Category Archive 'Mount Everest'

03 Jun 2018

No More Hillary Step on Everest

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The Hillary Step, before and after the Earthquake of 2015.

It’s estimated that roughly 4000 people have made it to the top of Mount Everest in recent years assisted by fixed ropes, professional guides, and bottled oxygen, but people still debate the question of whether or not, in 1924, George Leigh Mallory and Andrew Irvine summited the mountain without any of those aids, before their fatal fall.

The best positive argument goes that when Conrad Anker found Mallory’s body at 26,760 ft (8,157 m) on the north face of the mountain, the photograph of his wife that Mallory had promised to leave on the summit was missing from his effects.

The key negative argument in climbing circles contends that it would have been impossible with the limited equipment and lack of oxygen in the period for anyone to have conquered the Hillary Step, a nearly vertical rock face with a height of around 12 metres (39 ft) located high on Mount Everest at approximately 8,790 metres (28,839 ft), named later for Sir Edmund Hillary, the first known person to reach the summit in 1953.

Outside magazine is reporting that the rumors are true, despite the Government of Nepal’s effort to suppress talk on the subject, the changes produced by the Earthquake of 2015 are dramatic: the Hillary Step is now the Hillary Stair. The ascent will now be easier than ever, though the traditional death toll of of five or six a year will probably remain unchanged.

18 Aug 2014

Climb Everest On-Line



Hat tip to Karen L. Myers.

11 Jan 2008

Sir Edmund Hillary, 1919-2008

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Edward J. Halliday, Sir Edmund Hillary, Auckland Museum, oil on canvas, 1955

Sir Edmund Hillary, conqueror of Mount Everest, (for whom the junior senator from New York was not named) has died at age 88. New Zealand plans a state funeral.

The Australian obituary & video.

AP story, slideshow, videos

Hat tip to Dominique Poirier.

24 Jun 2007

China Building Highway to Mount Everest

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The Chinese government has announced the planned construction of a blacktop highway to Everest base camp to facilitate the carrying of the 2008 Olympic Torch to the summit of the highest mountain in the world.


China plans to build a highway on the side of Mount Everest to ease the Olympic torch’s journey to the peak of the world’s tallest mountain before the 2008 Beijing Games, state media reported Tuesday.
Construction of the road, budgeted at $19.7 million would turn a 67- mile rough path from the foot of the mountain to a base camp at 17,060 feet “into a blacktop highway fenced by undulating guardrails,” the Xinhua News Agency said.

Xinhua said construction, which would start next week, would take about four months. The new highway would become a major route for tourists and mountaineers, it said.

An official from the Secretariat of the Tibetan government, who declined to give his name, confirmed the project was planned, but refused to give any details. Tibet and Nepal are the most commonly used routes up the mountain.

In April, organizers for the Beijing Summer Olympics announced ambitious plans for the longest torch relay in Olympic history—an 85,000-mile, 130-day route that would cross five continents and reach the 29,035-foot summit of Everest.

Taking the Olympic torch to the top of the mountain, seen by some as a way for Beijing to underscore its claims to Tibet, is expected to be one of the relay’s highlights.

26 Aug 2006

Everest Rescue Video

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National Geographic has a video of American Everest climbing team leader Daniel Mazur discussing his May 26, 2006 rescue of 50 year old Australian author Lincoln Hall from a narrow ridge 28,000 feet high on Mount Everest.

Hall, disoriented and suffering from cerebral edema, was abandoned to die the previous day by Russian expedition 7 Summits Club leader Alexander Abramov. Thomas Weber, a partially blind climber with the same expedition, making the ascent to raise money for charity, died the same day.

BBC report.

Ten days earlier, David Sharp was left to die on the mountain by 40 climbers who passed by the striken climber in the course of their ascents.

24 May 2006

40 Climb Past Dying Climber on Everest

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The 2006 climbing season on Mount Everest, with 9 dead already, seems likely to overtake the previous 1996 record of 12 fatalities. This climbing season featured a new kind of record as well, however, with reports of 40 climbers proceeding past a dying British climber on their way up.

Washington Times:

Mark Inglis, an amputee who conquered Mount Everest on artificial legs last week, yesterday defended his party’s decision to carry on to the summit despite coming across a dying climber.
As his team climbed through the “death zone,” the area above 26,000 feet where the body begins to shut down, they passed David Sharp, 34, a stricken British climber who later died. His body remained on the mountain.
Mr. Inglis, 47, a New Zealander, said: “At 28,000 feet it’s hard to stay alive yourself. He was in a very poor condition, near death. We talked about [what to do for him] for quite a lot at the time and it was a very hard decision.
“About 40 people passed him that day, and no one else helped him apart from our expedition. Our Sherpas (guides) gave him oxygen. He wasn’t a member of our expedition, he was a member of another, far less professional one.”..

About 200 people have died on Everest since the first expeditions in the 1920s. The corpses are stepped over by climbers traveling the most popular routes.

Sir Edmund Hillary, the first climber to summit Everest and a representative of a different era, condemned their action.

The New Zealand Press Association reports that Edmund Hillary has questioned the actions of Mark Inglis and others on the night British David Sharp, 34, died. “In our expedition there was never any likelihood whatsoever if one member of the party was incapacitated that we would just leave him to die,” Hillary, told the Otago Daily Times today.

Hillary said people have completely lost sight of what’s important and that the difficulties posed by operating at high altitude is no excuse. “I think the whole attitude towards climbing Mt Everest has become rather horrifying…people just want to get to the top, they don’t give a damn for anybody else who may be in distress and it doesn’t impress me at all that they leave someone lying under a rock to die.”

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