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Drugs, Money and Corruption on Everest

June 8 2001 at 10:10 AM
roger  (no login)


The London Sunday Times has article entitled "Drugs and Money Conquer Everest."

Among the items mentioned:

* There is increasing use of performance enhancing steroids by climbers particularly Americans. In one case an American claimed he climbed the South Col in six hours -- faster than his sherpas and then collapsed near death when he descended.

* Even the ascent of blind climber Erik Weihenmeyer is criticised because of risks taken to accomodate a slow climber and cost (he was assisted by 11 sherpas and 12 other climbers at a cost of nearly $2 Million)

* Costs were criticized. The minimum expedition package (not including air is $27,600). Some guides are charging nearly $100,000.

* Groups donated new ropes to the Russians to build ladders. The Russians in turn used the ropes for their own approach and left tattered ropes on the approaches used by other groups.

* A mini war broke among groups at base camp after the Indian Army built a helicopter pad.

* Because the late season snows considerably shortened the window of opportunity groups were criticized for pushing sherpas to take dangerous risks in route finding.

There's even more:

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