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Thread: Sherpas on Everest: the real mountaineers who make it all possible

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    Avalon Member peterpam's Avatar
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    Default Re: Sherpas on Everest: the real mountaineers who make it all possible

    Quote Posted by kudzy (here)
    As a backpacker and hiker myself, I'm really enjoying this thread. I'm by no means an experienced mountaineer but I've done a few 14,000 footers in my day. And I've bagged a number of significantly less risky peaks. Life begins above treeline.

    The immensity of Everest is just staggering. I agree with Bill. Why anyone would want to do that peak when there are so many less crowded gorgeous peaks all around the world is beyond me. Unfortunately an unchecked ego is a very dangerous thing. Personally I would never want to put others in such danger for my own satisfaction.

    Here's another documentary that folks might enjoy; Meru. It's directed by Jimmy Chin the same guy that did Free Solo about Alex Honnold's free solo climb of El Capitan. Both are excellent films. Meru is on Netflix.

    As a side note, I'm planning on thru-hiking the Appalachian Trail next year. That's over 2000 miles! Perhaps I'll start a thread just just to document the trip. I won't be using any Sherpas.

    I thought I read somewhere that the elevation of Everest actually changed after the 2015 earthquake, does anyone know if that is true?

    Happy trails, be safe.
    Hey kudzy, I love to hike as well and the Appalachian trail experience is a dream of mine. I love the idea of you creating a thread when you go for us to follow you!!!!! I loved the documentary, Meru. I guess I am sort of a mountaineer voyeur or a groupie if you will.

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    UK Avalon Founder Bill Ryan's Avatar
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    Default Re: Sherpas on Everest: the real mountaineers who make it all possible

    Quote Posted by peterpam (here)
    Personally, I would find that a revolting experience. I look at the line of people and it seems grotesque, another inversion in this world. I believe the reason why someone would choose this experience over other options is simply the universal bragging rights, in other words the ego.Would they get the same respect for climbing lesser known climbs, even though they required more skill and resourcefulness? Imagine the climbs and experiences one could have with the kind of money they spent on this one climb. The other factor seems to be that this is all figured out for them, every detail. Once again that seems the antithesis of what I believe a true mountaineer would relish.. having said that, I am not a mountaineer and only read of their experiences with a great amount of respect and awe.
    Yes, it's a kind of abomination of everything mountaineering is supposed to stand for. All the inversion involved (a good word to use!) is another form of archontic infestation.... really. No-one in the early 1920s expeditions would be able to believe any of this. It would seem like a grotesque, nightmarish, impossibility to them.

    Bragging rights, for sure. But if you're a real mountaineer and want to wear a badge of honor, go climb K2, the second highest mountain in the world. It's 750 feet lower, but far steeper, harder and much more dangerous. Sherpas play a role, but a much lesser one, and there's no way any inexperienced person could get anywhere near the top.

    K2 is a real mountain. Here it is below. And unsurprisingly, there are no traffic jams.


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    Default Re: Sherpas on Everest: the real mountaineers who make it all possible

    Quote Posted by Bill Ryan (here)
    Quote Posted by peterpam (here)
    Personally, I would find that a revolting experience. I look at the line of people and it seems grotesque, another inversion in this world. I believe the reason why someone would choose this experience over other options is simply the universal bragging rights, in other words the ego.Would they get the same respect for climbing lesser known climbs, even though they required more skill and resourcefulness? Imagine the climbs and experiences one could have with the kind of money they spent on this one climb. The other factor seems to be that this is all figured out for them, every detail. Once again that seems the antithesis of what I believe a true mountaineer would relish.. having said that, I am not a mountaineer and only read of their experiences with a great amount of respect and awe.
    Yes, it's a kind of abomination of everything mountaineering is supposed to stand for. All the inversion involved (a good word to use!) is another form of archontic infestation.... really. No-one in the early 1920s expeditions would be able to believe any of this. It would seem like a grotesque, nightmarish, impossibility to them.

    Bragging rights, for sure. But if you're a real mountaineer and want to wear a badge of honor, go climb K2, the second highest mountain in the world. It's 750 feet lower, but far steeper, harder and much more dangerous. Sherpas play a role, but a much lesser one, and there's no way any inexperienced person could get anywhere near the top.

