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Bad news from Everest

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Re: Bad news from Everest

Postby Damien Gildea » Wed May 23, 2012 12:55 am

sharperblue wrote:... a sense that "something is very wrong with this picture", and we want it not to be that way.


Agreed, I feel the same way. Though I was also alarmed by the siting of the camp below so many seracs and lumps of ice. Maybe it was just perspective?

On some other forums people have noted that similar lines occur on other mountains, like Mont Blanc and some European routes, as well as some North American peaks - rarely though - and on the old Soviet-era mass expeditions to Lenin, Elbrus etc. In 1990, 43 people were killed in one avalanche on Peak Lenin. The difference with Mont Blanc at least being that on MB it is lower so people will move faster and will not bottleneck like this crowd may do higher up.

Now that I think about it, I seem to recall looking up at the 'headwall' on Denali and seeing 30-40 people making their way up one morning. Proportionally, in terms of people numbers on the hill and relative terrain area, the situation may not be that different. ie. 40 lined up in a small area = 145 lined up in a big area?

I think it's the fact that this is Everest, and the consequences of crowding and slowness can be so severe, that makes it such an alarming image.
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Re: Bad news from Everest

Postby radson » Wed May 23, 2012 1:06 am

My favourite quote from 'climbaholic' on Chockstone.

Regardless of what people say about climbers, at least we're a polite bunch.
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Re: Bad news from Everest

Postby Damien Gildea » Wed May 23, 2012 2:57 am

The first 30 seconds of this video gives a better perspective of that queue than the circulating photo;

http://www.outsideonline.com/featured-v ... erest.html

Mad.
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Re: Bad news from Everest

Postby Noondueler » Wed May 23, 2012 3:21 am

sharperblue wrote:Everything that is wrong about this, and everything that needs to be said, can be summarized with one single photo. Here it is:

http://boingboing.net/wp-content/upload ... _line.jpeg

Jeeze!! Looks worse than the Half Dome cables on a busy summer weekend!
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Re: Bad news from Everest

Postby radson » Wed May 23, 2012 3:33 am

Damien Gildea wrote:The first 30 seconds of this video gives a better perspective of that queue than the circulating photo;

http://www.outsideonline.com/featured-v ... erest.html

Mad.


It's cool you can see the headlamps of climbers in the timelapse from 39 - 42 seconds.
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Re: Bad news from Everest

Postby PAROFES » Wed May 23, 2012 2:26 pm

Cy Kaicener wrote:The six has now become eleven - RIP -- Condolences to the families
http://www.alanarnette.com/blog/2012/05 ... tal-to-11/


Damn, 11 already???

I think this makes 2012 in fact the end of the world for several families...Sad.
RIP them all.
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Re: Bad news from Everest

Postby Diego Sahagún » Wed May 23, 2012 6:18 pm

Though there are some stories concerning Everest's deaths I think that our fellow SPer Alan is the one who is working better in that topic:

http://www.alanarnette.com/blog/
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Re: Bad news from Everest

Postby Diego Sahagún » Wed May 23, 2012 6:23 pm

Learning from the past: Everest fatality numbers in context :arrow: http://www.explorersweb.com/everest_k2/ ... p?id=20865
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Re: Bad news from Everest

Postby PAROFES » Wed May 23, 2012 8:04 pm

Don't know about the stories, seems to me Alan's work is already the best out there.

But the confirmed deaths, here we go: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_deaths_on_eight-thousanders
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Re: Bad news from Everest

Postby cabouckaert1 » Thu May 24, 2012 12:41 pm

To be fair a signifcant portion of the deaths are attributed to medical issues: AMS, oedemas, strokes - not really lack of (technical) experience aren't they?
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Re: Bad news from Everest

Postby Hotoven » Thu May 24, 2012 3:08 pm

cabouckaert1 wrote:To be fair a signifcant portion of the deaths are attributed to medical issues: AMS, oedemas, strokes - not really lack of (technical) experience aren't they?


This seems to be the case, but the large amount of people only makes the chances higher for these symptoms. Also, inexperience may play a role, individuals who are not experienced may not know the severity of their own symptoms and how their body works in these conditions. This could lead to bad judgment calls by the individuals as they ignore, or downplay their own sickness.
"Hey, careful, man, there's a beverage here!"
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Re: Bad news from Everest

Postby cabouckaert1 » Thu May 24, 2012 5:44 pm

Indeed, seems these risks continue to be vastly underestimated!
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Re: Bad news from Everest

Postby JHH60 » Thu May 24, 2012 6:25 pm

Hotoven wrote:
cabouckaert1 wrote:To be fair a signifcant portion of the deaths are attributed to medical issues: AMS, oedemas, strokes - not really lack of (technical) experience aren't they?


This seems to be the case, but the large amount of people only makes the chances higher for these symptoms. Also, inexperience may play a role, individuals who are not experienced may not know the severity of their own symptoms and how their body works in these conditions. This could lead to bad judgment calls by the individuals as they ignore, or downplay their own sickness.


I think the only thing you can say for sure is that very high peaks are relatively dangerous places and that above 8000m, avoiding physiological problems is a crapshoot. It's very easy to point fingers at climbers after the fact and say "He was inexperienced and shouldn't have been there." I was just reading about Cassin's first ascent of the line on Denali that now bears his name, and learned that of the party of six, only Cassin and one other climber had ever been outside Europe before heading to Denali. They used gear designed for conditions in the Alps, not the Alaska range, and all suffered from the cold. One climber in particular suffered severe frostbite but through skill and teamwork (and maybe luck) the team got him down and they all returned safely. If they had failed on their attempt, and one or more members of the team died, would it have been fair for people to say they weren't prepared and shouldn't have been there?
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Re: Bad news from Everest

Postby Cy Kaicener » Thu May 24, 2012 9:22 pm

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