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Chockstone Forum - General Discussion

General Climbing Discussion

 Page 3 of 4. Messages 1 to 20 | 21 to 40 | 41 to 60 | 61 to 61
Author
High-Altitude Brawl on Everest

freepete
1/05/2013
9:51:48 PM

>These are people we're talking about

Well said Damo

IdratherbeclimbingM9
2/05/2013
10:05:14 AM
Jon Griffith gives UKC his account of what happened...
http://www.ukclimbing.com/news/item.php?id=68025



I found this (snippet from the above link) a sad state of affair, especially when coupled with the (lower) snippet from billk's earlier link;
As a final comment. A very influential character (sorry no names right now) has asked the Ministry of Tourism to have written on every permit that climbers are not allowed to climb before the fixing team. If this happens it means the only way you can climb Everest is by climbing in a nice big track and on fixed lines with tons of people. It also means that any teams who want to climb something (in alpine style) apart from the Normal Route will not be able to acclimatise in advance before their ascent. It is insane, but it shows the attitude towards this mountain.


The earlier link billk provided:
>http://www.theage.com.au/world/wheres-my-tea-why-everest-sherpas-have-had-enough-20130501-iscq.html

He said that in the past 20 years, the deep respect shown to Sherpas for their strength and dedication by committed mountaineers had given way to insensitivity from "luxury adventurers" who paid more than $A60,000 to realise their ambition. The Nepalese government charged 337 climbers $3.3 million last year for permits alone.

"The big commercial operator out here said they [the Sherpas] hate Westerners and that's been the problem for the last few years," he said. "It's not necessarily that the Westerners treat them badly. We don't have to treat them badly to disrespect them.

"Everest attracts money. People are paying an awful lot of money to be here and they [the Sherpas] are carrying up these huge luxury tents. They are angry at this financial gap on their mountain.

"These commercial trips are based on a lot of luxury and getting you up the mountain and a lot of these Western clients don't even know what the names of their Sherpas are. They carry up their sleeping bags and by the time they get there a cup of tea, sleeping bag and tent are already waiting."

He believed that he and his two colleagues were in the wrong place at the wrong time and felt the backlash of the Sherpas' wider resentment.


Sabu
3/05/2013
10:46:32 AM
Another interview with Ueli:
http://www.outsideonline.com/outdoor-adventure/climbing/mountaineering/everest-2013/Brawl-On-Everest-Ueli-Stecks-Story.html?page=1

I'm thinking (at this stage) that whatever they did/did not do up there to provoke such anger it did not warrant being confronted by a raging mob.

ajfclark
3/05/2013
11:12:15 AM
Odd. I was halfway through reading that and their DNS seems to have gone kersplat...

[edit: and they're back... Here's a single page link for those that don't like clicking through 5 pages to read the story: http://www.outsideonline.com/outdoor-adventure/climbing/mountaineering/everest-2013/Brawl-On-Everest-Ueli-Stecks-Story.html?page=all ]
technogeekery
3/05/2013
1:45:38 PM
Wow, that must have been a super scary situation.

ajfclark
3/05/2013
1:56:02 PM
Yeah, I thought the whole Internet had stopped for a few seconds. ;-)

IdratherbeclimbingM9
3/05/2013
2:27:21 PM
Apart from anything else involved I picked up on the following statements in the above link...
1. I spoke today about it with Elizabeth Hawley. She said, you know, guys, you shamed that lead Sherpa, and in Asian culture this is the worst thing that can happen.

disconnected, but later in the interview...

2. “It’s OK, it’s one o’clock in the afternoon and we still have a lot of time. I can help you fix the ropes.” But this made it even worse. I think he thought we were trying to shame him, and that was a big problem.


Our 'western culture' should not dismiss the aspect of 'shame' as being extremely important to their culture.

My following observation has nothing to do with Everest or Nepali culture, however a similar corollary is that the only time I have ever felt threatened while immersed within another culture was due to the same aspect of shame/saving 'face'...