    K2 is a real mountain. Here it is below. And unsurprisingly, there are no traffic jams.

    I look at K2 and get a shiver down my spine at it's beauty and grandeur. To think a human so small in comparison can climb this by using intent, will, resourcefulness, skill, fitness and courage is just to amazing to me, I never loose the wonder... The other thing I so admire about mountaineers is their intense loyalty to their fellow mountaineers.

    It's interesting that you use the words "archontic infestation" which seems seems so accurate. I look at Everest and it makes me really sad, like she is being raped or abused and then demeaned after the fact. Defying and cheapening the natural beauty of the mountain and monetizing and commercializing and basically dumbing down one of mans greatest accomplishments (mountaineering) seems like something that would fit into their goals.

    I would be embarrassed and ashamed for mountaineers of the past to see what is happening on Everest, it's just one of the embarrassed and ashamed moments I would have for some of the things happening right now.

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    Default Re: Sherpas on Everest: the real mountaineers who make it all possible

    Real life X-men: Biology of the world's greatest climbers - the Sherpa

    Medlife Crisis
    Published on May 15, 2018
    "Forget Xavier's School for the Gifted - marvel instead at the real life superheroes on the roof of the world.
    For years anecdotes circulated amongst climbers, of the superhuman ability of the Sherpa to function at high altitude, when all others succumbed to mountain sickness - or worse. Now science has shown how they have evolved to live in one of the most inhospitable environments on Earth.
    Thousands of years living in the thin air of the Himalayan plateau has given the Sherpa biology that differs from lowlanders from the very cellular level."
    Each breath a gift...
    _____________

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    Default Re: Sherpas on Everest: the real mountaineers who make it all possible

    Miracle on Everest (2008)
    (A bit off topic, but interesting...One of the comments on the youtube page: "
    Brandon Nakagaki
    3 years ago
    If people watch the whole video, those who preach rescue should notice that THREE sherpas attempted to bring Lincoln down from the summit, but were unable to get him down after nineteen hours of struggle, and running out of oxygen and nearly perishing themselves.
    It's honorable to try and help people, but it's terribly foolish, and you'll end up as another death on Everest; another statistic in some report on a news channel for a day, and then forgotten. "
    )

    dim edin
    Published on Jun 9, 2014
    "2006 was one of the most deadly Everest seasons on record. Record numbers of climbers took advantage of clear weather and attempted to reach the summit. Among their number was Lincoln Hall, an experienced climber who had failed to reach the peak 22 years earlier. This time, Hall made it to the top, but shortly afterwards began to behave irrationally, and collapsed. He was declared dead, his family was informed and the news hit the headlines. But later that night, something happened which scientists cannot explain. Hall was found alive, sitting cross legged on the mountainside. With never before seen footage, exclusive interviews and amazing reconstruction, Miracle on Everest is one of the great survival stories."
    Each breath a gift...
    _____________

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    Default Re: Sherpas on Everest: the real mountaineers who make it all possible

    Quote Posted by onawah (here)
    Real life X-men: Biology of the world's greatest climbers - the Sherpa

    Medlife Crisis
    Published on May 15, 2018
    "Forget Xavier's School for the Gifted - marvel instead at the real life superheroes on the roof of the world.
    For years anecdotes circulated amongst climbers, of the superhuman ability of the Sherpa to function at high altitude, when all others succumbed to mountain sickness - or worse. Now science has shown how they have evolved to live in one of the most inhospitable environments on Earth.
    Thousands of years living in the thin air of the Himalayan plateau has given the Sherpa biology that differs from lowlanders from the very cellular level."

    I found this really, really interesting the way the Sherpas have lower levels of Hematocrit and concentrations of mitochondria but are able to to utilize oxygen differently by using carbs rather than fat and actually need less oxygen. The presenter loses me at the end when he states that all the evidence in the video is absolute confirmation of evolution. I see it as as absolute confirmation of the incredible ability of life forms to adapt.

