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Another Everest Horror Story

FAQ and threads for those just starting to hike the Colorado 14ers.
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Postby rob runkle » Mon May 28, 2007 3:06 pm

Two Headed Boy wrote:rob - I will give you one example. David Sharp was passed by nearly 40 people before he died. not just 40 people coming down but also going on to the summit. Instead of helping David and abandoning there summit bid they abandoned a human life and went on. I think that if you have that little value for human life you have no buisness being on a mountain like that. At any rate I wouldn't climb with anyone who thinks successful summit bids are more important than anything else.

I understand. I guess that when I hear 40 people "passed by", I assume that they weren't 40 mean, nasty, selfish people. I mean, come on. There had to be one good soul? Actually, knowing the mountaineering community, I suspect that there were 40 good souls. And, all came to the same conclusion, what ever that conclusion was.

I just assume that everyone has "good" in them. Especially in this community.

I wouldn't climb with anybody who didn't have their priorities in order either... Personally, I don't know anybody in the mountaineering community that I wouldn't climb with.

Rob

Postby jimlup » Mon May 28, 2007 3:22 pm

Part of the problem is that client climbers have been "taught" that rescue is impossible on Everest. If that had been drilled into my head for 6 weeks, I probably wouldn't spend a lot of energy either trying to help a dying climber on Everest. I would listen to my Sherpa guides and let them tell me our course of action.

The rescue shows that it is possible to bring someone who is essentially unconscious down from the top of Everest. Perhaps that will change things in the future. As far as judging decisions high on the mountain, I would agree with M. that it is not possible from the comfort of the computer screen thousands of miles away.

I am a bit concerned when a team leaves a climber to die and continues their own summit bid. That seems a bit extreme and over the edge but we really don't have the full story yet... and we may never have it.
"Just because you have the gear does not mean that you are a Mountaineer!" My daughter's cynical comment about my hobby...

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Postby ddunlap » Mon May 28, 2007 3:27 pm

rob runkle wrote:Before I even finish reading you "novel", errr, I mean post...


I know, I know.... Sometimes you just start writing, and...

My point boils down to this, unless it (rescue attempt) presents an overwhelming risk of injury to you and your party, I see little choice in attempting.

rob runkle wrote:Questioning our actions, or the actions of others, when the pressure of the events is no longer a factor is just wrong.


I disagree. By discussing what has transpired for other climbers, we can better prepare ourselves for similar events. Especially, in the event that someone perishes on the mountain, we owe it to everyone to examine the situation, so that a climber's life was not lost in vain.

rob runkle wrote:My point is that we cannot judge the actions of others, without knowing exactly what condition they were in themselves


I agree. Hopefully, as time passes, more details of this situation will emerge so the world climbing community can take a hard look at all of the events surrounding this situation, and refine the ethics we all take to the mountain.
"...Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference." -Frost

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Postby ddunlap » Mon May 28, 2007 3:33 pm

Two Headed Boy wrote:rob - I will give you one example. David Sharp was passed by nearly 40 people before he died. not just 40 people coming down but also going on to the summit. Instead of helping David and abandoning there summit bid they abandoned a human life and went on. I think that if you have that little value for human life you have no buisness being on a mountain like that. At any rate I wouldn't climb with anyone who thinks successful summit bids are more important than anything else.


Well put!
"...Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference." -Frost

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Postby Two Headed Boy » Mon May 28, 2007 4:16 pm

Rob - I have also heard that these clients (many who wanted to help Sharp) were ordered not to help and there was nothing they could do he was already to far gone. I believe I understand where you were coming from with your comments and I think they are correct on most mountains in most situations, however Everest has become a capitalist haven and these clients pay a lot of money and are dependent upon their leaders because if they run out of oxygen they perish. It's horrible and something has got to change up there. In the mid 80's if you told me you climbed Everest I would have been very impressed. If someone came up to me today and told me they summited Everest I would respect the amount of work they put in physically but do not know if I would be impressed, not that they should care what I think anyway.

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Postby rob runkle » Mon May 28, 2007 4:41 pm

ddunlap wrote:My point boils down to this, unless it (rescue attempt) presents an overwhelming risk of injury to you and your party, I see little choice in attempting.

I totally agree. At 29k, that is going to be tough to judge. How much additional risk is there for you and your party to spend 4-8 hours extra at 28k+? A short list of significant additional risks might be: storms, extra time in the deathzone, running out of oxygen, just plain ole exhaustion, running out of fluids and calories, managing a lifeless 140+ lb from down the mountain.
ddunlap wrote:I disagree. By discussing what has transpired for other climbers, we can better prepare ourselves for similar events. Especially, in the event that someone perishes on the mountain, we owe it to everyone to examine the situation, so that a climber's life was not lost in vain.

I didn't get my point across with that string of words... What I meant was that we can't dwell on the past. And, "shoulda, coulda, woulda" doesn't fix the past. The stresses of the event are a significant factor in the decisions of the event. And, once you are away from the stresses, it is easy to question your decisions. Should we LEARN from our past, and from the past of others. ABSOLUTELY!!!

Rob
Last edited by rob runkle on Mon May 28, 2007 4:52 pm, edited 4 times in total.

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Postby rob runkle » Mon May 28, 2007 4:44 pm

Two Headed Boy wrote:Rob - I have also heard that these clients (many who wanted to help Sharp) were ordered not to help and there was nothing they could do he was already to far gone. I believe I understand where you were coming from with your comments and I think they are correct on most mountains in most situations, however Everest has become a capitalist haven and these clients pay a lot of money and are dependent upon their leaders because if they run out of oxygen they perish. It's horrible and something has got to change up there. In the mid 80's if you told me you climbed Everest I would have been very impressed. If someone came up to me today and told me they summited Everest I would respect the amount of work they put in physically but do not know if I would be impressed, not that they should care what I think anyway.

Understood and agreed! Things need to change.

Rob

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Postby Spam » Mon May 28, 2007 5:10 pm

Knowing a little about Dave Hahn, he would never have even thought twice about it. He is a career Ranier Guide under Lou Whittaker and has been on many Everest climbs including the Mallory/Irvine exhibitions! He is a huge man who ever book I have read states his heart is bigger than him. Anybody could say anything that they want about fookish to try or what, but, in Dave Hahn's case it was a no brainer, he and Ed Visteurs used to guide together so they both think no summit is worth dying for or letting someone else die! Everyone does assume the risk, we go back just a couple weeks ago to the same type of stuff when David died, it is a question I am not going to try to answer, but, thank goodness people like Dave Hahn and Caroline are level headed and have a heart bigger than the mountains that would always put someone first before them!

Let's all be safe out there and happy memorial day!@
"Getting to the top is optional, getting down is mandatory." -- Ed Viesturs

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