/ 17 year old porter left to die on Mera Peak

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purplemonkeyelephant - on 11 Nov 2017
https://www.facebook.com/RolfeOostra360/posts/2023345184569024

Just read this Facebook post from a guide who is on Mera at the moment, he reports of a group being led by a 'well-known British company' getting frostbite, 'some to the extent that they could not even walk', probably due to getting lost, despite other teams summit in 'record times' when 'the going had been good on a well-formed path'.

Then on the same trip they had to rescue a 'poorly dressed' and unconscious 17 year old porter from 6200 metres that had been abandoned by his team.

All pretty crazy if true!
Northern Star - on 11 Nov 2017
In reply to purplemonkeyelephant:

Does anyone know which British company? Would be very useful to know since I'm planning a trip over there (Ama Dablam) in the next couple of years and woldn't want to pick one that may (allegedly) be cutting corners.
Luke90 on 11 Nov 2017
In reply to Northern Star:

The Facebook post has a short list of providers that the guide would actually recommend, towards the end.
Trangia on 11 Nov 2017
In reply to purplemonkeyelephant:

Why doesn't the article "name and shame?".

You can't be sued for slander/libel if you speak/write the truth., and these issues are so serious that they need to be out in the open.
davidbeynon on 11 Nov 2017
In reply to Trangia:
The truth is not an absolute defense against libel in English law. You have to be extremely careful even if the facts are on your side.

Also, UKC would be liable for publishing anything posted here unless they took pains to delete it.

A relevant case is Godfrey vs Demon Internet.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Godfrey_v_Demon_Internet_Service
Post edited at 14:10
kmhphoto - on 11 Nov 2017
In reply to davidbeynon:
Defamation Act 2013 (the Act).
"Truth provides a full defence to an action of defamation. It requires the defendant to show that that the imputation conveyed by the statement complained of is substantially true. Therefore the onus is on the defendant."



Post edited at 21:09
davidbeynon on 11 Nov 2017
In reply to kmhphoto:

For some reason I thought that had been defeated. Burden of proof still makes it dodgy though.
kmhphoto - on 11 Nov 2017
In reply to purplemonkeyelephant:
Quite a disturbing report but not sure why he would use old photographs to illustrate his claims that some people suffered severe frostbite with some unable to walk.
Post edited at 22:08
Dave Perry - on 12 Nov 2017
In reply to purplemonkeyelephant:

Just because it is on Facebook doesn't mean it is true.

purplemonkeyelephant - on 12 Nov 2017
In reply to Dave Perry:

That's why I said "crazy IF true".
kmhphoto - on 13 Nov 2017
In reply to Dave Perry:

Having now read the guys response about using old photographs I don't find his report to be credible at all.
CliffPowys on 13 Nov 2017
In reply to purplemonkeyelephant:

I have no idea what the truth of this particular matter is but I have climbed Mera three times and IMO there are
certainly problems.

Most parties go from Lukla (2840m), over the Zatrwa La (4610m), and down to Thuli Kharka (4300m)
in two days. Not surprisingly this causes altitude problems for many members. Not many parties take the
six to eight day southerly approach, which offers sensible acclimatisation. Once in the Hinku Valley,
few parties take rest days at both Thangnak and Khare (BC).

The result of all this is strings of poorly acclimatised members slowly making their way to the
top camp and, on the following morning, on to the top. Many do not make it and I have seen people
vomiting into the snow on their struggle back down. Physical problems are often compounded by
poor equipment and the consequent slow pace leaves them vulnerable to the cold and wind. I once helped down
a Brit wearing single alpine boots. At BC he was found to have three frostbitten toes.

Even after you get back down you still have to recross the 4600m ridge before descending to Lukla. For
many this seems the last straw.

IMO Mera is a poor choice for someone who has no high altitude experience. It is a considerable
expedition with three or four days spent above 5000m, a long climb on a slope that is unprotected from
bad weather, and a night at 5780m. If my experience is typical, it is too much for many people and has
too little margin for error in poor conditions.

I know that Imja Tse (Island Peak) is a bit more technical but it is a single day climb after adequate
acclimatisation and is in a very accessible location. IMO it is a much better choice for a first 6000m
peak than Mera, which I would recommend as a second trip.

purplemonkeyelephant - on 13 Nov 2017
In reply to CliffPowys:

Fantastic insight!
Damo on 14 Nov 2017
In reply to CliffPowys:

> ... strings of poorly acclimatised members slowly making their way to the

> top

Yep. But it's all over too, not just on Mera. I was up around Gokyo last month and, even though it's now being dubbed by locals the 'valley of death' because of unacclimatised trekkers dying there, there was just group after group of trekkers plodding along like zombies, because they'd only had one day in Namche and were going straight day after day to Gokyo. I'd listen to them talk about being on Diamox(!) and how bad they felt. They were in no position to enjoy the experience and in no position to help themselves or anyone else if things turned bad. The day after I left Dole a British trekker died there in their sleep.

Which exactly mirrors what I've seen on other popular guided peaks over the years - Stok Kangri, Aconcagua, Denali, Peak Lenin - where itineraries are produced to fit into work/holidays, regardless of geography or physiology. Doing Kilimanjaro in five days is an obvious example - most people should not fail on such an easy mountain but many do, and far too many die or get sick. It just spreads and spreads as more and more people do these treks and 'climbs'. The number of people I came into contact with getting sick, or not completing their trip, was surprising even to me - and it's just so unnecessary.

Madness.
purplemonkeyelephant - on 15 Nov 2017
In reply to purplemonkeyelephant:

An update from the guide for anyone interested:

https://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=2026232004280342&id=1562958127274401
kmhphoto - on 15 Nov 2017
In reply to purplemonkeyelephant:

He's also edited his original post.
Alex Ekins - on 16:48 Wed
In reply to Dave Perry:

it is true

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