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Old 04-26-2016, 11:00 PM   #1
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Question Everest 2016 Climbing Season

Normally by now, I've tabbed up Alan Arnette's blog... he covers the highlights of the season - what teams are there, any special or really extraordinary endeavours on the mountain, the gossip & politics at Base Camp... managing to do that without seeming bitchy & has some relly good links.

I've been very slow this year to 'climb on board'. Usually by now, I know what teams are on Everest this year, who is climbing, what Sherpas are in support & all the other grotty little details a decidedly armchair climber loves. I just now called up the site - have yet to read a thing. I'm almost AFRAID TO.

In 2014, a collapsing serac, (humungous chunk of ice size of a building), trigged an avalanche in the Khumbu Icefall that killed 16 Sherpa & 3 more died on the mountain. The Sherpa felt ill treated, especially by their own government & essentially walked off the mountain, resulting in most expeditions packing up & going home.

Last year - the horrid earthquake. No one summited from any side last year, first time in decades that's happened.

So what will this year bring? A third, grotesque strike? Some well earned triumphs? With the recent large earthquakes in Ecuador & Japan; I'm simply hoping we don't see another one there. The climbing window is very small - the warmer weather helps but wait too long & the monsoon grinds everything to a halt.

Keeping all my digits crossed - although I'd like to strangle the parents of the TWELVE year old, for allowing not only to attempt a summit but without oxygen. Outdoors Online had something about that earlier in the month.
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Old 04-27-2016, 12:50 PM   #2
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Keeping all my digits crossed - although I'd like to strangle the parents of the TWELVE year old, for allowing not only to attempt a summit but without oxygen. Outdoors Online had something about that earlier in the month.
Conceptually, I think Outdoors and the elite climbing community have it right - true alpine climbing should be 02-canister free. But, teens and pre-teens are MUCH more susceptible to HAPES, HACES and altitude sickness in general. I am surprised anyone would sign off on that. Fingers crossed the kid doesn't end up in a hyperbaric bag.
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Old 04-27-2016, 12:57 PM   #3
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Yup. Speaking as a purely armchair climber, (a trek to base camp is a bucket list item - no higher), I think Reinhold Messner had it spot on when he attempted Everest without oxygen & succeeded. THAT has become the truly exclusive club - summiting without supplementary oxygen.

I'm also of the opinion you don't belong on Everest or any of the really big ones, (above the Death Zone), without being able to prove a credible climbing history - high altitude climbing, complicated stuff, etc. Even if the parents were very wealthy & I have no idea about this boy or his background, how does a 12 year old accumulate the necessary experience to make a solid attempt on Everest?

I'll be looking up this boy later - have some outdoor work to do first.
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Old 04-27-2016, 01:05 PM   #4
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Even if the parents were very wealthy & I have no idea about this boy or his background, how does a 12 year old accumulate the necessary experience to make a solid attempt on Everest?
He doesn't of course. The Sherpa can practically carry him up no doubt. But then again, there are lots of people going up there who don't belong. If experience and fitness to climb were factors, at least 3/4ths of the people other than Sherpas would not be in Base Camp.
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Old 04-27-2016, 04:10 PM   #5
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Very much agree on the experience. I'm an armchair mountaineer with a big bookshelf and a lot of the accounts I have read make me wish there was a more assertive way to manage summit attempts. I also wonder how the adventure companies are managing financially after the past two seasons, and how that impacts on the acceptance of clients.
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Old 04-28-2016, 06:20 PM   #6
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I don't know when China changed the rules for climbing permits, but it looks like no one under 18 will be climbing Everest, including Tyler Armstrong. China denied his request for a rule-exempt permit.

http://expeditionwriter.com/update-1...verest-permit/
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Old 04-28-2016, 07:01 PM   #7
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Thank you - I'll have to read that a bit later. Day turned out to be busier than planned & knocked my 'entertainment' time for a loop.
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Old 04-28-2016, 09:00 PM   #8
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No O2 rule should be implemented.

That would cut down on the number of people who "climb with money" and would cut down the environmental impact.

Small exceptions for short bottles for rescue but with the new Gamow bags do you really even need O2?
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Old 04-28-2016, 09:19 PM   #9
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Wouldn't be a bad idea to have oxygen caches for sudden storms & medical emergencies but yeah, the Gamow bags are usually the better bet.
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Old 05-03-2016, 02:09 AM   #10
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Just noticed this update on the new safety measures:

After years of denied requests from both international guides and local mountain workers, Nepal’s Ministry of Tourism finally granted permission to use a helicopter to transport rope-fixing gear from Base Camp to Camp 1 on Everest’s South Col route, bypassing the treacherous Khumbu Icefall and thereby sparing the mountain workers some of their time exposed to the deadly zone this season.