It was in PNG and I was negotiating access to a remote area for the work I was employed to do.
Due being an outsider I had no idea of local politics, read how to recognise 'big man status' (village head-honcho), and found myself negotiating with an imposter.
The 'real' big-man felt I had shamed him by this action.
I (and the work we were doing), was threatened with destruction by him and his followers.
One of my subordinate co-workers realised the situation and made appropriate amends.
~> The reality of my situation only fully sunk in later when he explained it to me...
I thank Simeon Alefay for my ongoing longevity in that instance.
silver_13
3/05/2013
9:23:18 PM
Denis Urubko's view (google translation)

http://urubko.blogspot.com.au/2013/05/khumbu-wars.html

MattyB
4/05/2013
3:42:32 AM
Well, that was an easy and flowing read on the whole situation!! I think the Russian makes more sense to me than the Google Translation does... : )

I think it was summed up nicely in: "What there became with sirdar, made all this porridge? Speak, have discharged of business, and have sent home. Well, for certain have still told "ah-ah-ah"...

Ah ah AHH, I get the gist of the events much clearer now. Poor Ueli, he's such a nice chap, and doesn't like any kind of porridge.

Andrew_M
4/05/2013
8:16:13 AM
There’s been a lot of complex analysis of this incident, but isn’t it more simple than all of that? Tick the ingredients off:

(a) Young guys with lots of testosterone, who belong to a defined ethnic/cultural/religious group
(b) Highly emotionally charged situation (extra bonus points for being potentially life threatening)
(c) Outsider(s) who deliberately offend some central beliefs of the first group

Try swapping in some Western equivalents and see if you think anyone’s going to avoid a trip to the ER:

English football fans/losing world cup final to Germany/Stand outside stadium with megaphone yelling nationalistic abuse at English fans

Fundamentalist Muslim or Christian young men’s religious school/after a fiery sermon from the imam or preacher/stand outside with a megaphone and mock relevant prophet (maybe bring some placards with inflammatory cartoons to emphasise the point)

Dangerouser Cliffs Australia members/in the middle of a chockstone flame war/spray on forum that you’re going to retrobolt The Eternity (make sure to give a specific time that you’ll be there to do it)
silver_13
4/05/2013
9:15:25 AM
On 4/05/2013 Andrew_M wrote:
>There’s been a lot of complex analysis of this incident, but isn’t it more
>simple than all of that? Tick the ingredients off:
>
>(a) Young guys with lots of testosterone, who belong to a defined ethnic/cultural/religio
>s group
>(b) Highly emotionally charged situation (extra bonus points for being
>potentially life threatening)
>(c) Outsider(s) who deliberately offend some central beliefs of the first
>group

As far as I understand, no-one was offending beliefs of anyone.

>Try swapping in some Western equivalents and see if you think anyone’s
>going to avoid a trip to the ER:
>
>English football fans/losing world cup final to Germany/Stand outside
>stadium with megaphone yelling nationalistic abuse at English fans
>
My friend, a Russian businessman, who lived through rough times in Russia in the 90', said that the most threatening situation he's ever been too was in Italy when a crowd of English football fans was walking along the street smashing everything in sight. Mob out of control.
Sad it is like this on Everest now.

>Fundamentalist Muslim or Christian young men’s religious school/after
>a fiery sermon from the imam or preacher/stand outside with a megaphone
>and mock relevant prophet (maybe bring some placards with inflammatory
>cartoons to emphasise the point)
>
>Dangerouser Cliffs Australia members/in the middle of a chockstone flame
>war/spray on forum that you’re going to retrobolt The Eternity (make sure
>to give a specific time that you’ll be there to do it)
>
Yes, retrobolting definitely warrants this:

"They had big rocks and I think the leader was in front. I went to say something but couldn’t because I got punched in the face and hit in the head with a rock....

