May 26, 2006

More death … err … more life on Everest

Dead man found alive: lucky Australian Everest climber Lincoln Hall was thought to have died, and was even officially reported as such, but was later found alive by other climbers.

Unlike the appalling and immoral situation of the British climber who died only days ago, Sherpas spent 9 hours trying to help Hall down the mountain, before being told to save themselves.

All the same, this new incident at the busiest mountain on earth (has it become a commuter centre?) has a least some shades of the earlier death. (I think this quote probably comes from the “Mount Everest” website.)

"This morning Dan Mazur on a summit push discovered the still alive Lincoln Hall at the second step and gave him hot tea and oxygen and he was able to use the radio to call his expedition," reports the website.

Dan with one client continued to the summit....nice one sunshine! Seems like more mountaineering brotherhood classes required.”

Still a bit icky, but at least Hall was not only given oxygen, but also a nice hot cuppa.

I suppose that’s one small step on the way back to the path of moral decency, at least on Everest: not sure about everywhere else on Earth.

Full storyEverest Climber “found alive”.


  1. Anonymous9:31 PM

    Yeah.. One small step eh.. Caz!

  2. I thank God for the one later found alive!

    God bless.

  3. You know I thought the first story was awful when I heard about it, but when you hear the details you stop being sorry for the guy who went up the mountain without being prepared. He didn't even have proper gloves! If that ill-prepared moron hadn't been up on the mountain, he wouldn't have died. At some point, people have to take responsibility for their actions.

  4. Anonymous9:58 AM

    Point taken ebuc. However should stupidity and irresponsible behaviour negate the need for compassion or common human decency?
    ..... Upon reflection... And after reading your opinion, I really do think that those forty climbers aspiring to reach the summit were also stupid and irresponsible. Hell ,the mountain is littered with frozen bodies!!!Not exactly a benign pastime is it?

  5. It was sad for the brit guy to die, but, when you trhink about it, 40 climbers had past him already by the time Ingil's party got there, and they did not have the luxury of being prepared for a rescue.

    Yes the search party went with the intention of rescueing the climber that survived, thus carrying extra oxygen etc.

    As it is Inglis is to lose the tips of some of his fingers and his leg stumps need more surgery.

    Sir Edmund Hilary becried them for leaving the Brit on the mountain, but he of all people should know the hazardous conditions.

    Sorry, not trying to get in your ear but, I guess none of us would really be able to say what we would have done, unles we were there at the time.

    Take care, and great blog

  6. Danboy - I know, it's easy to take pot-shots from this altitude, but the whole event does seem to reflect a wider social malaise, not to mention the inherent obscenity of mass deaths each year on Everest during the climbing "season" - 14 dead so far. The gamble is huge, yet more and more people risk death, most of them are not experienced climbers. This "season" Everest has seen a 15 yr old boy make the attempt (are his parents INSANE, as well as rich?) and a 70 yr old from Japan.

    It's almost on the verge of becoming some sort of rite of passage for the world's inhabitants. Hey, lets all go climb Everest!

    The world is full of wonderful and challenging things, but Everest seems to have become a symbol of something greedy and grasping, and entirely token, instead of being reserved for the serious minded and the seriously well prepared and fit for the task.

    I suppose it's something of a miracle that many more don't die each year, given the numbers traipsing about up there.

    As Kath said, not exactly a benign pastime.

    Thanks for your kind comment too. :-D

    Cubicle - If a drunk driver has a car accident he or she will not be abandoned to their fate. If an obese person has a heart attack in the street someone will (eventually) stop and render assistance and make the phone right calls. There are a few hundred examples we could all think of here: an awful lot of people would be left to die, with an audience, if we took account of how much in life is self-inflicted, or at least, “contributory” negligence. That would be a fast slippery slope to hell and every single person on earth would eventually get caught out in that sort of game.

    Every single person who reached the peak that day would have lived to do the climb some other time if they’d decided to lend human comfort and some oxygen to help ease the dying breaths of one man. They would have had another shot at the peak; you don’t get a second chance at offering kindness and compassion to the now dead.

  7. Caz, I don't agree. The fat bastard who wants to overeat won't be saved at my expense & neither will the other idiots who want to live a less than healty lifestyle. However, saving the ill-prepared idiot who wants to climb Everest might cost me my life.I will do what I can, but I won't place my life in jeopardy for a fool who doesn't prepare for a hazardous journey.

  8. Anonymous7:04 PM

    Just saw the Discovery Channel documentary on this incident. There totally didn't seem to be much that could be done to help that guy.

    And dont forget the first thing that they teach about first aid. If someone is getting electrocuted then dont help him until you are damn sure you yourself will be safe!

    Getting a 240lb unconcious guy down from Mt Everest is not the same as saying a few soothing words to a drunk car crash victim and calling 911.

    Also, I am appalled at the intense hypocrisy that these Western media outlets display. Mind you they have mentioned the name of each and every westerner on the mountains. However, other human beings are simple referred to as 'the sherpas' or even worse 'the high-altitude sherpas'.

    Before demonstrating fake concern for fellow human beings (when they happen to be white westerners), maybe they should start with recognizing all human beings as such first, instead of clubbing them together with mountain gear and supporting animals.