/ Everest: MAHOOSIVE Queue

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Shani 24 May 2019
Niblet 24 May 2019
In reply to Shani:

Iconic picture, as an aspiring alpinist I think I'll print it out and put it up on the wall for motivation to train

...not!!

In reply to Shani:

When I climb it i'm definitely going to pay the extra for a fastpass to avoid the queues 

Fergal 24 May 2019
In reply to Shani:

They are obviously not charging enough, supply and demand isn't it, we need more bankers, luvvy darlings and Dentists!  

GrahamD 24 May 2019
In reply to Shani:

Why depressing ? 

20
Fergal 24 May 2019
In reply to GrahamD:

Well how would you like to be stuck in a twelve hour queue behind luvvy Ben Fogle.

2
Shani 24 May 2019
In reply to GrahamD:

> Why depressing ? 

It's inspiring that people want to test themselves, and even non-climbers talk of personal challenges as their 'Everest'.

However, actually taking on the challenge of climbing Everest shows a lack of imagination. It's become a trophy-climb tagged on a bucket list for American dentists. It's big game hunting for the modestly fit. It's now up there with those 1980s gorilla-hand ashtrays. 

The route itself has been largely pedestrianised. The experience has been shorn of adventure. Adventure is not just a destination, its the journey. It's HOW you do it. This is why Honnold can climb a route done a thousand times before and win an Oscar in the process and inspire a generation. No amount of money enables you to buy that experience. 

Money allows the unappreciative to congest a sacred, wild place in a desperate push for self esteem. Credit to them for pushing themselves but they really don't need to go to Everest to gain approbation of others nor to reinforce their sense of self worth.

1
Ceiriog Chris 24 May 2019
In reply to Shani:

Half of them will be motivational speakers next year no doubt

jon 24 May 2019
In reply to Ceiriog Chris:

Life coaches.

Cusco 24 May 2019
In reply to jon:

The tone of this thread and some of the posts are inappropriate given the deaths in the last few days (some of which are being attributed in the media to the bottlenecks around the Hilary Step).

And such bottlenecks have caused serious issues in the past (including in 1996).

105
Shani 24 May 2019
In reply to Cusco:

> The tone of this thread and some of the posts are inappropriate given the deaths in the last few days (some of which are being attributed in the media to the bottlenecks around the Hilary Step).

Wow. You posted that without addressing the commercialisation of Everest nor the demographic paying to get up it.

Have a dislike. 😁

Post edited at 18:24
4
MonkeyPuzzle 24 May 2019
In reply to Shani:

Turns out TCA at 7pm on a Wednesday *is* good training for mountaineering.

DancingOnRock 24 May 2019
In reply to Cusco:

Any other deaths and I’d agree with you. However they’re just more statistics to add to the 300+ others who have gone before them. 

Yes. Individual lives and  horrific for those involved but to most of us Everest is just another car crash. 

I don’t get any pleasure from any of those statements. It’s very sad that something life affirming has taken on such a position in people’s minds. 

2
DancingOnRock 24 May 2019
In reply to Shani:

I don’t think it’s that bad but commercialism has taken over every reach of the planet it seems. Next it’ll be submarine dives to the Marius Trench to see the plastic tips. 

3
Christheclimber 24 May 2019
In reply to Shani:

Yes depressing. Think I would have paid up for “fast track”.........

Deadeye 24 May 2019
In reply to Fergal:

> Well how would you like to be stuck in a twelve hour queue behind luvvy Ben Fogle.


It would depend what he'd eaten for breakfast

Well, I assume so.  It certainly would be a factor the other way round.

Fergal 24 May 2019
In reply to Deadeye:

Egg mcmuffin and a latte, there's a mackie d's on the south col.

Pekkie 24 May 2019
In reply to Shani: Blimey, who's looking after all those dental surgeries back in the U.S. of A.?

2
Jezz0r 24 May 2019

Seven deaths in the last week or so, sounds like most of them are due to holdups around the Hilary step

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/may/24/three-more-die-on-everest-amid-concerns-about-overcrowding

Gordon Stainforth 24 May 2019
In reply to Shani:

Obviously if you're a competent climber, you can do it from the north/Chinese side, where I'm sure there are no queues. Or is there a problem with that - e.g. getting permits?

2
planetmarshall 24 May 2019
In reply to Shani:

Coincidentally I'm seeing a lot of congratulatory posts on FB and Instagram about now from successful ascents courtesy of some well known UK based guiding companies and was wondering, to what degree are they complicit in this? Is it maybe about time they started saying "No" to Everest?

