Monday, April 21, 2014

Back To Everest (Sadly)

I want to bring our attention to the avalanche that just happened on Everest last week where 13 sherpas were killed. It set the record for the largest single-day death toll on Everest and the sherpas are now deciding whether they will go on strike or continue climbing this season. One of the sherpa teams that was killed was the team that was assisting the Discovery Channel for the wingsuit jump, and they have since cancelled the event. This comes on the heels of the Nepalese government's announcement that they were lowering the fee to climb the mountain. This year there are a record 334 approved climbers and they are all currently at risk of having their expeditions cancelled by a sherpa strike. There are many differing opinions on the matter and, not surprisingly, the owners of the western outfits are urging the sherpas not to strike. The unabashed greed here is pretty astounding and it re-raises (but doesn't answer) many of the things we talked about with Into Thin Air.

Here is the New York Times article about it, definitely worth the read.

This is another article detailing some of the history between western climbers and sherpas and it raises some interesting questions about how the changes that we all feel are necessary should begin.

I am going to write another post about Endurance, but I want to finish Caroline Alexander's version and compare the two books. She focuses much more on character development than Lansing does and it gives the book a pretty different feel. Also, the pictures are pretty freakin' sweet. Not quite finished with it yet.

1 comment:

  1. Since we are making connections between literature and real life, I want to also draw our attention to the recent devastating sinking of the student-filled ferry off the coast of South Korea. The captain told people on the ship to stay put when the ferry started sinking, and he made it out alive after boarding one of the rescue boats. Why didn't he take urgent action as the captain when he realized the ship was sinking? Did he want to minimize chaos, so he could save himself easily? In light of this mystery, what do we do with "Endurance?" Things to think about.