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Lecture 4. Everest. Mount Everest. 8850 meters Separates Nepal and Tibet 1953 – first successful climb By 1980, 100 climbers ascended to summit 1985 David Breashers guided wealthy Texas businessman, Dick Bass, to the top Started trend to commercial expeditions

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Lecture 4 l.jpg

Lecture 4

Everest


Mount everest l.jpg
Mount Everest

  • 8850 meters

  • Separates Nepal and Tibet

  • 1953 – first successful climb

  • By 1980, 100 climbers ascended to summit

  • 1985

    • David Breashers guided wealthy Texas businessman, Dick Bass, to the top

    • Started trend to commercial expeditions

    • Less experienced people climbing

    • Profit was part of the goal

  • 1996

    • 846 successful ascents

    • 148 deaths


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Adventure Consultant

  • Established 1992

    • Robert Hall and Gary Ball

  • Experienced climbers

    • Seven Summits: 7 highest peaks on each of the 7 continents

    • Included Everest

    • Ball dies of cerebral edema amidst success

  • Cost: $65,000

  • 1994

    • Hall guided 39 clients

  • 1995

    • “100% Success”

    • Failed expedition due to extreme weather

  • 1996

    • Planned Everest expedition


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Hall’s Climbing Team

  • Leader – Hall

  • Guides

    • Mike Groom

      • Climbed Everest without bottled oxygen

    • Andy Harris

      • No Everest experience

  • Helpers

    • Ang Dorje

    • 6 climbing sherpas


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Hall’s Recruited Clients

  • No experience

    • Beck Weathers, John Taske, Stuart Hutchison, John Krakauer

  • Unsuccessful attempts

    • Doug Hansen (H – 1995), Frank Fischbeck

  • Experience with other peaks

    • Lou Kasischke, Yasuko Namba


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Mountain Madness

  • Established, 1984

    • Scott Fischer

    • Offered climbing instruction and guided experience

  • Fischer

    • Expert climber

    • 8000 peaks

    • Climbed Everest without supplemental oxygen on 4th attempt

    • Inspired by Hall’s 1994 successful guided climb


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Fischer’s Climbing Team

  • Leader – Fischer

  • Guides

    • Anatoli Boukreev

      • Climbed Everest without bottled oxygen

    • Neil Beidlman

      • No Everest experience

  • Helpers

    • Lopsang Jangbu

    • 7 climbing sherpas


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Fischer’s Clients

  • No experience

    • Kiev Schoening

    • Tim Madsen

  • Unsuccessful attempts

    • Sandy Hill Pittman

    • Dale Kruse (known to have altitude sickness)

  • Experiences

    • Pete Schoening (Legend, 68)

    • Lene Gammelgaard

    • Martin Adams

    • Charlotte Fox


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Journey to Base Camp

  • Base Camp

    • Shelter for climbers

    • Tents are maintained by sherpas

      • Food, drink, communication center

  • Fischer’s team arrives on April 8th

  • Hall’s team arrives on April 9th

  • Problems

    • Polluted air and unsanitary living conditions in villages cause respiratory and digestive ailments

    • Logistical problems

      • Fischer’s oxygen supply, tent, supplies

      • Time burden vs. planning and acclimating


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Reservations

  • Boukreev

    • Readiness

    • Ability

    • Language difficulties

    • Prepare the mountain for people vs. prepare the people for the mountain

  • Krakauer

    • Normal people

    • No hard core climbers

  • Others

    • Team reliance

    • Self esteem

    • Guide climbing without supplemental oxygen


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Acclimatization

  • Performed in Mid April

  • Strenuous activity

    • High altitude

    • Climbing mixed with rest and recovery

  • Major health issues to avoid

    • Altitude Pulmonary Edema

      • Swelling and/or fluid accumulation in the lungs that leads to impaired gas exchange and may cause respiratory failure

      • Must maintain adequate oxygenation

    • Altitude Cerebral Edema

      • An excess accumulation of water in the intra- and/or extra-cellular spaces of the brain

      • Must descend immediately or med-evac


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Oxygen Issues

  • Bottled oxygen necessary for final summit

  • Guides also should employ bottled oxygen for client safety

  • Pete Schoening started using bottled oxygen at base camp

  • Bottled oxygen was in limited supply


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Base Camp to Camp II

  • May 6th

  • Problems prior to climb

    • Insufficient number of radios

    • Lack of team spirit

  • Established 2 o’clock rule

    • If you aren’t at the top by two, it’s time to turn around. Darkness is not your friend.

