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everest mayham, indy vs commercial

Discussion area for peaks outside of the USA.
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everest mayham, indy vs commercial

Postby davebks » Mon Apr 18, 2011 3:26 pm

I have often wondered if there are any people out there still climbing Everest on their own, and if this was even possible up the main routes.
I thought this was a really interesting article-

It seems like with all the guide groups and fixed lines, you would almost have to go with a big name company.
I feel like I could write a book on my thoughts about this, but at the least wanted to post the article to share with you all.

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Re: everest mayham, indy vs commercial

Postby Scott P » Mon Apr 18, 2011 6:22 pm

I have often wondered if there are any people out there still climbing Everest on their own, and if this was even possible up the main routes.

Yes it is possible. The vast majority of ascents are done in a few weeks period in May. The post monsoon season has been mostly abandoned, despite the fact that many ascents were made during that season in previous years. Outside of the few weeks period, Everest stands almost empty.

No one at all has climbed Everest in January, March, July or November. Few are doing off season ascents and no guided groups are doing them.


Despite what the media, reality shows, naysayers say, Mt. Everest is a big mountain. It’s bigger than some mountain ranges in Colorado. Still, some like to judge it by what happens a few weeks of the year on the two standard routes. Everest has many routes and many of them have either never been repeated or have been repeated once. The Everest Horseshoe still hasn’t been climbed and neither has the Fantasy Ridge.

Independent climbers can still come and can still have solitude as there are plenty of months available in the year and many routes available to experienced climbers. One reason why there aren’t many off-season and off-standard routes being done anymore is because it’s harder for this big independent expeditions to get sponsored anymore. Overall, the types of expeditions getting sponsorship now are not the same kind of expeditions that were getting sponsorships in the 1980's and before.
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Re: everest mayham, indy vs commercial

Postby kaiman » Tue Apr 19, 2011 9:33 am

I would also add that the other thing that detracts from individual/small group climbs that are unguided these days is that the governmental bureaucracy and legal permit fees in both the Himalayas and Karakorum have gone up exponentially in the past two decades as guide outfits and trekking companies have increasingly commercialized hikes/climbs in the region.

As climbing has become big business, the Asian governments have continually increased their fees. For example, In 1996, the year of all the tragedies on Everest, clients were paying upwards of $60,000 a piece to climb which of course was in part for food, logistics, and guiding, but also a significant portion was for permit fees. There are ways around this such as organizing your own trips to the region, which involves a lot of logistics and upfront cash but can be done. The other option is to use Ed Vestiurs method (see his book No Shortcuts to the Top) and pay your way on to another teams permit and then do your own climb/thing, which is what he did on a number of occasions while completing the 8,000 meter peaks. However, the days of government/company sponsored expeditions are largely over, unless you have the skills to get gear company sponsorship or know someone in the movie/media business and can find an angle to work there.
"I want to keep the mountains clean of racism, religion and politics. In the mountains this should play no role."

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"I haven't climbed Everest, skied to the poles, or sailed single-handed around the world. The goals I set out to accomplish aren't easily measured or quantified by world records or "firsts." The reasons I climb, and the climbs I do, are about more than distance or altitude, they are about breaking barriers within myself."

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Re: everest mayham, indy vs commercial

Postby davebks » Tue Apr 19, 2011 9:46 am

huh, that is all very interesting. It is good to hear what others think about this, and if it was still possible at all.
In the end, if I ever get to do a trip like that (fingers crossed), I am assuming I would use a guide company from a logistical and safety standpoint.
Of course, I have no idea how a normal person can even afford a trip like that, so it might be a pipe dream for me.
I think I read over 350 people are in BC right now. That is nuts. That represents millions of dollars. I just don't get how people can afford it.

Either way, it would be a cool trip. I have been to base camp on the Nepal side, and it was very alluring.
Climbing everest is still a personal feat for anyone attempting the peak, and of course I wish them all safe climbing.

What ever happened to that Boulder group trying to commercially climb k2? Did that ever pan out?

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