They then wanted him to come out on his knees, which he did, saying, “Sorry! Sorry! Sorry!” Then they started kicking his face and someone tried to stab him with a pen knife. They used rocks to hit us, crampons even. I tell you, they tried to kill us.
...
We were on a mission, going into deep valleys and crevasses and checking over our shoulders to see if they were coming after us. We crawled on our knees so they couldn’t see us."
Wendy
4/05/2013
9:49:08 AM
All these people who seem fairly decided on what went on - how on earth did you decide which story to believe? Almost all the ones i've read seem to be different. Simone's, Ueli's, Chad's, Alan's etc etc ... and 1 person publicly saying she doesn't want to talk about it. People saying stuff was said over general radio and people deny they ever said or heard it, numbers varying from 4 to 100, getting away before they got there or running away from the altercation ...what is there to analyse other than reasons why different stories come out? People tend to justify their own behavior and westerners have much greater access to getting their version of stories out. I know this is armchair chockstone hypothesising at it's greatest going on here, but really, I struggle reaching moral conclusions with the inconsistancies in the stories. Simone's press release seemed the most simplified and "I did nothing wrong"ified, but then , it was a press release, what was he going to say?

What is indisputable is these people's country has been inundated by western tourists of all sorts, it's totally in their face that we have money to burn flying around the world to do these things whilst many there barely survive, and whilst those working on everest may be earning relatively large amounts for the country, the discrepancies and the waste are almost more in their face. And westerners are notoriously insensitive to these situations. I'm sure there's lots of ire built up. I don't know if there were threats to kill or assaults, and I know this wouldn't justify it if there were, but it is a situation of travelling in many countries that I find problematic.
Damo666
4/05/2013
10:08:52 AM
On 4/05/2013 Wendy wrote:
>... and whilst those working on everest may be earning relatively
>large amounts for the country, the discrepancies and the waste are almost
>more in their face. And westerners are notoriously insensitive to these
>situations.

This is maybe THE major underlying problem, but a lot of people simply aren't seeing it, some of them because they don't want to, because it's not in their interest to. I have friends who guide Everest regularly, so I find it hard to be critical of them (I don't say anything on the web I would not say to anyone in person) but we've had this discussion before and my take is simply that the status quo is wrong and must change eventually. We've thought it was OK but it's not. Usually they just shrug it off, "Ah well...". That can't go on. It simply can't be explained away that easily any more.

The macroeconomic argument about relative wages etc is fine in theory but increasingly it's just irrelevant in practice. That economic hierarchy is flattening out fast - in both directions - and the Everest situation is just an acute forerunner of changes happening. The Sherpas are doing three times the work and getting 1/5 the pay. Why? Because they're brown and born in the wrong country? Pfft. Increasing exchanges of people, money, commodities, information and power between cultures are making this harder to justify. We're seeing it every day in other ways - internet retailing, live animal exports, immigration.

There are too many people - otherwise good, honest people - on Everest ignoring the wider, deeper consequences of their personal actions.

Andrew_M
4/05/2013
11:13:41 AM
Wendy, I'm basing my interpretation on comments from a female Nepali climber friend who has spoken at length with other Nepalis who were at camp 3 but not involved. She was pretty clear that it wasn't some generic "anti-westerner" hatred, but it was about the specific incidents and personalities on both sides. For example, apparently Simone's radio rant was extremely inflammatory/insulting. Not excusing any physical violence whatsoever, but when you get the right conditions unfortunately base human nature takes over it can be extremely ugly.

That said, it's easy to understand how the genuine discriminatory conditions that the sherpas are working under could contribute to resentment.
silver_13
4/05/2013
11:54:14 AM
The bottom line is, at Camp 2, there were up to 100 (between 35 and 100 accordingly to different accounts) who were trying to kill 3 climbers. Thanks to actions of a few brave people, this did not happen. When I started mountaineering many years ago, I could not imagine alpinism may turn into this. Somewhere down in valleys - yes, but not above 6000m. Yes, money is at fault. Greed, wage disparity, too many commercial expeditions, arrogant Westerners, arrogant Sherpas. But money or no money, it should not come to climbers running away from fellow climbers through icefalls fearing for their lives. If Everest is a sacred mountain to the locals then close it. If Nepali government (not commercial expeditions!) set up rules on Everest then let everyone know what these rules are.

