+ Reply to Thread
Page 1 of 3 1 3 LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 47

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

  1. Link to Post #1
    United States Avalon Member onawah's Avatar
    Join Date
    28th March 2010
    Posts
    11,098
    Thanks
    27,011
    Thanked 47,502 times in 9,669 posts

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

    A recent, alternative perspective regarding climbing Everest, and what it means to the sherpas.

    ( No disrespect meant to any climbers of Everest by me, but something I thought would be of interest to everyone re truly understanding the risks involved, and something I've wondered about, about the sherpas, who are perhaps, not as invincible as they have been made out to be previously...)
    Glory or Death: Climbing Mount Everest (Full Segment) | Real Sports w/ Bryant Gumbel | HBO
    Published on Sep 11, 2018
    "For some, climbing Mount Everest is an achievement. For the sherpas, it's life. The danger that encompasses the climb slows down for neither."
    Last edited by onawah; 30th November 2018 at 17:12.
    Each breath a gift...
    _____________

  2. The Following 12 Users Say Thank You to onawah For This Post:

    Agape (1st December 2018), Bill Ryan (30th November 2018), Debra (9th June 2019), Innocent Warrior (3rd December 2018), Nasu (4th December 2018), Ol' Roy (7th December 2018), peterpam (30th November 2018), Rich (8th October 2019), Rosemarie (13th December 2018), seko (3rd December 2018), Sophocles (30th November 2018), toppy (3rd December 2018)

  3. Link to Post #2
    UK Avalon Founder Bill Ryan's Avatar
    Join Date
    7th February 2010
    Location
    Ecuador
    Posts
    21,423
    Thanks
    74,492
    Thanked 269,656 times in 19,908 posts

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

    Yes, I know about this stuff. It's pretty interesting. And it's a very sobering (and accurate) video.

    The only very small inaccuracy is that it's not quite true what Jombu Sherpa says at the very start of the video, that 'zero' non-Sherpa clients could do it without them.

    Not zero. But maybe 1% could. (And, quite a few have, of course: but those are elite climbers, the best of the best. Most of those actually choose more difficult routes to the top, for the mountaineering challenge. What's being shown here is just the easiest way up.)

    The rest pay $50,000 or more to be ferried and escorted to the top, with their hands held (almost literally), rather like small children going shopping with their parents. All for the ego trip of being able to say one's climbed Everest.

    It's not like it used to be.
    Last edited by Bill Ryan; 30th November 2018 at 14:55.

  4. The Following 16 Users Say Thank You to Bill Ryan For This Post:

    Agape (30th November 2018), Debra (9th June 2019), Dennis Leahy (30th November 2018), Innocent Warrior (4th December 2018), Magnus (15th December 2018), Nasu (4th December 2018), Ol' Roy (7th December 2018), onawah (30th November 2018), peterpam (30th November 2018), Rich (8th October 2019), Rosemarie (13th December 2018), Satori (30th November 2018), Sophocles (30th November 2018), toppy (3rd December 2018), Wind (1st December 2018), Yoda (1st December 2018)

  5. Link to Post #3
    UK Avalon Founder Bill Ryan's Avatar
    Join Date
    7th February 2010
    Location
    Ecuador
    Posts
    21,423
    Thanks
    74,492
    Thanked 269,656 times in 19,908 posts

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

    Another short video to complement the first one — about the first specialist, dedicated Sherpa rescue team.


    ~~~

    And an article from The Economist, a good one.
    The price the Sherpas pay for Westerners to climb Everest
    Smiling and resilient in the popular imagination, Everest's pack-carriers are demanding respect.

    ~~~

    Finally, one more extraordinary Sherpa story. Amid all this seriousness, loss, and tragedy, one has to smile just for a moment at this.

    In 1999, Babu Sherpa (who now has his own Wikipedia page) climbed Everest on his own, taking just under 17 hours non-stop. He spent 21 hours on the summit, without oxygen, pitching his tent there and enjoying a good night's sleep. Both records still stand to this day. It was a ridiculous, superhuman, almost unbelievable feat.

    He'd climbed Everest a total of ten times. But eventually, the Russian Roulette caught up with him. He died in a crevasse fall in 2001.

