Carnage on Mt. Everest

Beebo Brink

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None of the participants seem to take any responsibility for their part in constructing this horror show. They just trudge past the dead and dying, fixed on the sacredness of their own climbing goals. Yes, I get that there is little any of them can do to save someone in the "death zones", but they could question why they are participating in this crowded death march. Instead, they just blame the fatal crowding on all the OTHER climbers. smh

“I cannot believe what I saw up there,” Saikaly said of the last hours of his climb in a post on Instagram. “Death. Carnage. Chaos. Lineups. Dead bodies on the route and in tents at camp 4. People who I tried to turn back who ended up dying. People being dragged down. Walking over bodies. Everything you read in the sensational headlines all played out on our summit night.”
He's horrified, yet he doesn't turn back, he doesn't just stop doing this. Cause must summit, at any cost.

‘Walking over bodies’: mountaineers describe carnage on Everest
 

RodeejahUrquan

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What the FUCK.
That's some Junji Ito level of compulsion shit.
Like, you see that there's a buttload of climbers trying to reach Mt. Everest's peak and no alarm bells are ringing? >.>
 

Vaelissa Cortes

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Some time ago I read that there are supposedly a couple hundred dead bodies on the mountain, many used as waypoints having been there decades. It is just too dangerous to retrieve them so they stay up there.

There is something really off putting about seeing that many people up there. It feels like it's gone from a big achievement, to a deadly carnival ride that people don't realize they're risking their life for, just to get an instagram photo.
 

Innula Zenovka

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I can remember way back when Chris Bonnington's various attempts to climb Everest were massive news stories. Then back in the 1990s, it seemed that people were forever climbing Everest and setting more and more improbable records -- first 60-year-old to climb Everest, and so on.

Now hoards of people are doing this?

What on earth is going on?
 

Ellie

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Dakota Tebaldi

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Likely answers:

1. In 2019, climbing Mount Everest is less a feat of human endurance and will and more a feat of individual wealth. Or to be less cryptic, modern equipment makes it very easy. Climbers who aren't one of the first handful in a given year are able to take advantage of the more or less permanent fixtures of ropes and ladders left behind by the first expeditions to negotiate the formerly rough segments of the climb on a single established route which means very little technical mountaineering skill is needed and it's mostly a matter of having enough warmth and oxygen and waiting for cooperative weather. People who have never climbed a rock before in their lives have summited Everest.

2. Nepal has been issuing a lot more climbing permits than they used to because they need the money. Nepal is one of the poorest countries in the world; probably THE poorest non-African country, or in the top five at the very least. Almost all the income it gets at all is from tourism, and probably 95% of that is mountain-climbers. Everest climbers in particular spend a LOT...we're talking tens to hundreds of thousands of dollars per expedition, and a lot of those extremely wealthy guys after a successful expedition like to spend a few tens of thousands more in donations to this or that town or local hospital. And several of these Everest climbers are repeat customers.
 

Casey Pelous

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WAY back when, I was a rock climber, and I've known actual mountain climbers (which is a related, but different sport.)

There are a few things at play here.

As you all seem to have rightly surmised, there's a colossal amount of ego and hubris in this, no doubt about it. Generally, most mountain climbers are dicks.

There's also the ferocious amount of commitment and preparation it takes to even get ready to climb Everest -- you basically do nothing else for years before you go. The other thing about mountain climbers is they don't give up easily.

Fitness training has improved by orders of magnitude over the years. People routinely make that climb without oxygen these days. Sir Edmund Hillary was no slouch as a mountaineer, but he wouldn't have lasted an hour up there without his oxygen tanks. As innula pointed out, even a 60-year-old can make the climb with adequate training.

You can also do a "rent-a-climb" -- you pay big bucks for an expert team to, basically, shepherd your sorry butt up the hill. I'd guess a lot of people in that line are the rent-a-teams. However, that line is a little deceptive -- even without that line of people, getting from the camera position to the summit is a matter of hours, not minutes. There's no air up there!

There's also the matter of profoundly impaired judgement at that altitude. They ain't thinkin' right. They ain't even close to thinkin' right. By the time that summit is in sight, they're machines, putting one foot in front of another, in total agony. They're in no shape whatsoever to rationally assess their own condition, much less that of others.

They've made what look like some terrible decisions, and I'm sure many will have deep regrets later -- but, in general, you're not going to make a successful rescue from up there. Just. Plain. Not. You're very lucky to get your own butt down alive -- rescuing someone who has become disabled (by Everest standards ....) simply will not happen. It's brutal, but that's the truth, and everybody who makes that climb knows the cavalry isn't coming over the hill to save them if they get in trouble.

Lest anyone mistake my attitude, I think this season in particular is a colossal load of ego-maniacal idiocy, and a stupid waste of life; and really, Everest has been that for quite a while. But you wondered how this happens -- well, there it is.
 

Myficals

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The bodies are bad, but they're really just the cherry on top of the trash midden rich, first world idiots have made of Everest (or Sagarmatha, or Chomolungma). The amount of trash and human waste up there is staggering. The Nepalese government sent a clean up team recently and they dragged down over 10 metric tonnes of coke cans, discarded equipment and other garbage. The mountain has become a theme park ride, a deadly dangerous theme park ride, but still a theme park ride, for rich idiots who think they substitute expensive gear for mountaineering skill. It really needs to stop.
 

Beebo Brink

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Lest anyone mistake my attitude, I think this season in particular is a colossal load of ego-maniacal idiocy, and a stupid waste of life; and really, Everest has been that for quite a while. But you wondered how this happens -- well, there it is.
I understand why people who are trying to summit can't do anything other than worry about their own survival. What I question is why they participate in this madness in the first place, repeatedly for many of them. They KNOW there will be dead bodies, they know there are too many people, they know they may die just from the damn congestion, and yet they continue to participate in the entire endeavor. It's really beyond morbid. It's revolting.

The author of the OP has no moral standing for being horrified. He is complicit. None of them take responsibility for their decision to perpetuate this grotesque stunt.
 

Kamilah Hauptmann

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2. Nepal has been issuing a lot more climbing permits than they used to because they need the money. Nepal is one of the poorest countries in the world; probably THE poorest non-African country, or in the top five at the very least. Almost all the income it gets at all is from tourism, and probably 95% of that is mountain-climbers. Everest climbers in particular spend a LOT...we're talking tens to hundreds of thousands of dollars per expedition, and a lot of those extremely wealthy guys after a successful expedition like to spend a few tens of thousands more in donations to this or that town or local hospital. And several of these Everest climbers are repeat customers.
That's one way to do foreign aid.
 
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Exactly! Did someone say they were closing Mt Everest forever to climbers or something or what?
They mentioned today on the news (well yesterday, I'm having insomnia atm) that they were going to set it where you have to get a permit or license before you can climb up there and be an experienced climber. It's crazy about what's happening up there.
 
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