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Is Mountain Climbing a Social Construct?
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From the Daily Mail:

A team of nine black climbers is attempting to scale Mount Everest to tackle the mountain’s ‘intentional lack of access for black people’ and mountaineering’s ‘colonial history’.

The Full Circle Everest Expedition, which climbing leader Fred Campbell described as ‘the first all black and brown expedition to the highest place on earth’ in an Instagram video, is hoping to change the future of mountaineering.

The first two men to ever complete the climb to Mount Everest’s summit were Sherpa Tenzing Norgay, from Nepal, and Sir Edmund Hillary, from New Zealand, in 1953.

In fact, many people from the Sherpa community climb the mountain daily during peak season to carry heavy supplies for climbers, and outside of Nepal, ‘Sherpa’ has also become a name for mountain guides.

Since 1953, a total of 10,155 people have reached the towering mountain’s summit.

According to a GoFundMe created for the expedition – which has surpassed its \$150,000 goal – only eight black climbers of the 10,000 made it to the summit.

Is mountain climbing a social construct?

It might be.

It’s hard to say how much people in the past climbed mountains for the sake of climbing mountains. Throughout much of human history around the world, it seldom seemed to occur to many people to climb a scary mountain just because it’s there. In general, people seemed to feel that life was tough enough without making it harder by getting yourself killed falling off a mountain.

Yet … going up on a mountain comes up several times in the Bible: e.g., Moses receiving the Ten Commandments on Mt. Sinai and the transfiguration of Jesus on, perhaps, Mt. Tabor. It’s hard to say whether the mountain settings were recorded because it was extraordinary to climb a mountain or whether it was assumed to be understood by readers that climbing a mountain was good for having a spiritual experience.

Like Abraham planned to do with Isaac on Mt. Moriah, the Incas sacrificed children on a volcano in the Andes.

When did the Japanese start hiking to the top of Mt. Fuji?

Humans no doubt also climbed high up on mountains for functional reasons: to see what’s on the other side of the mountain or to bring something valuable back down — e.g., Cortez sent men up to the crater of Popocatépetl to get sulfur for gunpowder.

Overall, people seemed to consider mountain climbing about as fun as mining for coal. On the other hand, maybe it wasn’t actually all that rare for adventurous young men to climb mountains in the past, but there wasn’t much of a vocabulary for recording in writing their disreputable activity? (In the 20th Century, mountain climbers wrote a huge number of books.)

The 14th century Italian poet Petrarch was the first recorded European climber, and it didn’t become a regular hobby in Europe until the 18th or 19th centuries.

The rise of mountain climbing may be linked to the rise of Romantic Age after the more reasonable Age of Reason. The first known attempt to climb Mt. Blanc dates to the 1750s, about the time of Edmund Burke’s theory of the beautiful (e.g., landscapes conducive to human habitation) and the sublime (landscapes that are thrilling because they might kill you).

Explorers traditionally weren’t that interested in mountains, being far more concerned with finding passes. But by 1806, Lt. Zebulon Pike attempted to climb Pike’s Peak upon first seeing it, which seems like the kind of thing a young man might do in the age of Napoleon and Beethoven. (Did Lewis & Clark climb any mountains for the fun of it, or did they stick to the easiest possible route?)

 
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  1. I get the sense that mountain climbing became a thing the same way the English started trying to find Scots ancestry or Americans tried to find if they had Native American ancestry: it only became cool once the latter was tamed and pacified.

    Mountains aren’t fun to climb if you don’t have a far easier route to go through and a warm bed when its over. Being Scottish in England isn’t cool when the Scottish can invade and are threatening England. Being Native American in the U.S. isn’t cool when the tribes are massacring your villages, scalping people, and raping your women.

    In other words, its only fun to explore that side of yourself if the safety and security of civilization are easy to retreat to.

    • Replies: @Dieter Kief
  2. Yet … going up on a mountain comes up several times in the Bible: e.g., Moses receiving the Ten Commandments on Mt. Sinai and the transfiguration of Jesus on, perhaps, Mt. Tabor. It’s hard to say whether the mountain settings were recorded because it was extraordinary to climb a mountain or whether it was assumed to be understood by readers that climbing a mountain was good for having a spiritual experience.

    Like Abraham planned to do with Isaac on Mt. Moriah, the Incas sacrificed children on a volcano in the Anders.

    .