Post edited at 22:50
pasbury 24 May 2019
In reply to Shani:

Thank you. Sanity.

pasbury 24 May 2019
In reply to Gordon Stainforth:

Probably still have to join the queue for the last pitch though.

aln 24 May 2019
In reply to Shani:

> those 1980s gorilla-hand ashtrays.>

I don't remember them. 

Gordon Stainforth 25 May 2019
In reply to pasbury:

> Probably still have to join the queue for the last pitch though.

You mean the Second Step? (which is a long way from the top) I doubt it. Just how many climb it from the north now on a fine day? Does anyone know? I think it's still a very small number, isn't it?

1
wbo 25 May 2019
In reply to Shani:. It's a big leap from a guided trip up Everest to Alex Honnold for sure - but its an equally big leap for most of the weekend warriors who post here to Alex Honnold .  Never queued for a route?  Particularly for a classic 'adventure' route like Dream of..  ? Is that a devalued experience?

I guess what I'm saying is that it doesn't hurt you to be a bit less judgemental..

9
In reply to Shani:

Climbers gave up on Everest after, let's say, Venables et al new route on the Kangshung Face in 1988. Since then, it has been first nationality, first combination, gender/nationality, first trick cyclist, first non gender trick cyclist with a baboon...

1
Shani 25 May 2019
In reply to wbo:

> . It's a big leap from a guided trip up Everest to Alex Honnold for sure - but its an equally big leap for most of the weekend warriors who post here to Alex Honnold .  Never queued for a route?  Particularly for a classic 'adventure' route like Dream of..  ? Is that a devalued experience?

You've missed my point entirely. 

> I guess what I'm saying is that it doesn't hurt you to be a bit less judgemental..

Always true!    But the commercialisation and demographic i allude to are damaging. I don't think it is overly judgmental to be critical of it.

Post edited at 08:41
beardy mike 25 May 2019
In reply to wbo:

> I guess what I'm saying is that it doesn't hurt you to be a bit less judgemental..

I does if you die because of the queue. 

profitofdoom 25 May 2019
In reply to planetmarshall:

> ............Is it maybe about time they started saying "No" to Everest?

It's not about time, but way overdue to do that IMO

Shani 25 May 2019
GrahamD 25 May 2019
In reply to Shani:

Have to say i don't agree with Everest showing a lack of imagination or woould i agree being moderately fit is adequate.  Of all the people who could afford to do it only a tiny minority have the motivation to make it happen. It may be a circus but circuses aren't easy places to perform. Good luck and good on them, I say.

20
john arran 25 May 2019
In reply to GrahamD:

Oh, come on. I'd be surprised if the vast majority of western summiters weren't doing it either for bragging rights or for commercial reasons. That might show many things, commercial acumen included, but imagination isn't one of them.

2
GrahamD 25 May 2019
In reply to john arran:

Id be surprised if the motivation wasn't exactly the same as yours or my motivation for any climb. You think its bragging rights i think its the appeal of climbing. 

13
john arran 25 May 2019
In reply to GrahamD:

> Id be surprised if the motivation wasn't exactly the same as yours or my motivation for any climb. You think its bragging rights i think its the appeal of climbing. 

Well of course I can't say with certainty, knowing hardly any of the summiters personally, but the almost complete lack of reports of summiters doing any other notable climbs (other than the other six of the braggable or commercially useful seven summits) would suggest to me that you should prepare to be surprised.

Shani 25 May 2019
In reply to john arran:

This. ☝️

GrahamD 25 May 2019
In reply to john arran:

Why would it matter if they hadn't done any other notable climbs if their motivation was only to climb Everest ?

14
john arran 25 May 2019
In reply to GrahamD:

> Why would it matter if they hadn't done any other notable climbs if their motivation was only to climb Everest ?

"i think its the appeal of climbing" is what you said, their motivation being "exactly the same as yours or my motivation for any climb."

Well I don't know about you, but my motivation for a climb isn't to complete it and then to give up climbing and take to the motivational speaker circuit on the basis of having done so.

1
teh_mark 25 May 2019
In reply to GrahamD:

Because it appears to be the mountaineering equivalent of someone climbing Gargoyle Flake just for the photo, without any interest in rock climbing. Bragging rights and ego fluffing - what's the point? It's a joke.

1
joeldering 25 May 2019
In reply to wbo:

> Never queued for a route?  Particularly for a classic 'adventure' route like Dream of..  ? Is that a devalued experience?

A little bit, maybe? Queueing for a route takes a way a whole bunch of good things - reduces the independence, diminishes the sense of adventure, exposes you to others' risks, etc.

There can be good things to having lots of people around, of course, but at very least it's a different experience than having an 'adventure route' to yourself.

