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Anne Elk
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Anne Elk
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PostWed Aug 17, 2022 1:34 pm 
A long but interesting round-table discussion in Banff about outside "rescue-creep" and its impact on professional (ie) non-guided climbing in the Himalayas: 3 professional Himalayan climbers and a long-time Banff SAR guy. At 22:56 Tim Auger talks about little known details of the rescue of Tomaz Humar from Nanga Parbat by Pakistani helo pilots. He points out that they have the equipment but not the frequent experience of mountain SAR, and how this incident very nearly ended badly. The consensus seems to be that the success of these infrequent helo rescues has permanently changed the historical paradigm of acceptance of inherent risk to your life as part of the package of being a true adventurer. Over and beyond the insanity of Himalayan guided climbing.

"There are yahoos out there. Itís why we canít have nice things." - Tom Mahood

GaliWalker
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Bosterson
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PostWed Aug 17, 2022 3:44 pm 
That is great. I could listen to Barry Blanchard wax philosophical forever. biggrin.gif Keeping in mind that video was recorded in 2005, I wonder how much worries about helicopter proliferation have borne out in the ensuing 17 years. At the "professional" level, I feel like conceptually it's just part of increasing technological advance. Now we have GPS, sat phones, constant connection with the outside world. Climbing in the Torres del Paine became much "easier" in just the past decade or so due to extremely accurate weather forecasts that allow people to dart in and out of good weather windows; previously it was a dice roll, and the bad weather there is bad. Climbing technology itself is light years ahead: I think my favorite climbing narrative is The Shining Mountain - Pete Boardman's book about the West Wall of Changabang - but that was in 1976 and before cams. (Fun fact: that face just got its second ascent this past May!) Back in the day even sticky rubber and chalk would have been considered unsporting. Standards change, technology changes. Messner got the first claim to all 14 eight thousanders, but he did so mostly repeating standard routes; Kukuczka was the 2nd and did so much faster and with lots of 1st ascents along the way. Nims did it in 7 months with no 1st ascents and with helicopter support between peaks. Were any of them cheating compared to the others? (No. And Nims is amazing.) A lot of those peaks required long, hard approach treks; now there are roads practically to basecamp. No longer do you have to smuggle liquor into Pakistan to pay for your expedition the way Alex McIntyre and Voytek Kurtyka once did (I think also for Changabang, on a different route, but I don't recall exactly). The idea of the "true adventurer" is philosophical, and ultimately aesthetic. (And surely everyone climbing now is a dilettante compared to Bradford Washburn and Bob Bates' unsupported FA of Mt Luciana in Alaska in 1937.) To the extent that rescue has become a "given," I would expect any real concerns of substance have to do with guiding and the masses of un- and under-prepared people now out there. Interested to hear if anyone knows of stats on that since this video came out.

Go! Take a gun! And a dog! Without a leash! Chop down a tree! Start a fire! Piss wherever you want! Build a cairn! A HUGE ONE! BE A REBEL! YOU ONLY LIVE ONCE! (-bootpathguy)

Cyclopath, Anne Elk
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Anne Elk
BrontosaurusTheorist



Joined: 07 Sep 2018
Posts: 1990 | TRs | Pics
Location: Seattle
Anne Elk
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PostWed Aug 17, 2022 6:38 pm 
Bosterson wrote:
And surely everyone climbing now is a dilettante compared to Bradford Washburn and Bob Bates' unsupported FA of Mt Luciana in Alaska in 1937.
I wasn't familiar with that and in the process of googling it, turned up this NPR interview of Washburn when he was 92, just before the book about the expedition was published.

"There are yahoos out there. Itís why we canít have nice things." - Tom Mahood
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Bosterson
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PostWed Aug 17, 2022 6:45 pm 
Like all of David Roberts' books, "Escape from Luciana" is highly recommended. smile.gif

Go! Take a gun! And a dog! Without a leash! Chop down a tree! Start a fire! Piss wherever you want! Build a cairn! A HUGE ONE! BE A REBEL! YOU ONLY LIVE ONCE! (-bootpathguy)

Anne Elk
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