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xrp
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PostThu May 30, 2019 1:55 pm 
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RandyHiker wrote:
xrp wrote:
Charge higher prices to squeeze out some of the excess demand.

It seems you have no idea about the current rates or the type of people pursuing the summit in the last decades.  If anything doubling the fees would increase demand.

rolleyes.gif
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tmatlack
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PostFri May 31, 2019 1:11 am 
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Radio interview with president of alpine guides association based in Ashford, WA, said the traffic jam looked bad, but was caused by several weeks of bad weather and then that one day when multiple teams went for summit.  His spin on traffic jam was surprisingly nonchalant, in my opinion.
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Doppelganger
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PostFri May 31, 2019 7:53 am 
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tmatlack wrote:
Radio interview with president of alpine guides association based in Ashford, WA, said the traffic jam looked bad, but was caused by several weeks of bad weather and then that one day when multiple teams went for summit.  His spin on traffic jam was surprisingly nonchalant, in my opinion.

tmatlack, due to your reference to Ashford I'm going to guess you were referring to International Mountain Guides: https://www.mountainguides.com/about.shtml. Do you recall which of they guys in the picture (Phil Ershler, George Dunn, Eric Simonson or Paul Baugher) was giving the interview, or which radio station?

I'm very interested in hearing what they had to say. The blog entries of their Everest 2019 climb are also... nonchalant. https://www.mountainguides.com/everest-south19.shtml

I know IMG wasn't up there to report on conditions or how every other expedition is doing, but wow. Day of the tragedy and they "had a sweet climb today" and "All is well on Mount Everest!". I'm willing to believe that this post may have been made before news came down the mountain, but they have radios and are not sending ravens up and down the mountain. Spread of info is nearly instantaneous, particularly in a guided environment like Everest where team communication is key.

The day after the tragedy: "The season is wrapping up here on Mt. Everest." "...everyone sat around enjoying a cold beverage in the sun while taking off their climbing gear. It's a great feeling!". Two days after: "For these climbers walking out of the Icefall at the end of the trip is a moment they will never forget. Well done, team!". And from the last update from 5/27: "We are very pleased with this year's effort, with all but one of our summit climbers (those who were able to reach the South Col) going on to make the top!"

Again, I undertsand IMG is not up there to report or take care of other expeditions, and any individual should feel proud of getting to the top and hopefully enjoyed their time in the mountains. But no mention of the deaths, or the problems of overcrowding on climb days, not a single thought or prayer? I assume that would be potentially detrimental to future guided expeditions to Everest by IMG, I'm interested in knowing if the same nonchalant, "look the other way" position comes across in the radio interview. Guessing there are a few people from IMG lurking...

Edit: just a few interesting figures from the IMG Everest 2020 itinerary/application: https://www.mountainguides.com/pdf/Everest.pdf

Shows some prices for various classes of summit aspirants, and a table on page 14 shows some stats on past expeditions to give a basic idea of past participation in IMG Everest expeditions. Not an insignificant source of cash. The section "We support climbers" on page 13 briefly mentions crowding, lack of experience or poor support being negative factors. It might be time to add a "Hillary Step and Summit Day Crowds" warning paragraph to page 15 frown.gif
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RandyHiker
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PostSun Jun 02, 2019 9:50 am 
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Meanwhile on another Himalayan peak, the entire expedition appears to have been obliterated by an avalanche

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-india-48488802
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Kascadia
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PostSun Jun 02, 2019 11:22 am 
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I heard that interview also (assuming tmatlack is referring to Eric Simonson), he implied that the less experienced "mom and pop" guide services available did not have the resources/experience to deal with the conditions on Everest.  I assume their attitude regarding the incident has something to do with the negative publicity surrounding what they do for a living.

https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/newfoundland-labrador/everest-climber-death-count-1.5152327

Eric Simonson, a partner in International Mountain Guides, said in a telephone interview that his company takes safety measures that include multiple Sherpas carrying additional oxygen tanks when there's a lineup on the final ascent.
"It's just the way the cards got dealt this year ... Unfortunately the weather didn't come good until the very end (of May) and everybody had to go," he said in a telephone interview from the firm's headquarters in Ashford, Wash.
He said on May 22 his company had eight climbers and 11 Sherpas going up to the summit.
"We went up with abundant extra oxygen and manpower … it wasn't optimal, but I'd rather have people standing in line on a nice day than battling a whiteout."

Simonson said ensuring safety — whether it be additional Sherpa guides or training of the mountaineers — costs money.
"The teams that spend the money can create greater safety margins for their customers, and the teams that are bare-boned, they don't have those resources," he said.
The Associated Press reported that the Nepalese Tourism Department issued a record 371 permits this year to people to scale the mountain. The increased number of climbers this year is likely because many people were unable to climb in 2014 and 2015, when deadly avalanches disrupted the climbing seasons.
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fyodorova
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PostMon Jun 03, 2019 1:23 pm 
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wolffie wrote:
My entire life is a continuous process of watching the world get worser and worser.