  6. The Following 13 Users Say Thank You to Bill Ryan For This Post:

    Agape (30th November 2018), Debra (9th June 2019), Innocent Warrior (4th December 2018), Ken (30th November 2018), Nasu (4th December 2018), Ol' Roy (7th December 2018), onawah (30th November 2018), peterpam (7th December 2018), Rich (8th October 2019), Rosemarie (13th December 2018), Satori (30th November 2018), toppy (3rd December 2018), Yoda (1st December 2018)

  7. Link to Post #4
    Avalon Member peterpam's Avatar
    Join Date
    29th June 2012
    Posts
    1,662
    Thanks
    15,403
    Thanked 8,822 times in 1,594 posts

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

    I can remember meeting someone that had climbed Everett and I was in total awe. That was until how I saw how he had done it.. I think within 2 minutes of meeting this guy I was told that he had climbed Mt. Everest which is what I guess it is all about for some.

    I do acknowledge that those that pay to go up are taking risks with unpredictable weather and they obviously have to have stamina and a steady fortitude which I admire. I think what is missing is pitting yourself against the mountain and troubleshooting your way up with resourcefulness and courage. Everything that could possible be predetermined is done for them, It's all figured out in advance and a lot of the grunt work of climbing is done for you. It sort of demeans the accomplishment for those that are truly mountain climbers... I do acknowledge the accomplishment but it sure as heck isn't true mountaineering in my book.

  8. The Following 10 Users Say Thank You to peterpam For This Post:

    Bill Ryan (30th November 2018), Chip (30th November 2018), Debra (9th June 2019), Innocent Warrior (4th December 2018), Nasu (4th December 2018), Orph (30th November 2018), Rich (8th October 2019), Rosemarie (13th December 2018), Satori (30th November 2018), toppy (3rd December 2018)

  9. Link to Post #5
    United States Moderator Ken's Avatar
    Join Date
    6th February 2011
    Location
    Southern California
    Posts
    286
    Thanks
    8,051
    Thanked 2,515 times in 284 posts

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

    I found the book, “Into Thin Air,” by Jon Krakauer to be incredibly gripping – and harrowing. They recently made a movie out of it which I haven’t seen and can’t speak to.

    For those who haven’t read it, it’s about a disastrous day on Everest in 1996 when there were just too many inexperienced “climbers” being hand-held up and down the last leg of the effort. Krakauer was there when it happened so it’s not written by a journalist strictly doing interviews after the event.

    Anyway, I went to Nepal in 1991, shortly after my divorce (I’d always been drawn there) as a way to basically rediscover who I was - as an individual. Was there for a month and fell in love with the place. It felt very familiar somehow.

    Went trekking in Lang Tang, in the northern part of the country near the border with Tibet. It was spectacular!
    Of course, we only went as high as around 13,000 feet but the Sherpas amazed me. Easily blowing past me (not really saying a lot but you get the picture) while carrying a huge wicker basket, each, piled high with three or four large American/European backpacks!

    The Sherpas I met and hung out with were so kind and had such great senses of humor. I’m afraid the country has changed a lot since then, in many ways.
    The 2015 earthquake destroyed so many spectacular ancient neighborhoods and sites that I was fortunate enough to visit when I was there. Would love to go back at some point.
    "Love is the only engine of survival.." Leonard Cohen

  10. The Following 10 Users Say Thank You to Ken For This Post:

    Bill Ryan (30th November 2018), Debra (9th June 2019), HaveBlue (5th June 2019), Innocent Warrior (4th December 2018), Nasu (4th December 2018), Ol' Roy (7th December 2018), peterpam (30th November 2018), Rosemarie (13th December 2018), Satori (30th November 2018), toppy (3rd December 2018)

  11. Link to Post #6
    Avalon Member peterpam's Avatar
    Join Date
    29th June 2012
    Posts
    1,662
    Thanks
    15,403
    Thanked 8,822 times in 1,594 posts

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

    Quote Posted by Forest Denizen (here)
    I found the book, “Into Thin Air,” by Jon Krakauer to be incredibly gripping – and harrowing. They recently made a movie out of it which I haven’t seen and can’t speak to.

    For those who haven’t read it, it’s about a disastrous day on Everest in 1996 when there were just too many inexperienced “climbers” being hand-held up and down the last leg of the effort. Krakauer was there when it happened so it’s not written by a journalist strictly doing interviews after the event.

    Anyway, I went to Nepal in 1991, shortly after my divorce (I’d always been drawn there) as a way to basically rediscover who I was - as an individual. Was there for a month and fell in love with the place. It felt very familiar somehow.

    Went trekking in Lang Tang, in the northern part of the country near the border with Tibet. It was spectacular!
    Of course, we only went as high as around 13,000 feet but the Sherpas amazed me. Easily blowing past me (not really saying a lot but you get the picture) while carrying a huge wicker basket, each, piled high with three or four large American/European backpacks!

