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  1. #1
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    Everest News

    Ben Fogle Everest Diary: 'This is the biggest, toughest adventure of my life'

    AS Ben Fogle and Victoria Pendleton continue their mission to conquer Everest, the TV adventurer reveals in his third diary instalment for the Daily Express how much he is missing home and his struggles with altitude sickness.

    PUBLISHED: 00:01, Thu, May 3, 2018 | UPDATED: 12:58, Thu, May 3, 2018



    Ben's climb is in aid of the British Red Cross
    Our world is now one of snow and ice. We have been away for nearly three weeks and home is a rubble-strewn glacier that constantly shifts and groans. To climb Everest is no small undertaking.
    It is all about acclimatising the body to the ever increasingly thin air and this requires a number of "rotations" or expeditions on to the mountain in ever increasing altitudes.
    Our first rotation took three days. It began with a traverse of the infamous Khumbu Icefall.
    Of all the sections on Everest the icefall receives the most headlines for danger and has claimed many, many lives over the years. It has been one of my biggest fears of the whole challenge.


    We left base camp at 2am to try to pass through before the hot sun began to shift the fragile ice. It is a maze-like, surreal place.
    Where towering blue ice twists and contorts, three ladders were lashed together to cross gaping crevasses that disappear thousands of metres into the abyss below. It is both humbling and terrifying at the same time.
    In places you need to clamber up steep fins of ice before abseiling down into hollows.
    For four hours we navigated through the icy world before we reached camp one at a height of 6,000m.

    ICE MAN: Ben descends into a crevass using a rope
    A freezing wind blasted down the valley with a wind chill of minus 20. Shivering we put up our tent to escape the sub-zero temperatures.
    We stayed at camp one to allow our bodies to get used to the thin air before we set off across the rolling glacier for camp two.
    We made our way across vertiginous cliffs of ice before settling into the camp at 6,400m. And life at this level was difficult. A splitting headache and nausea overwhelmed me.
    I felt like I was in a dream-like trance. Fatigued and exhausted we lay in our tents trying to overcome the Cheyne-Stokes breathing we were experiencing, which is common at high altitude and involves alternating periods of deep breathing and shallow breathing.

    Everest for the armchair explorer in 360°

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    When your body wakes from sleep it can feel like you are suffocating. The thin air had a profound effect on both of us, particularly Victoria who needed to resort to some oxygen to help her acclimatise.
    Soon our guide Kenton Cool had us heading higher still as we worked our weary bodies up to the Lhotse face at nearly 6,500m. Above us the dizzying trail towards camp three.
    It was an awe-inspiring, nerve-racking sight to see the route continue high into the clouds above. This was the end of our first rotation. Another night at camp two and we headed back down to base camp.
    But the descent was no less tough. Changes in the Khumbu Icefall had led to a significant re-routing which involved a number of new ladders being fastened together.

    The varying landscape means the explorers must climb and descend to get to their destination
    Navigating through the icefall during daybreak was exhausting stuff. The sun reflected off the snow and ice like an oven and it felt like you were being fried alive with the ever present danger of avalanches that echoed around the valley.
    For Victoria and me getting back to base camp felt like returning home. Fresh food and clean clothes were a welcome boost for our exhausted minds and bodies.
    But my real home feels such a long way away. I am missing my family. This is the biggest, toughest adventure of my life. As much a battle of the mind as of the body.
    Soon we will be off on another rotation, back through the dangerous Khumbu Icefall and this time to camp three before returning again. It is a waiting game. A mind game.
    When I'm feeling low I think of the amazing work of the British Red Cross and the Anything Is Possible Foundation, inspiring others to follow their dreams and suddenly it doesn't seem so overwhelming.
    Ben's climb is being supported by and is in aid of the British Red Cross. Ben is a UN environment patron of the Wilderness And Mountain Hero.

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    This Mount Everest Pop-Up Restaurant Requires an Eight-Day Climb

    David Cheskin - PA Images/Getty Images

    Diners at the world's highest elevation pop-up will also forage for ingredients during their trek up the mountain.
    MIKE POMRANZMay 03, 2018

    For the world’s most audacious adventurers, conquering Mount Everest is, both literally and figurative, a pinnacle, an activity synonymous with doing the impossible. But if you really want to show the Earth who’s boss, you don’t just climb Mount Everest, you eat a seven-course fine dining dinner while you’re up there.
    A group of chefs is hoping to set a world record for the highest ever pop-up restaurantby serving dinner 11,600 feet above sea level at Everest Base Camp, according to Fine Dining Lovers. Pop-up aficionados may recall that back in 2016, ex-Noma chef James Sharman also held a pop-up dinner at Everest Base Camp, but reportedly that meal was never officially recognized by Guinness World Records; though even if it was, Everest has multiple base camps at multiple elevations. (Or this new group could simply eat on stools.)
    For this project, called “Triyagyoni,” the plan is for four chefs and ten diners to take an eight-day trek up the mountain starting in Lukla, Nepal, at the end of this month. Along the way, the group plans to forage for the ingredients that will make up their final seven-course meal—which will also include assumedly non-foraged wines.
    “The biggest challenge of course will be the altitude, which will affect everything,” Sanjay Thakur, an Indian chef who is one of the four behind the pop-up, told Fine Dining Lovers. “Flavour [perception] will be decreased, so we will be designing a menu of extraordinary dishes accordingly, where spices will have the upper hand.”
    Beyond pure adventure, Triyagyoni is also intended to raise awareness of sustainability issues, and along those lines, Thakur said that the meal, furniture included, is designed to leave nothing behind on the mountain. Additionally, all the money raised will go to local charities.

    Speaking of money, for those interested in the journey, assuming it’s not already sold out, tickets are apparently being sold for $5,600 which includes flights, accommodations, and meals. It actually doesn’t sound like a bad deal, though keep in mind that you’re also signing up for about six hours of hiking each day. Or you can also take a helicopter. But you if you’re going to take a helicopter, you might as well just take a helicopter to Eleven Madison Park. You can find contact information for the event on Fine Dining Lovers’ website.
    And for the record, as impressive as eating a dinner at Everest Base Camp may be, at “just” 11,600 feet, you’re still only about a third of the way towards the mountain’s summit, which rises 29,030 feet into the air. So, yeah, let us know when you’ve had a cheese plate and some Chianti up there.

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    The twins climbing Mount Everest for science, and the fractal nature of human bone

    By Sarah Crespi, Catherine MatacicMay. 3, 2018 , 3:15 PM
    Science Podcast




    To study the biological differences brought on by space travel, NASA sent one twin into space and kept another on Earth in 2015. Now, researchers from that project are trying to replicate that work planet-side to see whether the differences in gene expression were due to extreme stress or were specific to being in space. Sarah Crespi talks with Online News Editor Catherine Matacic about a “control” study using what might be a comparably stressful experience here on Earth: climbing Mount Everest.
    Catherine also shares a recent study that confirmed what one reddit user posted 5 years ago: A single path stretching from southern Pakistan to northeastern Russia will take you on the longest straight-line journey on Earth, via the ocean.
    Finally, Sarah talks with Roland Kröger of the University of York in the United Kingdom about his group’s study published this week in Science. Using a combination of techniques usually reserved for materials science, the group explored the nanoscale arrangement of mineral in bone, looking for an explanation of the tissue’s contradictory combination of toughness and hardness.
    This week’s episode was edited by Podigy.