    Mountains were like deserts — dangerous, uncivilized places to retreat to if you wanted to test your spiritual mettle. The Lord waits on the mountain, the debil waits in the desert.

  3. On the flip side, how many dead black people on are Everest?

    • Replies: @Dieter Kief
  4. Aleister Crowley was a mountaineer in his young days. I don’t think he claimed to have met any Thelemic entities while he was up there.

    • Replies: @YetAnotherAnon
  5. Nathan says:

    Climbing Mt. Everest in the modern era bothers me on a philosophical level. It’s not an act of exploration, or even an act that signifies some great level of personal accomplishment, it’s an act of extremely conspicuous and vulgar tourism. You have to hire a company to take you up, fight long lines of other tourists on the climb, and most abhorrently of all, you have to climb over the discarded corpses of your fellow man to get to the top. Corpses that have been left in place supposedly because they can’t be recovered, but in actuality are there because nobody that attempts the climb respects the dignity of the dead more than they care to reach the top of the mountain.

    I love exploration and admire those among us with the skills and resources to engage in it. I think James Cameron, Elon Musk, Richard Branson, and Jeff Bezos are doing great things for all mankind when they launch themselves into space or into the depths of the ocean. But climbing Mt. Everest has become distasteful. I wish people would reconsider the trip until the bodies are removed from the mountain.

  6. Anon[267] • Disclaimer says:

    Yet … going up on a mountain comes up several times in the Bible: e.g., Moses receiving the Ten Commandments on Mt. Sinai

    I’ve been to Mt. Sinai. There’s a Greek Orthodox monastery there and it’s a tourist spot. The mountains there are not very high and are more like rocky hills that you can just walk up fairly quickly.

    • Agree: Jim Christian
  7. You need special traits for this kind of achievement and in the right balance. You have to be willing to take on great risks but not in a foolhardy manner. You need high intelligence and conscientiousness combined with openness to totally new experiences.

    You have to be willing to endure hardships in training for at least a year. And perhaps most importantly, you have to be driven by the sheer beauty and awe of the experience.

    Looking at the great explorers from the past a lot of them were really White guys.

    By the way, how many Asians (what used to be called Orientals) have made it to the top

  8. Rosie says:

    It’s hard to say whether the mountain settings were recorded because it was extraordinary to climb a mountain or whether it was assumed to be understood by readers that climbing a mountain was good for having a spiritual experience.

    Where there were no mountains, people built artificial ones, from what I understand, to build their temples closer to the sky.

    https://www.ancient-origins.net/ancient-places-asia/ziggurat-mesopotamia-0010625

  9. if the Negro climbers do not have sherpas, fatalities are guaranteed. Elite mountain climbing ain’t hoops

  10. Easy. Tell’em when they get to the top they can have the day off.

    Nobody works harder at not working. Blegs will spend three hours outside a deli trying to talk people into giving them a quarter just so they can get a free soda. They call it ‘hustling.’

    • Replies: @EdwardM
  11. I completely understand the idea of getting to the highest point around for the view.

    In Ireland one time, I just headed for this one peak, over many rock walls, but no rocky ground, just grass and peat, to the top at ~1,700 ft.. What was funny about it (in hindsight) was that the way the land was, I kept seeing rises that I thought were the top, but then walking up them and seeing another such rise. This went on something like 15 times! I just needed to get to the high point.

    It’s always tempting to get up to the top. However, Everest, McKinley, Rainier, even, are serious mountains that require lots of planning*, oxygen for the high ones, and often some, if not technical climbing, scary parts, as you mention. I don’t think even when I was young I wanted any part of that.

    Those mountains in the Bible are likely the ones I’d feel comfortable going up. Per wiki, the Bible Mt. Sinai could be a mountain on that peninsula near a town called St. Catherine, and the peak is nearly 8,000 ft. I don’t know. I bet most of those “mountains” people went up to get Commandments and such were kid stuff, say 2 or 3 thousand feet max.

    I climbed the Mettlehorn (near the Matterhorn, but that’s not it) from 5,000 to 10,000 ft for a day hike. Nothing was hairy about it though. Then there was Mt. Baldy, but we started at some parking lot near a ski lift, already pretty high up. We were a little bit winded due to altitude, but we saw some 70 y/o guy go jogging up right past us. You LA fitness freaks!

    .