    The Sherpas I met and hung out with were so kind and had such great senses of humor. I’m afraid the country has changed a lot since then, in many ways.
    The 2015 earthquake destroyed so many spectacular ancient neighborhoods and sites that I was fortunate enough to visit when I was there. Would love to go back at some point.
    "Into Thin Air" is an amazing read. I think the fact that these folks have paid a huge amount of money to be able to say they have climbed Everest is a factor of influence that just can't be ignored. It has to have some influence on the decisions that are made. When mountaineering becomes big business there has to be some negative effects. If my business reputation is on the line because I have fewer successful climbs, that is not good for business, in that case does safety and commonsense take a back seat?

  12. The Following 6 Users Say Thank You to peterpam For This Post:

    Bill Ryan (30th November 2018), Debra (9th June 2019), Innocent Warrior (4th December 2018), Ken (30th November 2018), Nasu (4th December 2018), toppy (3rd December 2018)

  13. Link to Post #7
    UK Avalon Founder Bill Ryan's Avatar
    Join Date
    7th February 2010
    Location
    Ecuador
    Posts
    21,423
    Thanks
    74,492
    Thanked 269,656 times in 19,908 posts

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

    Quote Posted by Forest Denizen (here)
    I found the book, “Into Thin Air,” by Jon Krakauer to be incredibly gripping – and harrowing. They recently made a movie out of it which I haven’t seen and can’t speak to.

    For those who haven’t read it, it’s about a disastrous day on Everest in 1996 when there were just too many inexperienced “climbers” being hand-held up and down the last leg of the effort. Krakauer was there when it happened so it’s not written by a journalist strictly doing interviews after the event.
    In the Avalon Library, here:
    The real hero of that incident was Russian mountaineer Anatoli Boukreev, who Krakauer very unfairly castigated. Boukreev made repeated solo ascents at night, without oxygen, in desperate conditions, to rescue several stranded climbers who would otherwise have certainly died.

    Many notable mountaineers have since lauded him and opposed Krakauer's version of events. To bring this back to topic, what he did was extraordinary, a selfless feat of true heroism that only a Sherpa might have replicated.

  14. The Following 12 Users Say Thank You to Bill Ryan For This Post:

    Debra (9th June 2019), Innocent Warrior (4th December 2018), Ken (30th November 2018), Magnus (15th December 2018), Nasu (4th December 2018), onawah (2nd December 2018), peterpam (30th November 2018), pueblo (5th December 2018), Rich (8th October 2019), Rosemarie (13th December 2018), toppy (3rd December 2018), Yoda (1st December 2018)

  15. Link to Post #8
    United States Moderator Ken's Avatar
    Join Date
    6th February 2011
    Location
    Southern California
    Posts
    286
    Thanks
    8,051
    Thanked 2,515 times in 284 posts

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

    Quote Posted by Bill Ryan (here)
    Quote Posted by Forest Denizen (here)
    I found the book, “Into Thin Air,” by Jon Krakauer to be incredibly gripping – and harrowing. They recently made a movie out of it which I haven’t seen and can’t speak to.

    For those who haven’t read it, it’s about a disastrous day on Everest in 1996 when there were just too many inexperienced “climbers” being hand-held up and down the last leg of the effort. Krakauer was there when it happened so it’s not written by a journalist strictly doing interviews after the event.
    In the Avalon Library, here:
    The real hero of that incident was Russian mountaineer Anatoli Boukreev, who Krakauer very unfairly castigated. Boukreev made repeated solo ascents at night, without oxygen, in desperate conditions, to rescue several stranded climbers who would otherwise have certainly died.

    Many notable mountaineers have since lauded him and opposed Krakauer's version of events. To bring this back to topic, what he did was extraordinary, a selfless feat of true heroism that only a Sherpa might have replicated.
    Thank you, Bill. I have heard this also . I believe Boukarev may have written his own account as well.
    "Love is the only engine of survival.." Leonard Cohen

  16. The Following 8 Users Say Thank You to Ken For This Post:

    Bill Ryan (30th November 2018), Debra (9th June 2019), Innocent Warrior (4th December 2018), Nasu (4th December 2018), onawah (2nd December 2018), peterpam (30th November 2018), Rosemarie (13th December 2018), toppy (3rd December 2018)

  17. Link to Post #9
    United States Avalon Member onawah's Avatar
    Join Date
    28th March 2010
    Posts
    11,098
    Thanks
    27,011
    Thanked 47,502 times in 9,669 posts

