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Mt. Everest Climbers = Scumbags?
Old 06-12-2006, 01:53 PM   #1
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Mt. Everest Climbers = Scumbags?

So this article really shocked me:

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/13272568/

Last week a climber was left to die by several groups eager to reach the summit and get their $100k worth. This story at least somebody stopped and rescued the guy, but the quote that got me was this:

"While Mazur's team was busy assisting Hall, two Italian climbers walked past them toward the summit. When asked to help, they claimed they did not understand English. On his return to base camp, Mazur discovered they did."

Does the urge to climb the world's tallest peak come from the same gland that makes you a big freaking A-hole? How does someone say leave a man to die?
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Re: Mt. Everest Climbers = Scumbags?
Old 06-12-2006, 02:33 PM   #2
 
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Re: Mt. Everest Climbers = Scumbags?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Laurence
So this article really shocked me:

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/13272568/

Last week a climber was left to die by several groups eager to reach the summit and get their $100k worth. This story at least somebody stopped and rescued the guy, but the quote that got me was this:

"While Mazur's team was busy assisting Hall, two Italian climbers walked past them toward the summit. When asked to help, they claimed they did not understand English. On his return to base camp, Mazur discovered they did."

Does the urge to climb the world's tallest peak come from the same gland that makes you a big freaking A-hole? How does someone say leave a man to die?
They were probably CEOs. They proably justified it to themselves that it was nothing personal, Just business!
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Re: Mt. Everest Climbers = Scumbags?
Old 06-12-2006, 02:38 PM   #3
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Re: Mt. Everest Climbers = Scumbags?

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They were probably CEOs. They proably justified it to themselves that it was nothing personal, Just business!
The dead guy and the almost dead guy simply weren't striving hard enough. It's all their fault ..and then they rely on some "socially responsible" bleeding-heart enablers to bail their failure-asses out. Next they'll want a gov program to make their socialist world compete
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Re: Mt. Everest Climbers = Scumbags?
Old 06-12-2006, 02:42 PM   #4
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Re: Mt. Everest Climbers = Scumbags?

There are a lot of crappy people in the world. A lot of people will kill you for no reason; probably a larger number will ignore your dying if it would be unhandy to help out.

Remember Kitty Genovese?

And yes, I agree they are scumbags. Don't understand English! How much English do you need to see that someone is injured and possibly dying?

Ha
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Re: Mt. Everest Climbers = Scumbags?
Old 06-12-2006, 03:47 PM   #5
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Re: Mt. Everest Climbers = Scumbags?

The guy who was stranded and the guy whose group saved him were on the Today show this morning. It was a fascinating story. The stranded guy was apparently hallucinating and wouldn't have lasted much longer. When the group who saved him first saw him, the guy said something like, "I bet you are very surprised to see me here". But he didn't know how he got there.

The guy who saved him said when they got back down, he saw the guys who passed them by and asked (very poiltely), "why didn't you stop?" They said they didn't think they had enough oxygen. Apparently, the stranded guy was only a couple of hours from the top (he had been to the top and was coming back down). The passers-by made it to the top and back down.

The guys who saved him never even talked to each other about what to do. It didn't occur to them that - even though they were that close to this major life goal - there would be any alternative to rescuing this guy. It was an amazing story of 2 reactions to someone in trouble.

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Re: Mt. Everest Climbers = Scumbags?
Old 06-12-2006, 04:06 PM   #6
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Re: Mt. Everest Climbers = Scumbags?

A lot of hard core mountaineers - or the amateurs who spend $50,000 to be led - are all about the peak. Peak baggers get pissed at those who interfere with their chance at the peak. Baggers will endure miserable days and nights to claim victory at the top and will ignore pleas for help.

So, yeah, they're a like lot CEOs.
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Re: Mt. Everest Climbers = Scumbags?
Old 06-12-2006, 04:13 PM   #7
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Re: Mt. Everest Climbers = Scumbags?

I read this a couple weeks ago when I was trying to find out about someone my husband knows that died in New Zeland on a hunting trip. It's too bad that a bunch of scum will ruin it for others, the article I read said they may stop giving permits to climb there, I doubt that will happen, too many will pay what ever it takes to be able to climb. I certainly hope that one day karma gets those that passed him by.
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Re: Mt. Everest Climbers = Scumbags?
Old 06-12-2006, 08:21 PM   #8
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Re: Mt. Everest Climbers = Scumbags?