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    Everest - Lhotse traverse, Sherpa Tenji attempts mountaineering enchainment in memory of Ueli Steck

    30.04.2018 di Planetmountain

    Interview with British mountaineer Jon Griffith on expedition in Nepal where Sherpa Tenji will attempt the famous Everest - Lhotse traverse without supplementary oxygen. Griffith is coordinating the live streaming of the ascent in memory of his close friend Ueli Steck who planned this enchainment last year.

    This spring season promises to be an exciting one on the slopes of Mt Everest with circa 275 climbing permits issued for the highest mountain in the world. Two expeditions in particular stand out, both, as it happens, sharing the highly ambitious goal of completing the coveted Everest - Lhotse traverse without supplementary oxygen: 41-year-old Romanian Horia Colibasanu and 53-year-old Slovak Peter Hamor who hope to achieve this feat by first climbing Everest’s West Ridge route, and Sherpa Tenji who plans on climbing Everest’s Normal Route before enchaining neighbouring Lhotse. Needless to say both expeditions are cutting-edge and what makes Sherpa Tenji’s particularly interesting is that, if all goes well, it will be followed in live streaming by Jon Griffith who will follow Sherpa Tenji on supplemenatary oxygen. Griffith had originally thought of this idea together with the late Ueli Steck who died a year ago to the day while acclimatising on nearby Nuptse. The project had been extremely low key until only recently, whe Griffith broke the news telling the climbing community “I’m excited to be shooting Ueli’s climbing partner Sherpa Tenji attempt to finish off what Ueli had started, and in his style. For me it’s about honouring the memory of one of my closest friends and bringing the Nepalese climbing community to the main stage.” interviewed Griffith to find out more.

    Jon, what makes this project special in your mind?

    It's a project of many parts. I started this off two years ago with Ueli Steck as I wanted to shoot him doing the Everest Lhotse traverse in Virtual Reality. As a cameraman, my passion is to bring people to locations that they could never otherwise access. I know it’s a bit cheesy to say that but it’s the truth and that’s what has led me to try and document hard climbs and remote locations around the world. When I first saw VR I thought “wow this is the most effective way of bringing people to these locations”. And it’s true, it’s just so powerful. But it’s not easy to shoot properly by any means. It also led me to think about doing a Live Stream of the ascent as well. As we all know Ueli passed away last year and after some alone time I realised that I really wanted to finish this project off. It was partly to finish off the biggest project that me and Ueli had ever thought up, but also because I wanted to say goodbye to Ueli on the traverse.

    And it’s with Sherpa Tenji
    Yes. Many years ago Ueli took Sherpa Tenji under his wing and taught him how to climb all over the world. He was definitely his mentor in many ways. Having Tenji attempt the traverse without O2 was a really beautiful story for me, and for me personally it’s a really nice tribute to Ueli to have Tenji and myself finish off his last climb and for Tenji to attempt it in his style. So like I said there is definitely a two part story to this. It’s a deeply personal project for me, as well as the most complicated mountain filming production I’ve ever attempted. I’m pretty sure that my brain is going to be completely wiped out once it’s all finished.

    The Everest season is coming into swing. But news about this has only been published now
    It’s always a bit of a fine line trying to balance the media side with the purist side of mountaineering. It’s something that I’ve always struggled with as a cameraman and I’ve always erred on the side of caution I think in my career- trying to keep media hype down and not appear to ’sell out’ as if it were. But it is a tricky balancing act. In this instance it’s not one that I am necessarily proud of because Live Streaming really is what most climbers would consider "too much", and to be honest I would agree. But I also really liked the idea of connecting people from around the world to a genuine ascent of Everest. We are capturing a very rare moment in Everest media and we’re in a position to bring cutting edge Himalayan climbing to people Live around the world and I think that’s really cool. In addition the focus now is on a Nepalese climber and we get to give that community of often overlooked climbers the centre stage to show their strength to the world. So much of Everest media is nothing that special in terms of climbing ability, but now we get to do something really different and unique and I really like that.

    And down below?
    Our Live Streaming is managed by an engineer at Base Camp so that we don't have to worry about satellite connectivity up high. But that whole side of the production is another story. It’s a hugely complex setup but the idea is to do as many updates as possible and in excellent quality rather than just doing one on the summit- it’s about doing it right rather than just being the first to do it.

    What's the plan
    I’m not sure anyone really knew what route choice Ueli had his eyes on last year. The Everest-Lhotse link up was a major objective and goal that he was fixated on and he knew that going via the Hornbein greatly reduced his chance of completing it. When we talked about it we talked more about the link up via the ’normal routes’ rather than via the Hornbein. To be honest I can see how if the Hornbein had been in exceptional conditions he would have gone for it but even when we talked about the link up via the normal routes he wasnt entirely sure that he would be able to do it. I think it speaks volumes to the difficulty of doing the travese via the Hornbein. The Link Up via the South Col was definitely one of his options and given that we’re not capable of trying his primary objective we’re going to be attempting this option - but that doesnt mean it’s going to be easy for Tenji. There’s a good reason the link up has never been done before by any route without supplementary oxygen!

    Is there a sort of “ideal timetable”?
    Ideally we would aim for our summit climb around the 25th May

    How can people follow progress?
    Whilst we’ll have media on our social media channels we’ll be posting the majority on the National Geographic Channels and the Live Streaming itself of the actual ascent will be hosted there as well. And I’ll also be posting updates on my social media channels and

    One last question Jon: what’s the spirit of this expedition
    We’re not trying to be the first. This isn’t a competition, we’re certainly not trying to beat Horia Colibasanu and Peter Hamor. Should they succeed I’d be incredibly psyched for them. If we succeed I’ll be just as psyched. This is about completing a project I’d first started with Ueli. About my way of saying goodbye.

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    Mount Everest Isn't Really The Tallest Mountain on Earth

    Sorry, climbers.