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

    As if it weren't dangerous enough already, imagine being on Everest in an earthquake...
    Disaster on Everest Earthquake Nepal 2015 BBC Documentary 2015
    Each breath a gift...
    _____________

  18. The Following 11 Users Say Thank You to onawah For This Post:

    avid (30th November 2018), Bill Ryan (1st December 2018), Debra (9th June 2019), Innocent Warrior (4th December 2018), Ken (4th December 2018), Nasu (4th December 2018), Ol' Roy (7th December 2018), peterpam (1st December 2018), Rosemarie (13th December 2018), Satori (2nd December 2018), toppy (3rd December 2018)

  19. Link to Post #10
    United States Avalon Member onawah's Avatar
    Join Date
    28th March 2010
    Posts
    11,098
    Thanks
    27,011
    Thanked 47,502 times in 9,669 posts

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

    Climbing MT Everest with a Mountain on My Back
    The Sherpa's Story
    BBC full documentary 2013 nepal
    Each breath a gift...
    _____________

  20. The Following 10 Users Say Thank You to onawah For This Post:

    Agape (1st December 2018), avid (30th November 2018), Bill Ryan (1st December 2018), Innocent Warrior (4th December 2018), Ken (4th December 2018), Nasu (4th December 2018), peterpam (1st December 2018), pueblo (5th December 2018), Rosemarie (13th December 2018), toppy (3rd December 2018)

  21. Link to Post #11
    Aaland Avalon Member Agape's Avatar
    Join Date
    26th March 2010
    Posts
    4,396
    Thanks
    10,120
    Thanked 17,809 times in 3,450 posts

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

    It’s important to understand biological adaptation factor: generations of people who inhabited high altitude regions for many hundreds or thousands of years evolved wholy different red cell shape and metabolism tight to particular way of breathing allowing them to cope with low amount of oxygen, for example.
    While most “people of planes” erythrocytes are oval shaped and slow, dependant on the right amount of oxygen for their survival ( and if not getting it blood circulation slows down naturally resulting in extreme fatigue and faster death of red blood count),
    mountain people’s red cells tend to be smaller, round shaped and faster, oxygen is absorbed through shallow rapid breath( rather than deep inhaling that increases amount of nitrogen uptake and turns destructive to the organism).

    The same type of biological adaptation was observed for example in Tibetans living in high plateaus, Nepali Sherpas or Andean mountain dwellers.

    Depends on genetics: small number of people no matter where they were born are able to adapt their vital functions naturally,
    not true for majority.

    Nepal’s Mt Everest stories make me sad, personally. The few who are truly capable of climbing high mountains often do so for the love of mountains, love of Life ; not for competition or “love of Death”.
    So do the Sherpas and other mountain people to whom those peaks are sacred.

    Nepal has allowed huge amount of high mountain tourism in past decades it being their only source of income and results have been rather disasterous for many foreign climbers, environment ( beset with corpses, expensive trash and rubbish), so many lives and limbs were sacrificed for sake of crazy people’s ambitions.

    Nepal is comparably small and poor country otherwise and would require and welcome foreign investment to be able to address its neglected environmental issues, protect its unique biodiversity, boost education, health care availability and good life for its minorities.
    I wish that more people wanted to help Nepal to protect its natural beauty and the highest mountains in the world( especially those who have the funds and are able to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on expensive mountaineering gear and expeditions) instead just seeing and using it as expensive tourist hot spot.

    Many good efforts have been made in that direction but not enough ..

    Kathmandu suffers from lack of water, sanitation, is overwhelmed by increasing traffic sporting old dusty roads so that pollution levels are quite as high as in Delhi for example,
    its ancient wooden temples are suffering so are the people. It all turned worse after the devastating 2015 7.8 Magnitude earthquake after which many of the frail, aged buildings collapsed and whole villages were wiped out of map.

    Restoration works are in progress of course but it was one of the most devastating natural events in recent history(more than 11 000 people died) over couple of days so I really pray that people were able to go to Nepal for all the beauty of it, with humble spirits, be the lovers , not the conquerors ...









    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/High...tion_in_humans

    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/m/pubmed/2732148/

    https://www.google.co.uk/amp/s/amp.t...etans-altitude
    Last edited by Agape; 1st December 2018 at 12:18.