Bulls Crack 25 May 2019
In reply to Shani:

Agree - why would you want to, unless it's just another tick?

summo 25 May 2019
In reply to GrahamD:

> Id be surprised if the motivation wasn't exactly the same as yours or my motivation for any climb. You think its bragging rights i think its the appeal of climbing. 

If it's purely climbing, then why beyond the tick peaks is hill traffic largely unchanged? Snowdon, pen y fan, 3 peaks, mont blanc, aconcagua etc.. over run with folk. Climbing the next or 3rd highest in that particular region, which in many instances are better mountaineering lines you could have relative solitude. 

Most Folk are height and headline ticking nothing else. 

2
GHawksworth 25 May 2019
In reply to Shani:

I wonder how many have their sights on K2? or heard of it

1
Kemics 26 May 2019
In reply to GrahamD:

Would it be unreasonable to say anyone who jumars a fixed rope the entire way up a mountain hasnt climbed it? 

Michael Hood 26 May 2019
In reply to Kemics:

As in "congratulations on your ascent, commiserations on failing to climb X"

GrahamD 26 May 2019
In reply to Kemics:

> Would it be unreasonable to say anyone who jumars a fixed rope the entire way up a mountain hasnt climbed it? 

Depends on how climbing is defined.  As climbers we think we have a monopoly on the definition but to most people walking up stairs are climbing them. Me personally i wouldn't call jugging fixed ropes as climbing.

1
GrahamD 26 May 2019
In reply to john arran:

Just because a few of the hundreds who do it do it purely as a career step, i simply don't agree its the motivation of the majority. Even if its not my motivation i can see why the objective of 'just' climbing the highest mountain on earth and nothing else could be a perfectly admirable objective for anyone. Well, not anyone. The vast majority of people dont think that big in their objectives. 

10
Big Lee 26 May 2019
In reply to Kemics:

> Would it be unreasonable to say anyone who jumars a fixed rope the entire way up a mountain hasnt climbed it? 

Jumars are a bit of a grey area for me though. Americans more frequently jumar big stuff on second for efficiency-sake. It could be argued that Everest is essentially a team of 400+ people working together, with a select few doing the leading and fixing of ropes for the majority to follow. I don't think one can say someone hasn't climbed it, but they have followed someone else up the entire mountain in effect. It's seige-style on an epic scale. 

5
lucozade 26 May 2019
In reply to Shani:

For me I just feel sad about the numbers of people who have died, including two people from the UK/Ireland (not that nationality matters, just these are closer to home). If these queues have exacerbated this then lessons need to be learned fast. My deepest sympathies to all the families of all those lost. In reply to summo's point, I remember the comments of Bonita Norris watching the traffic jams on Everest while she and her partner enjoyed climbed Lhotse alone.

Bobling 26 May 2019
In reply to lucozade:

Well said, thoughts with those who have died and their families.

Shani 26 May 2019
In reply to lucozade:

> For me I just feel sad about the numbers of people who have died, including two people from the UK/Ireland (not that nationality matters, just these are closer to home). If these queues have exacerbated this then lessons need to be learned fast. My deepest sympathies to all the families of all those lost.

I agree, the body count is tragic and i extend my sympathies also.

Lessons do need to be learned and my posts above are intended to draw out those lessons.

1
Rob Parsons 26 May 2019
In reply to Shani:

> Lessons do need to be learned and my posts above are intended to draw out those lessons.

What do you think the lessons are?

1
Shani 26 May 2019
In reply to Rob Parsons:

That the marketing of Everest as a bucket list achievement is damaging the summit environment and recklessly endangering the summiteers.

The technical barriers are too low - somewhat diminishing the achievement, and the financial rewards of aiding those summiteers are so high that foolish decisions are being made.

Rob Parsons 26 May 2019
In reply to Shani:

> That the marketing of Everest as a bucket list achievement is damaging the summit environment and recklessly endangering the summiteers.

> The technical barriers are too low - somewhat diminishing the achievement, and the financial rewards of aiding those summiteers are so high that foolish decisions are being made.

But that has all been known for years - in other words, they're not new 'lessons' that needed to be learned. I guess one question to ask is: what does anybody propose to do about it?
 

Shani 26 May 2019
In reply to Rob Parsons:

> But that has all been known for years - in other words, they're not new 'lessons' that needed to be learned.

Indeed. I'm not claiming they're new. But on the current trajectory a massive tragedy is going to happen. A film will be made about it calked 'Death Mountain' and Everest's 'killer mountain' cache will increase.

Somewhere in the US a dentist will proudly point to his summit photo on his office wall...

1
Rob Parsons 26 May 2019
In reply to Shani:

> ... A film will be made about it calked 'Death Mountain' and Everest's 'killer mountain' cache will increase.