    2 MAY 2018

    Ever since Sir Edmund Hillary reached its peak back in 1953, thousands of adventures have set out to conquer the deadly summit of Mount Everest.
    In fact, so many people give it a shot every year that this Himalayan beauty is slowly turning into a literal pile of crap.
    Everest owes its popularity to the impressive title of 'highest mountain in the world', but in reality, it isn't - not according to science.
    Yup, the world's highest mountain is actually Chimborazo - a stratovolcano in Ecuador that's part of the Andes mountain range - because it's the furthest point from Earth's centre and, therefore, the highest in terms of distance.
    According to Eli Rosenberg for The New York Times, Chimborazo's summit rises 20,500 feet (6,248 metres) above sea level, which is shorter than Everest by 8,529 feet (2,600 metres), but that all changes when measured from the centre of Earth.
    Basically, since Earth isn't flat (sorry, B.o.B), it bulges outward at the equator and flattens near the poles.
    This means that mountains near the equator are technically higher than those in other areas, and it just so happens that Chimborazo is almost smack-dab on our planet's waistline, while Everest is 28 degrees north.
    Mount Chimborazo. (David Torres Costales/WikiCommons)

    So how much higher is it? Well, according to one report, Everest stretches a distance of 3,965 miles (6,382 kilometres) from Earth's centre.
    Meanwhile, Chimborazo stretches 3,967 miles (6,384 kilometres). Though it's only a 2-mile (3.2 km) difference, it means everything when it comes to crowning height titles.
    In fact, those 2 miles are enough to put Chimborazo at number one, and kick Everest out of the top 20.
    This isn't exactly news, though - NPR ran a report about Chimborazo back in 2007. So why does Everest continue to get all the love, while Chimborazo goes relatively unnoticed? Well, it all comes down to how hard the climb is.
    If you're a mountain climber, you want the hardest challenge, which is what Everest offers.
    It takes 10 days to merely make it to Everest's base camp, six weeks to acclimatise, and then the arduous nine-day climb to the top. On the other hand, Chimborazo takes about two days to climb after acclimatising (about two weeks), reports Rosenberg.
    Also, it's important to mention again that Everest still takes the cake when measured at sea level.
    If you're using that as a metric, Chimborazo wouldn't even rank as the tallest peak in the Andes. That title belongs to Mount Aconcagua, which rises 22,828 feet (6,961 metres) above sea level.
    So, if you've already made plans to climb Everest and earn your name a place alongside Sr Edmund Hillary's, fear not, because you are still climbing the tallest mountain in the world - if sea level is your metric. After that, you might as well hit up Chimborazo, because that climb will seem like a walk in the park.

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    Why Two Climbers Might Be Kicked Off Everest

    The Sherpa community rallied around Matt Moniz and Willie Benegas after their illegal ski descent of Lhotse

    Climbers Matt Moniz and Willie Benegas are currently under scrutiny and facing a 10-year ban from Everest after illegally skiing the Lhotse face. If Nepali officials do ban the climbers, it would effectively end the guiding career of the 49-year-old Benegas, who is one of the mountain's most famous guides.

    The pair planned to climb both Everest and Lhotse. During an acclimatization period, they skied 2,400 feet down the Lhotse Face, near their climbing route. Benegas, who is from Argentina, posted a video on his Facebook page. “Well after 10 years dreaming about it, it happen!” he wrote. “Managed to ski from Camp 3 Everest 7,200 meters to Camp 2 6,400m.”
    Someone reported them to officials, who checked to see if the climbers had secured the appropriate permits. Unwittingly, they had not.
    Moniz, 20, issued a statement: “Willie and I have permits for both Everest and Lhotse, unfortunately, we were completely unaware of the ski permit requirement, and of course, have made arrangements to pay for the permit and comply with the regulations. We certainly respect Nepal’s mountaineering rules and regulations and believe we were in compliance.”
    The permitting process in the Nepal is, at best, baroque and convoluted.
    The word “ski” does not appear in the Mountaineering Expedition Rules, 2059(2002) posted on the Government of Nepal, Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation, Department of Tourism official website. The clause requiring a ski permit is buried in a document titled “Tourism Industry Service Delivery Directives 2070,” which details the paragliding and skydiving rules. It is only published in Nepali.
    Christopher “JD” Pollak, co-founder of Myrmidon Expeditions has been introducing and promoting skiing to Nepalese youth and government officials for several years. I asked Pollack if the ski permit was well known and understood. “Absolutely not,” he said. “I happened to stumble on the requirement accidentally. As far as I’m aware, if it exists in a written regulation, it’s hidden deep in a filing cabinet somewhere with inches of dust covering it.” However, extreme skier Mike Marolt, who has skied in Nepal and on 8,000 meter peaks since 2000 said he has always paid a skiing fee because he applied as a ski expedition, not a mountaineering expedition. He added that he has never seen the regulation in writing.
    Skiing down the Lhotse Face isn’t exactly an unprecedented feat, either. In 1970, Japanese speed skier Yuichiro Miura made the first descent. In 2006, Kit and Rob DesLauriers skied the face with Jimmy Chin; Chris Davenportdid so in 2011, as well.
    With 24 Himalayan expeditions and 11 Everest summits, Benegas is no stranger to Nepal. He is an IFMGA mountaineering/ski guide. “In my many years of working in Nepal, I have never been made aware a permit is required to ski on Mt. Everest,” he said. Additionally, both climbers have deep ties to Nepal, raising over $100,000 for rebuilding efforts after the 2015 earthquake and personally delivering supplies to remote villages.
    The Sherpa community at Everest Base Camp has rallied around Moniz, who is American, and Benegas. The Sherpa wrote to the Ministry saying, “We will support the government if it takes action against anything illegal on the mountains, but in the case of Willie’s short ski descent, we all thought that giving punishment to Willie is not a fair decision of the government since Willie has been coming to Nepal over the past 20 years and supporting Nepal’s economy by bringing many tourists. He has also created jobs for many Nepali climbers, guides, and porters.” They went on to comment on the potential long term impact: “Banning the legendary climbers from Nepal would mean a huge loss to Nepal’s economy as Willie’s regular staff will lose their jobs and Nepal will also lose the tourists who would come here for climbing and trekking.” Nearly 140 Sherpa have signed the document.
    Skipping out on the permit to save money doesn’t appear to have been a motive for Benegas and Moniz. They had already paid $12,800 in permit fees for Everest and Lhotse. The additional ski permit ($1,000) and trash deposit ($500) were minor expenses.
    The additional permit also would have required them to pay for an additional Liaison Officer (LO), who is tasked by Nepal’s Department of Tourism with accompanying foreigners on their expedition to ensure that all rules are followed. They already had one LO for their climbing permit. However, their climbing LO was not at Base Camp. This has been a common complaint over the last few years: expeditions are required to hire an LO—which costs $3,000 per team—but the LO rarely appears at Base Camp or even meets the team.
    In addition to an LO, every expedition is required to use a local Nepali agency to secure permits and for other logistics. As reported in The Himalayan Times, High Altitude Dreams, the agency Benegas and Moniz used, denied knowing they were skiing. This is a little tough to believe, as Moniz had posted on Facebook that after he lost his skis while trekking to Base Camp, the agency assisted him in finding them.
    For now, Benegas and Moniz are back at Everest Base Camp still planning on climbing the two peaks. The Himalayan Times reported that the Department of Tourism has recommended that the Ministry of Culture, Tourism, and Civil Aviation cancel their climbing permits for Everest and Lhotse. However, the climbers have not been officially informed that their permit has been revoked. The Department of Tourism also recommended fining High Altitude Dreams and issuing a warning to the Liaison Officer.
    Moniz’s father, Mike, told me that he’s sad the misunderstanding occurred. “Matt is still hopeful to climb,” he added, “but the skis will stay in his tent.”