  22. The Following 11 Users Say Thank You to Agape For This Post:

    Bill Ryan (1st December 2018), HaveBlue (5th June 2019), Innocent Warrior (4th December 2018), Ken (4th December 2018), Nasu (4th December 2018), onawah (2nd December 2018), peterpam (1st December 2018), Rosemarie (13th December 2018), seko (5th December 2018), toppy (3rd December 2018), Wind (1st December 2018)

  23. Link to Post #12
    UK Avalon Founder Bill Ryan's Avatar
    Join Date
    7th February 2010
    Location
    Ecuador
    Posts
    21,423
    Thanks
    74,492
    Thanked 269,656 times in 19,908 posts

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

    There have been several videos posted on this thread, but this one might be one of the best. In just over 40 minutes, it tells the story of a young Nepalese-Canadian woman, Shriya Shah, who suddenly told her friends and family one day that she was going to climb Mount Everest.

    She'd never climbed a mountain before. She didn't know a thing about it. Everyone tried to dissuade her. But she was known for her determination.

    And, watching the film, ego clearly played its part. This is her promotional poster, photoshopped at home in Canada. She'd never been on snow apart from walking Toronto winter streets.



    She picked a small hole-on-the-wall trekking company with no experience on the mountain, who no-one else on Everest had ever heard of. After her first major error of believing that she could actually do this, that was her second mistake.

    When she got to base camp, it was evident that she was extremely slow. At one point, her lead Sherpa told her sister in Katmandu that she would surely die and also kill everyone else who was with her. But she still would not be dissuaded.

    Meanwhile, Russell Bruce, the leader with by far the most experience on the mountain, had canceled his own expedition as the conditions were too unfavorable. His clients had all paid over $50,000 to get to the summit. There were no refunds. He simply made the responsible call. That's what leaders have to do.

    Here's how the story ends.

    Remarkably, Shriya struggled slowly, at a snail's pace, to the very top. She arrived there, late, at 2.30 pm (1.30 is usually regarded as the very latest safe turnaround time), and then dallied on the summit for a further half an hour.

    She started back down at 3 pm, dangerously late, and with little oxygen left, her fate was already sealed.

    When making the determining, committing, defining decision to climb a mountain, any experienced climber knows you have to make the equally determining, committing, defining decision to get back down again safely. She didn't know that, and no-one had told her.

    She died 7 hours later. In the cold and dark at 10 pm, with her oxygen long since depleted, on the equally grueling and arduous way down. Other climbers on the way up, also climbing at night, had to step over her body.



    The documentary tries to portray her as a kind of determined everyman heroine, pressing on past every discouragement and obstacle to achieve a magical goal. Russell Brice, who was interviewed well, and who is a good man, was careful not to say anything unkind.

    But it was a suicide trip from the start. There's no honor in that.

    It was simply stupid. And one of the problems is that with diminishing oxygen at very high altitude, one becomes stupid as one's brain simply ceases to function properly. An experienced climber, with logic in reserve, will know that. She had no clue. And it's clear from the film that her trekking company had little clue either. It's a salutary tale, and it's told really very well.



    Last edited by Bill Ryan; 4th December 2018 at 00:02.

  24. The Following 12 Users Say Thank You to Bill Ryan For This Post:

    Agape (7th December 2018), avid (4th December 2018), HaveBlue (5th June 2019), Innocent Warrior (3rd December 2018), Ken (4th December 2018), Nasu (4th December 2018), onawah (4th December 2018), peterpam (4th December 2018), pueblo (5th December 2018), Rosemarie (13th December 2018), seko (5th December 2018), Yoda (5th December 2018)

  25. Link to Post #13
    Australia Avalon Member Innocent Warrior's Avatar
    Join Date
    30th October 2014
    Location
    Great Northern Hotel, Twin Peaks.
    Posts
    3,375
    Thanks
    23,780
    Thanked 24,311 times in 3,057 posts

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

    Never give up on your silly, silly dreams.

    You mustn't be afraid to dream a little BIGGER, darling.

  26. The Following 6 Users Say Thank You to Innocent Warrior For This Post:

    avid (4th December 2018), Bill Ryan (4th December 2018), Ken (4th December 2018), Nasu (4th December 2018), Orph (4th December 2018), peterpam (4th December 2018)

  27. Link to Post #14
    United States Moderator Ken's Avatar
    Join Date
    6th February 2011
    Location
    Southern California
    Posts
    286
    Thanks
    8,051
    Thanked 2,515 times in 284 posts

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

    Quote Posted by Bill Ryan (here)
    She died 7 hours later. In the cold and dark at 10 pm, with her oxygen long since depleted, on the equally grueling and arduous way down. Other climbers on the way up, also climbing at night, had to step over her body.
    Tragic! Hubris
    I've read of elite climbers deciding, within mere meters of the summit, to turn around and descend upon realizing that they were running too far behind schedule. I believe far more people have died during the descent than have died on the way up. I'm sure Bill would know much more than I about the subject.

