Mount Everest
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13-05-2016, 11:47 AM
RE: Mount Everest
(13-05-2016 10:56 AM)undergroundp Wrote:  I always hated the whole thing. All those people dying or getting mutilated or whatever, and all that for what? To be able to say "hey, I climbed Mount Everest!"? I mean, seriously, risking your life for what?

I don't know, why do people risk death (or even discomfort) for anything? Going to the North Pole, going to the moon, solo ocean crossings, etc. -- because it's hard (as Commonsensei pointed out), because it's a challenge, and it means something to meet that challenge.

I did the Horribly Hilly Hundreds bike ride 7 or 8 years in a row. It's not especially dangerous, but it's very difficult and uncomfortable. You have to suffer through months of training to have any chance of completing the ride, and then you're going to suffer during the ride too, no matter what kind of shape you're in. At the end, you say "Never again" -- but a month or two later, you can't wait for the next year's event.

Everest is just a bigger, more dangerous version of the same sort of thing. It's way beyond my ambitions, but I can see why people do it.
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13-05-2016, 12:24 PM
RE: Mount Everest
I don't climb Himalayan Mountains but I used to do some climbing here in Colorado. I saw a guy fall off the Crestone Needle to his death and that wasn't fun. We were hiking in the Himalayas in Kyrgyzstan about ten years ago when we met a group of Norwegian climbers heading for a 25,000 foot mountain whose name I can't remember. We saw them again the next day and they were carrying the body of their leader out of the mountains. He had taken a bad fall. [I took a very minor fall hiking around the base of that mountain and broke a bone in my right ankle. I also got a 14" gash up my right shin. That hurt worse than my ankle bone. I was able to hobble out. My Russian doctor fixed me up so I was hiking again the next day. Even fooling around the base of that mountain is not a wise idea for old men. Big Grin ]
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13-05-2016, 12:49 PM
RE: Mount Everest
(13-05-2016 11:47 AM)Grasshopper Wrote:  
(13-05-2016 10:56 AM)undergroundp Wrote:  I always hated the whole thing. All those people dying or getting mutilated or whatever, and all that for what? To be able to say "hey, I climbed Mount Everest!"? I mean, seriously, risking your life for what?

I don't know, why do people risk death (or even discomfort) for anything? Going to the North Pole, going to the moon, solo ocean crossings, etc. -- because it's hard (as Commonsensei pointed out), because it's a challenge, and it means something to meet that challenge.

I did the Horribly Hilly Hundreds bike ride 7 or 8 years in a row. It's not especially dangerous, but it's very difficult and uncomfortable. You have to suffer through months of training to have any chance of completing the ride, and then you're going to suffer during the ride too, no matter what kind of shape you're in. At the end, you say "Never again" -- but a month or two later, you can't wait for the next year's event.

Everest is just a bigger, more dangerous version of the same sort of thing. It's way beyond my ambitions, but I can see why people do it.

Where is the Horribly Hilly Hundreds? (Which I read as Horribly Hillbilly Hundred Rolleyes )

Shakespeare's Comedy of Errors.... on Donald J. Trump:

He is deformed, crooked, old, and sere,
Ill-fac’d, worse bodied, shapeless every where;
Vicious, ungentle, foolish, blunt, unkind,
Stigmatical in making, worse in mind.
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13-05-2016, 01:04 PM
RE: Mount Everest
(13-05-2016 12:49 PM)dancefortwo Wrote:  
(13-05-2016 11:47 AM)Grasshopper Wrote:  I don't know, why do people risk death (or even discomfort) for anything? Going to the North Pole, going to the moon, solo ocean crossings, etc. -- because it's hard (as Commonsensei pointed out), because it's a challenge, and it means something to meet that challenge.

I did the Horribly Hilly Hundreds bike ride 7 or 8 years in a row. It's not especially dangerous, but it's very difficult and uncomfortable. You have to suffer through months of training to have any chance of completing the ride, and then you're going to suffer during the ride too, no matter what kind of shape you're in. At the end, you say "Never again" -- but a month or two later, you can't wait for the next year's event.

Everest is just a bigger, more dangerous version of the same sort of thing. It's way beyond my ambitions, but I can see why people do it.

Where is the Horribly Hilly Hundreds? (Which I read as Horribly Hillbilly Hundred Rolleyes )

It starts and ends at Blue Mound in southern Wisconsin. Believe it or not, it's a very hilly area. The hills aren't all that big (Blue Mound itself, at 900 feet of elevation gain, is the biggest climb on the ride), but they are steep -- many of the grades are between 10% and 20%. The reason that it's Hundreds (plural) is that there are two rides: 100K (about 65 miles) and 200K (about 125 miles). I always did the 200K version, which has a total elevation gain of over 10,000 feet, spread out over 40 or so separate hills. It's literally up and down all day. You get to finish by climbing Blue Mound. A lot of people don't finish, and I've seen people quit on the very first climb (which goes 2/3 of the way up blue Mound before veering off).

Still, it's a whole lot easier -- and safer -- than Everest.Tongue
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13-05-2016, 01:09 PM
RE: Mount Everest
(13-05-2016 11:47 AM)Grasshopper Wrote:  I don't know, why do people risk death (or even discomfort) for anything? Going to the North Pole, going to the moon, solo ocean crossings, etc. -- because it's hard (as Commonsensei pointed out), because it's a challenge, and it means something to meet that challenge.

Going to the moon shouldn't be included here I believe, because those missions did have practical results. That is why we stopped going.

