> (In reply to victorclimber)
> Agreed. I see ridicule as one way of emphasising its crapness.
I totally agree, what happened to a leader and second climbing (alpine style), but I suppose to may people died climbing the major peaks that way.
It's safer to underpaying third world people to fix ropes and then having fights with them about who is doing what on the mountain is so civilised. and then allowing "Mountaineers" with more money than skill to jumar up those fixed lines to become the 300th person that year to top out on the summit is so the way to go.
Personally I know I am not good enough to climb that hard a mountain, but in my opinion the second I took up Sou'wester Slabs on Saturday is more about climbing then most of the people who pay between $50-$70k who climb Everest.
In reply to AlanLittle: sort of, Conrad anker and Leo houlding's 2007 expedition replaced it with a new one as part of the caveat on being allowed to free climb the step, so it should be there for a while yet...
They could tunnel in to the mountain from near the foot of the Hilary Step and install an Otis lift to take people to the summit, like the one you can take to the summit of the Kleine Matterhorn from the top station of the cable car. At least it would leave the Step itself free for people to climb if they wanted to...
In reply to ericinbristol: There are thick, school gymnasium-style fixed ropes on places such as the Eiger Mittelegi Ridge. the Matterhorn and the Dent de Geant. All great mountains, all years ago despoiled, mainly to facilitate guides taking clients up their normal routes. The Hornli on the Matterhorn primarily exists now as a business. If that is acceptable, then they might as well stick the ladder up on Everest too. Just as one can still do the Zmutt on the Matterhorn, I suppose there will always be the Kangshung Face.
I'm surprised there's not one already given all the fixed ropes and ladders, camps and O2 dumps on the approach.
Who are they kidding to say, it would only be used on the descent to preserve the climbing challenge. What's wrong with a short abseil or lower. If you are going to install a one way rope system you might as well install up ladders and down ladders along with the extra fees for using them and for making video calls from the summit! See the Hughes 'Red Nose' fiasco at http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-22681414
Seems to be a lot of unpleasant stuff going on between the Expedition operators, Nepal Gov, Sherpas and Western climbers and sanctions or worse placed on anyone who speaks out. Not good at all
“Kari Kobler and Russell Brice are pictured at ABC – check the picture - with the best of the Hilti bolting technology: A 36V cordless hammer drill capable of sinking a 16mm diameter bolt into the summit ridge of Everest. A battery pack can be worn under the down suit, allowing the battery to stay warm enough to drill more than 100 holes. The plan is to use the drill to fix 10mm bolts.”
“Kari wants to fix “Via Ferrata Style” 150mm long “step bolts” onto the second and first step to speed up the climbing for everyone.”
Mind you, the April 26th date of that article, coupled with the fact that the source of the story is an Australian with an impish grin, makes me wonder (hope?) that someone at Base Camp might have been pulling someone else's leg a bit a few weeks previously...
Railway tunnel, with a window somewhere in the middle of the Southwest Face Eiger-style.
There's an alternative history SF novel by Kim Stanley Robinson in which the Black Death completely wipes out Europe. In World War One between the Caliphate and the Chinese Empire, the muslims systematically shell the top of Everest in order to knock it down to smaller than K2. That might be a idea; K2 wouldn't draw the crowds to such a degree.
In reply to ericinbristol: Just go the whole hog, and fit a Stanna Stairlift up the whole route, with a Zip Wire from the summit for the descent.
Just think how many expeditions the Nepalise authorities could cram onto the mountain then - I mean if it's just about the money, then at least turn it into a proper cash-cow.
Starbucks at Base Camp - in fact why not build a proper town there, because lets be honest, climbing (and I use that term very loosely) Everest these days, is about as far removed from 'climbing' as you can get.
> (In reply to ericinbristol)
> ...Does dynamite work above 8000m?
Interesting, I've had problems with peizo and even weatherproof matches working at just below 4,000 metres so maybe someone could get sponsorship from an explosives company to set of the highest ever blast of dynamite!!!
In reply to ericinbristol: I really don't see a problem with this. Fixed ropes run pretty much the full length of the route. When was the last time anyone actually free climbed the Hillary Step? I'm going to make a wild "Armchair Everest Climber" assumption that even at the start of each season that there is enough fixed rope still left to safeguard the addition of a new one.
This seems to be a notorious bottleneck where people get delayed for a long period of time waiting for those coming up and going down. If this ladder helps reduce the bottleneck and thus helps saves lives/fingers/toes, then whats the argument against installation.
For all those folk who are fighting the battle about "Murdering the Challenge", I'm afraid that that battle was lost a long time ago. The final nail was probably when the restrictions were lifted on on the number of climbing teams allowed on Everest in a season.
Everest is a "Cash Cow" to that region and it will be exploited as much as is financially possible. That is life. Unless there is a major change in the number of teams allowed on Everest in a season then fixed Ladders, permanent stone/concrete structures at Basecamp etc are going to come.
No one seems to mind the ski lifts in the Alps, no one seems to mind the Cable Car to the top of the Aig d'Midi (I do mind the idea that people think they've climbed Mont Blanc when they stand on the viewing Platform!), no one seems to mind the fixed ladders down to the Mer de Glace.
I went to the 60th Anniversary show at the RGS yesterday and was appalled when Ms Rebecca Stephens MBE (she has an MBE, yet Stephen Venables has nothing!) kept on describing Everest as a British Mountain. IT IS NOT OUR MOUNTAIN. If it belongs to anyone then it belongs to the country in which it sits. Therefore, does it not ring true that the Nepalese or Tibet/China can do with it what they please. We may not like it, we may ask though our representative at the UIAA to ask for it not to be done but when it comes down to it it's their asset.
In 1936 a couple of German lads and an Englishman (?) climbed a new route on Tryfan. They placed three pegs and there was uproar. The mountain lies in Britain, and at the time it was not the British way to place fixed ironmongery on crags. The route was climbed free and the pegs removed (using a poker from Helyg if I remember correctly by Menlove Edwards). The Germans don't now 'own' that section of Tryfan just because they made the first ascent. The route lies in the UK and belongs to the UK. If the 'Men in Grey Softshells' decide that a fixed ladder is required up Munich Climb then that is a UK decision and does not need to be run past the Germans for permission.
> (In reply to ericinbristol)
> I went to the 60th Anniversary show at the RGS yesterday and was appalled when Ms Rebecca Stephens MBE (she has an MBE, yet Stephen Venables has nothing!) kept on describing Everest as a British Mountain. IT IS NOT OUR MOUNTAIN. If it belongs to anyone then it belongs to the country in which it sits. Therefore, does it not ring true that the Nepalese or Tibet/China can do with it what they please.
Exactly. Imagine if the Chinese went to great lengths to publicly tell Britain how to look after Stonehenge?
The MBE things just shows how worthless and meaningless those things are in the context of something like climbing. They often go to people who don't deserve them, relative to others who do, but in our little world of climbing it seems even more absurd as we feel the discrepancies more keenly.
That picture of the body is the most thought and emotion provoking photo I have seen in a long time. Look at the sheer number of people on the ropes. I don't think for a second that with some team effort that body can not be taken down those lines. I could not live with myself.