No Summit for China
Some observations supporting our theory:
----No "money shot." All photos taken are from close range making verification of the summit difficult. Most, if not all expeditions take the photo proof shot, regardless of weather. Proof lies in showing a recognizable land feature or peak who's perspective in a summit photo proves the altitude and angle that confirms a successful bid. The Chinese offered nothing more than close-in shots. Even an "immediate space" shot was not available (at least none that we could find) to verify the approximate dimensions of the summit area. Also, there was no apparent evidence of the old, faded prayer flags that mark the summit and have been known to stay in place for a few seasons or more. Prayer flags in Chinese photos stand alone and look newly placed.
----China's dubious ascent in 1960. They've done this before, apparently. Sketchy verification of a summit bid in 1960 is still in dispute in some climbing circles. They claimed to have climbed it at night so verification was difficult. Hmm.
----The claim of "mysterious lights" near the summit. Hard to buy since Nepal maintained armed guards from camp II upwards on the Nepal side to prevent anyone sneaking up on the Chinese. What were those "lights" then? Perhaps a loose-lipped expeditioner was seeing members of his own support team near the much lower level that they were actually reporting from.
----Chatter boxes. Through the summit torch lighting ceremony on Youtube video, women climbers are heard chattering away in the background with out a hint of the exertion expert climbers feel at the summit of Everest. They are talking in long, single-breath sentences. Ask anyone who's summited Everest and they'll tell you it's not a place for a monologue. Short, clipped sentences are all most can manage at that altitude.
The one thing that struck me funny about the footage; if you watch it, you see peoples breath. In my 8 years on that hill, the air is too dry on top to see your breath that much. They were also not that iced up, if it indeed was a moist enough storm to see breath, they would have been covered in rime ice. They would have seen no other lights, as the military at camp 2 on the Nepal side made sure no one went above them.
Friends of blogdai at summit of Everest just a few weeks after the China's alleged summit. Peaks in the background give reasonable verification. "Game's Over: Free Tibet" banner was a nice touch.
---- Chinese footage on Youtube showing a long line of climbers traversing a long pitch is not recognizable as a portion of the north face ascent of Everest and may be tied to a secondary peak.----Climbers and blogdai contributors who were among the first to summit Everest after the alleged Chinese bid report no new flags, momentos or any evidence that the olympic torch ever reached the summit.
----By their own claims, the Chinese torch bid was doomed to fail simply by their planning hubris. A quick, alpine-style ascent is a sure recipe for failure on Everest (Unless you are Reinhold Messner) Our blogdai consultant was waiting to summit from the Nepal side during this time and filed this dispatch:
The (Chinese) truly (expletive) themselves with an elementary mistake, by the sounds. Drop your camps in the windy spots, don’t leave them up unattended to get ripped apart...
So, blogdai has a request: climbers and anyone who knows, chime in here. Thousands of you were in the Khumbu at the time of the Nepal ban and the Chinese attempt. We want to hear from you. In the interest of fairness, we will give first priority to those who can offer definitive PROOF that the Chinese actually made the summit of Everest with their damn torch.
Even more, blogdai opens up the discussion to anyone with an opinion on this. Get informed first. Google "China Everest Torch" or anything similar; go to Youtube.com and watch all the footage you can on the Chinese bid and report your opinions here. Good luck and good hunting.