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new business venture: "The Everest Experience" $$$$$$$$!!!!

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new business venture: "The Everest Experience" $$$$$$$$!!!!

Postby jesu, joy of man's desiring » Tue Oct 08, 2013 11:23 pm

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I've just begun reading Anatoli Boukreev's book The Climb and am fascinated by the wealthy dilettante types who will put up 60k to 100k to be guided up high altitude trade routes like the South Col, etc.

Damn, that's a whole lot of shekels to bag an icy peak, and the scenery obviously can't be beat...and I can't discount the determination and tenacity and stamina displayed by these high-strung, fidgety clients who somehow end up on top of the world's most famous summit--god knows it is something I could not accomplish even if I paid ueli steck or whoever one million dollars to tie a rope around my neck and drag me to the top on an windless day.

seems like, what with the fixed ropes and the expert guiding, and the sherpas carrying your ipad and your 80lb pack for you, it is more or less like putting one foot in front of the other, though. at worse, I figure it is like the equivalent of running 3 and one half marathons...spread out over about 7 days...at a fairly slow jog, or even at race walking speed, considering the weather and less dense atmospheric pressure...THAT would be the figurative " misery index" level, I imagine!

so I'm thinking why bother with all that sh!t in the first place? the wasted time in a foreign country, exposure to deadly microbes, etc. why not create a super realistic virtual Everest experience that almost re-creates the conditions up there?

you get a good used Stairmaster for about 3K and you pay some starving Caltech grad student 30$ per hour to help with all the 3D digital technical nonsense involved--like a good quality imaging helmet (used, 20k?) the client wears on his head that projects every single imaged detail of the south col route, whichever way he turns his head, you know? select clients would pay good money for this, assuming they're like a mid-level physician at a university hospital or a struggling Culver City "entertainment" lawyer who don't have 75K for the real thing...but maybe 30K for the next best thing!

--in his right hand he moves a mechanical ascender along a 5ft section of 9mm, up and down, up and down (remove the internal cam thingy)...and in his left hand he jabs his 70cm ice axe into a suitably tilted fixed square of thick Styrofoam--which I run over and have to replace every 500ft of "elevation gain"

but the quality here comes in the immediate "external environment" .... like a fully enclosed U-Haul rental truck that I fill with 9x9 inch blocks of ice from the ice company, and a dozen high power fans to whip up a suitable wind chill approximating, say, 20 below zero, Fahrenheit. ( I never figured out how those people defecate up there, wearing five layers of winter gear on a 30 degree ice slope, in a 50mph wind--pinching a loaf would be problematic at best and not featured in The Everest Experience.)

same with bivys and camp meals and other time wasting nonsense--delete that stuff as well--so for 20k to 30K you get about 5 days on the Stairmaster, 2 or 3 dozen Styrofoam blocks, a rental truck that parks in your own driveway, which is filled with 9x9'' ice blocks and hi power fans; your own Caltech computer geek to monitor the high powered computer that delivers mm by mm exact virtuality of the ice fall, western cwm, Hillary step, the summit itself, along with a quality sound track of hurricane force winds and your own labored breathing; and some sort of a calibrated face mask you wear over your mouth that limits oxygen intake, just like on Everest, and maybe an old retired Army nurse to externally monitor electrocardiograms and brain waves, the pulse oximeter, whatever. Plus you get to wear the provided and dramatic-looking high altitude North Face climbing one-piece outfit, and 1000 dollar double boots and crampons, because it will be freezing ass cold in that U-Haul rental.


best of all you save about 50 thousand, and essentially you have conquered mount Everest




i'm still brainstorming for more ideas on this


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Re: new business venture: "The Everest Experience" $$$$$$$$

Postby anita » Wed Oct 09, 2013 1:08 am

you wrote shekels... ha
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Re: new business venture: "The Everest Experience" $$$$$$$$

Postby WyomingSummits » Wed Oct 09, 2013 5:49 am

Brainstorm? More like a windy drizzle...... :)
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Re: new business venture: "The Everest Experience" $$$$$$$$

Postby surgent » Wed Oct 09, 2013 4:54 pm

Thanks for the wit and sarcasm... seriously. I am not being sarcastic.
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Re: new business venture: "The Everest Experience" $$$$$$$$

Postby Buz Groshong » Wed Oct 09, 2013 7:08 pm

The question is: Will you get the Everest experience? Will you have to put up with whiny rich clients bitching at you? Will you have to drag them up the slope when they tire? Will you get bad-mouthed in the press when they don't make it?
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Re: new business venture: "The Everest Experience" $$$$$$$$

Postby Catamount » Wed Oct 09, 2013 9:15 pm

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Re: new business venture: "The Everest Experience" $$$$$$$$

Postby WillP » Thu Oct 10, 2013 5:07 am

Ah, but they could go to the North side for that amount of $. You'll have to pitch your business on the time-saved aspect, not the $.
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Re: new business venture: "The Everest Experience" $$$$$$$$

Postby RickF » Thu Oct 10, 2013 11:08 am



Another good book for background on the subject of guiding on Everest is "High Crimes".
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Re: new business venture: "The Everest Experience" $$$$$$$$

Postby phydeux » Fri Oct 11, 2013 1:49 am

From my experience on a few guided trips:

I'm thinking you might have to find some way to modify the stairmaster so the client can experience walking in crampons on an uneven surface. Its always fun to watch someone who's never tried crampons walk in them over a variable icy-snowy surface. And if you could simulate it on a significant slope/in below-zero cold/with wind/on aluminium ladders over deep crevases/and an O2-depleted atmosphere . . . heck, I might even pay to see that!

