28 responses

  1. Jacqueline
    June 4, 2013

    Alan, thank you so much for all your coverage which I have watched daily. You really made it feel as if I was there, in a funny sort of way. I will miss the site and look foward to the next period of climbing Everest. For now, it is good to leave the Goddess in peace for a while. Thank you again. Jacqueline

  2. Daniel
    June 2, 2013

    Alan, I disagree entirely with your attitude. Sagarmatra is sacred religious place first of all. During last hundred years religion had been slowly substituted by sport all over the world (approximately started from national- socialism ideology). Let return Sagarmatra to its proper place. It should be available to everyone.

    Today the offers look ridiculous. Using presently known and well developed technologies of space stations one may raise the chain of hotels with isolated internal micro climate instead the existent tourist camps. It may be joint venture of westerns and Nepali hi-tech companies which in addition will push region economic and education level further up (and Sherpa in particular).
    The sport mans indeed may use these facilities as well as climbing everywhere else

  3. Kate E Smith
    June 1, 2013

    Well said as usual Alan. I have yet to read a more all round comprehensive, well reasoned and well expressed article.

  4. Mike crowley
    May 31, 2013

    Your experience shines in this post. Your perspective is well said.

  5. Crag
    May 30, 2013

    I’d say remove all fixed lines and ladders, stop dumbing down the mountain to suit our (human) infantile needs. You can’t make Everest safer so stop trying. Only thing to do is to try and make the climber smarter, a far reach at that but worth a try. Why this urge to make things better? Money duh… Are we really surprised people die?

  6. Dom Ottavi
    May 29, 2013

    While not a climber at all, I have enjoyed all of the information that has been conveyed. I can honestly say that reading all the news and blogs leading up to all of the summit climbs, and how well it seems to have gone, has been exciting. As the season ended, I was disappointed that it was over, and I am sure that all the climbers were as well, but were greeting ready for the next one. Take care, all. It was fun.

  7. Gerry Nel
    May 29, 2013

    I think Graeme’s suggestion is also a good one.

  8. Gerry Nel
    May 29, 2013

    Great article Alan.

  9. Gerry Nel
    May 29, 2013

    Bit of a selective application there Sean. Surely if you advocate no ladders on the mountain, that should be the whole mountain?

  10. Craig says so!
    May 28, 2013

    As Sherpa deaths always make up a high number of fatalities each year, employing companies should make it mandatory that all Sherpa’s, load carriers and clients clip in at all times and failure to do so means instant dismissal. To help with this it’s probably something that could benefit from a little technogical advancement making the whole process more efficient and easier.

  11. Shikanthini Varma Attanayake
    May 28, 2013

    Absolutely brilliant perspective Alan,,,

  12. Brad Jackson
    May 28, 2013

    Hey Alan. I kinda think along the same lines. I think the permit fee should be substantially increased but climbers can get points or a fee reduction if they have climbed other mountains in Nepal. So for example the permit fee increased to 20k but reduced by 5k if the person has climbed AD, 10k if climbed Manaslu, 2k if Island Peak and so on. Further incentives if climbing outside the Khumbu to channel climbers to more impoverished regions. I know it’s a pipe dream but yes there could be a lot smarter ways to reduce congestion but still provide the revenue and employment for Nepalis.

  13. Vik Sahney
    May 28, 2013

    Alan – I like your idea of providing a discount on the permit fee for folks that have done another 8000er to encourage folks to learn skills on a safer mountain. That of course presumes that there are safer 8000er mountains which some recent avalanches might contest!

    Typically the most common prep climb is Cho-Oyu, which is what I used in 2008 as prep for my Everest climb in 2009. Unfortunately for the Nepal government, the climbing route on Cho-Oyu is via Tibet so there would be no incentive to provide a discount. They could however raise all rates and hold prior 8000er summiter’s to the current rate. That would increase revenue and perhaps safety.

    A few other changes could be made to increase safety and are recommendations I’ve made to friends climbing the mountain.

    1) Carry high altitude medications (dexamethasone, nifidepene, etc.) for yourself and to treat others and become trained in their administration. I carried these and with my teammate and two members of the Coration women’s team helped administer Dex to an Irish climber in 2009 that had gone unconscious below the summit. He revived and survived.

    2) Carry a radio to communicate with your own team and others on the mountain. Know other team’s frequencies.

    3) Carry a GPS – program in each camp so that even if fixed lines get buried in the snow, you can find your way to camp and not get lost in a white out. You can also radio your position to others.