    * For Mt. Rainier, one must leave the 10,000 ft. elevation lodge (Camp Muir) at 4 in the morning, to have time to get to the 14 1/2 thousand ft. summit and back down in daylight, even in July. I know someone who raised all this money to get to do the climb but got white-out conditions at 11 1/2 and the group had to give it up and come down. This was in July.

  12. Anonymous[423] • Disclaimer says:

    In fact, many people from the Sherpa community climb the mountain daily during peak season to carry heavy supplies for climbers, and outside of Nepal, ‘Sherpa’ has also become a name for mountain guides.

    So former menial laborers have acquired the means to acquire menial laborers for vanity projects.

    They had to beg strangers for the means, but that’s still progress… in a silly, unintentionally ironic black kind of way.

  13. JMcG says:

    I climbed pretty seriously for 15 years or so, only in North America. I consider it all to have been a great waste of time, money, and effort. Never saw a black, ever.

    • Replies: @Rosie
  14. J.Ross says:

    Mountaineering became the definitive sport for brave young men in the twilight height of the doomed European empires as a direct outgrowth of the spirit of the age. Several of the famous critics/participants in WWI were mountain climbers, like Robert Graves, and for that matter Aleister Crowley. If some woke idiot programmed an AI to select a cultural target based on the age in which it was popular you could hardly do better.

    • Replies: @Clyde
  15. @Loyalty Over IQ Worship

    A Japanese guy skied down Mt. Everest around 1970.

    • Replies: @JMcG
    , @Clyde
    , @Elmer T. Jones
  16. Blacks have the advantage that it’s always possible for them to be “the first black person to do X.” It must be cool to be hailed as a pioneer for doing what thousands of other people have already done.

    • Agree: Gordo
    • Replies: @Old Prude
    , @Colin Wright
  17. Rosie says:
    @JMcG

    I consider it all to have been a great waste of time, money, and effort.

    Why so if you don’t mind me asking? If you have to stay fit and active, why not enjoy some solitude and beautiful scenery while you’re at it?

    • Replies: @JMcG
    , @Jack D
    , @europeasant
  18. JimDandy says:

    Mountain climbing is for the melanin-deficient.

  19. Anon[149] • Disclaimer says:

    A black guy from southern Africa climbed Everest a few years ago, of course there was a great song and dance in the MSM. (I considered it more a case of “monkey see monkey do”). What really differentiates White and black people, I think, is the drive that Whites have to explore, to see what’s over the horizon, on the other side of the river, across the ocean and even what’s on the surface of the moon. whilst the Chinese have had a few explorers there has never been a black one, the race appears to be content to stay where they are until social pressures drive them to somewhere else.

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
  20. Mr. Anon says:

    Some men are just driven to do what no one has done before:

    • LOL: Achmed E. Newman, bruce county
  21. Anon[207] • Disclaimer says:
    @Achmed E. Newman

    With a ladder now installed on the famous Second Step, and regular teams going up and down aĺl the time, climbing Mt Everest has been a breeze for the last 40 years. Hundreds of inexperienced climbers do it every year. Everest is only a dangerous mountain to climb if you’re not taking the popular route, or if you’re old, which a lot of climbers are. Most of the people who die on Everest are boomers, who are notorious for dropping dead from any number of long term chronic risk factors even in first world countries like the US.

    • Replies: @Anonymous
  22. Mr. Anon says:
    @Nathan

    Climbing Mt. Everest in the modern era bothers me on a philosophical level. It’s not an act of exploration, or even an act that signifies some great level of personal accomplishment, it’s an act of extremely conspicuous and vulgar tourism. You have to hire a company to take you up, fight long lines of other tourists on the climb, and most abhorrently of all, you have to climb over the discarded corpses of your fellow man to get to the top.

    Perhaps that’s why so many MOTU types are keen on it. It is the perfect recapitulation of ascent to the top of the neo-liberal capitalist system.

    • LOL: Harry Baldwin
  23. Anonymous[129] • Disclaimer says:

    None of than that celebrated English mystic, poet, sage and all round latter day Renaissance man and Wildean style dapper, dashing, aesthetic gent, Aleister Crowley, was a prominent and leading ‘Alpinist’ of the late 19th early 20th century, achieving many a triumph and a tragically doomed attempt on Kanchenjunga – the notorious toughest peak of them all.