Read "Into Thin Air" to find out what an Everest climb is all about -- fantastic book.

I didn't read about this incident so I don't know whether the Italians could have helped. But it is not uncommon for climbers to be left to die on Everest because their co-climbers or other groups fear they would die if they tried to help them. You have to be a little bit nuts to climb Everest. And I can almost guarantee you that no one doing it today has not read Thin Air and a raft of material like it. They all know going in that there is a fair chance they will die and that no one will help them.
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Re: Mt. Everest Climbers = Scumbags?
Old 06-12-2006, 09:52 PM   #9
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Re: Mt. Everest Climbers = Scumbags?

Anyone that walks by anyone else in any circumstance without at least trying to render aid is a poor excuse for a human being.

Crap, I cant even walk past a skinny cat without leaping into action...
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Re: Mt. Everest Climbers = Scumbags?
Old 06-12-2006, 10:43 PM   #10
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Re: Mt. Everest Climbers = Scumbags?

It has happened before. Not my kind of crowd.

Ed

TH. you ain't half bad. There really is a CFB under that razor wire.

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Re: Mt. Everest Climbers = Scumbags?
Old 06-12-2006, 11:20 PM   #11
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Re: Mt. Everest Climbers = Scumbags?

I get a chuckle to see how many people sitting in their warm home, maybe while drinking champagne cocktails state how they would risk their own lives to help another climber on the top of the most life-threatening mountain in the world.

I don't know the entire story of the man who died on Everest, but maybe he tried climbing without taking all the necessary precautions to protect himself that a seasoned professional would.* Was he going up with an experienced team, or was he trying to wing it on his own?

I would think I would try to help anyone in need of help, but you really never know what you would do unless you are put in that real-life situation.* In my life I have helped an old lady who slipped and fell on ice, I've helped rescue people from a burning house, and I've even nursed a baby bird until it could fly away, but would I try to rescue a half-dead climber on the summit of Mt. Everest?* I will never know.

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Re: Mt. Everest Climbers = Scumbags?
Old 06-12-2006, 11:32 PM   #12
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Re: Mt. Everest Climbers = Scumbags?

retire@40,

We all have feet of clay, amigo.

However, it is astounding that there are so many ordinary people everywhere in the world who risk their lives to help someone else.

Pass it on.

Gypsy
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Re: Mt. Everest Climbers = Scumbags?
Old 06-13-2006, 12:48 AM   #13
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Re: Mt. Everest Climbers = Scumbags?

Quote:
Originally Posted by retire@40
I get a chuckle to see how many people sitting in their warm home, maybe while drinking champagne cocktails state how they would risk their own lives to help another climber on the top of the most life-threatening mountain in the world.
Hey noodge! Would you still be chuckling if you knew I regularly took 2-3 week hiking trips in the new hampshire white mountains in -40 degree weather? When I was in my early teens? A lot of people in the vicinity died regularly when they got into trouble. It would have never occurred to me to measure out the implication on whether to help someone in need. It was no Everest, but it was tough stuff.

If I found a guy in trouble, I'd have walked down with him on my back.

We all pull together or we all pull apart.
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Re: Mt. Everest Climbers = Scumbags?
Old 06-13-2006, 01:09 AM   #14
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Re: Mt. Everest Climbers = Scumbags?

Maybe on the way down, but these Italian climbers were on the way up! They weren't saving the last canister of oxygen for themselves, they were ready to let a man die so it wouldn't interfere with their schedule! I understand that not everyone is ready to risk their own life for another, but these guys just couldn't be bothered! Edmund Hillary was quoted saying, in so many words, that climbers who would pass up a dying comrade were P.O.S.! Pretending to not know English only to be found out later, I hope that keeps them up at night for a long time.
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Re: Mt. Everest Climbers = Scumbags?
Old 06-13-2006, 07:12 AM   #15
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Re: Mt. Everest Climbers = Scumbags?