    4) Watch the time, your oxygen levels, the weather, and your energy! You need to learn this on your own and a prep climb elsewhere would help folks do that.

  14. Divyesh
    May 28, 2013

    I totally agree with you on both counts Alan. I am truly amazed that in 2013,with the info available online via good reputable blogs like yourself,people still don’t research the right operator to go with! Thanks to the info I gleaned from your blogs,I contacted IMG & AC, and both companies made it very clear that I would need to show competence by climbing the likes of Denali,Aconcagua,and Cho Oyu,before I’d be considered! I eventually decided to go with Tim Mosedale simply because he is in the UK, I can stay with him from the start of my training to the end when he thinks I am ready to attempt Everest! But when you read his requirements, you know that safety and training are paramount! And that is what it boils down to. Each climber is responsible like a road user to ensure they are qualified not just for their own safety but the safety of others! Climb On!!

  15. Michael
    May 28, 2013

    My 2 paisa: with 12km fixed lines running from BC up to the summit turning Everest each year into the world’s most extreme temporary “via ferrata” a tiny ladder of some meters length will change the mountain’s character only insignificantly – why should this make much difference compared to the decades-old northern counterpart?

    But there’s a much more relevant trend going on: People don’t consider it any longer necessary to complete their descent to boast their “firsts” or “records”.

    First “record climber” Sudarsham Gautam got into trouble while returning to South Col, so his sherpas took him to roughly 7800m, where he was picked up by helicopter, this fact ironically granting Simone Moro the opportunity to achieve a real record by conducting the highest longline rescue so far, topping his former retrieval of a Korean climber from 7000m some days before.

    And, even more unpleasant (because this wasn’t certainly a case of emergency, as with S. Gautam), next “record climber” Miura Yiuchiro quietly slipped from Camp 2 (via heli, of course), citing a “major collapse in the icefall” (which wasn’t albeit registered by other climbers) – but maybe he was only in a hurry to get to his Kathmandu press conference in time to inform the world of his heroic deed.

    I’m curious how such “incomplete” summits (at least in my humble opinion) will be listed in Miss Hawley’s database.

    But I guess, with this development, we may see the numbers of ailing climbers’ casualties drop somehow (as people soon will be rescued from heights up to South Col on a regular basis), while helicopter crashes (as the one 2010 on Ama Dablam) will happen more often.

    Plus, Everest will attract even more unexperienced and ambitious clients as the conception of easily being picked up in case of an emergency will get even more widespread through press reports.

    How false this belief can turn out just has been proven by the extremely distressing fate of unfortunate Juanjo Garra on Dhaulagiri.

  16. Sean Corcoran
    May 28, 2013

    Good post, Alan. For an Everest climb to remain true Alpinism one needs to minimize anything that comes between you and the mountain. Ladders outside of the icefall should remain prohibited.

  17. Paul Aloi
    May 28, 2013

    Must make it easier for the Base Jumpers

  18. Klutzy Elo
    May 28, 2013

    Brilliant article Alan, i agree with everything you have said. 🙂

  19. Luke Webster
    May 28, 2013

    Money makes decisions, whether good or bad, and will always be the deciding factor no matter what the activity might be. If someone has the means to pay any amount requested, rules will be ignored, lines will be crossed, and all the safety measures will be meaningless. Great article, Alan Arnette, you hit the nail on the head. Difficult situation.

  20. Darryl Willard
    May 28, 2013

    Ladders and increasing fee are really bad ideas, but each guide company should make sure that the climbers have the experience climbing other big peaks that are 8000 m and above ! Everest is not the place to learn how to climb ! !!

  21. Tyler Russell
    May 28, 2013

    We should just install escalators…then everyone could go!

  22. Linda LeBlanc
    May 28, 2013

    Excellent analysis

  23. Rhys Maycock
    May 28, 2013

    very good reasoning Alan. the sense of achievement can’t be as great knowing you got to the top through using a ladder at the Hillary Step.

  24. Graeme de Wit
    May 28, 2013

    What about making people qualify . ie need to have climbed other rated peaks. It would have a good spin on the whole climbing industry by creating more activity for guides through out the year in all countries.

  25. TA Loeffler
    May 28, 2013

    Excellent point as usual Alan!

  26. Isaac Nelson
    May 28, 2013

    Also agree, both are bad ideas. Ladders on any mountain make be a bit sad. I wouldn’t mind seeing prerequisites to climb Everest, but would in some ways prefer that they not be exclusively Himalayan peaks.

  27. MC Reinhardt
    May 28, 2013

    I second that two bad ideas…

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