Sunday, April 26, 2015

King of the Mountain

13 more dead (so far) on Mount Everest.

More avalanches - though this time from an earthquake.

Mother Nature: 13.  Humans: 0.

53 weeks ago, avalanches on the mountain cost 16 others their lives - all Sherpas. These climbers can't catch a break, as they had to abandon their climb due to the living Sherpas walking off the mountain.  ....and I'm kind of ok with that.

Long time readers (well, who have retention abilities) will know my love and fascination for Everest and its stories. Now and again, I will claim to be over my OCD about it, but in reality, each year, I read about the climbing season - which started a few months back and normally goes until through the second week of May. Just acclimatizing to Base Camp 1 can take up to nine weeks. After that, the trek seems to be expedited. At least relatively so.

The problem is - and has been - that while clearly a tough mountain, you don't have to be a professional mountain climber to take the trip. Just have like $65,000 in fees, plus hire a few Sherpas to tote your gear, set up your tent - and yes, carry you up the fucking mountain because you are unprepared and unable to do it on your own.

If there is karma, the mountain is getting revenge on the humans. The refuse and debris they leave on the way up and down is astounding. Nepal finally requires climbers to bring up as much garbage (by weight) that they take up.  Read: the Sherpas have to pick up their mess.

That is great for on-going trash, but not the accumulated over the last few decades. And it's just not empty oxygen cans, food packaging and poop we're talking about. Nope - bodies. Lots of them. And now 13 more.

I totally get this one of Nepal's only sources of income. But if they want less garbage, less deaths, they need serious, experienced climbers. I say, raise the climbing rate up by double. Make it $120k. Nepal won't lose a dime and maybe even save lives from stupid fucks whose bodies should never ever ever be recovered.

And I get that weather and circumstances take experienced climbers. But it's the 'thrill seekers' who literally walk over bodies - some of them not even dead - that make me cringe.

I believe there is a special place in hell for folks like that.

But maybe the mountain, and their gods, are exacting revenge.

Song by: Kate Bush


Ur-spo said...

I didn't know this; I am naif I thought mountaineers always left behind nothing.

Morty said...

I never have, nor will I ever have, been daring enough to do Everest. But why they haven't adopted the zero impact philosophy is beyond me. On Kilimanjaro we could poo and pee in specified areas only. And in Antarctica we had to take both pee and poo back with us. Believe me, you don't want to pollute the home of those beautiful penguins and seals.