I just finished reading through the September issue of Outside magazine. It states in big-arse type on the cover
The mess on Everest
Following the deadliest climbing season since "Into thin air," (1996)….
And goes on the editorialize and investigate allegations of careless guides and ill-equipped clients and weighs in on the circus like atmosphere on the world’s tallest peak. So what do I see in a full page ad on page 116?
Are you going on a free trip to Everest?
WTF?! I must be effin’ blind too, since right on the damned cover is a sticker for your INSTANT WIN! Ticket to die a horrible death on Everest. Okay. Crappy statement. But come on! I just finished reading about about how an editor for the magazine went through gyrations of guilt and anxiety when he thought he might be responsible for the death of Jon Krakauer by sending him on a story on Everest. Krakauer did not die on that expedition, but Rob Hall did. This was in 1996.
This smacks right in the face every point they were trying to make and reinforces comments made by Sir Edmond Hillary:
I think the whole attitude towards climbing Mount Everest has become rather horrifying.
So how does this contest help the situation on Everest? It doesn’t. By their rules all I have to be physically able. Never mind that I wouldn’t know a crampon from a golf shoe. How can they simply not see the total reversal here? I have read several issues now with climbers talking about how screwed up the guide situation is on Everest, how people have been taught to repel on the Second Step of the Northeast Ridge. That is exactly what that mountain doesn’t need. More troglodyte yuppies buying or winning their way to the top of a 29,035 foot mountain. Everest has had enough millionaires and Playboy bunnies leave their mark on her face.
I have a tremendous amount of respect for those who can accomplish it. It’s amazing. I would love to see the view from the summit. It has to be as close to touching the face of God as any human can imagine. Imagine. That’s as close as I will ever get. That and looking at pictures from those who have been there. Why? Not because I think I could never do it, or because I’m too old. I do not belong there. It’s that simple. If I want to summit a mountain, how about Mt. Washington, or Mt. Hood. Yeah. That’s more my speed. 12,000 or 15,000 feet. Yup good enough.
It’s time to leave it to the people who belong there.
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