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    Default Re: Sherpas on Everest: the real mountaineers who make it all possible

    Quote Posted by onawah (here)
    Miracle on Everest (2008)
    (A bit off topic, but interesting...One of the comments on the youtube page: "
    Brandon Nakagaki
    3 years ago
    If people watch the whole video, those who preach rescue should notice that THREE sherpas attempted to bring Lincoln down from the summit, but were unable to get him down after nineteen hours of struggle, and running out of oxygen and nearly perishing themselves.
    It's honorable to try and help people, but it's terribly foolish, and you'll end up as another death on Everest; another statistic in some report on a news channel for a day, and then forgotten. "
    )

    dim edin
    Published on Jun 9, 2014
    "2006 was one of the most deadly Everest seasons on record. Record numbers of climbers took advantage of clear weather and attempted to reach the summit. Among their number was Lincoln Hall, an experienced climber who had failed to reach the peak 22 years earlier. This time, Hall made it to the top, but shortly afterwards began to behave irrationally, and collapsed. He was declared dead, his family was informed and the news hit the headlines. But later that night, something happened which scientists cannot explain. Hall was found alive, sitting cross legged on the mountainside. With never before seen footage, exclusive interviews and amazing reconstruction, Miracle on Everest is one of the great survival stories."
    I watched this and read about it. Those Sherpa's went above and beyond what should have been expected of them to try to get someone that has turned alternately combative and lethargic down the mountain. It's like any high risk activity, there is a significant possibility that you can get injured or killed. Why should the Sherpa's be expected to loose their lives if it isn't probable that someone can be saved. I felt like what they attempted to do for him was really heroic.

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    Default Re: Sherpas on Everest: the real mountaineers who make it all possible

    I found this an interesting documentary, it's about an expedition of Sherpa climbers who want to try and clean up the rubbish left in the Dead Zone and also recover the body of Swiss climber Gianni Goltz.

    The Sherpas see the mountain as a living goddess and so this mission has a spiritual aspect to it. What really amazed me was the sheer volume of exposed human body parts just lying around in the camps, not to mention the obscene amount of rubbish and human excrement left to pollute the mountain and it's waters.


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    Default Re: Sherpas on Everest: the real mountaineers who make it all possible

    Quote Posted by pueblo (here)
    I found this an interesting documentary, it's about an expedition of Sherpa climbers who want to try and clean up the rubbish left in the Dead Zone and also recover the body of Swiss climber Gianni Goltz.

    The Sherpas see the mountain as a living goddess and so this mission has a spiritual aspect to it. What really amazed me was the sheer volume of exposed human body parts just lying around in the camps, not to mention the obscene amount of rubbish and human excrement left to pollute the mountain and it's waters.

    Yes, many thanks... this thread isn't really about mountaineering (though part of it kind of has to be!), but it's really about the vast gulf in attitudes and values between the largely ego-driven and personally ambitious 'western' climbers, and the gentle, native Sherpa peoples who actually live right there.

    The traditional, age-old name for Mt Everest is Chomolungma (Tibetan) or Sagamartha (Nepalese), which means Goddess Earth-Mother of the Snows. (Or, in other translations, Goddess Mother of the World.)

    And what a very beautiful name. If only our culture could ever think like that.

    Back in 2013, there was a much-publicized fight (a real one) between a large group of Sherpas and a couple of high-profile, elite European climbers (Ueli Steck and Simone Moro). It seems to have started accidentally, when the Sherpas were fixing ropes to the mountain — one of their traditional and essential support tasks, a really important one for their clients. The two Europeans climbed past them, despite having been asked to please steer well clear, and accidentally dislodged some ice that fell on to the Sherpas. One of them was slightly injured in his face.

    No real damage was done, but the Sherpas were pretty pissed, because it could have been truly dangerous. The two climbers offered to help them do their job, in genuine atonement, but then something else went wrong — what exactly, is a little unclear — and at one point one of the Sherpas was called a mother****er.

    That was the last straw, as it directly insulted the Mountain Goddess (and him!) in serious ways that are hard to imagine.

    The full account, and I'd suspect an honest and accurate one (it came from a Sherpa who was right there in the middle of all this, translated from the Nepalese), is here. Interesting stuff. The European climbers tried to play it down when they were interviewed, but I do think the Sherpa's account can be fully trusted. The fight was a serious one, in which the Europeans might even have been killed when the enraged Sherpas attacked them in their tents after the triggering incident.
    Last edited by Bill Ryan; 8th December 2018 at 02:38.

