Tangled Metal wrote: Mike Sales wrote:
Tangled Metal wrote:Sorry for the long rant but it annoyed me how people can, belittle something that is a big, big, big challenge for anyone as if someone can pull them up or you can piggyback up to the summit. Ridiculous! And it annoys me, the ignorance of the idea.
Sure, it is a big challenge for a tourist, but high altitude mountaineering it is not.
Have a look at the climbs done in the Himalaya by mountaineers.
It is like comparing a charity bike ride with a 24 hour TT.
Riding 50 miles for a sedentary person is praiseworthy, but it is not long distance cycling.
That's rubbish! The guy I knew was a mountaineer and he still failed on his first attempt (admittedly not through his own fault). He did it the second attempt. It's a challenge to anyone purely because of the altitude. Your comparison is pointless because there's never been a tt or charity ride in the death zone. Comparing it like that is simply wrong.
What's you are doing is ignoring the difficulties. You simply can't compare climbing or any activity in normal oxygen levels with death zone activities. It's a real physical challenge. If it's a easily dismissed as you are doing then there would be a lot more people doing it.
First off there's your body's reaction to altitude. I know people who've attempted mint blanc. One of my friends friend caused the whole group to give up on getting to the top because even at that lower altitude he was struggling.
Then you have the death zone. Even oxygen is only delaying your death if you got stuck up there. Walking on the easy sections is slow and very much laboured. It's physically very demanding. Anyone up there will be very fit indeed. They're all still endurance athletes.
Then you have a whole set of mental issues. The determination to succeed needs to be there. But then you need to be able to concentrate when you're brain is struggling for oxygen. You're likely to be operating climbing kit when your mind is struggling to think, even to work out how to use the item. A krab is a puzzle at serious altitude.
Personally I would describe it as a kind of like a ultra marathon carried out over several days without sleep and at altitude.
Sorry but dismissing the feat because of a photograph of people waiting to get through the last difficult section before the top is wrong. BTW they've been queuing at these locations on the popular summit routes for decades. Even before the tourism machine we see these days. That was back when it was a lot more expensive and I'm certain even you'd call them proper high altitude mountaineers.
BTW the guy I knew who did it went up by a less used route. More of a challenge but he still followed the queues. He also got to the top on his own. Apparently that's common, people are doing this as a solo when they're up in the death zone. Nobody can help you.
Getting up Everest is not easy. I was not saying it is as easy as cycling fifty miles.
At the beginning of each climbing season the commercial expeditions get together and agree which section their Sherpas will equip with fixed ropes, and who will make the route through the icefall.
All loads are carried by Sherpas, which involves multiple ice fall transits. Tents are pitched and camps equipped with oxygen by the Sherpas, Clients are led on a short rope when the route is fully equipped. All decisions are made by others.
The joy of mountaineering is in using your own skill, judgement and experience to go safely in dangerous places.
The clients of commercial expeditions subcontract all this to others. The risk is nowhere near eliminated, but its management is in the hands of the guides.
The clients do have to do the physical work of getting their body up the hill of course, and its not easy, but this cannot be compared with real mountaineering.
Which route did your friend use? I had not heard that there are ever queues on any route but the South Col.
I know nothing of your friend's ascent, so cannot comment on it.
For an insight into sport mountaineering read Lito Tejada-Flores's essay Games Climbers Play
It is about how climbers keep the sport element in different fields of climbing.