tuscl

Would You Climb Mount Everest?

motorhead
Fat, drunk and stupid is no way to go through life
Saturday, June 3, 2023 1:17 PM
Some interesting numbers. A record 478 permits have been issued this year to climb Mt Everest. So far 12 people have died and 5 are missing. That’s around a 3.5% fatality rate. Or to put it in perspective, about 2.9 million fly each day. At the same rate, over 100,000 people per day would die in airplane crashes. Unfathomable. Wonder how many TUSCLers would take the risk

44 comments

  • Tetradon
    a year ago
    They say every corpse on Everest was once a skilled, motivated person. Like a lot of risky activities, no one thinks they're going to wind up in the 3.5%. Now ask the guys here if they'd take a 3.5% mortality rate for a free, no holds barred night with the stripper, escort, or porn star of their dreams, and we'd have a discussion.
  • misterorange
    a year ago
    Assuming I was in peak physical condition and capable of making the climb with a 96.5% chance of success, I still wouldn't do it. First of all, you'd be miserable the whole time and probably get frostbite. But more importantly it's because no one cares. Name one other person besides Sir Edmund Hillary who ever climbed Mt. Everest. You can't. (Unless you cheated and used Google.) No, I would do something memorable. Like that guy who walked a tightrope between the World Trade Center towers. Nobody remembers his name either, but if you bring it up they'll say, "Oh yeah THAT crazy bastard."
  • himalayabound
    a year ago
    Climing Mount Everest has been a life's dream for me since I read Into Thin Air in 1997 and became intrigued with the daunting nature of the goal (hence my TUSCL handle!). I love hiking, rock climbing, ice climbing and high-altitude mountaineering. Back then I was 37. Now I'm almost 63, so, while I refuse to take it off the bucket list, I realize the achievement of that goal is extremely remote at this point. Over the years in between, I have climbed Mt. Washington (NH) in February, summitted Mt. Rainier twice, Mt. Baker, Grand Teton, Mt. Kilimanjaro, and 5 peaks in the Bolivian Andes over 17,000 feet, culminating in a summit of Nevado Illimani at 21,201 feet. I had two daughters in 2003 and 2005, and my high-altitude climbing career took a back seat to being a responsible parent. By the time I could have realistically re-entered the game, Mt. Everest had become such a complete shit show (way too many inexperienced climbers who had no business being there, climbers stealing each other's oxygen and other equipment and sabotaging other teams, bottlenecks at the Hillary Step creating a death trap of hours-long waits at 28,000+ feet, etc.) that the risk of failure elevated to the unacceptable numbers that you cited. I may be a fool, but I'm not suicidal, so Everest is pretty much off my list at this point. I have gotten to experience the feeling of being far, far above where the vast majority of the world's population will ever set foot in the Andes and stepping carefully over deep blue crevasses creating abysses of hundreds of feet deep, and I am eternally grateful that I have had those experiences. The Himalayas can wait for another life. Now my risk-taking tops out at seeing how many hot dancers in their 20s I can enjoy OTC without running into Alex Forrest!
  • shadowcat
    a year ago
    I climbed Georgia's Stone Mountain once without Sherpas.
  • twentyfive
    a year ago
    ^ I wonder what Sherpa chics look like
  • JimGassagain
    a year ago
    They say that freezing to death is the least painful way to die, so maybe those hikers are onto something? Bacon!!
  • gammanu95
    a year ago
    Just remember that each one of the 310+ dead bodies on Mount Everest was once a highly motivated person, so chill the fuck out and have a beer by the pool.
  • drewcareypnw
    a year ago
    Hell no. I’m way too lazy for that shit
  • rattdog
    a year ago
    after reading all this i've suddenly have this urge to try some high risk behavior. just found out where my fave anal pawg queen is staying. she's really vile, nasty and very very filthy, i'll try and arrange for some bareback cum inside the ass anal. i have to assume that the mortality rate for this experience has to be lower than 3.5% right? or the even more possibly lower rate of experiencing overnight dick deterioration into sawdust?
