questioning the mass ascents of Everest which most people with any interest in the outdoors, let alone climbers, find increasingly tacky and bizarre. Should the economic interests of the Sherpa communities override our concern for the environment?
There will be at some point a brake put on Everest commercial climbs, either by a very big tragedy, international condemnation, or the Nepalese authorities.
Given that the mountain is in territory where Buddhism is the dominant religion, and Buddhists do all the heavy work to get anyone up there, I reckon they can put a few of their prayer flags there if they want. Of course, the locals never *did* climb Sagarmartha/Chomolungma because they feel it is sacred (and they had no crampons) so maybe prayer flags on the summit are a kind of apology for selling out.
But of course Nepal also has Hindus, and China has no religion, so I'm not sure what else is up there. The old tripod (1975) and the theodolite reflector thing (late 80s) are gone now. At least they had a purpose.
On New Year's Day 2005 I went alone to the summit of Vinson and cut off about half a kilo of junk. Some of that junk was Tibetan prayer flags. Some of it was sponsor pennants, scarves and other junk. I felt it had no place there, including the Tibetan flags (which probably came from Boulder or Santa Monica). The mass of junk was tied around the ski pole left by Victor Samsonov in 1979 during Vinson's 2nd ascent, and was causing snow to build up around it and bury it. If the wind ripped it off and blew it away, then it was just littering Antarctica. Why do that?
On top of Denali I saw prayer flags, which I left there, along with an empty champagne bottle and a photo. On Aconcagua there was a beer can, a photo of Mary (Jesus' mum, not Whitehouse) and bits of other junk around the aluminum cross. I don't think most of that should be there. The best summits have had nothing on top.
> On top of Denali I saw prayer flags, which I left there, along with an empty champagne bottle and a photo.
Err, I meant the champagne bottle and photo were already there *as well as* the prayer flags, not left there by me!
Well it depends - if our concern for the environment (their environment) reduces the quality of life in the Khumbu, then yes, I think it should.
> A leading British climber who reached the summit of Mount Everest for the tenth time last month has called for the number of people climbing the world's highest peak to be limited, after one of the deadliest years in its history.
Mick, is there any irony in a climber who has summits 10 times asking for numbers to be limited? I'm assuming he and his clients won't be part of his moratorium?
> Mick, is there any irony in a climber who has summits 10 times asking for numbers to be limited?
Endless I would have thought.
> Endless I would have thought.
And there was an earlier video from them where Kenton was up at C3(?) breathlessly proclaiming how being up there was "a once in a lifetime" thing. On his tenth trip - wtf?
Alternatively maybe he was a big knackered and slightly hypoxic and said something slightly wrong. It's certainly no big deal that he said something slightly inaccurate at altitude.
As if! This is the clip I mean: http://www.kentoncool.com/kenton-cool-safely-reaches-camp-3/
Lost for words? :-/
Who are we to judge what others chose to put on top of their mountains ? look at the old and new summit building remnants, markers and rubbish on top of our biggest hill.
Who are we to judge? ... well, we're as good as anyone else to do it, and once you start making judgements about other people's environmental practices, (do we really not mind those Amazon-clearing soy farmers?) then it's not unreasonable to extend the argument/ask the question.
I can't be the only one who's been disappointed to find crucifixes etc at the top of Alpine peaks. It spoils them a bit, doesn't it?
Kenton is as enthusiastic when climbing a grade 3 icefall with a beginner as he is on Everest. He just enjoys what he does. Fair play to him I say, he's earning a wage doing something he enjoys.
Yeah, after I saw that I thought he was a two faced prick who, even if he bleats on about environmental concerns and commercialsation of the mountains, does so as a total hypocrite.
Crossed lines there, I was backing up what you were saying! He does play up to the cameras, but equally, I think he is just enjoyinh himself!
Yes we do, you are saying people behave differently when doing stuff for their employers, hardly a revelation
Why does everyone try the jealousy card when criticisms of this sort come up? It;s got nothing to do with it, more to do with his wholehearted embracing of commercialisation/sponsorship of the mountain environment. The Samsung add was pretty disgusting for many reasons (see for example www.stopsamsung.wordpress.com) not to mention loads of other issues.
Why is this so hard to understand?
That sounds reasonable Nick, but is the kind of post that gets us nowhere. If some gap year toff was blogging breathlessly from Everest for a major company s/he'd be pilloried on here forever. But because it's KC, the fans fall into line.
As if 'making a living' is justification for anything? His little to-camera piece was cringeworthy, tacky and crass. Yet another example of the commercial exploitation of Everest for monetary and personal ambition, and all that results from that - media, crowds, rubbish, unnecessary death and more regulation. KC has made a living commercialising Everest for years, now he says others should be dissuaded from doing so. The self-serving hypocrisy is ridiculous, as has been hinted at elsewhere.
Jealous? I've made my living from climbing and there are as many pitfalls and downsides as upsides. I honestly feel a bit sorry for KC that he has to keep going back and doing the same thing all the time. I've done something similar and grew to dread it, or at least parts of it. If he still loves it, good for him, but it's not something everyone should be automatically jealous of. There are a whole bunch of people making a living from 'climbing' because they're not good enough at anything else.