    "Love is the only engine of survival.." Leonard Cohen

  28. The Following 4 Users Say Thank You to Ken For This Post:

    Bill Ryan (4th December 2018), Innocent Warrior (4th December 2018), peterpam (4th December 2018), Rosemarie (13th December 2018)

  29. Link to Post #15
    UK Avalon Founder Bill Ryan's Avatar
    Join Date
    7th February 2010
    Location
    Ecuador
    Posts
    21,423
    Thanks
    74,492
    Thanked 269,656 times in 19,908 posts

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

    Quote Posted by Forest Denizen (here)
    I believe far more people have died during the descent than have died on the way up. I'm sure Bill would know much more than I about the subject.
    Yes, on Everest, it's almost always the descent that kills. Even experienced climbers sometimes don't factor that in their calculations (or their sense of reserves of internal energy and motivation). All that can get scrambled by oxygen deprivation. One can simply stop thinking clearly.

    Once at the summit of Everest, it's almost as much physical work, and even more stress on one's exhausted, depleted, oxygen-deprived body, to get down again. It's like once at the summit, no matter how tough it was to get there, the job's only half done. One can't just relax and think it's all over now. That can be literally fatal.

    (This applies on every mountain, not just Everest. FAR more accidents, caused by tiredness or carelessness, happen on the way down.)

    I climbed Everest once, in a previous lifetime. So yes, in a strange way, I do know quite a lot about it, and have (of course) been fascinated by Everest since I was a kid, as well as having recurring dreams about it. (I reached the summit at 4.30 pm, from the North side, far too late to be safe in any way, and died at night after an accident on the freezing, never-ending descent.)

  30. The Following 9 Users Say Thank You to Bill Ryan For This Post:

    Agape (7th December 2018), avid (4th December 2018), Dennis Leahy (4th December 2018), Innocent Warrior (4th December 2018), Ken (4th December 2018), peterpam (4th December 2018), Rosemarie (13th December 2018), Wind (4th December 2018), Yoda (5th December 2018)

  31. Link to Post #16
    Avalon Member peterpam's Avatar
    Join Date
    29th June 2012
    Posts
    1,662
    Thanks
    15,403
    Thanked 8,822 times in 1,594 posts

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

    Quote Posted by Bill Ryan (here)
    There have been several videos posted on this thread, but this one might be one of the best. In just over 40 minutes, it tells the story of a young Nepalese-Canadian woman, Shriya Shah, who suddenly told her friends and family one day that she was going to climb Mount Everest.

    She'd never climbed a mountain before. She didn't know a thing about it. Everyone tried to dissuade her. But she was known for her determination.

    And, watching the film, ego clearly played its part. This is her promotional poster, photoshopped at home in Canada. She'd never been on snow apart from walking Toronto winter streets.



    She picked a small hole-on-the-wall trekking company with no experience on the mountain, who no-one else on Everest had ever heard of. After her first major error of believing that she could actually do this, that was her second mistake.

    When she got to base camp, it was evident that she was extremely slow. At one point, her lead Sherpa told her sister in Katmandu that she would surely die and also kill everyone else who was with her. But she still would not be dissuaded.

    Meanwhile, Russell Bruce, the leader with by far the most experience on the mountain, had canceled his own expedition as the conditions were too unfavorable. His clients had all paid over $50,000 to get to the summit. There were no refunds. He simply made the responsible call. That's what leaders have to do.

    Here's how the story ends.

    Remarkably, Shriya struggled slowly, at a snail's pace, to the very top. She arrived there, late, at 2.30 pm (1.30 is usually regarded as the very latest safe turnaround time), and then dallied on the summit for a further half an hour.

    She started back down at 3 pm, dangerously late, and with little oxygen left, her fate was already sealed.

    When making the determining, committing, defining decision to climb a mountain, any experienced climber knows you have to make the equally determining, committing, defining decision to get back down again safely. She didn't know that, and no-one had told her.

    She died 7 hours later. In the cold and dark at 10 pm, with her oxygen long since depleted, on the equally grueling and arduous way down. Other climbers on the way up, also climbing at night, had to step over her body.



