Tuesday, November 28, 2006
Mount Everest controversy
I love mountains and have always been fascinated with Mt. Everest and K2. It always amazes me how climbing Mt. Everest is truly an "expedition." The planning, the costs, the difficulties, and the tiny windows of opportunity given the fickle weather make reaching the summit something to be admired, no matter how crazy or dangerous you think it is.
I had heard about the death of a climber recently which hit the headlines due to the accusations that he had been passed up by several groups and then left to die.
Recently while visiting home on Thanksgiving I was able to watch the Discovery Channel's series on climbing Mt. Everest, "Everest: Beyond the Limit."
Now those things being said, they are suddenly all tied together in this article I found at MountEverest.net:
The most shameful act in the history of mountaineering: "Everest: Beyond the limit" airs Tuesday
It's hard to say how true the article is, but it did strike me when I remembered one thing on the TV show about the guy trying to be "sneaky" to beat other expeditions up the mountain. However, the climbers in the Discovery Channel series were amazing, given that I remember one being an asthmatic and was going to go the summit without oxygen, another was a French guy in his 60's, and another was an amputee below both knees and was climbing on prosthetic legs.
The tragedy that happened was sad, especially in that it does sound like he could have been saved. I would expect the climbers might not have known the guy was having problems, but it sounds like the guides would have or at least should have known.
Still, as much as I would love to try Everest, I really couldn't justify the risk to life involved. I'll just stick with the panorama view at this site:
360 degree panorama from summit of Mt. Everest (you will probably need a quicktime plugin to view)
(Click the picture for a much better view. Great resolution of K2.)
K2 is another interesting mountain, which is said to be much tougher than Mt. Everest due to K2 being much more rocky and sheer from any angle. You can learn more about that at the K2 website.