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    Default Re: Sherpas on Everest: the real mountaineers who make it all possible

    A little more from the very interesting Sherpa mountain clean-up documentary posted just above.

    http://youtube.com/watch?v=mDmSwz9yU48

    At 9.33, the narrator states that the Sherpas' strength is legendary, and some have even been known to carry a load of 200 lbs. I do believe that. Here's a still shot from the film (9:44) showing a Sherpa carrying a client on his back in a basket.



    I went on an expedition to Makalu many years ago (the fifth highest mountain, in a much more remote region of eastern Nepal), and we paid the Sherpas $5 a day to carry a 60 lb load. That sounds like a pittance, but at the time it was actually an extremely good daily wage for those folks, and they were truly appreciative.

    One or two of them offered to carry 120 lbs for double pay, which of course was fine. It was what they asked to do.

    And some of them didn't even have shoes. They didn't need or want them, because the soles of their feet were already like inch-thick boot leather. The feet I saw were even more thick and cracked than these, which is a recent photo I found on the net that shows the idea.



    The Sherpas we were with were wonderful people, with a great sense of humor: gentle, kind, and extraordinarily hard-working. We ate with them round the campfire, and greatly enjoyed listening to their stories. (The Yeti was totally real to them: they talked about the thing quite casually, like Native Americans talking about grizzly bears. )

    Here's yours truly — sunburned and barely identifiable! — with one of the team. It's one of my very favorite photos.




    Last edited by Bill Ryan; 8th December 2018 at 03:51.

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    Default Re: Sherpas on Everest: the real mountaineers who make it all possible

    I can imagine a way of safe descent for those who are not afraid to fly. Paragliding from the top of Mt Everest to Namche Bazar takes about 45 minutes according to these guys..
    speaking of risks of thin air and extra weight of paraglide to carry ( perhaps save few for emergency rescues on the top), for those who are in acute danger of high altitude sickness or injured and number of people are required to drag them down over ice cravices and snow, flight down can be life saving operation. Providing the weather is good of course. To operate paraglide requires few lessons but quite fewer than high mounteneering with all the equipment.
    Not saying it’s an option for everybody but it could save lives


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    Default Re: Sherpas on Everest: the real mountaineers who make it all possible

    Quote Posted by Agape (here)
    I can imagine a way of safe descent for those who are not afraid to fly. Paragliding from the top of Mt Everest to Namche Bazar takes about 45 minutes according to these guys..
    speaking of risks of thin air and extra weight of paraglide to carry ( perhaps save few for emergency rescues on the top), for those who are in acute danger of high altitude sickness or injured and number of people are required to drag them down over ice cravices and snow, flight down can be life saving operation. Providing the weather is good of course. To operate paraglide requires few lessons but quite fewer than high mounteneering with all the equipment.
    Not saying it’s an option for everybody but it could save lives

    http://youtube.com/watch?v=cziUC1I3tSE
    Actually, what they did was crazy-risky. They may have had a 20-30% chance of surviving the flight, but managed to pull it off. The conditions must somehow have been 100% perfectly ideal.

    I doubt if anyone else will be repeating that anytime soon... especially with a double glider, with one person semi-conscious and possibly delirious, unable to stand let alone run, in high winds and/or zero visibility. OMG.

    (And btw: how Lakpa Tsheri, who'd never kayaked and couldn't swim, survived the Sun Kosi river, a dangerous Grade 5 that's killed experienced kayakers, is quite beyond me. )

    For a little more than the same weight, another emergency option is an inflatable hyperbaric chamber. It's like a person-sized sealed balloon, that's inflated from oxygen bottles. The pressure inside is rapidly increased to that of a low altitude. For the person in it, it's the same as suddenly being teleported right off the mountain. It's been used very successfully at lower camps for people suffering from Cerebral or Pulmonary Edema, which can be fatal if the victim isn't brought down low, very fast.


