I believe that bilingual Russian and bad English (was it translated by Google?) blog by Denis Urubko provides the most sensible explanation of what has happened there. Unlike many other sources Denis’ blog is less than 100% politically correct and as a result easier to understand:
However we need to understand that Denis is a professional mountaineer and as a result he is not willing to tell us everything he knows. So I would like to complement Denis’ blog with my own conspiracy theory.
Recently I have not heard anything about money negotiations between Sherpas and commercial expeditions. It’s understandable because both parties would want to keep general public in the dark. However from books I read many years ago I remember a few stories when delays caused by bad weather or climbing accidents were used by Sherpas as tools to negotiate additional money for them.
So it seems to me that Lead Sherpa used that “Stepping over ropes” incident as an excuse for work stoppage. He sent a team of 17 Sherpas down to cause an additional delay with intent to blame Ueli Steck, Simone Moro and Jon Griffith for creation of unsafe work conditions. He just wanted to have a better bargaining position.
At this point Steck and Moro did not have a lot of options.
- Had they done nothing they would have been blamed by leaders of commercial expeditions for this delay and their additional expenses.
- So they fixed the ropes and as a result spoiled planned negotiations between Sirdar and commercial expeditions.
As a result many Sherpas were angry not because of unsafe work conditions but because Steck and Moro essentially "stolen their money" by fixing remaining ropes on that day. It’s not about egos or single bad Sherpa. It’s about money.
Sirdar has acquired his higher paying position not because of his climbing skills but because of his connections to Nepal bureaucrats and his purported ability to control Sherpas. So he behaved like a longshoremen trade union boss in old movies.