Saturday, June 25, 2005

Everest Follies


Chomolungma, Sagarmatha or Mt.Everest, take your pick: It's worth all the trouble it takes to get here for this kind of view. Photo: blogdai from kala patar.

So now another spring climbing season is finished at Everest. The usual parade of hubris and idiots made it up and down.

Blogdai is no fan of climbers-- I find them a rather aloof and insular bunch, but our good friend and Everest climber JM took the time to send blogdai down some relevant stuff.

First, JM had to personally supervise some out-of-shape suicidal Indian girl who was not allowed to return to her village without conquering the summit. It was a matter of "village prestige" to her small Indian town. The expedition leader, although sounding like a spoiled-brat in saying she was "the worst climber on the mountain" wisely told her village that the only "prestige" they will receive is from the international media when they find out you have forced this girl to her death. They eventually got poor "Sukhi," as she was known, down the hill.

Another part of the circus was when those brave French pilots apparently swamped some tents with an avalanche they caused in attempt to land a brave French hellicopter on top of Everest. In typical French fashion, they poo-pooed the Nepali government and didn't pay for some permit to try their ridiculous feat. Now the government refuses to admit the landing was a success and denies ever giving permission. They are asking for proof. Blogdai can help!

It appears our intrepid JM was the only guy to witness and film the event. In an e-mail to him he writes blogdai with:

"The frogs landed, I was at 7700m when it happened and was the one that broke the story."

Good for you my friend. Blogdai hopes you get maximum bribery cash from the French to turn over that film footage.

So, we say goodbye to the Everest circus for another season. Here's to our climbers who boldly go--via short-rope and oxygen--where just about everyone now has gone before. We'll see you in the fall season where we'll follow the scent of your insular behavior and Gore-Tex underwear to base-camp once again. Until then, keep raising those bundles of money so you can realize your personal dreams of cocktail-party supremacy and cultural insensitivity on Everest!

-=blogdai

23 Comments:

At 6:00 PM, June 25, 2005, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yep, they'll be landing the walmart buggy drivers in helicopters up there before long.

naagboy

 
At 7:49 PM, June 25, 2005, Blogger blogdai said...

Either that or a Starbucks. Tsering Sherpa has already made a bundle by hauling V-sat dishes up to base camp so that spoiled climbers could stay on-line and keep up with the latest in Gore-Tex fashions at the highest internet cafe in the world.

Naagboy, welcome back. Did you happen to see the whoopin' that this Angela person gave to the boys over at Samudaya? Angela, if you're out there, I don't quite sympathize with your personal style of debate, but jeez! You took on a pile of people and won the day! Bravo!

-=blogdai

 
At 5:40 AM, June 26, 2005, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey BD,

Yes, the commercialisation of Everest goes on and on and on...and no I wouldn't trust my life to any of those "climbers". Scaling Everest has got to be just about the most selfish pursuit in the world.

I did indeed see the fray at Samudaya. Seems like some half decent debates going on although not much of a warm welcome.

But on this particular occasion, I take my hat off to Angela. I was less then impressed with the level of debate by a legion (for they are many) of anonymous posters. I thought she was pretty restrained given the incessant, nit-picking and needling she was getting.

Dr Condoleezza Rice! Richard Boucher! ICG! Spot the dog! Robert Templer! Rhoderick Chalmers! Can you hear me Rhoderick Chalmers!....Your boys took one hell of a beating!
(with reference to Bjørge Lillelien after Norway beat England 2-1 in 1981)

naagboy

 
At 9:30 AM, June 26, 2005, Blogger blogdai said...

Yea, fortunately or guy JM climbed from the Tibet side and missed most of the usual south col antics. Apparently they lost a few climbers over there this year.

I often get a kick out of reading some of the Everst web sites that are designed for the climbing community. They illustrate the climber mentality quite well when they say things like (and I'm paraphrasing here): "Well, hundreds of civilians were detained and dozens killed. Importantly, this doesn't seem to have affected the main everest climbing routes."

 
At 9:08 PM, June 26, 2005, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Cheeky bastards, I happen to agree with blogdai on this one.
My observation is that there are always absolutes and ultimatums in the language of climbers on the mountain. "She was the worst..." and other types of langage of that nature. They are always talking about "merciless" weather and "having to leave a dying friend" up on the mountain in order to save the group. Big issues created by big egos.

Do we all forget that these people put themselves into these situations voluntarily?

K. Sandoval

 
At 9:21 PM, June 26, 2005, Blogger blogdai said...

To our readers: The angela we are referring to has, and apparently still is, making quite an arguement about the Influence and validity of the International Crisis Group's report on Nepal. She has come up against the best the pro ICG forces had to offer and has held her head high. Check it out. http://samudaya.org/articles/archives/2005/06/towards_a_lasti_1.php

I suppose the climbers i still like are the ones that seek solitude and anonymity in the sport. They don't cut a wide path through a gentle culture with their money and hubris in the manner of some of these Everest brats.

-=blogdai

 
At 10:25 PM, June 26, 2005, Anonymous Anonymous said...

hey blogdai your slipping...jamie ..welcome back to thamel...hope there is no frostbite this year..

 
At 1:03 AM, June 27, 2005, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh and i also forgot...since ive been out of touch with street reality for some months..you need to fill me in ...is manjushree thapas new book elegy for democracy available in kathmandu?

 
At 7:46 AM, June 27, 2005, Blogger blogdai said...

Caught! And no, I have not found Thapa's tome in any of our more subversive centers of reading, Barnes and Noble, Pilgrims, or the others. So, there, ha!