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Originally Posted by Cute Fuzzy Bunny
If I found a guy in trouble, I'd have walked down with him on my back.
You really need to read "Into Thin Air." If a jet lost compression at that altitude and the oxygen didn't deploy, the passengers would die sitting in their seats. These loony tunes aren't walking in the sense you normally think of the term. By the time they are on the descent some of them are barely crawling and are coughing up blood. Some of the idiots would be in that shape on the final ascent if their guides didn't stop them from continuing. The average trained climber could no more carry someone else down from near the summit than flap his wings and fly. It may be cold in the White Mountains but it isn't 29,000 feet.

One of the many reasons I would never even think about climbing Everest is that I would not want to intentionally put myself in a position where I had a fair chance of facing a decision to stay with a companion and die together or abandon that companion and save myself. See the play "K2" for that precise scenario on another mountain.
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Re: Mt. Everest Climbers = Scumbags?
Old 06-13-2006, 11:17 AM   #16
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Re: Mt. Everest Climbers = Scumbags?

Don -

I clearly wasnt comparing the difficulties of the white mountains with everest, if you read the thread I was countering the "armchair quarterbacks" comment made.

That having been said, if you can drag yourself UP a mountain under a set of conditions, you could drag someone else DOWN under the same conditions, particularly if you havent done your ascent yet.

If it was so cut and dried that assistance was patently impossible, I dont think we'd have a neophyte champagne drinker like Hillary making a stink about it.

He did it before there were base camps and preinstalled ropes put in place that make it about ten times easier to make the ascent. Heck, they've done everything but put in an elevator.

If men with primitive gear could get up and down that mountain on their own, todays climbers - many of which are superior athletes - with modern equipment and the level of climbing assistance available should be able to help a fallen fellow climber.
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Re: Mt. Everest Climbers = Scumbags?
Old 06-13-2006, 11:20 AM   #17
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Re: Mt. Everest Climbers = Scumbags?

I'll second Don's recommendation of Into Thin Air. *It will give you a different perspective. *The Touching the Void video is also highly recommended.
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Re: Mt. Everest Climbers = Scumbags?
Old 06-13-2006, 12:10 PM   #18
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Re: Mt. Everest Climbers = Scumbags?

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Originally Posted by Cute Fuzzy Bunny

That having been said, if you can drag yourself UP a mountain under a set of conditions, you could drag someone else DOWN under the same conditions, particularly if you havent done your ascent yet.
Even a team in good shape on an ascent would face a very dangerous challenge getting someone down from near the summit. But, admittedly, the guides are supposed to be able to deal with crises that arise.

Quote:
If it was so cut and dried that assistance was patently impossible, I dont think we'd have a neophyte champagne drinker like Hillary making a stink about it.
Agreed. And, in light of the other poster's mention that the Italians were ascending and pretended not to understand English, they were pretty reprehensible. A Korean team (I think) is described doing something similar in "Thin Air." Or maybe it was the Koreans that died and a French team that blew them off . I guess my point is really that you go into your climb knowing that this is what you can expect if you screw up. That doesn't mean that some of the passers-by are not scumbags.
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Re: Mt. Everest Climbers = Scumbags?
Old 06-13-2006, 04:27 PM   #19
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Re: Mt. Everest Climbers = Scumbags?

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Even a team in good shape on an ascent would face a very dangerous challenge getting someone down from near the summit. But, admittedly, the guides are supposed to be able to deal with crises that arise.
Ed Viestur's and Dave Breashears' IMAX team helped rescue climbers during the 1996 Everest season. That's also in "Into Thin Air."

Yeah, it's tough to think when you're at 24,000+ feet...but there are also a lot of people who won't help someone at sea level with no risk to themselves.

It's amazing that anyone would think of excuses for the Italians, who couldn't be bothered.
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Re: Mt. Everest Climbers = Scumbags?
Old 06-13-2006, 06:41 PM   #20
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Re: Mt. Everest Climbers = Scumbags?

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Ed Viestur's and Dave Breashears' IMAX team helped rescue climbers during the 1996 Everest season. That's also in "Into Thin Air."
It has been years since I read the book but, if memory serves, the IMAX team helped rescue people at the level of the final ascent camp not on the final approach to the summit. That final 1000 verticle feet sounded like pure hell. But the IMAx team were very professional. They put in a performance we could all hope we would match.
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