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    Everest, the highest point of the planet, is the only place in the world where people pass by deceased without any affection…

    As a general matter, after yet another tragedy on the slopes of Mount Everest people ask a reasonable question: can these climbers’ dead bodies be removed from the slopes of the highest mountain? Debate is fueled by the press, the journalists calls the situation “the highest open graveyard of the world” and “death in the clouds”.
    How many are out there?

    From 1922 to 2018 nearly 300 people died on the slopes of Mount Everest. Probably the very first known death was related to the missing English mountaineers, George Mallory and Andrew Irwin, in 1924. Mallory’s body was accidentally found only in 1999 while there is still no evidence of Irwin’s carcass.
    Chomolungma, or Mother Mountain, takes away her children. More than a third of the victims are Sherpa People: their death counting started in 1922. According to statistics, Sherpa People have 3.5 times more death chances on Everest than any infantryman during first four years of war in Iraq.

    Andrew Irwin and George Mallory (on the right).

    Generally people die on Everest because of avalanches and incidences, which are really lethal at high altitudes. Until 2017, 292 people died on slopes, and this number, unfortunately, is likely to grow. During 2017 (which can not be considered fatal year), Chomolungma took 6 victims, including Ueli Steck — professional and experienced climber from Switzerland (two Piolet d’Or award owner).


    Climbers call the zone above 8,000 meters the “Red Zone” or “Death Zone”. Anyone reaching this point is aware about the fact that there are no rescuers in case they get sick or an accident happens. The first to put this term in circulation was Edouard Wyss-Dunant, the head of the Swiss expedition of 1952.
    Atmospheric pressure at altitudes above 8,000 is below 35.6 kPa (267 mm Hg). Air oxygen level is not enough to stay alive (for example, on the Central European Flatlands at a height of 50 to 100 m the pressure is 760 mm Hg or 101 kPa).

    To understand what climbers feel on top of the world, imagine yourself on the wing of a flying plane, or try to breathe three times less often. This at least a little will help you to imagine what climbers feel at the top of the world. In these conditions they should go up the complex terrain, sometimes overcoming the vertical rocky areas, and at a temperature of -20 ° to -40 °C …
    Sergey Kofanov, twice Mount Everest climber, mountain guide, participant of Everest rescue missions

    Sergey Kofanov on Jannu Peak (Phoktanglungma).

    At an altitude of more than 8 thousand meters a person can hardly bear himself. A trained athlete or guide keeps a 10 kg backpack with oxygen and additional things. With all this equipment, you can move at an average speed of one or two steps per minute. It seems unlikely that at the same time someone can lift and drag a man on himself (if we are talking about a spontaneous rescue operation). Particularly as the total weight of the climber in full gear ranges from 70 to 100 kg.
    Winds on the Everest can reach up to 78 m/s (175 miles per hour). As a comparison: a 5th hurricane category wind speed (5th category of complexity) is set at 70 m/s (156 miles per hour). Its destructive power is difficult to describe: in 2006, the fifth-grade hurricane “Matthew” in Florida destroyed 3,5 thousand buildings and killed almost 900 people.
    Nowadays, also thanks to modern weather forecasts, organizers plan their ascents so that people do not climb during hurricanes: commercial expeditions pay special attention to the forecasting.
    But it’s not only about wind and cold: besides, there are still earthquakes, failure of the body system in extreme conditions; failure of oxygen equipment, rope breakage, mistakes while gear choosing. As a result, even professional alpinists, Sherpa People, and those who wanted to exceed human limits from the Roof of the World, lose their lives.

    No Man’s Land

    In such inhuman conditions human laws do not apply either. However, people who never visited the high altitudes often do not understand the rules of the “death zone” and are ready to condemn the climber, who passes by the goner on eight thousand meters, behind his back.
    One of the vivid examples that stirred up the mountain community was the death of the solo British climber David Sharp in 2006. Nearly 40 people passed him by. At an altitude of 8,500 meters David was exhausted and couldn’t move anymore, so he sat next to the well-known “Green Boots” corpse (he is considered to be Tsewang Paljor, an Indian climber died on the Everest in 1996).

    Tsewang Paljor body on 8,500 altitude.

    Some climbers simply didn’t notice David Sharp in the dark. Others assured that they exchanged him for Tsewang, because alpinist was wearing… green boots as well, and Sharp didn’t move at all. Whatever happened, the British died of hypothermia (and became the 199th victim of Chomolungma). One year later, as his family requested, his body was moved and hidden from the route.
    Sergey Kofanov
    The rescue issue on the Everest has many aspects. David Sharp went to the top alone: without guides, without Sherpa People. He put himself in a situation where, in case of emergency, he could be alone on the mountain without help, and, unfortunately, that’s what happened.
    It’s hard to accuse those commercial tourists who overpassed Sharp.
    People for the first time climbed the route under extreme conditions that were new to their bodies; they aren’t really aware of the situation.

    Perhaps it was normal that a climber sat down for a rest? For another thing, all climbers heard about hundreds of bodies on Everest, perhaps this was one of them?
    In addition, Sharp was unconscious during most of the time and did not react, even when climbers talked to him or shone a flashlight in his eye. Unfortunately, his fate was sealed.

    The Open Graveyard

    Everest has repeatedly witnessed the highest manifestation of the spirit, as well as the depths of human fall. But during the last years the situation with bodies on Everest routes is gradually changing. The “Sleeping Beauty” body — Francis Arsentiev-Distefano— was moved (she was the first American woman alpinist who made an oxygen-free climb but could not go down from an altitude of 8,200 meters in 1998).
    The heavy winds blew “Green Boots” corpse away (the body was rediscovered in 2017, but afield from the route). The same happened to the “German Woman” (Hannelore Schmatz died while descending in 1979). In 1984, two Nepalese men died while trying to move her. For many years, the wind blew down the frozen sitting woman with her blowing hair. Today, Hannelore is not visible anymore.

    Francis Arsentiev-Distefano.

    What now?

    Despite the scaring statistics, the number of ascents to Everest is not decreasing. Periodically in the mountain community as well in the press the waves of publications arise, which call for descent of the dead bodies, past which the climbers passes.
    As we already mentioned, some of the bodies were moved, sometimes by forces of nature, sometimes by people. This became possible, in part, because every year the climbers and working Sherpa People quantity are increasing (648 people summited the top of the Everest in Y2017).

    Sergey Kofanov

    There is a lot of talk about the fact that the Everest is “piled up with bodies” and climbers literally “step over” them, and it doesn’t go into any moral gates. People ask to “clean up the bodies from the Everest” and states that “they should lie in the ground”.
    Generally this information is not true. If you consider it from a technical point of view, there are almost 300 bodies on the slopes of Mount Everest, but today, on the way up, one climber may find two or three of them. Bodies are secluded, and you should attempt to see them.
    Normally, people encounter the deceased during the descent, because at night, when everyone is climbing the summit, it’s still dark. So the idea about “climbers stepping over the dead” cannot be used as a moral justification in order to remove the bodies.

    Photo by Mari Partyka on Unsplash.

    If a climber dies above 8 thousand meters at a temperature of -35 °C, after a while his or her body turns into ice. In addition, after a few days at altitude, it frozens into the slope: in such conditions it is almost impossible to separate the deceased from the surface. In this regard, the problem of “move down the body” is almost indecisive.
    If being completely impartial and cynical, we will formulate it as follows: while separating from the slope some of the iced bodies will need to be broken into pieces, and this is also far from the human notions of a “respectful funeral” and “last goodbye”.
    Israfil Ashurly — alpinist, Ice Climbing Internationally Certified Judge, UIAA President of the Youth Commission, 2010-2017; former President of Azerbaijan Mountaineering Federation. Completed the “7 Summits” challenge in 2007

    Israfil Ashurly on Mount Everest.

    People have a lot of power. Everything depends on their willingness. First and foremost, speaking of removing bodies from Everest, everything depends on financing, as this is a very expensive operation. First of all, it requires human resources, because at the altitudes where the bodies are located, the usage of helicopters is limited. Human work is required first of all. It won’t be a volunteer operation: Sherpa People will take part, but their service will require serious money.
    This problem needs to be solved somehow. Not all the bodies are on the routes, but all dead climbers on Mount Everest, almost 300 deceased, remained in the same place they died (except for those who had been moved by nature or by people).

    What if?..

    During the recent years, as indicated by expedition leaders Sherpa People have moved some bodies from the trail, and even this is an extremely difficult process.
    Today most of the bodies on the classic North Route (from the Tibet side) lies in the Death Couloir. It is located below the Second Step above 8 thousand meters: approximately where the body of George Mallory was found. If someone dies on this ridge while climbing or descending, the body will find its shelter in this couloir, or on vertical lines of the South Wall. There are no routes and people do not go there.

    Climbers on Hillary Step.

    While climbing from Nepal, alpinists may die in other places; until 2015, Hillary Step was a particular danger. Just then an earthquake had destroyed a 13-meter vertical ridge of snow and ice, surrounded by steep cliffs. In May 2017, the English climber Tim Mosedale confirmed that there is no more Step, and, according to him, now the ascent and descent will be even more dangerous. Earlier the path lied along the well-fixed ropes, and now the surface of the slope is unstable.
    Returning to the conversation about the full descent of the deceased, it’s not just difficult, but very difficult. As we have already mentioned, we are talking about a frozen as ice body about 100 kg weight. If it is possible to separate it from the slope, it will be necessary not only to drag the carcasse down by forces of 10-15 Sherpa People, but also to go down through steep rocks, and there are many on the route. This will require a whole system of fixed ropes and at least a dozen of experienced climbers. Which, unfortunately, go under risk as well, as happened to the Nepalese people, who tried to evacuate the body of Hannelore Schmatz.
    You can calculate an approximate body removal expedition costs by taking into account the fact that the Everest climbing cost per one person goes from 40 to 100 thousand dollars. Do not forget to add helicopter rent: from $ 5,000 to $ 20,000 per flight (but they don’t go higher than the Everest Base Camp, 5364 m). And the flights from Tibetan territory are completely banned by the Chinese government (except for single event cases).

    Of course, there were cases when helicopter flew up to 12,000 meters or landed on the top of Chomolungma, but these were the unique occurrences that can be classified as “bravery” (or “marketing” — depending on point of view). It is not possible to repeat them regularly.
    Israfil Ashurly

    When I was getting ready to climb Mount Everest (MP: Israfil Ashurly made the ascent in 2007 by Northern Route) there were a lot of rumours such as “you will walk over the bodies”, “you will move through the deceased” — and you will definitely see those who have already died. Those who have long since left, for example, the Indian climber Tsewang Paljor, who was perished in 1996, better known as Mr. Green Boots; and those who died recently, for example, Marko Lihteneker from Slovenia, who died in 2005. Also the body of George Mallory, who had been discovered in 1999.
    The prospect that I will have to see abandoned bodies in a certain sense overshadowed the upcoming expedition. I still don’t feel well when I think about it. But by a lucky coincidence, on the night of my assent the snow fell. And during climbing and descent I did not see a single body. The group that went the next day found better weather, the snow melted, and its participants saw some carcasses. Perhaps, supreme forces made it this way because I was so worried…
    Of course, it would be good to clean the bodies from Everest, or, perhaps, to cover some with rocks? In my understanding, dead people must be committed to the earth. I proceed from the traditions of the old school: people need to be saved, and bodies go in the ground. If they can’t be moved down, they should have some kind of a funeral. I think that leaving them outdoor is wrong: if someone left this earth, the body shouldn’t remind of a tragedy.
    Are there other ways?

    In 2017, a project to cover some bodies, permanently abandoned on Everest, with special non-woven material, was undertaken. The question remains open: how long can this tissue will resist?
    Because the wind and snow above 8 thousand meters are so strong that it can easily cope with any matter. It is also impossible to wrap a frozen body on a slope. How to secure the fabric? With ice screws or snow stakes?

    The covered body of Marko Lihteneker on Mount Everest. Photo:

    Cover it with stones? The smaller ones will also can be blown away by the wind, and how many stones can one person carry at a speed of one or two steps per minute and on last legs?
    Israfil Ashurly

    I was trying to solve this problem while working at the UIAA and bring the argument up during the meetings; and many times thought about how to come back to the argument properly. So, while trying to think I was coming to the conclusion that all this will depend on some means, which, perhaps, will have to be received as grants. At that time, I wasn’t aware about which organization or fund we need to appeal and who will allocate the UIAA money for these purposes? Where to go?
    Unfortunately, for the period of my work in the UIAA we didn’t progress in this matter. My idea did not manage to fit in some project. Perhaps in the future I will be back with the UIAA and will put the issue on table again. And maybe someone else will do something soon.

    The Conclusion

    Crashed tent on Mountain Everest slope.

    Therefore, the question of the “descent” or “burial” of bodies on Mount Everest, with all respect, most likely, will not be solved in the near future. Why?
    Let’s try to draw the following parallel: for many centuries of navigation, a lot of people died in the depth, but no one is engaged in lifting their remains (including, for example, “Titanic”). Sometimes divers find the bodies in the sea, but they do not call for elevating and funerals.

    At the same time, the mountaineering community doesn’t agree on the same while trying to do something with the dead bodies on Mount Everest. Some want to try to remove all the bodies; others want to make sure everything remains as it is. However, even if the dead rate remains at the level of 2017 (hopefully not to reach that number), by adding six dead bodies every year, then after a while, the highest peak of the world will have no place to spread… So sooner or later the problem will have to be solved. It would be helpful if experts from the UIAA or other international mountaineering organizations will take the initiative.
    In any case, it is worth remembering that alpinists who go to ascent the highest peaks of the world have chosen their own way, and we have to respect it. We must try to make the mountains closer and safer for those who are just starting their way to the peaks.

  8. #8
    Custom user Neverna's Avatar
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    An old school chum is going to climb Everest later this year. Rather him than me!

  9. #9
    Thailand Expat David48atTD's Avatar
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    Palace Far from Worries
    Scary Stuff ...

    Mind you, I'd love to trek the valleys of Tibet.

  10. #10

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    09-01-2020 @ 05:03 PM
    I do hope Ben and Victoria have time to drop in on Ricky's salon before reaching the peak.
    After all, they do want to look their best at the top.

  11. #11
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    One-fingered Japanese climber dies on eighth attempt at Mount Everest

    KATHMANDU (AFP) - A celebrated Japanese climber who lost all but one finger to frostbite on Everest has died on his eighth attempt to reach the summit, officials said Monday (May 21).

    Nobukazu Kuriki had fallen ill and was descending when his team lost contact with him. The 35-year-old is the third climber this month to perish on the world's highest peak.

    "Kuriki stopped responding to radio communication and we couldn't see his headlamp when we looked up from the bottom in the dark," his team posted on Facebook.

    "(The) team near Camp 2 climbed up his route to search for him and discovered Kuriki who passed away due to low body temperature."

    Late Sunday Kuriki had reached 7,400 metres, pushing beyond three of the four camps that mark the route to the 8,848 metre (29,029 foot) summit.

    "Now I feel the pain and difficulty of this mountain. I appreciate it and I am climbing," he wrote on Facebook.

    The conquest of Everest always eluded the experienced mountaineer, who had achieved solo ascents of two other 8,000-metre peaks without the use of bottled oxygen.

    On his fourth attempt to reach the top in 2012, Kuriki suffered severe frostbite and lost nine fingers.

    He returned three years later in September 2015, months after an earthquake hit Nepal and triggered an avalanche that killed 18 people at Everest's base camp.

    Bad weather forced him to call off that expedition. He tried again in 2016 and 2017 but inclement conditions again frustrated his quest.

    Man Bahadur Gurung of Bochi-Bochi Treks, who organised Kuriki's expedition, said they were trying to arrange for his body to be flown back to Kathmandu.

    More than 400 people have reached Everest's summit during this spring climbing season, when a period of calm weather typically opens the route to the top of the world.

    Nepal is home to eight of the world's 14 highest peaks and foreign climbers who flock to its mountains are a major source of revenue.

    Apart from the three deaths on Everest, at least three other climbers have died on separate mountains in Nepal this month.

    The body of a Malaysian climber was found over the weekend, five days after he went missing on the 6,812-metre (22,349 ft) Ama Dablam - a lower but technically difficult climb.

  12. #12
    R.I.P. Luigi's Avatar
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    An old business partner of my dad called Pat Falvey did it around the mid 90's, and remember his presentation about it at a conference a year or two later. Think he ended up doing it twice.

    Not exactly my idea of a way to spend time. Still, must be a helluva view. And passing frozen corpse after corpse must be a bit unnerving.

  13. #13
    Thailand Expat misskit's Avatar
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    World's highest ER battles to save lives on Everest

    EVEREST BASE CAMP, NEPAL (AFP) - As word came over the radio that a Sherpa had been struck on the head by a falling rock high on Everest, the three doctors at base camp jumped into action, fully aware that saving him would be a life-or-death race against the unpredictable mountain.

    Wary of the fading light that would ground the medevac helicopter overnight, they administered emergency treatment on the helipad where the chopper brought him in - enough, they hoped to give him a fighting chance of surviving the 20 to 30 minute onward flight to a hospital in Lukla, down the valley.

    "He was bleeding, so we had to stop that and then get him down," said Suvash Dawadi, one of three doctors who has spent the last two months at the Everest ER.

    The doctors staffing the sole emergency room on the roof of the world battle high altitude, freezing conditions and violent weather every climbing season to save the lives of sick and injured mountaineers.

    Medics running the tent clinic at 5,364 metres (17,600 feet) must compete with medicines freezing overnight, winds that threaten to blow the clinic's tent away and a cardiac monitor that gives up due to the cold.

    Countless foreign climbers who have run into trouble on Everest's unforgiving slopes have been saved from the brink by the rudimentary clinic since it was set up 15 years ago.

    But the ER has served a higher purpose: providing affordable medical care for Nepali Sherpas, the guides who are the backbone of the lucrative Everest industry.

    "Before Everest ER was set up the Sherpas didn't have any proper coverage," explained Subarna Adhikari, an orthopaedic surgeon.


    Established by an American doctor and now run by the Nepal-based Himalayan Rescue Association, the ER charges foreign climbers for treatment and in return provides subsidised care to the Sherpas.

    The ER has helped chip away at the stark imbalance between the foreigners who pay a small fortune to summit Everest and Sherpas who take on much of the risk to get them there.

    A Sherpa can earn up to US$10,000 - more than 14 times the average annual salary in Nepal - during the brief two-month climbing season that runs from early April to late May.

    But that means many ignore medical issues for fear of being forced out of a season's work.

    "For them to lose that job, for them not to complete the season, is disastrous," said

    A routine morning at the ER was shattered as an injured sherpa was rushed into the clinic - he had fallen 60 metres into a crevasse in the treacherous Khumbu icefall.

    Doctors quickly assessed him for internal bleeding - a life-threatening injury so far from a fully equipped hospital.

    But the Sherpa's sobs of pain gradually gave way to relief as doctors confirmed no bleeding or broken bones.

    A few days' rest, and he would be back at work.


    Doctors say attitudes are changing among Sherpas and other Nepalis working on the mountain.

    More are seeking early intervention for health conditions, ensuring their problems don't worsen and cost them a season's work.

    More than 60 per cent of the nearly 400 patients treated at the clinic this season were Sherpas or other locals working on Everest.

    Despite its life-saving work the clinic scrambles to stay afloat, reliant on the US$100 fee it charges foreign patients and donations, mostly in the form of medical equipment.

    Attempts to persuade the Nepal government to fund the clinic through the hefty US$11,000 permit paid by every climber heading for Everest's summit has fallen on deaf ears.


    Sometimes, emergencies are beyond the doctors' reach. News came over the clinic's radio that a Russian climber was stranded at 7,250 metres, alone and disorientated.

    Teams heading for the summit had passed Rustem Amirov and radioed for help, but none would turn back and aid the stricken man.

    The doctors tried to persuade climbers on the mountain to help Amirov.

    Someone gave him water, another a steroid that alleviates altitude sickness.

    "You feel quite frustrated and useless. You're standing by. Help is potentially available if these teams get their act together," said Australian doctor Brenton Systermans.

    Eventually two climbers dragged Amirov to the nearest tent, just 100 metres away. They radioed down to the doctors and then left him.

    "If he was evacuated within an hour he would have survived," said Adhikari. But no help came for the lone mountaineer.

    He died on 17 May.

  14. #14
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    From the Photo Archive: 65 Years of Epic Everest Climbs

    Decades after two climbers first summited Mount Everest, mountaineers from across the globe continue to set their sights on the world's tallest peak.

    Tents pepper the ground of Everest Base Camp, tucked into the mountainside under the towering Khumbu Glacier.

    In 1924, George Mallory and an expedition team set off to conquer Mount Everest. Mallory vanished during his attempt to reach Everest's summit days after this photo was taken.

    Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay were the first people to summit Mount Everest in 1953

    A group of Sherpas helped lead the first successful climb of Everest.

    Everest News-everest-anniversary-summit-tenzing-hillary-ngsversion
    Tenzing Norgay and Edmund Hillary drink a celebratory cup of tea after their successful ascent of Mount Everest.

    The rest are in the link...
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Everest News-everest-anniversary-summit-tenzing-hillary-ngsversion  

  15. #15
    Your local I.Q. Monitor
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    Today @ 09:08 AM
    And this is news is it? I thought the only person who hadn't climbed mount Everest was Lady Cows' 85 year old Father. I'm sure if someone put a Buddha image up the top he'd probably climb it too.

  16. #16
    Thailand Expat Latindancer's Avatar
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    Doesn't need to. Spike Milligan (Neddy Seagoon) (or is it the other way around ? I can never recall) had an elevator built there in the 1960s.

  17. #17
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    There's a yellow brick road going all the way to the top, made from frozen urine.

  18. #18
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    Just watched the one hour documentary on Ben Fogels supposed summit.

    He didn't actually summit, although he got close to the top.
    A million pound itv production with all the back up possible and the top of the world still evaded him.

  19. #19
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    WATCH & READIndian woman sets Mount Everest summit record
    World's highest mountain is covered in 30 tons of trash
    May 2, 2019, 5:16 AM ET

    PHOTO: In this May 8, 2017, file photo released by Xinhua News Agency, people collect garbage at the north slope of the Mount Everest in southwest Chinas Tibet Autonomous Region.PlayAwang Zhaxi/Xinhua via AP
    WATCH Indian woman sets Mount Everest summit record
    You don’t need a map to get to the Everest base camp, just follow the trash, says climber Dragana Rajblovic.

    Rajblovic knows what she's talking about: She's the only Balkan woman to have conquered Mount Everest.

    To date, 5,200 men and women have climbed to the peak of the world's highest mountain, according to Ang Tshering Sherpa, former president of the Nepal Mountaineering Association. Another 775 are planning to test themselves against the 29,029-foot mountain this year.

    This afternoon a team of Sherpas from Himalayan Guides and Madison Mountaineering completed fixing rope to Camp 4 on the South Col (8,000m) of Everest. This will allow teams to begin ferrying loads of oxygen and supplies to Camp 4, ready for summit attempts in the coming weeks.

    Yesterday afternoon the eight-strong Sherpa team reached Camp 3, before climbing the near 1,000m wall of blue water ice known as the Lhotse Face (7,400m).

    Iswari Paudel, Managing Director at Himalayan Guides told ExWeb: “My Sherpa team have just gone back to Camp 2. They will rest for a few days until we have a good weather window to fix rope all the way to the summit.”

    Cyclone Fani is currently heading towards the Eastern coastline of India, and therefore strong winds and heavy snow are predicted at 7,000m on May 3 and 4, which could halt further rope fixing and acclimatisation for the 370-odd climbers with climbing permits.

    However, Paudel told ExWeb: “We have had some news here regards to the next two days of weather and I have already informed my team. Some of the expedition team think that the weather in the mountain regions won’t be affected so much.”

  20. #20
    In Uranus
    bsnub's Avatar
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    Most who climb Everest are frauds who get halfway carried up the mountain by sherpas. After watching this you will never think the same of the people who climb Everest.

  21. #21
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    A British man died on Saturday minutes after summiting Mount Everest, bringing to 10 the total death toll this season on the world's highest peak.
    Robin Haynes Fisher, 44, reportedly fell ill while descending from the summit. An Irish man, Kevin Hynes, also died on Everest on Friday.
    Nepal is facing scrutiny for issuing a record 381 permits, at $11,000 (£8,600) each, for this year's Spring season.
    There have been reports of overcrowding and queuing climbers near the summit.
    This week a photograph showing the tailbacks on Everest has been shared widely on social media.
    What happened after British climber began his descent?

    Mr Fisher made it to Everest's summit on Saturday morning but collapsed and died only 150m down from the peak, his expedition company confirmed.
    Guides tried to help Mr Fisher after he "suddenly fell down", Murari Sharma of Everest Parivar Expedition said.
    Image copyrightAFPImage captionThe recent death toll has already eclipsed the total for 2018Despite efforts to wake him and to give him oxygen and water, the climber remained unresponsive and guides radioed their base camp to confirm he had died just 45 minutes after Mr Fisher had stood atop the mountain.
    Reports said one of his Sherpa guides had also complained of feeling ill, and was rescued to a lower camp.
    A statement from the Birmingham-based British climber's family paid tribute to an "aspirational adventurer" who "lived life to the full".
    "We are deeply saddened by his loss as he still had so many more adventures and dreams to fulfil, the statement added. "Everyone who ever met him in any capacity will always remember the positive impact he had on their lives."
    Image copyrightAFP/ PROJECT POSSIBLEImage captionIn total 20 have died in this year's Spring season on the region's mountainsWho else had died on Everest this week?

    Kevin Hynes, 56, from Ireland died on Friday on the northern Tibet side of the mountain.
    The father-of-two passed away in his tent at 7,000m (23,000ft) after turning back before reaching the mountain's peak.

    Other deaths from this week include four people from India, one person from Nepal, an Austrian and an American.
    A second Irish man, professor Séamus Lawless, is presumed dead after falling on the mountain last week.
    In a statement on Friday, his family said that the search for his body had been called off in order to not endanger others.
    Why have there been so many fatalities?

    There are some 41 teams with 378 climbers who have permits to climb Everest during the spring climbing season in Nepal.
    That season lasts about three months and generally runs from March through May, and is usually a time when the weather is relatively warmer, views clearer and the chances of snow and rain lower.
    However, conditions this year have been worse than usual, with high winds leaving a large number of climbers a narrow time frame to reach the summit.
    This has led to long queues at difficult points on the mountain, exposing climbers to physically taxing conditions for longer than expected.
    Rising numbers of people climbing - and dying - on Everest has led for calls for permits to be limited.
    The number of people climbing Everest in 2019 could - after the busy autumn climbing season - exceed last year's record of 807 people reaching the summit.

  22. #22
    Thailand Expat jabir's Avatar
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    Supply and demand, charge more to reduce numbers, and if that doesn't work charge more. No downside, everyone benefits, local and central gov, admin, infrastructure, equipment and facilities, rescue and recovery, locals, and sponsors won't mind an extra couple of k tax write offs.

    And learn from the experts at squeezing their cash cows, compulsory health insurance.

  23. #23
    I'm in Jail

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    11-12-2020 @ 01:11 AM
    Trouble is there are loads of "Climbers" who take on the summit off the back of raising money for charity, fukin rediculous really as the costs can be c$30K + besides all the other costs which could just be given to the charity.

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    I’ve Climbed Everest 21 Times. It’s Not the Mountain It Used to Be.

    Over nearly three decades, Apa Sherpa has witnessed the effects of I didn’t want to be a climber. My dream since I was young was to become a doctor. But I had to make a choice between my dream and my family. I chose my family.

    I was born in Thame, Nepal, around 1960. I’m not exactly sure what year. When I was 12 years old, my father passed away. He was the only breadwinner of the family, and I was the only child who could go out and work to earn. My mother, being a housewife, had no other source of income. I was in fourth grade. I had no choice but to become a porter.
    Being a porter will pay you about $5,000 per climb—but only if you get to the top. It’s less if you just go to the base camp. It doesn’t seem like that much, but a dollar here is like 100 over there. So in our minds, it’s worth the risk, because what else are we supposed to do? Back in our village, they do have schooling, but the education isn’t that great. So most people end up climbing to earn money for their families. There aren’t many other opportunities.
    I didn’t get that much money from portering. So when I became older, I became a trekking guide. It’s very risky, very dangerous, but you get a little more money. So I started climbing these smalls peaks—6,000 meters. I didn’t summit Everest, which is about 8,800 meters, until 1990.

    The first time I climbed to the top, I was excited for the adventure. But to me, it was my job. And it was a very dangerous job. Once, in 2006, two of my Sherpa climbers got buried when ice collapsed in the Khumbu Icefall. One of the climbers was my niece’s husband. Despite many rescue efforts, we were never able to recover their bodies. I had to return back home to my niece without her husband.

    The Western people, they always ask about the adventure. But this was very tough. It’s very hard to put it in words. I wish this on nobody.a warming climate and an overcrowded peak.

    Apa visits the Ghat Primary School in Ghat, Nepal, in 2017.Photo courtesy of the Apa Sherpa Foundation
    There were good times on Everest. In 2007, I climbed with a Sherpa-only team. When I am taking clients on the mountain, I have to worry about their physical state and keep an eye on them all the time. But climbing with a Sherpa team was very fun. We didn’t have to pitch tents, carry gears, fix ropes for anybody. We were cracking jokes and climbing at our own pace.

    The last time I climbed was in 2011, after 21 summits. My wife made me promise to stop. She said, “You need to build a life.” She said something would happen to me, that I wouldn’t survive. It was a tough decision, but eventually I listened to my wife. Any time I talk to anyone, I say, “You’ve got to listen to whatever your wife says.”
    There are big changes on the mountain from when I first climbed to the last time. There is less snow, and more rocks. There used to be house-sized ice pyramids at basecamp, but now you don’t see that. Back then, we had to melt ice and snow for water at basecamp and at Camp II. Now, you can find streams of water at both places.

    In 2008, I noticed that all the glaciers all over the mountain were melting. There were messes of human waste all over the road that came from the ice melt. On the mountain, the human waste is not stinky, because it is very cold. So we brought it down in zip-lock bags and dumped it in barrels in the valley. That year, we started bringing human waste down, and collected 17,000 to 18,000 kilograms of it.
    There are too many people who want to climb Everest. That’s partly because we only have one climbing season now. We used to be able to try to climb twice a year, in autumn and spring. But now, in the autumn, there are too many avalanches. Now people only try in the spring, and the short window of weather means everybody wants to climb at the same time and on the same day. Everybody’s waiting for the good weather.
    I don’t believe we should stop climbing Everest. People who want to climb should be welcome to climb. But I believe the Nepali government should limit permit regulations for climbers so the mountain isn’t so crowded. Climbers also shouldn’t leave any garbage, or their waste, behind.
    I want better opportunities for the Sherpa people. When people in America hear the word Sherpa, they automatically think of us as mountain guides. But the word Sherpa literally means people from the east: “Sher = East,” and “Pa = people.” We are an ethnic group believed to have immigrated from eastern Tibet roughly 500 years ago. Not all Sherpas guide on the mountains. Not all of them should have to.

    Apa Sherpa is the founder of the Apa Sherpa Foundation, which promotes educational and economic opportunities for Sherpa communities in Nepal.

    Emily Atkin is a contributing editor to The New Republic and the author of the climate newsletter Heated.

  25. #25
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    A plan to clear 35,000kg of rubbish from Everest and five other Himalayan peaks has been slammed by some of Nepal's leading mountaineers.
    The government says the army will be used for the task, which will cost 860 million Nepali rupees ($7.5m; £5.7m).
    Last year, they managed to clear about 10,000kg of waste from the region.
    But Kami Rita Sherpa - who has scaled the world's highest mountain a record 24 times - says they do not have the skills to reach the highest points.
    "They collected garbage from lower altitudes," Sherpa told BBC Nepali, adding: "They should mobilise Sherpas to clean up garbage from higher elevations.
    "Only Sherpa guides and porters can do that. They should be given proper compensation to clean up the mountains."

    The six peaks - Everest, Lhotse, Pumori, Amadablam, Makalu and Dhaulagiri - attract climbers from around the world each year, who often abandon oxygen and cooking gas cylinders, climbing gear and other rubbish like food wrappers, cans and bottles in their attempts to reach the summits.
    But the climbs are not without danger, and numerous people die each year - Everest saw 11 deaths in 2019. Many of the bodies are left on the mountains, so need to be brought down as part of the clean up.

    Media captionEleven tonnes of rubbish found on EverestBut it is particularly difficult to bring items down from the higher reaches. In some cases, bodies and rubbish have lain for decades in the snow and ice.
    "Climbing Sherpas are the right people to clean up the peaks," Purba Tashi Sherpa, who's scaled Everest 21 times, said. "The government should keep that in mind."
    Nepali Army spokesman Bigyan Dev Pandey said he was confident his team would be able to reach the upper areas during this year's clean up, which ends on 5 June.
    "We are learning from our mistakes and working hard to clean up the mountains, including the higher elevations." he told BBC Nepali.
    Nepal's government has also brought in measures to encourage people not to litter, asking for a $400 deposit, which is returned if they bring their waste back down with them.
    But it is not easy, the Sherpas acknowledge. Even with their skills, they can struggle.
    Ang Tshering Sherpa, the former president of Nepal Mountaineering Association, told BBC Nepali: "It's really hard to bring back heavy cylinders or dead bodies from the higher camps.
    "Sherpa often risk their lives to do so. Most of the iced bodies weigh as much as 150kg, and that looks impossible for Sherpas to bring down."

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