Everest: Beyond the Limit Forums

Discovery Channel (ended 2009)

Everest: bravery or stupidity?

  • Avatar of marteekakarland

    marteekakarland

    [1]Dec 21, 2006
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    I did alot of research after watching this. There are several websites out there dedicated to the news happening on and about this mountain and I found out some very interesting "opinions." I say it that way because they call them facts, but they vary so much from site to site, and article to article that I'm more inclined to call them opinions.

    probably 90% of the articles and message boards I read had a great amount of respedct for Russell Brice. A couple call him a money hounding opertunist taking advantage of the the popularity of Mount Everest. One account says he wa asked to lead the effort to afix safety rope for everyone to use, and it ended up his team doing the vast bulk of the work and buying all the equipment. Another account says he volunteered because he knew it would get done right and then charged other expeditions to use his lines knowing there was no way to actually inforce that when they got near the top. Still another acount says he bullied everyone into letting him do it solely so he could get money from people not in his expedition.

    It is also well discussed that anytime someone is in trouble on that mountain, they all turn to Russ. That is not disputed anywhere. It seems it's become expected for him to take the lead in a rescue misson. In many cases, the other team members he's helping (not his own team) continue for the summit or down the mountain like it's simply not their problem. The same guy who suggested he was money grubbing suggested he was sabatoging oxygen bottles in order for people ther to be completely dependent on him.

    obviously, there's alot of opinion going around.

    so my question to you guys is this:

    do you think Everest should be left to the professionals, or should ordinary average guys get to ascend this peak at their whim... privided they have a bunch of money to shell out?

    All I'll say is, to me, it's like paying a NFL coach 40K to let me score the winning touchdown in the Super Bowl. It might or might not happen, but the chances of me getting clobbered by a 6 foot 8 inch, 350 pound linebacker is more probable.

    Teeka

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  • Avatar of gabfan31

    gabfan31

    [2]Dec 21, 2006
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    Watching men get frostbite waiting in line to use the ropes set by Russ' team, I'd have to say that all those teams that didn't prepare, didn't bring their own doctors, and didn't call for anyone else to save their miserable @$$ should quit whining, fall down on their hands and knees and thank God there are some good Samaritans around Mt Everest.
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    marteekakarland

    [3]Dec 22, 2006
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    LMAO!!! that's a quick way of saying what I wanted to be PC about. Of course, I'm of the opinion that if your "man" enough (guess I should include women there too) to climb the damned mountain, you're gonna have to be man enought to get down too. I respect the Sir Hillary was appaled by what he consideres a lack of compassion and a huge step away from the spirit of mountaineering. But Sir Hillary was a professional. He was part of a national expedition put together solely for the purpose of climbing the tallest mountain in the world. I dare say he and his team mates were as prepaired as anyone of the time could be. And they didn't depend on anyone other than each other. *shrugs* No one fixed the ropes for them, no one set up the camps. it was a team effort. The team ahead set up everything for the team coming up, and it wasn't the same team doing all the work.

    GAWD, I'm ranting! lol

    SORRY!!!
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    layle1

    [4]Dec 22, 2006
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    Who are the family suing, and is it still going forward? I always thought it was understood that after a certain elevation a rescue was impossible; there's a reason everyone made video farewells before the final ascent. I mean, I sympathize with the family, but none of the guided expeditions promise that you'll come down -- that's part of the risk and why it's such a popular peak. Descent is death-defying, that's the buzz that stays with you.

    The man's own team left him up there, so I'm not sure how Brice is being held responsible, much less Ingles who as a double amputee wouldn't have been able to effect a rescue even on the way up when he had energy. And not to be crass, but attempts for Rob Hall and Andy Fischer were unsuccessful, and they had ties (friendship and business) with the Sherpas, so if that high a rescue were even possible it would have been more likely to be proven then. *steps off dais*
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    marteekakarland

    [5]Dec 24, 2006
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    The family angry with Brice was David Sharp's family. His father is important in Great Britain. I was looking for the article that said they were suing and on what grounds, but I looked at so many, I can't find it. The accusation is that Sharp was passed on the way up. Of course, they neglect to mention that it was dark at the time, that there is a dead body very close to where he was found, that people routinely stop to rest on the ascent, yada yada. One account says he kept repeating his name was David Sharp and the name of the team he was with, but another account says he was climbing alone. I'm sure there was alot of editing on the Discovery Channel show.. which we're discussing (HA!) but Max, when he called in, said he wasn't talking, wasn't conscious. WHO THE HELL REALLY KNOWS??? Personally, and it's only an opinion... man, I sure hope I don't get sued for this! lol My publisher probably couldn't stand that kind of publicity... I think there is some jealousy and WAY too much competition going on. Russell Brice undoubtedly owns the "market" on Everest. He has more staff and clients than any other group ever year. I think the only person even in the same league as Brice was Rob Hall. At least that's what I'm getting from what I've read. The whole reason Russ doesn't ascend with his team any more is a direct result of the '96 disaster. To me, it's a good call. He's rational, he's climbers are well connected by radios, he has visual contact with everyone on the mountain... it's just smart. Yeah, he's a bastard sometimes, but think about it. The kind of person with the mental strength to tackle a mountain the size of Everest isn't going to want to turn around one hundred meters from the summit. Most of them are Alpha males. To control them from so far down the mountain, not right beside them, takes complete and total controle. They have to know he's in control, and they have to know they can't cross him. GAWD! This has turned into a rant fo the worst kind. LMAO I guess I just get worked up when I see stupidity. And there's so much stupidity in this topic. "Because it's there" being one of the worst. Though, I'll admit it's one of the greatest and coolest quotations of all time. Teeka
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    gabfan31