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    Default Re: Sherpas on Everest: the real mountaineers who make it all possible

    Quote Posted by Bill Ryan (here)
    A little more from the very interesting Sherpa mountain clean-up documentary posted just above.

    http://youtube.com/watch?v=mDmSwz9yU48
    And even more. The documentary is interesting on several counts.
    • It was made by Sherpas about Sherpas. They film what they're doing themselves, interview one another, and one gets a real sense of their friendship — and what they care about. There's barely a westerner in sight. (And I have to say, that's refreshing!)
    • It's long. But that means something, too: because on such a clean-up project as this, there's a LOT of grunt work. It's thankless, exhausting, and very unglamorous. They've taken on being high-altitude trash collectors. And that takes a lot of time. The fact that the movie goes quite slowly, and isn't that dramatic, is a perfect representation of what they're doing.
    • The entire thing is a microcosm of what we're ALL doing to ALL of Planet Earth. Very gradually, the Goddess is being trashed and abused — by humans with no spiritual awareness and absolutely no connection with nature.
    • One suspects that if there's any meaningful symbolism to what the Sherpas sincerely believe — that Mount Everest (Chomolungma) is a real deity that's being grossly disrespected... then she will in the end get her own back. Not out of spite: but to teach the arrogant, ambitious, egotistical, unthinking humans just a bit of a needed lesson.

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    Default Re: Sherpas on Everest: the real mountaineers who make it all possible

    Climb Everest in 3D

    Namaste Nepal
    Published on Jul 22, 2016
    Climb Mt. Everest in 3D.

    "Mount Everest, also known in Nepal as Sagarmāthā and in Tibet as Chomolungma, is Earth's highest mountain. It is located in the Mahalangur mountain range in Nepal and Tibet. Its peak is 8,848 metres (29,029 ft) above sea level. The international border between China (Tibet Autonomous Region) and Nepal runs across Everest's precise summit point. Its massif includes neighbouring peaks Lhotse, 8,516 m (27,940 ft); Nuptse, 7,855 m (25,771 ft) and Changtse, 7,580 m (24,870 ft).

    In 1856, the Great Trigonometrical Survey of India established the first published height of Everest, then known as Peak XV, at 8,840 m (29,002 ft). The current official height of 8,848 m (29,029 ft) as recognised by China and Nepal was established by a 1955 Indian survey and subsequently confirmed by a Chinese survey in 1975. In 1865, Everest was given its official English name by the Royal Geographical Society upon a recommendation by Andrew Waugh, the British Surveyor General of India. As there appeared to be several different local names, Waugh chose to name the mountain after his predecessor in the post, Sir George Everest, despite George Everest's objections.

    The Khumbu Icefall is an icefall located at the head of the Khumbu Glacier and the foot of the Western Cwm, which lies at an altitude of 5,486 metres (17,999 ft) on the Nepali slopes of Mount Everest, not far above Base Camp and southwest of the summit. The icefall is considered one of the most dangerous stages of the South Col route to Everest's summit. The Khumbu glacier that forms the icefall moves at such speed that large crevasses open with little warning, and the large towers of ice (called seracs) found at the icefall have been known to collapse suddenly. Huge blocks of ice tumble down the glacier from time to time, their size ranging from that of cars to large houses. It is estimated that the glacier advances 0.9 to 1.2 m (3 to 4 ft) down the mountain every day."
    Qs answered
    How many people have died on Mount Everest?
    How many people have made it to the summit of Mount Everest?
    How much money does it cost to climb Mount Everest?
    How many camps are there on Mount Everest?

    Each breath a gift...
    _____________

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    Default Re: Sherpas on Everest: the real mountaineers who make it all possible

    The Complete Everest Basecamp Trek - Start to Finish
    wwwcelticvideocom
    Published on Mar 16, 2012
    "The complete journey, starting in Lukla then on to Phakding , Namche Bazaar , Tengboche , Dingboche , Lobuche , Gorak Shep and then finally the base camp of Mount Everest."
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    Default Re: Sherpas on Everest: the real mountaineers who make it all possible

    K2 expedition 2008, Triumph & Tragedy
    Wilco van Rooijen
    Published on Jan 30, 2013
    "In the summer of 2008 an international expedition, led by expedition leader Wilco van Rooijen, climbed the 8611m high K2 in Pakistan, without supplementary oxygen. The descent witnessed one of the worst tragedies in recent climbing history.
    For three days Wilco van Rooijen was reported missing; and outside world had all but given up hope of ever seeing him alive again. But he survived three days in the dead zone. The expedition paid a high prize, their beloved team member Ger McDonnell lost his life after trying to save other climbers life!"