It’s currently unclear whether this is a one-time occurrence or if using helicopters to ferry loads will become standard protocol in the future.

On April 23, a helicopter made six trips to Camp 1 (6,035 meters, or 19,800 feet) in the Western Cwm to deliver ropes, anchors, and oxygen for the Nepali workers—a total of roughly 2,866 pounds of equipment.

Sherpa and Nepali mountain workers typically carry 33-pound packs on each trip through the Khumbu Icefall, and they might make as many as 18 trips per season. It is estimated that the six helicopter flights—which transported no people and no commercial-guide equipment, only the gear needed to fix ropes to the summit—will save between 80 and 90 carries through the icefall.

“We have been pushing for permission to do this for years,” wrote mountain guide Garrett Madison in an email, which he sent from Camp 2 on Everest while acclimatizing to the altitude. Madison is the expedition leader for Madison Mountaineering, based in Seattle, Washington, and his website states that he has personally led 37 climbers to the summit of Everest over the last seven years. “I’m glad the Nepal ministry finally got on board with the sensible decision.”

“This decision, in terms of risk management, is a good call,” says Conrad Anker, a professional climber with three Everest summits to his name, including a no-oxygen ascent. Anker is currently stationed in Nepal and recently spent four days at Base Camp while taking a break from overseeing reconstruction of the Khumbu Climbing Center, which educates Nepalis in technical climbing, in Phortse. “The ask came from the operators—29 on the mountain this year—as a way to avoid what happened in 2014.”


http://adventureblog.nationalgeograp...humbu-icefall/
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Old 05-03-2016, 12:53 PM   #11
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I am very pleased to see the emphasis is on protecting the Sherpas. They take too many risks to ensure smoother passage of climbers who have no business being there in the first place.
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Old 05-08-2016, 04:14 PM   #12
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Interesting article on cut-rate guide services....

http://www.nbcnews.com/news/world/mo...titors-n569626
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Old 05-08-2016, 08:13 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by Wojapi View Post
Interesting article on cut-rate guide services....

http://www.nbcnews.com/news/world/mo...titors-n569626

Quote:
Benegas said that the low-cost operators also can impact other climbing operations because they sometimes have to rescue people who become stranded on Mount Everest. The problem is exacerbated when too many climbers are sent up at one time instead of in staggered groups, he said.
Yea, I think we have heard stories about the choke points in past seasons.

http://www.thenational.ae/news/world...-mount-everest

‘Traffic jam’ of climbers on Mount Everest being blamed for Canadian woman’s death
http://news.nationalpost.com/news/ca...n-womans-death

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/everest/
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Old 05-08-2016, 08:31 PM   #14
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The truly professional groups are well know enough & have good safety records, as well as laudable success rates. To a point, they're not competing for clients & because of this as well as for the sake of the reputation of the endeavour... they've learned to co-operate & co-ordinate their efforts. Different expedition groups will take responsibility for roping up different sections of the climb. They work out a pretty civilized summit attempt schedule when the weather window permits.

They maintain a good, working ratio of paying clients to working guides. You'll never see one guide being responsible for 7-8 clients on his/her own. It's far more rational than that & the climber's experience forms part of that equation.

Their base camps & treks into base camp are well organized & their weather forecast services are excellent. They understand the crucial role of communications & tight co-ordination. They've developed excellent long term relationships with their Sherpas, especially the guides. I've listened to interviews with Sherpa guides who say interested youngsters are brought along slowly over several seasons. Many end up internationally certified, better climbers by far than their clients!

UFI for the day. Traces of Denisovan man DNA, (extinct homo species), has been found in most Sherpas. It is thought this MAY be part of the reason they're so well adapted to high altitude living & work. To my surprise, Sherpas red blood cell count is LOWER than most people. Their altitude adaptation seems to reside in their muscles being able to use energy more efficiently & effectively.
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Old 07-05-2016, 08:16 PM   #15
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Couple's 'Fake' Everest Photos Investigated

Image 3 and 4 are allegedly altered versions of 1 and 2. Pic: Rajan Pokhrel
An Indian couple are under investigation by Nepalese authorities amid allegations they doctored photographs of themselves to support false claims they reached the summit of Mount Everest.

Dinesh and Tarakeshwari Rathod, who are both police constables in the Indian state of Maharashtra, are accused of using another mountaineer's photographs in order to gain official climber certificates.

One man has submitted what he claims are the unaltered photos from the top of the summit, which show the same people in the background but no sign of Mr and Mrs Rathod.

More http://news.sky.com/story/1721777/co...s-investigated

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