  • gSteph
    a year ago
    I did my high risk fun whitewater rafting. Never had the urge to climb into really thin air (did walk up Mt Lassen in California once, 10,500')
  • EastCoaster
    a year ago
    ^^^ @himalayabound, much respect to you for your past high-altitude adventures; I am quite envious. I love the mountains, but, unfortunately, they don't love me. Four out of every one million people are highly susceptible to altitude sickness. I am one of those four and have been in a few life-threatening situations at only 8,000-9,500 feet. Among other things, the inability to process oxygen properly causes a decrease in cognitive functioning (Hey, why am I toting this cumbersome oxygen tank? I'll just leave it here and pick it up on my way down...). In addition, High Altitude Pulmonary Edema (HAPE) causes a build-up of fluid in the lungs, and if it gets really bad, you can literally drown. Not fun, even before it gets to that stage. For those severely affected by it, HAPE generally starts at altitudes around 6,000-7,000 feet. The summit of Mount Everest is above 29,000 feet, so to answer the OP's original question, no, I'm not going. But the rest of you should be fine. Have fun! (And bring oxygen.)
  • PhredJohnson
    a year ago
    My dream would be to solo sail around the world. Fewer people have done this, EVER, than climb Mt. Everest each year!
  • Papi_Chulo
    a year ago
    I've been a city-boy my whole-life; along with mostly-living in warm-climates at low-elevations; the outdoors-stuff/roughing-it has never really had that much of an appeal (except maybe the beach which I haven't done much off in the last decade).
  • Papi_Chulo
    a year ago
    ^ I tend to be more intrigued by visiting major-cities around the world vs barely-developed places
  • JamesSD
    a year ago
    I'll be honest, I don't do amazing with high altitudes, and I'm talking like ski resort towns. Usually takes me a day to acclimate. I imagine one big issue with Everest is it is popular with rich people who can afford it but also don't have the time to properly train.
  • twentyfive
    a year ago
    I prefer beach communities, if it's cold I won't be there
  • Warrior15
    a year ago
    The time, money and energy needed to do that. And for what ? To say you did ? No thanks. I'd rather spend the time, money and energy into getting laid.
  • elmer
    a year ago
    Climbing a tall rock named Everest hell no Back in the day my adrenaline rush came from skydiving Anymore it's OTC with a stripper and worrying about getting caught by a BF or husband
  • shailynn
    a year ago
    So I wonder 3.5% chance of dying climbing… What is the mortality rate of driving a vehicle in the US? I find this funny, someone’s dream is to climb that, and my dream is to go to a FKK. My priorities are screwed up! Lol
  • azdd
    a year ago
    I was fascinated by himalayabound’s comment and story. I’ve done some reasonably risky outdoor activities on my life, but am having to now admit that my age is a limitation. I am super envious of those with the youth and drive to attempt things like Mt. Everest, despite the high chance of death. Krakauer’s book (Into Thin Air) is probably the best hands on description of what it’s like to be there. A couple of years ago I climbed the back cable route up Half Dome in Yosemite. It was nothing compared to an Everett expedition but it was epic for me. I can’t imagine what it must be like to stand on top of the world!
  • georgmicrodong
    a year ago
    No.
  • himalayabound
    a year ago
    Glad you enjoyed my story, azdd. For what it's worth, climbing those cables up the back side of the Half Dome in Yosemite still ranks as one of my most memorable climbs. To be honest, it was also objectively one of the most dangerous--essentually aid climbing with no belay. If your hands cramped, got a little too sweaty, or you just made a mistake, and you let go of those cables, you were guaranteed history. I generally try not to take such "all or nothing" risks, but I didn't have as much experience, had no idea what was going to be there when I got to the final 900 feet and got caught up in the same "well, I'm not going to have come this far and not summit" feeling that a lot of people experience in that situation. In case it wasn't exciting enough when I did it, there was a very out-of-shape woman (I guess today she'd be considered thicc) who was half way up the cables frozen in a panic and wouldn't budge from her spot. It therefore required stepping outside of the cable track to the side to get around and past her and holding onto only one cable while doing so. On my way down she was still there! Today I would have done my best to guide her down and belay her with my body, but that kind of maneuver was way above my pay grade back then. I still feel bad about it 30 years later (although I know she eventually made it off the Dome in one piece--at least physically). I found Yosemite to be a strange park in that it was so paternalistic with some risks (way too many signs warning about getting washed down Upper Yosemite Falls crossing over the tiny trickle of a stream toward the top of the climb while basically invited you to have a go at killing yourself on the Half Dome). As for Elmer, skydiving is the type of risk I would never take because of a personal rule I have always followed in my extreme sports adventures. I am willing to take certain high risks that depend upon my own training, skill, experience and judgment, but I'm not a fan of my life depending upon the proper functioning of a piece of equipment (like a parachute or bungee cord). Now I know someone is going to say something like, "Well, don't you drive a car and take airplanes?" My response is of course I do, but I don't engage in those activities for the experience or adrenaline rush--rather, they are just a means to carry out more practical day-to-day tasks. For my "recreational" risk-taking, I try to be more selective in the types of risks to which I voluntarily subject myself. Regardless of how I might rationalize those decisions, however, most "normal" people will still think I'm a fucking lunatic for doing any of this shit. Just ask my mother!