I'm in my 30s and I used to think a lot about how to stay fit and healthy so I can hike in my 60s and 70s. Now I'm wondering if there will be anywhere worth going when I'm in my 60s and 70s. I'm jealous of people who were born earlier and had decades to experience the world before overpopulation and social media.
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Schenk
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PostMon Jun 03, 2019 3:08 pm 
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fyodorova wrote:
I'm jealous of people who were born earlier and had decades to experience the world before overpopulation and social media.

Wild places are competing with man made crap like amusement parks, shopping centers, Virtual Reality, big screen TVs, gaming, and other assorted contrivances some humans are satisfied and content with.
Work now to preserve Public land, and access to it. Work to keep money mongers from taking over every single resource the Earth has and using it as their own.
Protect the Earth and its remaining wild places...the time is now or you will be right and nothing cool will remain.
And perhaps the best defense against the trashing of the wild places: show young people the value of wild places.

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Nature exists with a stark indifference to humans' situation.
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JonnyQuest
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PostMon Jun 03, 2019 4:43 pm 
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fyodorova wrote:
Now I'm wondering if there will be anywhere worth going when I'm in my 60s and 70s

I suppose that depends on your definition of "worth going".  When we hike with our dogs, my wife and I try and avoid the Instafame hikes.  But we can almost always find enjoyable hikes on the weekends where we see very few others.  Even up near or at Snoqualmie Pass in the I-90 corridor we find solitude.
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Chief Joseph
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PostTue Jun 04, 2019 5:30 pm 
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It costs 10's of thousands of dollars to attempt to climb Everest...I doubt I would go even if someone paid for my entire trip.

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Go placidly amid the noise and waste, and remember what comfort there may be in owning a piece thereof.
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MtnGoat
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PostWed Jun 05, 2019 3:56 pm 
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Malachai Constant wrote:
The problem as always is greed. huh.gif

Darned humans.

Always someone else's greed.

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Diplomacy is the art of saying 'Nice doggie' until you can find a rock. - Will Rogers
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Anne Elk
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PostWed Jun 05, 2019 11:56 pm 
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Consider the history of high altitude climbing.   In the 19th and early 20th centuries, it mostly involved expert climbers who could afford expeditions and were out on their own recognizance with assistance from a ton of local porters, sherpas, etc.  and maybe a boost from RGS or NGeo sponsors. Then came the post-Hillary era (I'm really compressing things here) where you still had expert climbers organizing their own trips and getting a lot of commercial sponsor funding.

I don't know exactly when the shift came, but subsequently expert climbers didn't want to just do avocational climbing (and have conventional professional careers), but wanted to get paid to be full-time mountaineers.  The only way to do this (unless you were a solo type like Messner or Honnold) was to start guiding companies doing expedition trips for well heeled customers of varying fitness/skill levels. This is where things began to go off the rails, IMO, in addition to the overcrowding which began with the increased popularity of climbing in general. Now added to the crush are local sherpas increasingly lured to this lucrative income source who see additional opportunity via cutting out their role as the "middleman" to make more with their own guide companies. Understandable, given local poverty levels.  Then throw in social media, the lemming effect and too many peeps with too much disposable income.  Voila le mess!  huh.gif

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"There are yahoos out there.  It’s why we can’t have nice things."  - Tom Mahood
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Eric Hansen
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PostThu Jun 06, 2019 7:25 am 
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Maybe ten years back Climbing Magazine ran an article titled something like "The Mess on Everest"

The lead anecdote was memorable.

Two climbers, a French "older guy" and a sherpa near the summit, and pause for a moment realizing they are almost there, just a few more steps.

The sherpa takes a step forward.

The French guy backhands him to his chest! (i.e. clarifies that it is HIS moment of glory to enjoy, that this is what he paid the big bucks for and don't you forget it)
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Malachai Constant
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PostThu Jun 06, 2019 8:29 am 
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The problem has been building for some time. The first expeditions were just that sponsored by climbing associations and governments, climbers competed to be included burnishing their resumes with “easier” climbs. In the 80’s and 90’s there were “charity” climbs with fundraising similar to go fund me selling expedition shirts and the like. By the 00’s it became a commercial endeavor the governments in the area Nepal and China have always been corrupt and totally unrepresentative of the Sherpa. You really can’t blame them. As I said before it is greed of $$$, fame, and accomplishment. Human nature does not change with altitude.

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"You do not laugh when you look at the mountains, or when you look at the sea." Lafcadio Hearn
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Brian R
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PostThu Jun 06, 2019 10:54 am 
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Late modernity has seen human wants migrate from physical possessions to the reified.  It turns out, however, that the pursuit of experiences also requires a lot of things.

Hey, has anyone been up Olympus Mons?
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pimaCanyon
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PostThu Jun 06, 2019 12:39 pm 
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awilsondc wrote:
I can see why people would want to reach the highest point on Earth, but for me... no thanks.

agreed.  It's always seemed like an extreme sufferfest to me.  Add to that the crowds and you've got something I want to run away from fast!  I'd much rather be on a summit or a meadow in the North Cascades!  ;-)

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It's never too late to have a happy childhood
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