" The first question which you will ask and which I must try to answer is this, " What is the use of climbing Mount Everest-" and my answer must at once be, " It is no use." There is not the slightest prospect of any gain whatsoever. Oh, we may learn a little about the behavior of the human body at high altitudes, and possibly medical men may turn our observation to some account for the purposes of aviation. But otherwise nothing will come of it. We shall not bring back a single bit of gold or silver, not a gem, nor any coal or iron. We shall not find a single foot of earth that can be planted with crops to raise food. It's no use. So, if you cannot understand that there is something in man which responds to the challenge of this mountain and goes out to meet it, that the struggle is the struggle of life itself upward and forever upward, then you won't see why we go. What we get from this adventure is just sheer joy. And joy is, after all, the end of life. We do not live to eat and make money. We eat and make money to be able to enjoy life. That is what life means and what life is for." - George Leigh Mallory, 1922
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TOPIC: [Duh!] Mt Everest conqueror forced to sell vegetables to repay loan

[Duh!] Mt Everest conqueror forced to sell vegetables to repay loan 4 years, 3 months ago #1062

timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Mt-Eve...cleshow/28071022.cms

And what is wrong with selling vegetables? It is a perfectly ethical and useful profession. It is not like he was forced into prostitution or pimping...no one forced him to do anything actually.

Why should public money go into funding/supporting anyone's personal pursuits, especially when it is as ordinary as an able-bodied person climbing everest years after blind and double amputees and senior citizens have done it?

Today it will be dishonest if anyone apart from Sherpa-climbers says they have "climbed" Everest; climbing independently is prohibited there; to think in 2013 that one has "conquered" Everest is simply idiotic. You HAVE to go as a client and jumar yourself up a fixed rope set up by the Sherpa guides. Everest costs 50 lac INR and is now more a marketing feat than a mountaineering feat (to con people into funding your trip; at least that's how it is in India to a large extent; most western Everesters afund their own trips). It is embarrassing to the country's mountaineering field to say in 2013 that climbing Everest is an accomplishment. It is still a challenging, dangerous, and environmentally degrading endeavour though.

My gripe is, those 50 lacs or additional "award money" and publicity are better spent on building 3-4 climbing walls in towns and cities, generating employment for a dozen local climbers and making climbing accessible cheaply and safely to thousands who would otherwise never know the joys and benefits of climbing.

Mumbai has twice the population of Switzerland and less than 1/100th climbing routes. And Indians don't really figure in any serious climbing discipline like ice-climbing, sport climbing (OK, this is changing) or even modern alpinism at the global level outside "list climbing", which are more logistical than climbing challenges...I feel sad for the state of Indian mountaineering. It is not a lack of talent (it is statistically highly unlikely that a country of 1.2 billion can't produce world-class athletes), but lack of imagination maybe.
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Last Edit: 4 years, 3 months ago by Loneranger.

Re: [Duh!] Mt Everest conqueror forced to sell vegetables to repay loan 4 years, 3 months ago #1063

[Duh] another lament from someone who's never going to walk his talk in his last paragraph nor climb everest. Just another post belittling what others are out there to do.

I dont want to give a long detailed post here, but a few quick lines might help.

For mountaineers who are in the field and who climb mountains as a career, Everest might not be a big deal. It is not even the toughest mountain out there. But the vast majority, it is about conquering their own limits, going beyond what they normally do. The vast majority, who have other full time jobs and families and their own responsibilities but still dream of pushing themselves to their limits. A majority of them are hobbyists who climb mountains for fun.

Everest is getting commercialized no doubt, but which field isn't? You take a vacation and there are crowds there, you take a walk in the park and there are crowds there too!

And whenever anyone says climbing everest is easy, its instantly obvious that that person has never set foot on a mountain. As long as you put one step ahead of the other and reach the summit on your own power, it is a commendable achievement. Not to mention the harshness, braving the altitude, staying away from work and family for 2 months, and constantly aware of avalanches and storms which are not forgiving by nature.

I agree with the first para though, so what if he sells vegetables. He still should feel proud of his achievement.

And for the other who are sitting on their couches and passing judgement, learn to appreciate the human nature that helps one to push beyond their comfort zone. It is because we have had people like these in the past generations and you and I are here not worrying about our next meal and not worrying about devoured by wild animals overnight.

Live and let live
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Re: [Duh!] Mt Everest conqueror forced to sell vegetables to repay loan 4 years, 3 months ago #1064

Not sure who said Everest is easy. What I specifically said was "It is still a challenging, dangerous, and environmentally degrading endeavour though."

One doesn't need to be a mountaineer to imagine how challenging it must be to be up at 8000m in the cold and wind, jostling for space with 200 other mountaineers and clients sharing the same fixed rope, and wading through "pyramids of human excrement befouling the high camps" as described in this excellent article:
www.nydailynews.com/news/world/mount-eve...356457#ixzz2pPVwrACo One doesn't need to piss on an electric fence to know the consequences; one can read and learn from others experiences too :) Today it is a foregone clnclusion that the number of people summiting this peak each year is limited by a balance between Nepal authorities need for foreign money and the amount of sh!t the mountain can (or is made to) take.