  24. JMcG says:
    @Steve Sailer

    Japanese and Koreans were very active on Mt. McKinley. They weren’t known for being timid either. One section of the standard West Buttress route on McKinley was referred to as the Orient Express because so many Asian climbers fell there. I’m sure it’s no longer called that, this was back in the eighties.

    • LOL: clyde
    • Replies: @clyde
  25. @Meretricious

    only eight black climbers of the 10,000 made it to the summit.

    This “summit” business. Racist, exclusionary, white supremacist. In the spirit of our age, the least we can do is to declare blacks to have successfully conquered any peak if they make it 30% of the way.

  26. Meanwhile, at ASU. Salt of the earth!

    • Replies: @Don Unf
    , @El Dato
  27. JMcG says:
    @Rosie

    It was dangerous, and it was very hard on people who loved me. There is a significant amount of objective hazard in mountaineering, even hobby-level mountaineering. You can do everything right and still be killed quite easily. It was beautiful though. And exciting. I did an awful lot of stupid stuff in my youth.

    • Replies: @YetAnotherAnon
  28. Clyde says:

    One of them climbers is a half Samoan ringer with some straight out of Compton street cred, that is sure to impress the Nepalese Sherpa guides when he stiffs them on tips.
    https://www.thenorthface.com/about-us/athletes/manoah-ainuu.html

    CLIMBER
    MANOAH AINUU
    BOZEMAN, MONTANA
    Climbing wasn’t the obvious path for 25-year-old Manoah Ainuu. Born in Compton, California to first-generation immigrants from Samoa and Ethiopia, Manoah’s childhood was surrounded by concrete and congested freeways. Now, his everyday views include vertical blue ice, pocketed limestone crags and the high peaks of six mountain ranges in a 1.8-million-acre forest.

    But before Big Sky, there was Big Bear, the ski area two hours from Los Angeles where Manoah’s dad would take him skiing once a year. “It was the first thing we did outside,” says Manoah. Manoah’s parents recognized the positive influence of the outdoors and the need for a better education, and moved a nine-year-old Manoah and his sister from Los Angeles to Spokane, Washington. (a former Aryan nation stronghold)

    • Replies: @ATate
    , @AceDeuce
    , @duncsbaby
  29. Anon[403] • Disclaimer says:

    Mount Olympus was climbed in antiquity, for religious reasons and for what can only be described as curiosity and tourism. There are archeological artifacts on the mountain and visits are documented in extant documents.

    Japanese mountains were also climbed in antiquity, by men only, for religious reasons.

  30. Clyde says:
    @J.Ross

    Poet Robert Graves lived to 93 and walked 8 miles a day, round trip, to get the mail on his Greek island. Walking is the best medicine— Hippocrates

    As Hippocrates stated, “walking is man’s best medicine”. Regular and longer walks not only increase your chances of living longer………

    • Replies: @Cortes
  31. TyRade says:

    Perhaps it’s all those ropes that deter black climbers; getting triggered at 29,000 feet might not be fun. But George Mallory, who many think actually made it to the top of Everest in 1924 after several tries (wearing carpet slippers and a dinner jacket; he thought the oxygen tanks his party eventually wore something of a cheat), was not exactly a ‘Because it’s there’ man. In a New York lecture in 1923 he explained his motives thus: “the classic defence of the expedition made by Sir Francis Younghusband is simply this: he says that by climbing Mount Everest you will stimulate the spirit of adventure throughout the English-speaking peoples of the world. Well, I can do no better than that. I hope what he says is true, and I must say I believe it is true.” He went on: “But if I were to sacrifice anything of real importance merely to break a record – well. I should not repeat the question to myself. In the whole scale of values, clearly, I think, records of this sort can’t weigh in the balance against the serious work of everyday life… No I suppose we go to Mount Everest …because we can’t help it…because we are mountaineers.” England, then, needed a lift after losing the ‘flower of its manhood’ in the WW1 abattoir. Mallory & Co intended to provide it, but never let these high altitude dreams go to their heads. Oh, some words, still, to live/die by: “To refuse the adventure is to run the risk of drying up like a pea in its shell.”

    • Replies: @Gordo
  32. Clyde says:
    @Steve Sailer

    A Japanese guy skied down Mt. Everest around 1970.

    I hope he had quick release bindings back then.