  • Schoening (sr -F) becomes ill

    • Fischer accompanies him back to base camp then back to Camp II

  • Hansen (H) gets frost bite and frozen larynx

  • Hall forcibly encourages Krakauer and Hansen to continue

  • Fischer handles sherpa illness and death

  • Hall – my word is law


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Base Camp to Camp II

  • Radios a joke

    • Only three

    • Held by each guide

  • Kruse (F) gets sick

    • Fischer accompanies him back to base camp

    • Friendship has him leave the team

  • Hall

    • Anyone can get up

    • The trick is getting down alive


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Camp II to Camp III

  • May 8th

  • Harris (H – guide) gets hit by a small boulder

  • IMAX (Breashears) team goes back because of bad weather

  • Boukreev doubtful about weather

  • Kasischke (H) and Fischbeck (H) struggling


Camp iv l.jpg
Camp IV

  • May 9th

  • 60 mph wind speed

    • Erecting tents difficult

  • Hall’s plan

    • When weather calms, proceed to summit during midnight, return to Camp IV by nightfall

    • No set 2 o’clock rule

  • Hansen (H) health deteriorating

    • Emotionally driven by past failed attempts


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Summit Day

  • May 9th, 11:30 PM teams depart Camp IV

  • Hall and Fischer at rear

  • Each client has two oxygen canisters

  • Problems

    • Taske (H), Hutchison (H), Kasischke (H), and Fischbeck (H) turn back before summit

    • 5:30 AM

      • Krakauer (H) and Ang Dorje (H – sherpa) discover no ropes affixed for remaining 500m

      • 1 hour wasted until all clients arrive

      • Lopsang Jangbu (F - sherpa) assisted Pitman (F) for 6 hours to lower camp


Summit day18 l.jpg
Summit Day

  • Fischer remains at back to help struggling clients

    • His physical condition deteriorates

  • Weathers condition deteriorating

  • Clients opting to grab 3rd oxygen on the way up

  • Noon to 1PM

    • Ropes need to be affixed to Hillary Step

  • 1PM

    • Krakauer (H), Harris (H - guide), Boukreev (F – guide) reach summit

    • Beidlman (F – guide), Adams (F) follow


Summit day19 l.jpg
Summit Day

  • Critical Error

    • Harris thought that no supplemental oxygen remained at south summit

  • 2:00 PM

    • No more of Fischer’s clients have reached summit

    • Beidlman (F – guide) wants to advise to turn back but feel too junior to advise Boukreev (F – guide) and Fischer

  • 2:30 PM

    • Hall and Groom (H – guide) reach summit with other clients

  • 3:45 PM

    • Fischer reaches summit

  • 4:00 PM

    • Hansen (H) reaches summit

    • Hall waited for Hansen


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The Descent

  • Weather problems

    • Descent pace is very slow

  • Boukreev (F – guide) descended quickly to Camp IV

    • Decision questionable

  • Hall remained above Hillary Step

    • Could not provide oxygen to Hansen (H) by Harris’ (H – guide) report

    • Made it to South Summit

      • 6:00 PM Hall is still there

  • Fischer with serious heath problems

    • Lopsang (F – sherpa) goes to Camp IV for Boukreev

    • Boukreev stuck due to weather


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The Descent

  • 9:00 PM

    • Krakauer (H) and Adams (F) reach Camp IV

  • Beidlman (F – guide), Groom, 7 clients, 3 sherpas huddle together lost to wait for break in storm

  • Beidlman (F – guide), Groom (H – guide), Schoening (F), Gammelgaard (F) reach Camp IV

  • Boukreev (F – guide) rescues Pitman (F), Fox (F), Madsen (F), leaves Namba (H) and Weathers (H)

  • Hall radios that Hansen was dead and Hall is climbing down

  • Sherpa team cannot rescue Fischer

  • Weather makes it to Camp IV

  • May 12th

    • Hall, Fischer, Hansen, Namba, and Harris are dead


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Closing Thoughts

  • Recruitment

  • Competitiveness

  • Prestige

  • Profit

  • Experience

  • Arrogance


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