    The documentary tries to portray her as a kind of determined everyman heroine, pressing on past every discouragement and obstacle to achieve a magical goal. Russell Brice, who was interviewed well, and who is a good man, was careful not to say anything unkind.

    But it was a suicide trip from the start. There's no honor in that.

    It was simply stupid. And one of the problems is that with diminishing oxygen at very high altitude, one becomes stupid as one's brain simply ceases to function properly. An experienced climber, with logic in reserve, will know that. She had no clue. And it's clear from the film that her trekking company had little clue either. It's a salutary tale, and it's told really very well.




    This really was a nicely done documentary. I go between admiring her fortitude to wondering why she was in such a hurry to do this? She was young enough to do training and at least learn the basics.She probably had to use a small operation that would be swayed by the money because no one else would take the risk. She didn't seem to care if other lives were placed in increased jeopardy for the bragging rights of completing the climb( as evidenced by the huge poster of herself outside the tent)..

  32. The Following 6 Users Say Thank You to peterpam For This Post:

    avid (4th December 2018), Bill Ryan (4th December 2018), Ken (4th December 2018), Rosemarie (13th December 2018), Satori (4th December 2018), Yoda (7th December 2018)

  33. Link to Post #17
    UK Avalon Founder Bill Ryan's Avatar
    Join Date
    7th February 2010
    Location
    Ecuador
    Posts
    21,423
    Thanks
    74,492
    Thanked 269,656 times in 19,908 posts

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

    Quote Posted by peterpam (here)
    Quote Posted by Bill Ryan (here)
    There have been several videos posted on this thread, but this one might be one of the best. In just over 40 minutes, it tells the story of a young Nepalese-Canadian woman, Shriya Shah, who suddenly told her friends and family one day that she was going to climb Mount Everest.

    She'd never climbed a mountain before. She didn't know a thing about it. Everyone tried to dissuade her. But she was known for her determination.

    http://youtube.com/watch?v=QEcHBFs-qME
    This really was a nicely done documentary. I go between admiring her fortitude to wondering why she was in such a hurry to do this? She was young enough to do training and at least learn the basics.She probably had to use a small operation that would be swayed by the money because no one else would take the risk. She didn't seem to care if other lives were placed in increased jeopardy for the bragging rights of completing the climb( as evidenced by the huge poster of herself outside the tent)..
    The video comments are really quite interesting to read. Many of them make very astute points — including a few commenters who'd climbed Everest themselves. There's absolutely no way she should have been on the mountain. But there was nothing in place to stop her.

    There are a number of issues/questions here.
    • The Nepalese government (and Nepal is almost a failed state) is desperate for every dollar they can get. So they're not going to regulate anything any time soon.
    • Some of the potential regulation should be of the trekking/ expedition companies themselves. Anyone can start one, borrow a tent, find a cook, and say they're an expedition specialist. Some of these outfits are (or can be) almost criminally incompetent, with no experience on the mountain and using Sherpas who may mean well personally (most Sherpas are extremely nice people), but just don't have the ability or experience themselves.
    • Many Sherpas are culturally mild and non-confrontational. They may say something to a client, but if the client protests, they tend to back down and go along with them. It's only the most experienced expedition Sherpas who'd say to a wealthy western client, forcefully if necessary: "NO. We're going down NOW. Or you'll DIE."
    • The huge logjams on the mountain are just one new safety hazard. Below is a composite photo of climbers all ascending from (I believe) Camp 3. Everyone is clipped to ONE ROPE, which they're using to partially haul themselves up the steep slope, though they're all taking their own steps in the snow as well.
    • If that rope breaks, for instance from a rock or ice fall (even a small sharp falling object would slice the rope like butter), or if the anchor at the top becomes detached, they're all gone. Every one of them, like a long line of dominoes. One day, this will happen.
    • And if someone like Shriya Shah is near the front/top of the long ascent line (and she might well be, starting early because she's slow), then no-one else can overtake her. One can always unclip from the fixed rope and climb solo up the slope (and fast, experienced climbers sometimes do this), but then that means they're theoretically unprotected themselves.