    • Replies: @J.Ross
    , @Alfa158
  33. Kerouac gives a great account of what might be called ad-hoc mountain climbing in “The Dharma Bums”. His account of coming back down is almost more exciting than the going up.

    The main character is a stand-in for the great naturalist and translator, and not-so-great poet, Gary Snyder.

  34. “A team of nine black climbers is attempting to scale Mount Everest to tackle the mountain’s ‘intentional lack of access for black people’ and mountaineering’s ‘colonial history’.”

    Hate to break it to you, bruthas, but dey ain’t no white wimminz on the top of Mount Everest.

    • LOL: Buffalo Joe
  35. Anonymous[115] • Disclaimer says:

    For some remarkable competitive climbing, search for “Janja Garnbret” on YouTube, she is quite astonishing.

  36. Anonymous[115] • Disclaimer says:
    @Achmed E. Newman

    What was funny about it (in hindsight) was that the way the land was, I kept seeing rises that I thought were the top, but then walking up them and seeing another such rise. This went on something like 15 times!

    Before you realised that you were walking in circles?

  37. Jack D says:
    @Rosie

    Historically, when one undertook a hazardous journey, there was some reward (other than self-fulfillment, which is fundamentally narcissistic) that was commensurate with the risk. You climbed the mountain (pass) in order to get to the territory on the other side, or you were taking sheep up there to graze or to harvest some mineral or crop.

    Later, men would climb mountains in order to say that they were the first one to climb this particular mountain – a little closer to being pointless but there is some value in being first. But now all mountains have been climbed, repeatedly. Climbing even Everest is just a package tour activity.

    In the end, by climbing a mountain, you have exerted a lot of time and effort and accomplished nothing. You could have been doing something useful – climbing up onto your roof and replacing the shingles or pointing your chimney, but instead you engaged in a pointless activity. If you fall in this place where you have no business, you will cause others to risk their lives to save you and you will cause grief to your family.

  38. Twinkie says:
    @Loyalty Over IQ Worship

    By the way, how many Asians (what used to be called Orientals) have made it to the top

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mount_Everest#Selected_climbing_records

    Or the more detailed list: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Timeline_of_Mount_Everest_expeditions

    Mt. Everest tourism is a thing in both Japan and South Korea.

  39. @Loyalty Over IQ Worship

    To answer the question, of the over 6,000 ascents of Mt. Everest through last year, over 1,600 were by Sherpas, and nearly 900 by Oriental Asians from China, Japan, Korea and so on.

    Tenzing Norgay, the Sherpa who climbed Mr. Everest with Edmund Hillary was an Oriental, and almost every climb up Everest requires Sherpas, usually all the way to the top. Several Sherpas have climbed it more than a dozen times.


    It is the rare climber who accomplishes the feat without native help, and rarer still, to have a person climb it solo, as the Northern Italian Reinhold Messner did. And he did it without oxygen. A bull of a man.

    https://haexpeditions.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/12/Summiteers-of-Mount-Everest-by-Nationality-HAE.pdf

  40. @Joe S.Walker

    Crowley as a climber gets a pretty good write-up from the late great Doug Scott in his book on Kanchenjunga, which Crowley attempted in 1905.

    The Japanese seem to have been climbing mountains for a long time – the first (apocryphal?) ascent of Fujiyama is recorded as AD 663 !

    In Europe the change from mountains as being terrible places best avoided to mountains as awe-inspiring and picturesque seems to have been over the 40 years from 1780-1820. At the time when the first Swiss were ascending Mont Blanc, Lord Torrington in England was still describing Ingleborough in Yorkshire, a mighty 2,300 feet, as “black and frightful” – but Romanticism was soon to make the area, and much more the Lake District, a place to tour and enjoy.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wanderer_above_the_Sea_of_Fog

    Robert Macfarlane discusses the painting in terms of its significant influence on how mountain climbing has been viewed in the Western world since the Romantic era, calling it the “archetypical image of the mountain-climbing visionary”, and describing its power in representing the concept that standing on mountain tops is something to be admired, an idea which barely existed in earlier centuries.

    Piltdown Man – isn’t Reinhold Messner ethnically Austrian? He came from the part of Italy ceded by Austria after WW1.

    • Replies: @PiltdownMan
  41. Jack D says:
    @Loyalty Over IQ Worship

    By the way, how many Asians (what used to be called Orientals) have made it to the top

    From day 1, for every white guy driven by the sheer beauty and awe of the experience, there was (at least one) Asian (Sherpa) who was driven by the fact that he needed the white guy’s money in order to provide for his family. For every Hillary there was a Norgay at his elbow.