Maybe. But, if so, that image might only lure more punters on. On the other hand, perhaps, if the trip really does get objectively dangerous on account of the crowds, perhaps numbers will eventually self-limit?

Ultimately here, money talks. Guiding companies make big money out of this activity, as does the Nepalese government. It might take some punitive claim against either or both to get some real action taken.

None of this has anything to do with climbing though.

> Somewhere in the US a dentist will proudly point to his summit photo on his office wall...

Why do you single out US dentists?

1
Big Lee 26 May 2019
In reply to Shani:

> That the marketing of Everest as a bucket list achievement is damaging the summit environment and recklessly endangering the summiteers.

What? Who is marketing Everest as a bucket list achievement? The problem to me is that it is the highest peak in the world and so naturally a lot of people want to try it. The greater numbers of people summiting it probably leads to greater number of people wanting to try it. So there's probably a snowball effect due to it being perceived as something more and more achievable, for those that can afford it. 

2
Shani 26 May 2019
In reply to Rob Parsons:

> Why do you single out US dentists?

A bit of a trope to make a point, but here you go:

https://amp.ft.com/content/501c0180-68d3-11e8-aee1-39f3459514fd

Rob Parsons 26 May 2019
In reply to Shani:

The only mention of dentists in that article doesn't say that they're male American ones. Sorry to be literal.

If your point is that the commercialization of Everest allows anybody rich enough to pay for it to have a go, at whatever level of luxury they'd like to dial up, then sure. But that's not news. Since for me it's the concept rather than the details which represent the problem, I'd rather poke fun at the British people involved in such operations (Kenton Cool, Jagged Globe, et al) rather than have a random pop at the Yanks.

Incidentally, since you single out Furtenbach, that preacclimatisation idea sounds like quite a good idea under the circumstances, doesn't it?

5
Shani 26 May 2019
In reply to Rob Parsons:

> If your point is that the commercialization of Everest allows anybody rich enough to pay for it to have a go, at whatever level of luxury they'd like to dial up, then sure. But that's not news.

I've acknowledged it's a trope.  Clearly it is news. The OP links to a story covered on every major news channel.

Rob Parsons 26 May 2019
In reply to Shani:

It isn't news to anybody who has paid any attention to the commercialization of such matters over the past 30 or so years. It's presumably popping up on mainstream news channels now since the overcrowding is being blamed for deaths.

2
Shani 26 May 2019
In reply to Rob Parsons:

> It isn't news to anybody who has paid any attention to the commercialization of such matters over the past 30 or so years. It's presumably popping up on mainstream news channels now since the overcrowding is being blamed for deaths.

The commercialisation and consequence/overcrowding is what we are discussing. 

Rob Parsons 26 May 2019
In reply to Shani:

> The commercialisation and consequence/overcrowding is what we are discussing. 


Ok I know that. But neither are news to anybody with an interest in mountaineering. Here's a related thread from this site, and from seven years ago: https://www.ukhillwalking.com/forums/expedition+alpine/200_going_for_summit_of_everest-506570

2
Shani 26 May 2019
In reply to Big Lee:

> What? Who is marketing Everest as a bucket list achievement?

It's not just the summit. Everest base camp is a bucket list achievement. It literally says "Is eVeRest on your bucket list?" on the strapline to this Everest trekking company website:

https://evertrek.co.uk

This trekking company is literally called http://bucketlisttraveladventures.com/Everest.html

Some interesting thoughts here: http://www.everest1953.co.uk/denying-summit-certificates-insult-sherpas

Shani 26 May 2019
In reply to Rob Parsons:

> Ok I know that. But neither are news to anybody with an interest in mountaineering.

I'm not a claiming it's a new problem. The fact that all those issues raised in 2012 are still an issue mean it's worthy of discussion. 

DancingOnRock 26 May 2019
In reply to Shani:

Everest is clearly not ‘for everyone.’ Should it be? The Sherpas make money and under UK H&S I’d be interested to see how we would handle their appalling treatment.  

I think the problem is the ‘lowering’ of the summit. Simply take away the use of supplemental oxygen. That would make the summit of Everest only accessible to the select few that can really climb it.

The use of fixed ropes and ladders is another odd thing but I don’t see removing them being a practical solution and could well cause more problems than it solves. 

1
Pefa 26 May 2019

In reply:

It's called Chomolungma not Everest.

6
Timmd 26 May 2019
In reply to Rob Parsons:

> The only mention of dentists in that article doesn't say that they're male American ones. Sorry to be literal.

> If your point is that the commercialization of Everest allows anybody rich enough to pay for it to have a go, at whatever level of luxury they'd like to dial up, then sure. But that's not news. Since for me it's the concept rather than the details which represent the problem, I'd rather poke fun at the British people involved in such operations (Kenton Cool, Jagged Globe, et al) rather than have a random pop at the Yanks.

