The grief of the survivors became mistaken for delirium. Our compassionate silence, and even our emotional, spontaneous comments in homage to our dead friends were mistaken for cowardice, if not for guilt. There was talk of judicial inquiries, questions in parliament, and so forth, without scruple or good sense.
It was paradoxical; it was grotesque. Even as I grieved for my dead companions, and in a state of physical prostration, as a man and guide who in all conscience could not have done better or more for their salvation, I now had to defend myself against absurd insinuations, which stopped short of directly accusing me of causing the death of my four friends only because of the cowardice of those who made them. It was as though the public, more ready to blame than to praise, did not know how to mourn the dead except to the detriment of the survivors. A morbid fascination often surrounds such events and encourages speculation. It must also be said that when in search of "news," of a "scoop," the cynical media will aften sacrifice truth for sensation. So through this fabricated chain reaction, everyone criticized the tragedy. People judged, allocated responsibility, and laid down the law about how I, an expert and a veteran of many exploits, should have conducted myself on the Central Pillar. There some journalistswho wrote with integrity, objectivity, and sensitivity, but not too many.
As in the period following my tragic Christmas on Mont Blanc, interviews and roundtable conferences were organized for the newspapers, radio, and television. They asked questions and obtained opinions, if not judgments, from Professor A, actor B, professional C, the Honorable D, on what I and my complanions should or should not have done up there.
But the public, too, were victims. They were misinformed and, whipped into a frenzy, responded by writing letters to the newspapers with the same knee-jerk cynicism demonstrated by the media. For example: "Foolhardy acts...against nature," "Brought upon their own heads," "Frankly, I don't feel like shedding a tear," "There should be a forced labor camp for [Bonatti and his friends]."
A depressing indifference emerged, wrapped up in moralizing: the fruit of an ignoble system of information. Meanwhile the survivors remained unheard and ignored.
The truth is that up there on the pillar, all seven of us were men and brothers. A relentless fate had isolated us from the world in a death trap, and no one could help us until the epilogue of the tragedy. I was a survivor simply because I had not wanted, nor been able, to let myself die.
-Walter Bonatti, following the tragedy that occurred during the attempt of the first ascent of the Central Pillar of Frêney
He is right about the "armchair mountaineers" proclaiming great knowledge & using Trip Reports (in this case a blog under the guise of an "article") to trumpet their own ill-informed opinions. He says that "...cyber geek armchair climbers rarely do any sort of real climbing." He speaks of himself, and doesn't even know it.
"What would remain is its vapid wasteland of so many internet bullies and "experts", [sic] not unlike so many other social networking sites that started out as well-intentioned, yet devolved into just that much more cyberspace clutter." This describes his little editorial.
He accurately describes one of the major drawbacks of the internet; that the layman or the fool becomes the author, or the preacher, as the case may be. One must indeed not give all that is on the internet too much credit- reference the article.
For some reason the fool put up a photo of Cathedral Peak I submitted (on SP). When you read this, you little piss-ant (& obviously you will, as you apparently spend as much time on this site as the rest of us in the "community"), please remove it from your blog immediately.