I understand why some people love challenges (a friend of mine decided to go to a special unit of the army where he had to undergo situations that were borderline torture, just because it was a "challenge" and it would "harden" him - I still thought it was stupid as fuck) but no challenge justifies risking your life.

I can understand it when it's people who are generally fearless and get those crazy adrenaline rushes (that is how I explain their passion anyway) but for us common folk I think it's rather stupid. When I hear about someone who died during trips and "challenges" like these, as much as I try to empathize, my brain just screams "they had it coming".

(13-05-2016 11:47 AM)Grasshopper Wrote:  I did the Horribly Hilly Hundreds bike ride 7 or 8 years in a row. It's not especially dangerous, but it's very difficult and uncomfortable. You have to suffer through months of training to have any chance of completing the ride, and then you're going to suffer during the ride too, no matter what kind of shape you're in. At the end, you say "Never again" -- but a month or two later, you can't wait for the next year's event.

Everest is just a bigger, more dangerous version of the same sort of thing. It's way beyond my ambitions, but I can see why people do it.

I guess it means something to you and I can see why challenges can be fulfilling, but what you describe is nowhere near the risk one takes when climbing Mount Everest. Have you seen pictures of the frozen bodies up there? I have. Not very majestic, and I doubt their families are proud.

"Behind every great pirate, there is a great butt."
-Guybrush Threepwood-
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13-05-2016, 01:18 PM
RE: Mount Everest
(13-05-2016 08:49 AM)skyking Wrote:  My opinion, any activity that says "look at me" while I trash the environment is stupid.

Exactly. The only draw I see to this is the arbitrary distinction of getting to the highest peek in the world. There are plenty of ways I can both get exercise and see nature. Making a dangerous climb that could result in my death, and is certain to result in me dumping oxygen canisters on the ground and literally suffocating to death (albeit, quite slowly) just sounds terrible to me.
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13-05-2016, 01:33 PM
RE: Mount Everest
I would agree that extreme activities such as climbing Everest could be seen as irresponsible for people with families (wouldn't be an issue for me -- my entire family has succumbed to cancer over the last 8 years).

Consider Beck Weathers -- one of the climbers on the ill-fated 1996 Everest expedition. In the movie Everest, he confesses at base camp that he "forgot" to tell his wife he was doing this, then almost dies on the climb (he does lose parts of both hands and feet and his nose to frostbite) -- and survives only because his wife pulls all kinds of strings to get him airlifted (at great risk to the helicopter pilot) to base camp. Several levels of irresponsibility there. One of the guides who did die left a pregnant widow. But his case is a bit more ambiguous. This was how he made his living -- he wasn't doing it just for a lark.

So it's complicated. Beck Weathers probably had no business on that mountain.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beck_Weathers
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13-05-2016, 01:45 PM
RE: Mount Everest
Don't they have the "Pack it in, pack it out" rule there? The mountain is becoming a trash heap, especially at some of the lower base camps. At least that's my understanding.

[Image: everesttrash_1425436592086_14300077_ver1.0_640_480.jpg]

Apparently closer to the top oxygen tanks are strewn everywhere. People are too exhausted to haul them back or something.

Shakespeare's Comedy of Errors.... on Donald J. Trump:

He is deformed, crooked, old, and sere,
Ill-fac’d, worse bodied, shapeless every where;
Vicious, ungentle, foolish, blunt, unkind,
Stigmatical in making, worse in mind.
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13-05-2016, 02:53 PM
RE: Mount Everest
Why take the risk of dying? It's like buying 100 lottery tickets and expect a winner.
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13-05-2016, 03:39 PM
RE: Mount Everest
(13-05-2016 02:53 PM)MatureMcLeod95 Wrote:  Why take the risk of dying? It's like buying 100 lottery tickets and expect a winner.

I think that's overly simplistic. Dying is guaranteed. Rather than trying to make a philosophical argument about this, I'm going to tell a story.

In 2008, my best friend signed up to do a 2-week, 1000-mile bicycle tour in Colorado. I was jealous -- I would have loved to do that tour, but there was no way I could afford it. That spring, my mother died of lung cancer. She had an annuity that paid me just enough money that I could do the tour. I jumped at the chance. This was a once-in-a-lifetime chance for me, and something I had always wanted to do.

Colorado doesn't have a network of secondary roads like Wisconsin. If you want to do a bicycle tour in Colorado, some of it is going to be on busy highways with narrow shoulders (or no shoulders). We were even on the freeway for part of the last day. On one of those busy highways in the middle of the tour, a member of our group got hit and killed by a truck. A number of people quit the tour, including my friend. It was just too dangerous for them. I kept going. I was scared like everyone else, but I had just watched my mother die of cancer. If I "play it safe" and never do anything dangerous, I'll probably end up dying like she did. I would much rather get hit by a truck! Of course, I don't go out of my way to make that happen, but I'm not going to start avoiding all risk either. Nobody gets out of this life alive. I still do long bike rides on public roads, including highways. My friend prefers bike paths (partly because of the Colorado incident); I still prefer roads. Safety isn't everything.

Why risk dying? Why not? If the payoff for successfully climbing Everest, or sailing solo across the ocean, or whatever, is big enough, maybe it's worth that risk. Who are we to judge? You risk dying every time you get in a car, or walk across the street. But you can't spend the rest of your life hiding in your bedroom. And even if you do, you're still going to die. I'm not going to cower in a corner waiting to die. I'm going to live until I die.
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