    [6]Dec 25, 2006
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    That mountain was covered with people who had no right to be there, including most of Russ' clients, so everybody needs to remember that it's all about choice- the choice to be there, the choice of who to go with, the choice of how hard to push it, and the choice of what matters most in life. Anyone dying there has already made that choice, and there is no reason why their choice should compel anyone into making a different choice for themselves. As hard as the decision to walk on by was, it was the only sane choice. You can't sue a dead man, after all. Maybe Russ and the rest should counter sue the family who didn't talk their loved one out of effectively committing suicide, because that's what a trip up that mountain is. Just because most make it back alive doesn't mean it's any less deadly, only that people have gotten better at beating the odds.
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    CoolUserName

    [7]Dec 27, 2006
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    I think if you're prepared for the climb and are aware of the risks it takes a tremendous amount of bravery to climb everest
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    marteekakarland

    [8]Dec 27, 2006
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    All this about Everest and just recently there were the three climbers lost on Mount Hood, and the two in China on Genie Mountain. (forgive me if I have the name wrong.) You know, people have been climbing mountains and dying for years. Decades. CENTURIES!! I just don't understand why all of a sudden it has become someone else's responsibility to make sure these people get back safely. Everest is the mot extreme example because there is only a very short window to summit and everyone is there at the same time.

     Oh well. As long as mountains exist, there will be people wanting to climb them. Myself, I'd like to go to Everest Base Camp... maybe as far as North Col... someday. I have no illusions I have what it takes to make it to the top, nore do I have the desire. But I can understand the magical quality Everest has for people.

    Maybe one day I'll volunteer a season at the Everest ER. THAT would be something.

    Marteeka

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  • Avatar of marteekakarland

    marteekakarland

    [9]Dec 27, 2006
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    I totally agree. But I'd add that you should have the skill level appropriate for that kind of climb. I could go out and buy all the right equipment, but I DEFINITELY don't have the skill needed to make that kind of trip. For me, it would be stupidity. And I think there are people there every year with just as little experience as I have.
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    gabfan31

    [10]Dec 28, 2006
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    It's not just your personal skill that counts on an expedition of that sort. Look at all of the times other expeditions were looking for help with injured or sick climbers and they didn't have their own doctor! Or all of the people queing up to use the ropes set by another team's Sherpas! This is a Team sport, not a solo one, and without the proper team members and equipment no one can really be safe, regardless of one's experience. Look at all of the time and money Russ spent on weather reports! And all of the other idiots were just watching him and playing "monkey see, monkey do" with him. They didn't know what the heck was going on, they just expected to get a free ride on his coat tails. If you aren't prepared to climb Everest in a way that will keep you and all of the people around you as safe as possible, you are a hazard and don't belong there.
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  • Avatar of marteekakarland

    marteekakarland

    [11]Dec 30, 2006
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    OHMIGOSH!! you're SO right!! From what I've read, that's EXACTLY what happens. There are alot of people down on Russ for what they see as a failure on his part to rescue the climber Max found, but they don't try to lay the blame on any one else... even the team the guy was climbing with. I'm not even sure anyone knows WHO he was climbing with. One account says he was alone, one acount says he was with an Indian expedition... who knows! But there are people quick to blame the HiMax team because they have the most people, are the most prepaired, and take alot of responsibility they shouldn't. Equipment, medical help, evac help... HiMax provides as much as they can and still safely see to their own people. Maybe they COULD have gotten that climber to safety (which I seriously doubt)but they already had Mark Ingle they were concerned about, and Tim and Gerard who were only then starting to turn around. Brice's first responsibility is to his own people. He couldn't call his sherpa's and already exhausted team to cary that guy down the mountain and risk at least two, possibily three, of his own team ending up with the same fate.

    It's all about choices. The choice to go. The choice of teams you travel with. The choice to continue when you clearly can't. The choice to save the man next to you vs the choice to save the man a thousand feet below or above you.

    In my opinion HiMax should never have been put in a situation where everyone on the mountain looked to them for assistance, but given that they were, HiMax was definitely in a no win situation.

    And why the hell do I get so freekin' worked up over this anyway? It's just a damned show!!

    Marteeka
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    gabfan31

    [12]Dec 30, 2006
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    It may be just a show for us, but it was life and death for those climbers. Again I say, don't do it unless you are willing to accept the consequences. And leave a will with your attorney absolving anyone of responsibility for you suicidal decision. In this overly litigious world, everybody wants to blame (and sue) everyone except the person who made the decision to do something stupid.
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