MountainZone.com has reprinted an article that also appears in this months issue of Men’s Health Magazine, regarding the death of British climber David Sharp. You’ll recall that Sharp’s story caused quite a stir in the climbing community when it was reported that a number of teams passed him by, without stopping to offer aid, on their way to the summit of Everest. The debate raged, with some people, including Sir Edmund Hillary, saying that it is the duty of everyone on the mountain to offer aid to those who are in need, while other climbers have stated that it’s dangerous to try to mount a rescue above 8000 meters. Hillary went so far as to attack the climate of climbing on Everest these days, saying that most climbers are so focused on the summit, they’ve lost sight of what is important on the mountain.
I’ve blogged on this topic a number of times now, and I’ve made my thoughts known in the past. This article offers an interesting perspective as it is not coming from within the “community”. The general population are horrified to think that climbers would pass someone by without offering aid, but then again, the general population has no idea what is happening to the human body while above 8000 meters and in the “Death Zone.”
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