> Incidentally, since you single out Furtenbach, that preacclimatisation idea sounds like quite a good idea under the circumstances, doesn't it?

I remember somebody who used to work for Jagged Globe saying that people should read Into Thin Air before thinking about climbing Everest, as a pointer on what can go wrong, and that there's bound to be some element of ego involved in wanting to climb it (which is present in much of climbing, of course). The amount of rubbish left on Everest, and the dead bodies too, do make me start to ask unanswered questions about valuing nature, human folly and 'what life is about'. 

Post edited at 17:10
GrahamD 26 May 2019
In reply to DancingOnRock:

> I think the problem is the ‘lowering’ of the summit. Simply take away the use of supplemental oxygen. That would make the summit of Everest only accessible to the select few that can really climb it.

That's Ed Hilary and Tenzing Norgay stuffed, then !

Timmd 26 May 2019
In reply to GrahamD:

They were breaking new ground with the best technology at the time, though, a little bit like aid climbers before trad gear improved perhaps? The gear of the first people who climbed without oxygen was lighter and better than their's was. 

Post edited at 19:01
2
felt 26 May 2019
In reply to Pefa:

> It's called Chomolungma not Everest.

Reminds me of that Thomas story where Gordon or someone goes up from the provinces to London and comes back. All the other trains are like, London's Paddington; No, it's not, it's King's Cross; I thought it was Euston. Etc, etc. Gordon deflates the mood on the sidings when he says it's actually St Pancras.

Me, lager. Finchy, Lager. Gareth, lager sometimes cider, so different drinks for different... needs.

Sagarmatha no good for you?

Wsdconst 26 May 2019
In reply to Shani:

As a kid I had dreams of summiting Everest, now I can’t think of anything I’d like to do less, apart from maybe being kicked in the balls or set on fire. 

1
Stephen R Young 26 May 2019
In reply to Shani:

How about a chair lift or preferably an oxygenate cable car then we can all go!

In reply to Gordon Stainforth:

> You mean the Second Step? (which is a long way from the top) I doubt it. Just how many climb it from the north now on a fine day? Does anyone know? I think it's still a very small number, isn't it?

Haven't read the rest of the thread but anecdotally... a friend of mine climbed it from the North and his main problem was having too few people around him!

Rob Parsons 26 May 2019
In reply to Shani:

> I'm not a claiming it's a new problem. The fact that all those issues raised in 2012 are still an issue mean it's worthy of discussion. 

The only interesting point of discussion is what's to be done about it.

I can imagine a punitive legal action (by, say, the partner of one of those deceased US dentists of yours) against the guiding company involved, alleging negligence. Despite clients having to sign disclaimer forms in advance, that could win - but then what? That particular limited company would then go out of business, only to replaced by another.

Better, perhaps, might be for both Nepal and China to declare the peak entirely off-limits. Just give the thing a bit of peace and quiet for 100 years or so?

profitofdoom 26 May 2019
In reply to Rob Parsons:

> Better, perhaps, might be for both Nepal and China to declare the peak entirely off-limits. Just give the thing a bit of peace and quiet for 100 years or so?

Good idea and I'm all for it. Would Nepal go for it, though, with the loss of income involved?

1
Eric9Points 26 May 2019
In reply to Rob Parsons:

> The only interesting point of discussion is what's to be done about it.

> I can imagine a punitive legal action (by, say, the partner of one of those deceased US dentists of yours) against the guiding company involved, alleging negligence. Despite clients having to sign disclaimer forms in advance, that could win - but then what? That particular limited company would then go out of business, only to replaced by another.

> Better, perhaps, might be for both Nepal and China to declare the peak entirely off-limits. Just give the thing a bit of peace and quiet for 100 years or so?

I was about to post much the same thought. I'm correct in assuming that several climbers have died as a result of hypothermia/altitude sickness as a result of standing in a queue for twelve hours? The congestion must have been predictable days in advance and at that point the guiding companies should have sorted out some kind of schedule between themselves in order to avoid undue delays.

Certainly one way or another, congestion should be regulated out of the system.

DancingOnRock 26 May 2019
In reply to Timmd:

It’s like the 4minute mile though. Loads of people were capable of it. No one had run it. 

The mind is a powerful factor. 

2
Timmd 26 May 2019
In reply to Shani:

If adventure is venturing into the unknown, I'm not quite sure if you can say that it's been shorn of adventure, there's still a chance of 'simply dying' from one's body not being able to cope. 

