27 May 2006


This season sounds like it may turn into a classic hig-altitude cluster f—k with climbers being left to die, climbers being declared dead and showing up hours later alive, and everybody and their brother summiting and everyone else declaring that they are the first blind albino amputee Samoan to reach the top.

I have a distinct feeling that even though well over a hundred climbers have gotten to the top, and there have only been 11 fatalities (or maybe not) reported, Kachenjunga is starting to get pissed; and you don’t want to be on the Mother of all mountains if she gets mad.

Anyway … all the Everest news you’d care to read at EVEREST. COM

You will probably be hearing a lot about an oxygen-deprived climber who was passed by dozens of other climbers who didn’t help him (apparently one teamed tried). Here’s my take on this:

Anyone who participates in a low-to-high risk activity must do so with a full expectation of making it through solely on skill, knowledge, conditioning and — most importantly for those on the outer edge of the curve — luck. To commit to an undertaking any other way is supercilious and invites trite death wish psychoanalyses. Many of those climbing Everest successfully these days do NOT have the requisite hard-earned skillsets and at sometime ... should their wallets/pocketbooks continue to be larger than their brains, it will catch up with them.

Or to paraphrase that unheralded Cockney: You pays your money and you takes your chances.

Although I'm loathe to disagree with Sir Edmund, no one at those heights has (rather, should have) a reasonable expectation of rescue.

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