Maybe I will call the Ministry of Information and see what their take on the book is.

-=blogdai

 
At 3:40 PM, June 28, 2005, Blogger blogdai said...

And yes, welcome back to Thamel. See you on the bandstand at Sudesh's.

-=blogdai

 
At 12:58 AM, June 29, 2005, Anonymous Anonymous said...

close but no cigar !!
good to know that sudesh is back in town thot he was in the US
anyways am still going to use you as my news reader as i wont be back in nepal for some months... what is the take on kunda and his wearing masks instead of hats !! subtle sign of censorship? i thot shiitall nibas was a scream

 
At 7:35 AM, June 29, 2005, Blogger blogdai said...

The Nepali Times is good at giving little clues and codes. It might just be an anti-censorship protest.

I conversed with Kunda a few days ago. Give him an e-mail and ask him yourself.

Kunda@nepalitimes.com

Your assignment is to report back here with any findings, ha!

-=blogdai

 
At 11:58 AM, June 29, 2005, Blogger blogdai said...

P.S. Where are you off to for the next few months, perhaps up north?

-=blogdai

 
At 3:28 AM, June 30, 2005, Anonymous Anonymous said...

..no wrong number ..see ya around dashain....btw is jeff greenwalds - shopping for buddhas still available out there...if it is then hell they aint no press censorship in Nepal.

 
At 11:52 PM, June 30, 2005, Anonymous Anonymous said...

most of India's wait and watch policy comes from its own war on naxals see link below...watch what happens in Andhra Pradesh.. coz peace talks fell thru there and they are back to the gun ... the govt now convinced that maoists use 'peace talks' to consolidate and that 'war on terror' is the solution

http://www.hindustantimes.com/news/6244_0,00160003.htm

 
At 5:04 PM, July 01, 2005, Blogger blogdai said...

Yep, right on the nose.

Maoists have always used the format of "peacetalks" to stop, catch-their breath, and regroup. These talks are purely tactical.

I've argued with right-wing commentator Steven C. Baker on this. Baker, in typical out-of-touch western fashion insists to the end that it is the cease-fire, not the peacetalk. Well, a ceasefire to a Maoist basically tells them to step-it-up a notch.

You can count on this with Maoists and peacetalks. 1. They will stick rigidly to at least one demand, this is almost always a "constituent assembly," and 2. They WILL eventually break off from the talks.

-=blogdai

 
At 1:43 AM, July 02, 2005, Anonymous Brit said...

Sounds like the IRA

 
At 10:51 PM, July 04, 2005, Anonymous Anonymous said...

breakfast reading http://indianexpress.com/full_story.php?content_id=73887

 
At 8:11 AM, July 05, 2005, Blogger blogdai said...

Yep, the above article shows India trying to play catch-up ball with the process. Notice how they failed to take the lead on this process; waiting for the U.S. envoys to commit to the removal of maoists first, before resuming arms delivery to Nepal.

The curiously out of place statement about intellectual property rights for "force multiplier" items like night vision goggle, is India still sitting on the fence. This tells blogdai that India, being very close to the Maoists heartbeat, will defer any tactical equipment shipments to the RNA for as long as possible. India fears retalliation from its bastard Maoist child.

-=blogdai

 
At 10:16 AM, July 05, 2005, Anonymous Anonymous said...

yes...the indian govt spawns many illegitmate...from Bhrindinwale to the LTTE ..but in this case if you studythe current delhi scenario..the ruling upa is being held to ransom by the communist party of india over any arms being sent here...so this is a face saver to G while still keeping the communist coalition happy.
question for you....are the american spooks still around?? kathmandu was crawling with these rn army advisors over the last 3-4 years..1 year ago they were still comming in but much more low profile...whats the scenario post feb 1st ...

 
At 12:06 PM, July 05, 2005, Blogger blogdai said...

Nice ideas. I am curious about this communist party arms ransom thing you speak of. Can you elaborate? What, if any, tactical significance is provided by this arms stalemate at the Delhi level?

Yep, Yank spooks, chinese spooks, british spooks. Still there. Military advisors are on official "pause" but will resume soon. Higher ups had a big meeting this past april on how best to communicate the nepal story to the U.S. Looks like Nepal is finally on the U.S. radar screen.

-=blogdai

 
At 10:33 PM, July 05, 2005, Anonymous Anonymous said...

more reading on the same manmohan face saving
http://www.antiwar.com/ips/devraj.php?articleid=5743
and same story but with the communist party of india -marxist statement and their 60 odd seats in parliment. cpi-m has always protected the maoists..no wonder siliguri has always been a hideaway for them. http://www.defensenews.com/story.php?F=807200&C=asiapac

 
At 5:14 AM, October 03, 2007, Blogger ChrisD said...

What is happening on Everest nowadays is what is being proposed for future 'Tourist' flights into space!
The 'Tourist' element who pay cash to be dragged up this mountain leave an almost disrespectful taste, or smell on the mountain. They disrespect the brave, skilled and dedicated souls who were true mountaineers who have unfortunately perished on the mountain in their bid to climb to the top of the world.
I have no time for those who buy credibility by being dragged up Everest. They only fool themselves! What a thing to live with that you had the 'Courage' to climb past another human being in dire need of your help just so you can say you Summited Everest! More the credibility to have stopped and made an attempt at saving a fellow human being i say. Mountaineers...i don't think so. Saying they are Mountaineers would be like saying the 'Space' tourists will be Astronauts!! A true Mountaineer such as Rob Hall or Sir Edmund Hilary would not 'Walk on by'But then again i suppose money rules...even at the top of the world.

Chris D

 

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