  • Mate27
    a year ago
    I just play cards with friends, because the most I ever risk is $40-$60. I also climbed Angel’s Landing in Zion National years ago, and wouldn’t be able to stomach those heights ever again. A thousand foot drop on either side of a narrow 5’ wide path has me quivering just thinking about it. I can’t believe I ever conquered that feat. Bacon!!
  • Alexfox
    a year ago
    “Name one other person besides Sir Edmund Hillary who ever climbed Mt. Everest. You can't.” I think lots of people are aware that Tenzing Norgay was his partner. I’m also familiar with Unseold and Hornbein, the Americans who did the first traverse. Unseold eventually got killed on Rainier. As for the Half Dome cables, I’ve done them 3-4 times and as someone without vertigo didn’t think it was a big deal. I had to do the same bypass of a petrified individual. Keep 2 hands on the cables during all of your movements and you’re in good shape. A narrow cliffside trail without protection is another story.
  • Array
    a year ago
    I used to dream about climbing Everest, but dropped that thought when it became mainly a commercial activity sponsored by the Nepalese government. Too, too many people. I also suddenly remembered my moderate fear of heights. I’d love to climb places like Gran Teton or Half Dome. I tried climbing Angels Landing a few years ago but turned around when the chains started. A few months ago I decided to really face my fear of heights with the Edge Walk on the CN Tower in Toronto. It’s a walk around the outside of the tower at about 1158 feet. The difference though is the extent the tower goes to to ensure safety. It’s quite the thrill for those who can’t manage an Everest or Grand Teton or Angels Landing. Next time you’re in Toronto you should try it before your visit to Allure.
  • tin man
    a year ago
    Absolutely would. Just make sure its the right to season otherwise you might die in an avalanche or snow storm.
  • misterorange
    a year ago
    ^^ Right. In summer all you need is a light jacket or a sweater.
  • himalayabound
    a year ago
    Angel's Landing is a spectacular hike and indeed pretty intimidating at the top. My family did it when my daughters were 7 and 5 years old. My 5-year-old loved it, but I remember well holding her hand in a sweaty death grip as we walked those final steps together along those chains and I had to lift her over a few of the gaps between the rocks on the final ledge. After Angel's Landing, since she wasn't old enough to go horseback riding with the rest our group of two families (I guess Zion considered THAT to be too dangerous for a 5-year-old!), we did the Hidden Canyon hike in Zion together, which turned out to be about as scary as Angel's Landing in a section where we had to do a long traverse along an extremely narrow ledge on a near vertical wall that had a chain to hold onto bolted into the rock and a several hundred foot drop below. It wasn't physically difficult, but you really had to avoid freaking out about the exposure on the traverse until reaching the hidden canyon above. Now at age 17, my daughter can lead a 5.10+ rock climb that I can barely follow. They catch up and surpass us before you know it! Maybe I shouldn't have started her down this path, but at least I've met the Chris Rock standard of responsible parenting by keeping her off the pole! 😁
  • rattdog
    a year ago
    ay himalaya, these accidents. going up high mountains already is a tough challenge. but what about coming back down? could some of these accidents happen that way as well?
  • himalayabound
    a year ago
    Excellent question, rattdog. In fact, most accidents happen on the way down, not on the way up. Why? You're tired, the excitement of reaching the summit is behind you, a technically difficult section is often more difficult on the way down in terms of footing, and you have a tendency to let your guard down compared to your state of mind on the way up. Good climbers remain very mindful of the fact that reaching the summit is the halfway point of a climb--not the finish line. You have to make sure that you have enough energy left to make it down before you continue to the top, and you have to be extra careful on the way down. Rob Hall (may he RIP), the Australian mountaineer who led one of the two U.S. teams involved in the 1996 Mt. Everest disaster covered in the book Into Thin Air (and died on that climb), said it best--"Any idiot can get to the top of Mt. Everest. It's getting back down alive that matters."