Other opinions are valid of course.

elsewhere 27 May 2019
In reply to Shani:

https://www.smh.com.au/world/asia/it-was-like-a-zoo-climbers-reveal-lord-of-flies-experience-of-overcrowded-everest-20190527-p51rf0.html

‘It was like a zoo': Climbers reveal 'Lord of Flies' experience of overcrowded Everest

Sounds horrific.

Xharlie 27 May 2019
In reply to GrahamD:

My motivation for climbing, skiing, hiking, sailing and any number of other activities is to get away from crowds, noise and the oppression of public, populated spaces and enjoy an entertaining-to-challenging adventure with uncertain outcomes while testing my body and mind and, indeed, being (mostly) alone with my thoughts.

It is for this reason that I did my first ski-tour, this year, and acquired the taste for it, losing all interest in queuing for noisy lifts, ever again.

I'd say that joining a commercialised mosh-pit-up-a-mountain would not be congruent with my motivations and I therefore conclude that those who knowing sign up for that must necessarily have different ones.

Shani 27 May 2019
In reply to elsewhere:

> ‘It was like a zoo': Climbers reveal 'Lord of Flies' experience of overcrowded Everest

> Sounds horrific.

Imagine paying £50k for that! It's disappointment somewhere between queing for rides at Alton Towers (always go for the fast pass), and being stuck behind someone checking through 11 items in the "10 Items or Less" queue.

elsewhere 27 May 2019
In reply to Shani:

> Imagine paying £50k for that! It's disappointment somewhere between queing for rides at Alton Towers (always go for the fast pass), and being stuck behind someone checking through 11 items in the "10 Items or Less" queue.

Whilst ignoring those who die around you.

teh_mark 27 May 2019
In reply to Shani:

I wonder how many of those quoted in that article realise that they are part of the problem, and how many just don't get it.

1
Shani 27 May 2019
In reply to teh_mark:

> I wonder how many of those quoted in that article realise that they are part of the problem, and how many just don't get it.

It's the same when drivers complain about "being stuck in traffic"; drivers ARE traffic.

(As an aside, I'm currently being triggered by my typo above. Obviously i should have put "queueing''). 😭

In reply to Shani:

Just disallow fixing of ropes. Should sort the wheat from the chaff. 

1
GrahamD 27 May 2019
In reply to Xharlie:

> My motivation for climbing, skiing, hiking, sailing and any number of other activities is to get away from crowds, noise and the oppression of public, populated spaces and enjoy an entertaining-to-challenging adventure with uncertain outcomes while testing my body and mind and, indeed, being (mostly) alone with my thoughts.

> I therefore conclude that those who knowing sign up for that must necessarily have different ones.

I would agree. Clearly climbing to the summit in whatever style and despite the crowds is sufficient motivation for some, what is still a low number of people in absolute terms.

Just because its a different motivation to yours and mine doesn't mean its a poor motivation. 

6
teh_mark 27 May 2019
In reply to GrahamD:

I've gone round in mental circles trying to understand why someone might want to stand on the tallest mountain on Earth without an interest in mountaineering, and I always seem to end up back at ego. Why else does anyone end up on the summit of Everest without showing even a passing interest in mountaineering, or without learning such basic skills as attaching crampons to boots? Nope, I can't see any strong motives other than ego, with more than a hint of modern-day 'need it NOW' entitlement mixed in.

Ego is a terrible motivation - for anything,  and particularly for climbing mountains.

2
DancingOnRock 27 May 2019
In reply to teh_mark:

Half the people who run in the London marathon have never run before. A good proportion never run again. 

People are strange. 

FactorXXX 27 May 2019
In reply to teh_mark:

> I've gone round in mental circles trying to understand why someone might want to stand on the tallest mountain on Earth without an interest in mountaineering, and I always seem to end up back at ego. Why else does anyone end up on the summit of Everest without showing even a passing interest in mountaineering, or without learning such basic skills as attaching crampons to boots? Nope, I can't see any strong motives other than ego, with more than a hint of modern-day 'need it NOW' entitlement mixed in.

I always assumed that the people attempting Everest were keen and experienced and are just lucky enough to be able to afford to pay a company to help them get up it.
Are you saying, that people are paying to get up Everest that have never been near another mountain in their lives and are clueless about the technical aspects?
Sorry, but I find that hard to believe.

8
FactorXXX 28 May 2019
In reply to DancingOnRock:

> Half the people who run in the London marathon have never run before. A good proportion never run again. 

Is that an actual statistical fact? Or, just something that you've made up?

teh_mark 28 May 2019
In reply to FactorXXX:

Veteran climbers and industry leaders blame having too many people on the mountain, in general, and too many inexperienced climbers, in particular.

Fly-by-night adventure companies are taking up untrained climbers who pose a risk to everyone on the mountain.

