Clearly the story of the week has been the showdown between European climbers Ueli Steck, Jonathan Griffith and Simone Moro and the mob of enraged Sherpas at Camp 2 on Everest last weekend. On the one hand, it is the story that we want to put behind us and on the other, it is one that we want to hear all sides of the story. The latest bit of insights on what happened come via ExWeb, who have scored an interview with Simone himself.
The brief interview doesn’t shed a ton of new light on exactly what happened, and by now I think most of the details have come out in a variety of reports. But it does give Simone the opportunity to talk abut the situation first hand and respond to some of the things that are being said. The Italian climber is quick to point out that climbing independently, he has as much right to be on the mountain as the Sherpas and he says that he and his team stayed well out of the way of the group that was fixing the ropes at the time. The only point where they came close to the ropes was when they were crossing them to reach their tent at C3. He does admit that he used strong words when confronted, but says that doesn’t excuse the violent reaction that he saw out of the Sherpas upon returning to Camp 2.
He also addresses the statements of Everest guide Garrett Madison of Alpine Ascents. Earlier this week Garrett wrote a blog post that was intended to tell the story from the Sherpas side, something that has mostly been lacking in reports thus far. In that post, he claimed that Simone used profane language on an open and shared radio frequency, in a sense challenging the Sherpas to a fight. For his part, Moro denies this categorically, telling ExWeb “This is completely, completely, completely false!” He further says that he wouldn’t make “such a stupid and provocative radio call” and claims to have witnesses to back him up on that. Presumably those witnesses would be Ueli and Jon.
Simone confirms that his climbing partners departed Nepal yesterday, but he is staying. The Italian operates a rescue helicopter in the country and is standing by to lend assistance as needed. He says that he may even end up saving the lives of some of the people who tried to kill him just last weekend.
There you go. A bit more information and insights directly from one of the principle participants in this affair. Probably not the last we’ll hear of this story.
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