Tom Lopez (Login TomLopez) Posted Jun 1, 2012 7:17 AM
I agree with you. I first read about Everest in National Geo. when it recounted the 1963 American Expedition. A grand adventure. Later I read books on all the early attempts. I'm sure that is why I started climbing. Just getting to base camp was the ultimate mountain adventure. However, even then it was not man against the mountain in part because of the logistics and in part due to the climbing ethics of the time.
What are the climbing ethics today? The linked article provides a mixed bag of goog and bad but ignores the real questions: why ethically do we climb a peak in a manner that is nothing more than a commercially orgainzed way to get money out of you?Can any climber on the two guided routes up everest really claim they climbed the peak? What is the value of reaching the summit when you climbing under such conditions?
"Because it's there" seems very hollow to me when hundreds of people are following fixed lines set by others and are comforted each night by a trained staff of Sherpas. Yes, it's still hard and dangerous but it's nothing more than assisted living. It's better to climb some no name summit in Idaho by yourself or with a small group than to buy Everest because it has meaning in many ways that being assisted to the world's highest summit can never have.