  42. Jack D says:
    @Anon

    No one knows whether the Mt. Sinai where the monastery is is the same Mt. Sinai that Moses climbed (assuming that there even was a Moses and he actually climbed a mountain).

  43. @Achmed E. Newman

    There was set before me a mighty hill,
    And long days I climbed
    Through regions of snow.
    When I had before me the summit-view,
    It seemed that my labour
    Had been to see gardens
    Lying at impossible distances.

    — Stephen Crane

    • Thanks: Achmed E. Newman
  44. Typical black experience & sensibility:

    • Agree: Gordo
    • Replies: @Abe
  45. @Jack D

    “In the end, by climbing a mountain, you have exerted a lot of time and effort and accomplished nothing. You could have been doing something useful – climbing up onto your roof and replacing the shingles or pointing your chimney, but instead you engaged in a pointless activity. ”

    In Lady Windermere’s Fan, Oscar Wilde had Lord Darlington quip that a cynic was ‘a man who knows the price of everything and the value of nothing.‘

    From a quick wiki search

    The page “Jewish mountain climbers” does not exist. You can ask for it to be created, but consider checking the search results below to see whether the topic is already covered.

    One Israeli mountain climber, who’s climbed Everest and some other 8,000 metre summits .

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nadav_Ben_Yehuda

    Yet I wouldn’t say the Jewish people I know lack a spirit of adventure – au contraire. It just doesn’t extend into those areas. Maybe if there’s a cultural tendency to see life as a long term camp amidst potentially hostile tribes, adding extra danger for no tangible reward is perceived as self-indulgent.
    That at least fits with the Israeli guy, who’s got a homeland to go back to.

    (Jack – the flue for our woodburner actually was installed by a climber friend, happy enough on our roof hauling it up while I pushed from below. A lot of climbers can get work doing things like servicing wind turbines or outside maintenance on tall office buildings).

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    , @93skidoo
  46. SIMP simp says:

    Is the beauty of mountain landscapes a social construct?
    Europeans didn’t care about painting mountain peaks until the 19th century Before that it was rare to use mountains as something else than a distant background or an elevation point from where the view of lowlands was painted. Paintings of mountains were far more common in chinese art.

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
  47. @PiltdownMan

    You do realize there are valleys in South Tyrol where you´d still be lynched for
    the “Northern Italian” 😀

    • Agree: YetAnotherAnon
    • LOL: PiltdownMan
  48. Are mountains a social construct? Kick one and see.

  49. @Jack D

    Historically those who live around mountains all the time have shown
    a very marked disinclination to climbing them (no calories to waste);
    it was the Brits who popularized it across the continent (“Sport”? Ennui? Whatever.)
    – The jokes about “no Jews on mountains” are legion but in fact the exact
    opposite was true in the “heroic times” 😀
    Blacks? Gimme a break …

  50. Dan Smith says:

    Mt Kilamanjaro first climbed by Europeans in 1912.

    • Replies: @James Braxton
  51. @SIMP simp

    I looked for “first painting of the Matterhorn” but didn’t find much. Maybe Bierstadt c. 1850.

  52. EdwardM says:
    @Ghost of Bull Moose

    Nobody works harder at not working. Blegs will spend three hours outside a deli trying to talk people into giving them a quarter just so they can get a free soda. They call it ‘hustling.’

    According to a GoFundMe created for the expedition – which has surpassed its \$150,000 goal…

    Mm-hmm.

    • Replies: @HammerJack
  53. @YetAnotherAnon

    I posted a video awhile ago about a lady rock climber who makes a good living repairing huge windmills while dangling from ropes.

    • Thanks: YetAnotherAnon
    • Replies: @Anonymous
  54. @Yancey Ward

    how many dead blacks are on the Everest

    This flip side, as you put it, Vancey Ward, – goes to show what? – Prudence? Laziness? Wisdom?

    • Replies: @Mike Tre
  55. @PiltdownMan

    Reinhold Messner – a bull of a man

    A pretty woke green party activist and admirer of Angela Merkel, if you don’t mind.