Meals - always fun to see how climbing noobies exist day-after-day on a continuous diet of oatmeal for breakfast, junk food throughout the day, and ramen (or overspiced freeze-dried foods) in the evening.
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Re: new business venture: "The Everest Experience" $$$$$$$$

Postby jesu, joy of man's desiring » Fri Oct 11, 2013 5:23 am

^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

yeah, that's all good feedback, folks

just been brainstormin on this business venture, thinking out loud and jotting down more notes....


1) new concept for a new, more extreme simulated adventure: "K2: SAVAGE CHALLENGE ...INTO THE ULTRA DEATH ZONE"

...may need to rent small warehouse to fully stage this much more "extreme simulation" ...purchase industrial capacity "Mr Freeze Sno-Cone Machine" to hurl slush and ice cubes @ client &investigate wind machine acquisition/rental from movie prop company to subject client to 200mph winds & increase r&d expenditure for program code--may need seed $$$ from Israeli venture capitalistS

,,,storyline--trouble w/ yak caravan below baltoro glacier--client subjected to simulated interactive "yak attack" ,,,,introduce artificial yak odor into simulacrum

,,,storyline--the expedition doctor, a wealthy & glamorous (but troubled) Manhattan socialite named Dr Ashley Amanda Houghton...is assaulted by a small and ugly Balti porter who attempts to strangle Dr Houghton with a length of goat entrails, in her base camp tent--introduce goat aroma

possible plot twist--my client must then make an example of the porter by --possibly-- horsewhipping him in front of the 200 other sullen, angry porters--this maybe choice in a menu of 5 interactive actions--receive 100 "survival points" for choosing the best punishment

200 ANGRY, SULLEN PORTERS DECLARE "A WEEK OF RAGE"--STRIKE FOR MORE RUPEES AND MARLBORO CIGARETTES...INTERACTIVE, VIRTUAL NEGOTIATIONS PROCEED ..ROCK THROWING MELEE...MAJOR NAZIM ALA SABIR, MEMBER OF PAKISTANI ARMY AND HIGH ALTITUDE GUIDE, OBSERVES WESTERN DECADENCE & FRIVOLITY & GLARES AT CLIENT W/ EXTREME HATRED....

okay, this will require a big warehouse because you have to lash together a bunch of aluminum ladders etc to simulate the Abruzzi spur or whatever its called...Day 7 of this package is a 22 hour summit push where my army nurse will tweak the clients blood gases to simulate hypoxia & induce scary hallucinations etc

@ 27,900 ft , when client is utterly exhausted,,,the enraged Major Nazim Ala Sabir explodes with rage and wildly attacks you with a 6ft long icicle,,,have set technician beat client w/ stick


K2 IS A HUGE ASS PYRAMIDAL MOUNTAIN WITH 9000FT PROMINENCE & NO TRADE ROUTES FOR EVERY 4 SUMMITEERS IT HAS KILLED ONE CLIMBER TAKE THE HASSLE OUT OF IT & AVOID DEATH AND BOREDOM


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Re: new business venture: "The Everest Experience" $$$$$$$$

Postby WillP » Wed Oct 16, 2013 6:30 am

Don't forget you'll need to address the issue of repeat customers - which you want. The K2 idea does that a bit, but for the real deal, in the context of the original proposal - halfway through, shut it down. Tell the client they're not moving fast enough, their sats are too low, whatever, turn all the machinery off, tell 'em to come back next year. It seems to work pretty well for the services you're looking to emulate.
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Re: new business venture: "The Everest Experience" $$$$$$$$

Postby coldfoot » Wed Oct 16, 2013 11:23 am

If your simulated mountain takes the lethal consequences completely out of the equation, the clients won't go for it. I think the demographic wants the thrill of risking death, without, preferably, the actual dying. But if your ice-warehouse is really safe, no one will care. We could take the Vertical Limit ride at Disneyland instead.

You need to provide the risk, without the annoying altitude sickness and smell of urine. It's like that Star Trek holodeck thing - it's a simulation, but you might get trapped inside and die for real. (I could never understand how they let that thing on board, it's the most dangerous piece of ship's machinery.)
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Re: new business venture: "The Everest Experience" $$$$$$$$

Postby jesu, joy of man's desiring » Thu Oct 17, 2013 4:16 am

^^^^^^

point taken, coldfoot


but I assure you they will be 99.99 percent convinced they are CLOSE to death...that is why people climb 8000m peaks in the first place!!!!..to push the envelope!!!...sorta like auto-erotic asphyxiation!

specially for the premium content K2 Sim they will approach DEATH before I --and my retired Army nurse-- pull them back from the very edge...near death via exhaustion, hypothermia, or hypoxia--cannot simulate HAPE or HACE in a rental truck

indeed, of counsel and myself cannot guarantee a full death experience will NOT occur...signed waivers will protect me from liability......



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