  • grand1511
    a year ago
    Those dead bodies stay on Everest....it's too complicated and risky to bring them down. And the lower levels of oxygen at the higher altitudes slow down decomposition. So climbers pass by hundreds of corpses making their way up the final segments of the climb....seems like a buzzkill to me. [view link]
  • Muddy
    a year ago
    Na I wouldn't. Exactly what you said, not worth it. Anybody statistically minded it changes the way move in the world. Stay off bikes (any kind) stay out of casinos, don't play the fucking lottery.
  • ATACdawg
    a year ago
    My ambition is to free dive to the bottom of the Marianas Trench. I've scheduled my attempt for my 150th birthday......
  • gammanu95
    a year ago
    "did walk up Mt Lassen in California once" Ib think gSteph might have been replaced with a hollow Earth Reptilian doppelganger. Better have wld4cocks give him an anal probe to be sure.
  • shailynn
    a year ago
    “Anybody statistically minded it changes the way move in the world. Stay off bikes (any kind) stay out of casinos, don't play the fucking lottery.” Lol I agree with the bikes. I dug mine out during COVID - rode it around the block, and said “yeah I could see myself running over a piece of gravel and going over the handlebars and becoming paralyzed.”
  • TheeOSU
    a year ago
    Climbing Everest minus the crowds would be an amazing experience but it's not in the cards for this guy. Oh well, I hate cold freezing temps anyway.
  • TheeOSU
    a year ago
    'Bacon!!' Ooops, wrong account, Lol
  • Studme53
    a year ago
    Lol no. I got nervous climbing the Chimney Tops at the Great Smokey Mt National Park. I was on all fours going slow and shitting bricks while my skinny little 10 year old son scampered up it like it was a walk in the park.
  • skibum609
    a year ago
    When we were really into hiking I would have loved to try something huge, but Everest is for real mountaineers, not hikers. Like Gsteph we have climbed Lassen peak and also did Mt. Whitmore which I think is the highest peak in California. The longest 1 day, no overnight hike we ever did was 19.5 miles/5,000 vertical feet. The scariest trail we've ever been on is the knife's edge on Mt. Katahdin in Maine. We met a thru hiker on the Apalachin Trail who was afraid of heights and on the verge of quitting, after almost 4 months on the trail and in sight of the end. Smoked a bowl and did it with her. Hiking the White Mountains in New Hampshire has a lot of hikes that can be pretty mellow until the weather changes rapidly, which it does around here. One July 4 we read a warning sign at the trailhead stating that people had died of exposure on this trail in every calendar month of the year. It was 83 degrees with brilliant sunshine. 130 minutes later we were lost on the boulders in King Ravine, having lost sight of the trail markers in the dense fog and freezing rain. Fifty degrees colder and hypothermic we made a series of bad decisions, but got lucky and made it out. That afternoon, laying in the sun by the pool, 5 miles away, I thought of that sign...... Two hiker died of exposure this past winter within 1 mile of Interstate 93 and Mt. Washington has had more deaths than any other small mountain on earth. Yoiu guessed it, we;re hiking this weekend lol.
  • twentyfive
    a year ago
    ^ Did you ever do the Cadillac mountain trail in Maine, I did fourth years ago with my Girlfriend and came face to face with the largest moose I’ve ever seen, that scared the shit out of me.
  • twentyfive
    a year ago
    ^ Forty not fourth
  • jaybud999
    a year ago
    The climbers need to get the fuck up there and clean up all the shit they've left behind.
  • azdd
    a year ago
    Hey skibum609 - you’re an attorney - so how much protection from a negligence/failure to warn claim does a property owner get by putting up a warning sign? Maybe they should post a warning sign at Everest base camp, although I’m aware of at least one death of a college student who took a field trip just to base camp, developed pulmonary edema from the 17K altitude and died while being evacuated.
  • skibum609
    a year ago
    The rules are different everywhere. 25 Back in the day we did the trail. Maine is awesome and the last place in New England where you can get a full contact $10 dance lol.
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