Another interview with Moro

http://www.explorersweb.com/everest_k2/news.php?id=21451

Simone Moro:
I honestly love Mount Everest and the Sherpas even though the mountain is packed with people and a few (westerners as well as Sherpas) believe they are the king of the hill.
...
I just want to add that Garrett Madison's report is completely false. He wrote: "...At one point Simone stated over open radio frequency (fixing frequency-tuned in by all the fixing teams and anyone listening on the mountain) that if the Sherpa had a problem he could come down to Camp 2 soon and 'f---ing fight'."

This is completely, completely, completely false! I never did such a stupid and provocative radio call, and I have witnesses to confirm it. The report is falsifying facts to justify the tension and the violence in Camp 2. I can understand that he has to defend his business, but lying is not the way to do it.
Damo666
4/05/2013
12:22:11 PM
On 4/05/2013 silver_13 wrote:
>The bottom line is, ... When I started
>mountaineering many years ago, I could not imagine alpinism may turn into
>this.

There is no bottom line, or at least not just one.

Egomaniacal climbers have been fighting on mountains for years:

"During one of the acrimonious arguments, Crowley pulled out a loaded revolver and pointed it at Guy Knowles, who kneed him in the groin in retaliation."

http://climbing.about.com/od/8000metermountains/a/Dateline-1902-First-Attempt-To-Climb-K2-Part-Ii.htm
silver_13
4/05/2013
12:50:49 PM


>"During one of the acrimonious arguments, Crowley pulled out a loaded
>revolver and pointed it at Guy Knowles, who kneed him in the groin in retaliation."

Looks like it was a fun climb with trusted friends:

" The Austrian V. Wessely "was keeping himself in comfort by stealing the supplies of the expedition surreptitiously," including most of the emergency rations."
PDRM
5/05/2013
1:19:35 PM
On 4/05/2013 Damo666 wrote:
>There is no bottom line, or at least not just one.
>
>Egomaniacal climbers have been fighting on mountains for years:
>
>"During one of the acrimonious arguments, Crowley pulled out a loaded
>revolver and pointed it at Guy Knowles, who kneed him in the groin in retaliation."
>
>http://climbing.about.com/od/8000metermountains/a/Dateline-1902-First-Attempt-To-Climb-K2
>Part-Ii.htm

That's a new version of rock-paper-scissors I wasn't aware of. Knee beats loaded revolver...

P

mallion
9/05/2013
2:23:17 PM
Interesting comments here;
"Jon Griffith, the British climber who was one of the trio who came under attack, spoke of the frustration many Sherpas feel about how they are treated on Everest, but Tashi Sherpa is not convinced. "People talk about 10 or 20 years of frustration. I don't think there's any frustration. If anything, Sherpas are a lot better treated now then they were 10 years ago. We have a voice. Along with development and education, we have a clearer understanding. It's no longer that idea of the simple native."

"Sherpas are also gradually taking control of how the mountain is managed. This was the immediate cause of the friction last week. Sherpas may now have the technical skills to become guides, but mountaineering is still for them a commercial activity whose ethics are largely meaningless.

Professionals like the Swiss Ueli Steck and the Italian Simone Moro, whose use of the word "motherf@*ker" in Nepali started the spat, have no need for fixed ropes or Sherpa support. That must seem an annoyance, even a threat, when you're hard at work earning a living."

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2013/may/05/sherpa-resentment-fuelled-everest-brawl
brendan
13/08/2013
5:36:05 PM
Sherpa's reply

http://www.outsideonline.com/outdoor-adventure/climbing/mountaineering/everest-2013/Tashi-Sherpa-Interview.html

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