"A majority of them are hobbyists who climb mountains for fun." Spot on, and I respect them a lot, just the same way as I respect anyone who climbs the local hills on weekends; pushing their own limits. Diabetics, amputees, 13-year olds, 80 year-olds, cancer survivors etc. doing the everest is something. But for an able-bodied 20-something guy to climb it and then claim reward like lakhs of rupees and the post of Dy.S.P. bypassing thousands of constables and fellow-unemployed youth is quite something else. My intention, in case it was not clear in my earlier post, was not to belittle the climbing of everest but to mock at people who claim reward at public expense for that. It is a worthy personal hobby/passion/calling, whatever, but let it remain that way.

I think any taxpayer, be it a climber or not, has a right to protest the misuse of funds. On this point, I also don't think it is fair for the CM to promise something (however undeserved it may be) and then renege on the promise.

We can all have our own notions of "challenge"; being posted in Siachen Glacier for 6 months, or finishing the Marathon de Sables, or working in the mines, they are all challenges that very few of us can or need or are interested to do, but not all of them will get reward for that. I am glad this dude Ram Lal has not got the reward till now. Eventually he may get something because of the publicity he has got now and political compulsions, but I don't think such practices will last long. So whoever wants to climb everest to claim reward, best to do it within the next few years. After that it will be down to individuals' real accomplishments and market value in getting sponsors, like it happens in developed world. That will separate the men from the boys (and women from girls). Until then, live and let live :)
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Re: [Duh!] Mt Everest conqueror forced to sell vegetables to repay loan 4 years, 3 months ago #1065

Thanks for clarifying and apologies I overlooked the other (more important) point you were trying to make on government funding of such spends.

I agree with your opinions though, probably it is not the best way on part of our government to spend tax payer money. It's too little too late. It might make sense if the government wants to promote adventure tourism or up the explorer spirit etc but it's better to sponsor climbing in our own country if thats really what they had on mind. As it is, there is still a lot of mountaineering awareness to be built in our country and the royalty fee for peaks in India is substantially lesser.

Regards
P
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Re: [Duh!] Mt Everest conqueror forced to sell vegetables to repay loan 4 years, 3 months ago #1067

Glad we agree. However it will take several years before the mainstream gets the point, that they are actually embarrassing the country in the serious international climbing fraternity by rewarding everest trips.

I can think of several government initiatives doing good to the sport, like the climbathon, highly subsidized training courses at the national mountaineering institutes, sending talented sport climbers to international competitions etc. They generate employment and make the sport more accessible to the masses, apart from rewarding true talent in open competition.

In the meantime here's a useful resource for those interested in list climbing: climbing.about.com/od/mountainclimbing/a/7SummitCosts.htm AFIK no one has as yet climbed the 7 summits wearing jackets of 7 different colors.
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Last Edit: 4 years, 3 months ago by Loneranger.

Re: [Duh!] Mt Everest conqueror forced to sell vegetables to repay loan 4 years, 1 month ago #1075

www.ndtv.com/article/world/nepal-may-ins...-hillary-step-496667
Good step. Hillary would be proud of the way the sport has progressed.

Seems Messner is in India at the moment; from his interview:

How different are these areas from when you first came here to climb in the 1970s? Commercial climbing became really big in the last two decades...


Actually, they have not changed so much. And I’m not against tourism in the mountains. In the Alps they’ve had commercial expeditions for more than 150 years. The Alpine clubs were made to give many people the chance to go up to the mountains and, at the same time, to help the mountain people to have an income. Hiking, trekking, could be such a strong base for tourism in India, but we should have a clear divide between traditional Alpinism (self-contained climbs with minimal gear) and tourism, and we should not put infrastructure all over the mountains. Now the normal routes at almost all the 8,000m peaks are for tourists, and that’s okay. But I would not like it if Nanda Devi was also opened for tourists. Some mountains should only be for mountaineers.

Last year, 600 sherpas went to Everest before the season opened, and they set up the line, fixed the ropes, put up ladders, made oxygen depots, and then a huge number of people were guided up to the peak. What it used to be like to trek to Everest Base Camp before, is what it’s like to go to the summit now.

I call this kind of climbing “piste Alpinism” (a piste is a groomed ski slope). But still people go up Everest and when they go back home they speak as if they climbed like (Edmund) Hillary, or Tenzing (Norgay). And they actually feel this, that what they’ve done is the same thing as the pioneers, they do not even know the difference.


I think therein lies the tragedy, that is what is preventing sustainable development of the mountain sport in India.
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Last Edit: 4 years ago by Loneranger.
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