    Quest For K2 Savage Mountain
    National Geographic Creative
    Published on May 10, 2014
    "Climbers from all over the world take on the challenge of K-2, the second highest mountain in the world after Everest.Explore K-2 right along with the famous team from Italy, who were the first to scale the mountain in 1954, and now, decades later, as hundreds are drawn to the K-2 challenge."
    Last edited by onawah; 11th December 2018 at 05:00.
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    UK Avalon Founder Bill Ryan's Avatar
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    Default Re: Sherpas on Everest: the real mountaineers who make it all possible

    Here's a fun fact. (And an astonishing one.)

    One of the mountaineers who survived the 2008 K2 tragedy, in which 11 climbers died, was Norwegian Cecilie Skog. She was about to cross the 'bottleneck' in the dark, the only way down from the summit, but allowed her husband Rolf Bae to go first.

    A serac fell on him, cutting the ropes, and he was swept to his death before her eyes. Shocked to the core, but unharmed, she climbed down in the dark, with no ropes, and made it safely to the high camp.

    Here she is, a still shot from this excellent BBC documentary about the event. She doesn't look like a climber. (Whatever climbers are meant to look like! )



    She'd climbed Everest 4 years earlier. But despite the death of her husband, she continued adventuring.

    Just over a year later, she did the first unassisted and unsupported crossing of Antarctica. With a companion, Ryan Waters, she took 70 days, from November 13, 2009 to January 21, 2010, to complete the 1800 km (1,100 miles) long journey from one side of Antarctica to the other.

    Go tell that to the Flat Earthers. And wow, what a woman. (What a person.) Here she is, during her Antarctic crossing.




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    Default Re: Sherpas on Everest: the real mountaineers who make it all possible

    I can understand why someone would be motivated to climb Everest or K2 for the skills challenge and the breathtaking beauty, but I can't help wonder why such a test of sheer, monotonous endurance would be appealing in such a flat, featureless, freezing environment as Antarctica.
    Quote Posted by Bill Ryan (here)

    Just over a year later, she did the first unassisted and unsupported crossing of Antarctica. With a companion, Ryan Waters, she took 70 days, from November 13, 2009 to January 21, 2010, to complete the 1800 km (1,100 miles) long journey from one side of Antarctica to the other.
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    UK Avalon Founder Bill Ryan's Avatar
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    Default Re: Sherpas on Everest: the real mountaineers who make it all possible

    Quote Posted by onawah (here)
    Quote Posted by Bill Ryan (here)
    Just over a year later, she did the first unassisted and unsupported crossing of Antarctica. With a companion, Ryan Waters, she took 70 days, from November 13, 2009 to January 21, 2010, to complete the 1800 km (1,100 miles) long journey from one side of Antarctica to the other.
    I can understand why someone would be motivated to climb Everest or K2 for the skills challenge and the breathtaking beauty, but I can't help wonder why such a test of sheer, monotonous endurance would be appealing in such a flat, featureless, freezing environment as Antarctica.
    Actually, that's a really great question. Personally, I know I'd just absolutely love to do that. But I wonder if I can explain why!

    I've done some long cross-country ski trips in the mountains (including a couple of times in Norway, but also in Scotland and the Alps), and I was far from bored. Just not for a single moment. It's an impeccable, pristine environment (like the desert: I spent three weeks crossing the Kalahari once), and it's exhilarating in a spacey kind of way. (Ocean sailing is the same — though with sailing, there's always something to do or to be done, and the environment at sea is far more changing and dynamic.)

    With long-distance skiing, the continual rhythmical movement is like a kind of moving meditation. It's just a wonderful thing to do. Hard work, of course, and I'm sure one gets totally high on all the endorphins.

    Here's a photo taken in Norway in 2004. I think, but I'm actually not quite sure, that one of the skiers is myself. I was with a group of half a dozen friends.

    But, of course, I do understand that's still very different than just two people doing a semi-featureless Antarctic crossing for a couple of months. AND, no 300 lb equipment sled to pull, either.


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    Default Re: Sherpas on Everest: the real mountaineers who make it all possible

    “ Adventure is worthwhile in itself” Amelia Earhart
    "Be kind for everybody is fighting a great battle" Plato

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