    Regulation HAS to be the answer. Here's what I'd recommend. (And many others have — except that the Nepalese authorities aren't listening and don't even appear to understand.)
    • The most successful half dozen expedition companies — with a track record of safety, years on the mountain, and successful ascents — would form a committee to vet new, startup expedition companies, with the approval of the Nepalese government.
    • That same committee would vet ALL clients who apply (with anyone) to climb. They'd have to be proven mountaineers with a strong record of experience on lower mountains. Those criteria should be stringent. I might not even make that cut myself.
    • To compensate for reduced income, the permit fees per client should be MUCH more. They should be a fixed $30,000 per client, going directly to the Nepalese authorities. Maybe more than that. That's before they even start paying the expedition company. The Nepalese income stays the same, with half the number of people on the mountain.
    • Sherpa pay should be increased (though that's a potential problem, as inexperienced Sherpas might be attracted just because of the high income) — OR, $$ should be put aside to a foundation to support the families of Sherpas who have died on the mountain or become injured (e.g. through frostbitten fingers and toes) to the extent that they can't do this work any more.
    Last edited by Bill Ryan; 4th December 2018 at 17:42.

  34. The Following 6 Users Say Thank You to Bill Ryan For This Post:

    avid (4th December 2018), happyuk (5th December 2018), Ken (4th December 2018), peterpam (5th December 2018), Rosemarie (13th December 2018), Yoda (5th December 2018)

  35. Link to Post #18
    UK Avalon Founder Bill Ryan's Avatar
    Join Date
    7th February 2010
    Location
    Ecuador
    Posts
    21,423
    Thanks
    74,492
    Thanked 269,656 times in 19,908 posts

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

    Here's another photo of the ascent line from Camp 3.



    And this is the famous Hillary Step, just below the summit. (Here, climbers are trying to get up AND down on the same rope, with zero room to manoever.)



    This is madness.

    Why ANYONE would ever want to be there among all the crowds, putting their lives at risk while engaged in a totally unpleasant experience — when there are SO many other gorgeous, genuinely remote, wilderness places to visit, all over the world — is utterly beyond me.

    ~~~

    Another of the problems is that the weather forecasts are so accurate now, and every expedition has satcom so that weather updates are received instantly. That means that when a weather window (a good clear day or two) opens up, EVERYONE starts up the mountain all at once.

    In previous years (or decades), everyone made their own best weather guess, and so all the summit attempts tended to be a lot more spread out. Paradoxically, of course, because hundreds of people are all trying to get to the summit on the same day, despite the clear weather that makes things all the more dangerous for everyone.
    Last edited by Bill Ryan; 4th December 2018 at 18:03.

  36. The Following 8 Users Say Thank You to Bill Ryan For This Post:

    avid (4th December 2018), HaveBlue (5th June 2019), Ken (5th December 2018), peterpam (5th December 2018), Rosemarie (13th December 2018), Satori (4th December 2018), seko (5th December 2018), Yoda (5th December 2018)

  37. Link to Post #19
    Avalon Member kudzy's Avatar
    Join Date
    19th April 2010
    Location
    black mtn, NC
    Age
    51
    Posts
    106
    Thanks
    2,845
    Thanked 552 times in 86 posts

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

    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.

  38. The Following 5 Users Say Thank You to kudzy For This Post:

    Bill Ryan (5th December 2018), Ken (5th December 2018), peterpam (5th December 2018), pueblo (5th December 2018), Rosemarie (13th December 2018)

  39. Link to Post #20
    Avalon Member peterpam's Avatar
    Join Date
    29th June 2012
    Posts
    1,662
    Thanks
    15,403
    Thanked 8,822 times in 1,594 posts

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

    Quote Posted by Bill Ryan (here)
    Here's another photo of the ascent line from Camp 3.



    And this is the famous Hillary Step, just below the summit. (Here, climbers are trying to get up AND down on the same rope, with zero room to manoever.)



    This is madness.

    Why ANYONE would ever want to be there among all the crowds, putting their lives at risk while engaged in a totally unpleasant experience — when there are SO many other gorgeous, genuinely remote, wilderness places to visit, all over the world — is utterly beyond me.

    ~~~

    Another of the problems is that the weather forecasts are so accurate now, and every expedition has satcom so that weather updates are received instantly. That means that when a weather window (a good clear day or two) opens up, EVERYONE starts up the mountain all at once.

    In previous years (or decades), everyone made their own best weather guess, and so all the summit attempts tended to be a lot more spread out. Paradoxically, of course, because hundreds of people are all trying to get to the summit on the same day, despite the clear weather that makes things all the more dangerous for everyone.
    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.

    Your ideas for improving this condition seem very sound.

  40. The Following 3 Users Say Thank You to peterpam For This Post:

    Bill Ryan (5th December 2018), Ken (5th December 2018), Rosemarie (13th December 2018)

+ Reply to Thread
Page 1 of 3 1 3 LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts