no refunds...too bad for you

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Re: no refunds...too bad for you

Postby Fisching » Thu May 10, 2012 5:05 pm

Paying for a guide doesn't guarantee a successful summit. Putting that expectation and corresponding pressure on a guide service leads to disasters. Remember 1996? If not, read Krakauer's Into Thin Air.

Sometimes the tough call is the right call even if it leads to second guessing.
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Re: no refunds...too bad for you

Postby Scott P » Thu May 10, 2012 6:54 pm

Matt: Does that cost include the permit fee from the Nepalese government? If so, the outfitter at least has a duty to find other parties who are willing to use and pay for it, and refund this this cost back to the original climbers.

We're right in the peak window now, but I understand there are usually people hanging around Nepal this time of year looking for a permit to go onto.

Scott: Not sure what you mean. If you attempt Everest you have to pay for the permit whether or not you summit. If you don't summit you can't give your permit to someone else.

Matt: I thought there were group permits where you could.

You can sell permit spaces for Everest, but not if you already used your permit to attempt or climb the mountain. The permit is for attempting the mountain, rather than summitting it. All the climbers in the Himex Expedition have already been climbing the mountain since March. That link in the beginning of the thread doesn’t say how high the clients reached on Everest, but the Himex site says they are dismantling Camp III (which is ~24,500 feet), so they did have a least a good run at the mountain.

I don't know of any mountain permit in any country where you can attempt a mountain and then give away your permit just because you didn't reach the summit. In the US if I attempt Denali and miss the summit I can't give away my permit on the way down, especially if I'd already been climbing the mountain for 1.5 months.

Besides, anyone who is attempting Everest right now already started the climb back in March. No one starts an Everest climb in May (unless they have been climbing another nearby peak for acclimatization) since it takes two months and the season is over in a few weeks and summer is the Monsoon season.

Even if were allowed to sell your permit after attempting the mountain, it would be way too late. Anyone who is on Mount Everest started their climb in March (unless as mentioned they acclimatized on a different mountain) and would have needed their permit back then and that's when anyone who didn't have a permit would be looking for one.


Anyway, I haven't been on that many guided trips, but when we did go to Elbrus one late September no one summitted due to bad weather conditions. One member made it to within ~460 feet from the summit and all the others turned back earlier (I turned back over 800 feet from the summit). No one asked for or got a refund.

Here's what Russell Brice says about this year's climb:

The clients will not get a refund of the 43,000 Euros they have paid for their Everest trip. The money has already been spent on salaries, logistics, food, ropes, hardwear, permits, transport, hotels etc. There are small savings like on oxygen, some food and toilet bags and the clients, who want to come with us again next year, will certainly receive a discount.

At the time of writing this most of our clients had left base camp. Some of them flew back to Kathmandu by helicopter on Tuesday morning, some of them are trekking back to Lukla and some are just about to climb Island Peak.

Our Sherpas have cleared Camp III completely and Camp II is in the process of being dismantled. The Sherpa team will leave again tomorrow morning at 2am to continue clearing Camp II and carry loads down to Camp I. There will be several more trips to the two camps before all the equipment is brought down from the mountain.

Some of the reasons for turning back:

When we first arrived at base camp at the beginning of April, the crack in the ice block on the West Ridge was pretty small – now it is probably between 5 and 7 metres wide. This means that the pressure within the ice blocks is huge. So far, we only had small pieces come down, however, there is certainly the potential for a huge collapse, which could kill and injure a large number of people.

We had a close call in an avalanche about one week ago. Two of our clients and a guide had a near miss in the avalanche that came down from Nuptse. We normally do not see such massive ice cliffs coming down from Nuptse and we were very lucky that the two clients decided to stay at Camp I that day and not carry on to Camp II. This was one of the early warning signs.

The rockfall on the Lhotse Face has also been a huge danger for everyone. We have seen quite a few accidents caused by the falling rocks. The reason is the very dry season this year and even though we have had a bit of snowfall higher up, it has not improved the situation much. A few more warm days like today in combination with big gusts of wind will see these rocks flying again.

If the above is true, turning clients back certainly sounds like a reasonable choice to me.
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Re: no refunds...too bad for you

Postby ajkagy » Thu May 10, 2012 7:10 pm

don't see why they should even consider giving refunds, the people hired a guide service to show them the way and already paid plenty for their services. If someone really wants to pay 50k+ to climb a slag pile of rocks higher than any other slag pile of rocks, then they need to read the fine print in the contract :)

in my opinion the whole everest thing is a little ridiculous, but if it feeds the local economy and creates jobs for guides up there then more power to whoever wants to go up there.

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