    • Replies: @Achmed E. Newman
  56. @PiltdownMan

    The Nepalese people appear to be a mix of Caucasian Indian types mixed with Orientals, if the pictures I see are accurate. I assume this is where most of the Sherpas come from. The average elevation of Nepal is 10,000 feet. So they would likely have an evolved ability to function at higher altitudes.

    As for Reinhold Messner. Good grief, look at the bastard here in his mid 70s. Those are some rugged genes and I have a feeling this is what a lot of great explorers have looked like.

  57. @Anon

    Matthew Henson, an African-American, spent 18 years on polar exploration expeditions with Matthew Perry.

  58. @R.G. Camara

    In other words, its only fun to explore that side of yourself if the safety and security of civilization are easy to retreat to.

    Well – this and then there is the unhinged approach – ya know: The longing, the burning, the ones that fly into passion

    Nobody knows where Hanshan came from. There are still old people who knew him: they say he was a poor man, a crazy fellow. He lived alone in a place called Hanyan, Cold Rock, seventy li west of the Tangxing District of Tiantai. He often went down to the Guoqing Temple, where Shide lived, who was in charge of the dining room. Sometimes he kept food scraps for Hanshan and hid them in a bamboo cane. Hanshan then came and took her with him. He walked slowly down the long corridor, shouting, noisy and teasing people, or he talked to himself into space and laughed. Once the monks followed him and caught him to give him a rub. He stopped, clapped his hands, laughed loudly for a while – Ha, Ha! – and then left.

    Not accidenally at all, that the beats adored the Chinese poet Han Shan (7th or 8th century) – The man From The cold Mountain, as he portrayed himself in verse – and did climb mountains too – as The Dharma Bums (Jack Kerouac’s great and fun novel about the a tad Nietzschean even and definitely useless but: therefor peaceful – – -and – : wise even – heroism of the Californian Beat Mountain Climber…).

  59. @Anonymous

    Ha! Well, I kept going up, so that’d have to be like this Escher artwork.

    Picture a staircase with steps that are 100 ft treads and 20 ft risers, but rounded off. It was really frustrating. Each time, I’d think “ahh, here’s the top”, but nope.

    There was one of those ammo boxes at the top with a notebook to write in or read and probably a pile of rocks (can’t remember the latter).

    • Replies: @SaneClownPosse
    , @JMcG
  60. Is swimming a social construct? Is that why the African Rockfish is so lousy at it?

  61. @YetAnotherAnon

    Piltdown Man – isn’t Reinhold Messner ethnically Austrian?

    Yes, he’s ethnically Austrian, a South Tyrolean, as nokangaroos pointed out.

    True story:

    Back in the late 1970s, an old college friend, who has been a lifelong mountaineer and guide, was making his way to a base camp at the foot of a mountain in the Himalayas with a Sherpa.

    They set up camp for the night, and the Sherpa was cooking them a meal when another party of two that came upon them asked if they could join. Soon, yet another climber, making his was down the mountain, set down nearby for the night and they asked him over, too.

    One of the two in the first group to join my friend regaled them all with his climbing stories, including his experience of climbing with the great Reinhold Messner—by then already a legend. They all listened, enraptured.

    When the story ended, the guy who joined them last grimaced, and then growled

    “I’m Reinhold Messner.”

    • LOL: YetAnotherAnon
    • Replies: @AndrewR
  62. Danindc says:
    @Steve Sailer

    The guy from Friends? You’re thinking of Robert Peary.

    Man, it feels good to correct you! I’m sure mine will be one of many.

  63. @Dieter Kief

    Yeah, Dieter, but a hell of an album by the Ben Folds Five out of Chapel Hill, N. Carolina:

    The 3-man band said they had never heard of that mountain climber when they titled an album The Unauthorized Biography of Reinhold Messner. They had been using the name Reinhold Messner as young men on their fake ID’s to drink beer. (Thanks, Feral Gov’t!)

    This one, Army, is the most famous song from the album. Ben Folds was a real “piano man” showman in the vein of Elton John or Billy Joel, but less well known now as maybe Reinhold Messner.

    • Replies: @Danindc
    , @Dieter Kief
  64. ‘intentional lack of access for black people’

    I had no idea that it was illegal for black people to climb mount Everest. But the area around Everest isn’t controlled by white people so is that still their fault?

    • Replies: @AnotherDad
    , @Jack D
  65. And now, of course, for the greatest mountain-climbing song of all time……

    Note that the bizarre instrumental, pianistic, and vocal passages are far more expressive about the rather “heightened” experience of mountain-climbing than the actual lyrics, which simply twig you to what’s up…..