According to Sherpas and climbers, some of the deaths this year were caused by people getting held up in the long lines on the last 300 metres or so of the climb...others were simply not fit enough to be on the mountain in the first place.

Some climbers did not even know how to put on a pair of crampons, clip-on spikes that increase traction on ice, Sherpas said.

A few decades ago, the people climbing Everest were largely experienced mountaineers willing to pay a lot of money. But in recent years, longtime climbers say, lower-cost operators working out of small storefronts in Kathmandu, the capital, and even more expensive foreign companies that do not emphasise safety have entered the market and offered to take just about anyone to the top.

A selection of quotes from the linked article for you to digest.

teh_mark 28 May 2019
In reply to FactorXXX:

And of course, because we can't believe everything we read in the media, Shriya Shah-Klorfine is a perfect and utterly tragic example from recent history:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shriya_Shah-Klorfine

Read beyond the Wikipedia article. It's shocking to the point of disturbing.

Damo 28 May 2019
In reply to FactorXXX:

> Are you saying, that people are paying to get up Everest that have never been near another mountain in their lives and are clueless about the technical aspects?

That is exactly what is happening. It happened years ago, occasionally, but now it's happening en masse, mainly due to the marketing of Everest to the newly-wealthy of China and India.

One friend guiding on the south side a few weeks ago passed a group of 50 Chinese clients and their Sherpas. Last year one of the local Nepali agencies had over 70 clients for the south side. Many clients no longer carry an ice-axe, they just jumar the whole route from bottom to top.

This article is a couple of years old now, but the situation has only increased, and spread to India as well:

http://www.sixthtone.com/news/1000885/peak-capitalism-why-mountaineering-is-a-fad-for-chinas-rich

Post edited at 01:17
Timmd 28 May 2019
In reply to teh_mark:

> I've gone round in mental circles trying to understand why someone might want to stand on the tallest mountain on Earth without an interest in mountaineering, and I always seem to end up back at ego. Why else does anyone end up on the summit of Everest without showing even a passing interest in mountaineering, or without learning such basic skills as attaching crampons to boots? Nope, I can't see any strong motives other than ego, with more than a hint of modern-day 'need it NOW' entitlement mixed in.

> Ego is a terrible motivation - for anything,  and particularly for climbing mountains.

The ego is there whatever the skill level.

DerwentDiluted 28 May 2019
In reply to Shani:

Unfortunately I can't really get too animated about the whole Everest debacle anymore. The mortality rates on Everest and their causes are sufficiently well known that there has to be a big dollup of caveat emptor applied and I can only muster a baseline of sympathy for such a self selecting cohort.  Everest is the mountaineering equivalent of Elvis dying on the khazi with his keks round his ankles, an undignified bloated grotesque parody of something once great. Anything where the greatest threat to life is getting stuck in a queue cannot be worth doing anymore, I mean if I wanted to be stuck immobile in a queue while my hypoxic brain cells died at an unsustainable rate, I'd go to Lidl.

Post edited at 10:32
Timmd 28 May 2019
In reply to DancingOnRock:

> It’s like the 4minute mile though. Loads of people were capable of it. No one had run it. 

> The mind is a powerful factor. 

How do you mean?

Post edited at 10:26
FactorXXX 28 May 2019
In reply to Damo:

> That is exactly what is happening. It happened years ago, occasionally, but now it's happening en masse, mainly due to the marketing of Everest to the newly-wealthy of China and India.
> One friend guiding on the south side a few weeks ago passed a group of 50 Chinese clients and their Sherpas. Last year one of the local Nepali agencies had over 70 clients for the south side. Many clients no longer carry an ice-axe, they just jumar the whole route from bottom to top.
> This article is a couple of years old now, but the situation has only increased, and spread to India as well:
> http://www.sixthtone.com/news/1000885/peak-capitalism-why-mountaineering-is-a-fad-for-chinas-rich

Fair enough and I stand corrected.
I just assumed that all aspirant ascensionists had at least done a fair bit in the Alps, etc. before being considered by the Guiding company.
Pretty shocking that people can just pay and go.
 

In reply to FactorXXX:

I suspect once Branson and Musk get their space tourism properly up and running, that will become the new framed photo on the dentists wall and Everest might get a rest.

Rigid Raider 28 May 2019
In reply to Shani:

In the 31 years I've been in export sales I've occasionally had to show Asian, south Asian, middle-eastern and African visitors around and I honestly can't remember one who took any real interest in what they were seeing. One Syrian visitor put the car seat back and slept all the way to Ambleside and I was so hacked off about it that I turned the car round and drove home; he didn't wake up until we were near Kendal.  Two Nigerians who I took to London last year didn't actually look at anything as far as I could see, they smply scanned the view with their tablets and photographed everything, and I mean everything. Buckingham Palace was a blurred shot of some floodlit building through a taxi window. The other half of their visit they spent scouring Primark to fill two massive cases each with cheap clothes to take back for their relatives. I can't believe any relative had the stamina to sit through the thousands of terrible photos they took. 