Offensive? I find the sycophancy and unquestioning justification for these kinds of things to be offensive. It makes me angry because such opinion, or lack thereof, filters out and affects how things change, or don't change. Likewise the Andy K article was lauded, when he said pretty much what people in the forums had said, only he's never been anywhere near Everest, or above 5000m(?) and yet there were Everest summiters commenting in the forums, who were just pushed aside. But he's 'famous' and 'funny' - and British - so anything he says is OK. Equally in experienced climbers saying in the forums what he said would have been abused. Swallowing that kind of crap is what makes UKC look bad, not people arguing in the forums.
Down the track you'll all be complaining once again about commerce on Everest and silly climbers hogging the media, conveniently forgetting that not long ago you defended this rubbish yourselves, just in a form that was more acceptable to you at the time. You could at least be consistent. No one is beyond reproach.
I agree calling KC a prick is out of line. I don't care for personal insults, I'd rather stick to the actions and the content. I don't care if it's KC or anyone else there, it's their actions I'm concerned about and how the climbing community accepts them, or not. Stifling debate because it gets 'emotive' or a bit vigorous is ultimately damaging for us all.
Phew... and in awe
Very well put.
So what's the polite term for someone that willingly promotes a company that is criticised for human rights abuses and a bad environmental record, and uses both the mountain environment and the image of climbing and mountaineering to do so?
And OK, hands up, maybe my language was 'offensive' to some, but again, I find what's going on here, with Everest on a grand scale, but also across the board with climbing, mountaineering, and the commercialisation of the hills and mountains much more offensive, and anyone that willingly helps this along deserves public criticism by the climbing and walking community that care about these things.
And Damo, great post, thank you.
Some good footage of this years Everest and an interview with Ang Dorjee who has just made his 16th ascent of Everest.
So do you think people that do immoral things supporting human rights abuses are beyond criticism? Where's the line between 'bad taste' and unacceptable behaviour do you think? How about doing a Chinese peak and promoting the Chinese state and ignoring their human rights abuses? Would that be alright, or would we all just be jealous of the lucky soul who scored that gig?
And FWIW I think there's a big difference between someone using a computer/mobile phone etc. as part of daily life and someone that willingly uses their status to promote an abusive multi-national company for money, especially, as here in the context of this forum, that is connected to climbing and mountaineering.
My job is irrelevant, as my career/attitude is not the thread topic here.
Okay, so here is a constructive suggestion, how about, instead of assassinating someone's character on a public forum, why don't you outline clearly for the rest of us what Samsung have done, and go away and write some letters to some CEOs and MPs. Maybe write Kenton a letter too explaining why you think he has made a bad choice of sponsor. Might actually do some good.
We are all part of the commercialisation of the mountain environment whether we care to admit it or not.
> And FWIW I think there's a big difference between someone using a computer/mobile phone etc. as part of daily life and someone that willingly uses their status to promote an abusive multi-national company for money, especially, as here in the context of this forum, that is connected to climbing and mountaineering.
All it indicates is how little you are prepared to sacrifice for the "principles" that you are happy to criticise others about.
Well it would at least indicate what level of hypocrisy you have. Unless of course you are a sustainable yurt living vegan who supports his family without any external corporate help.
> We are all part of the commercialisation of the mountain environment whether we care to admit it or not.
Surely you must be able to spot the difference between an advert on a website, Kenton Cools commercial guiding and his efforts to publicise Samsung over the last 2 years?
"We are all part of the commercialisation of the mountain environment whether we care to admit it or not."
That is correct - I first woke up to that fact back in the 1970s and have felt uncomfortable about it ever since.
I think we should all be reading a bit more - eg (as I posted earlier) Walter Bonatti thoughts about Mountaineering.
You're quite right that we're all "on the spectrum" but I believe that we should take a critical look at the extremes and consider when and how they should be limited.
Surely a man of your intelligence already considers his own "part att the lesser end of the spectrum"?
It is a lot easier to choose between a Samsung mobile phone and a Nokia as a "moral" choice, than to turn down an offer of sponsorship that will allow you to support your family.
I thought lots of top end climbers spent their lives looking for sponsorship. Is it somehow unacceptable to be sponsored by a Korean phone manufacturer rather than a Chinese outdoor clothing manufacturer?
OK I have an advantage over most of you. I'll admit I'll admit I've met him. I'll admit he joined me on a scout camp in summer of 2010 in switzerland where he asked about ME and how I was coping after loosing my 18 year old son in a mountaineering accident, 6 months before. I'll admit he's begged me to join him on his next trip to Everest BC. Before that tho he's going to open a climbing barn built in memory of my son. Doesn't that just say what a normal guy he is behind the fact that he's Mr Popular atm? It does to me.
Get over yourselves and stop knocking what we have, celebrate it. It's a rare thing!
He is obviously a fantastic mountaineer, from what I have seen of him he sounds like a sound likeable guy and I fully admit i am immensely jealous of how he earns his living.
However, that Samsung video makes my skin crawl. To sell your dignity and your integrity in such a public fashion is very sad. I suppose its a sign of the times, it happens in football, rugby, tennis, golf and now climbing is just any like other sport/ pursuit that can be used as a platform for commercialism.
I don't think anyone has a particular issue with commercial exploitation of his position. The problem comes with a) Everest and taciturn support for the whole circus (going further than most by adding bolts) b) we want to take him seriously as an Alpinist with true alpinist ideals but we are increasingly detecting a sell out of these ideals on a far greater scale than Sir Chris was ever accused of.
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