7
lucozade 28 May 2019
In reply to Shani:

I heard a great talk from Bear Grylls' rope man (ex Royal Marine). He spoke about a rescue on Everest done by Royal Marines who missed their summit bid to rescue two abandoned climbers (recounted here among other places - https://www.wiredforadventure.com/how-i-rescued-an-injured-climber-from-the-north-ridge-of-everest/) To me it showed the 2 sides of Everest - the teams obsessed with summiting at the cost of members of the group - and those prepared to give up their own dreams to rescue them. The world is a better place for the latter group!

Post edited at 15:11
1
Pero 28 May 2019
In reply to Bjartur i Sumarhus:

> I suspect once Branson and Musk get their space tourism properly up and running, that will become the new framed photo on the dentists wall and Everest might get a rest.

You'd have to pull a lot of teeth to pay for a space flight.

DancingOnRock 28 May 2019
In reply to Timmd:

In May 1954 Banister ran sub 4:00

Then in June Landy knocked almost 2seconds off that  

The next May three guys did it in one race.

By the end of 1956 10 people had run sub 4:00. 

Note that Banister broke the World record that had stood for 10 years.

1
slab_happy 29 May 2019
In reply to Rigid Raider:

> In the 31 years I've been in export sales I've occasionally had to show Asian, south Asian, middle-eastern and African visitors around and I honestly can't remember one who took any real interest in what they were seeing.

Well, that's a sweeping generalization about the majority of the world's population that you seem to be making there.

Also I'm unclear how people taking bad photos of Buckingham Palace or shopping at Primark has anything to do with Everest.

1
Mark Haward 29 May 2019
In reply to Shani:

I've been trying to think of  solutions. I've limited Himalayan experience ( four peaks ) and haven't been on that route  and don't know the topography well but I wonder if this option might work ( bearing in mind the likely mindset and skill level of some of the would be summiters ):

On the last broader section of the summit ridge ( before it narrows to where the queueing / difficulty in passing each other / one fixed rope section is ) could ascentionists be essentially traffic controlled from there.  Perhaps fifty climbers could be allowed onto the last section at a time and as groups descend so the next in the queue can go up. An extra oxygen stash could be made available at that point too. Also, a strict turn around time could be enforced for everyone.

Another possibility might be that on the approach to or at base camp a Sherpa team could do a quick equipment / fit to climb check before anyone is allowed higher. I know some commercial firms have been doing this themselves for their own clients very responsibly for years. However, it seems some clients from other organisations are not able to fit crampons, are not skilled enough to follow fixed ropes, cannot look after themselves at all. This may also help.

Damo 02 Jun 2019
In reply to Shani:

"...more than 80% of Indian citizens are on Everest without previous 6000m or 7000m experience. If they come to climb Everest like this then there will be problem." - Mingma Sherpa

http://www.dreamwanderlust.com/news/21-died-on-6-eight-thousanders-traffic-jam-weather-or-incompetence

Damo 02 Jun 2019
In reply to Shani:

"It’s cool to stand at a Party with a glass in your hand and talk about how you faced the challenge of Everest. It’s great to be garlanded in your local area by your local Member of Parliament, among a group of equally ignorant folks and show picture of you proudly standing on top of Everest and with the National Flag and perhaps land a Government job or get promoted from constable to a Sub-Inspector. If you are lucky and get some backing from a politician you could even land yourself an award or a plot of land."

https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/blogs/voices/the-cost-of-glory-climbing-mount-everest/

Tyler 02 Jun 2019
In reply to Rob Parsons:

> Better, perhaps, might be for both Nepal and China to declare the peak entirely off-limits. Just give the thing a bit of peace and quiet for 100 years or so?

I'm not sure why it should be down to some of the poorest people on earth to stop making an income from one of their few assets just because some of the richest people on earth cannot control their own impulse to go and conquer something out of vanity. 

Rob Parsons 03 Jun 2019
In reply to Tyler:

> I'm not sure why it should be down to some of the poorest people on earth to stop making an income from one of their few assets ...

I would have thought - but I don't know for sure - that most of the tourist money in the Khumbu area is generated from trekking parties, rather than prospective ascentionists of Everest. The Everest peak permits must for sure be a good earner for central government - but how much of that money benefits the poor people of the area is a good question

But I take your general point.


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