  66. @Loyalty Over IQ Worship

    There’ll be a lot more Oriental people to bag that peak in the coming decades. China may or may not appropriate Nepal, but either way, they will build a superhighway up to 29,000 ft where there will be a huge parking lot (with lots of colored lights) from which the Chinese tourists can hike up the other 31 ft. and take selfies, lots and lots of selfies …

  67. usNthem says:

    I suspect this is mostly just another typical black “looks at muh” ploy. Even if/when they don’t reach the summit, they’ll still be hailed as conquering heroes. Should they actually complete the effort, it’ll be slobbering jogger worship times ten.

  68. Arclight says:

    In a way, the labeling of mountaineering as “colonial” is somewhat salient although not in the way this group of publicity seekers means it. The same cultures that have done a lot of conquering/colonizing through history also seem to have a lot of people who are into adventure for the sake of adventure, so it’s clearly in the blood or ethos. In contrast, our poor excluded Sub-Saharans and their descendants have been quite content through the ages to remain right where they started and confined their colonizing and killing to competing tribes in the same area. Even in the US military (which requires some sense of adventure to enlist), there is a noticeable lack of blacks who apply for extreme services like the special forces, but a whole lot that seem to like being quartermasters.

  69. Okay I’ll bite.

    There are two kinds of mountain climbing, 1) technical, which is really what Steve is talking about, and 2) recreational, which is what I have enjoyed most of my life.

    [MORE]

    You guys can discuss all you want about whether technical climbing is “worth it,” and if people now only do it because it is a social construct. My take on that is that it became a sport as European Man advanced beyond others to the point that he had enough extra to go try some new things.

    That combined with what you all should agree is a characteristic of humans: setting a goal and advancing toward it. There is great satisfaction in that, and that includes my kind of recreational climbing.

    To provide a good example, one Easter weekend I did a three-day hike from my house to the top of a “fourteener” and back. I took my backpack and my dog, and I had a great time. Never saw another human the whole time. (Maybe that’s why I liked it so much.)

    It was Mt. Evans, altitude 14,271 feet. You see it in the background of every telephoto picture of Denver:

    From our house in the dark, forested area you see in the middle-height mountains there, we hiked a day to timberline on the far left of this photo. After a night, we hiked the entire horizon/ridge, left to right in the picture, up and down to the top of Mt. Evans, the highest point you see there.

    There is a road to the top that is only open in summer. This was April, and there was about as much snow as in this picture. It was fun and eerie getting up there and intersecting the empty road, and then being on top with the deserted parking lot and the empty astronomical observatory that the University of Denver used to operate.

    We got caught there in a lightening storm. No place to go but back across that entire ridge in the picture from right to left, praying that we would not get struck. Clouds were forming at my feet as the air blew from west to east and crossed over the ridge. The storm subsided.

    We ran out of daylight at 13,000 feet, on the side of that far-left hump, actually a mountain called Rosalie Peak. So, my dog and I bivouacked there. It turned into a nice night with stars above and the lights of Denver far off to the east. Our water and my boots were frozen in the morning. We made our way home the next day.

    It was fantastic, and it served no purpose and I even put at risk my life and my dog’s. I made many other such climbs, and I am saddened that I am now feeling my age… so not much climbing in my future.

  70. According to a GoFundMe created for the expedition – which has surpassed its \$150,000 goal – only eight black climbers of the 10,000 made it to the summit.

    More than blacks in science Nobels, which is 0.00000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000…%

  71. SafeNow says:

    The narrative that gets filtered through to the American people will disregard all of the above facts. Instead, the accepted image will be that summiting Everest is a Messner-type grueling, courageous accomplishment. Great stress will be placed on the fact that on summit day one must wake-up at 2 in the morning. A year ago polls showed that the average American believed 30-million Americans had died from Covid; it is especially easy for the MSM to sell a narrative that exaggerates harshness, suffering and deprivation.

  72. @Steve Sailer

    Can’t remember if it was a grainy 70s porn film or a Woody Allen classic where a guy at a party was impressing a chick with “There I was, shushing down K2…”

  73. @EdwardM

    Industrious! Just no future time orientation thingie.

    • LOL: The Ringmaster, Kylie
    • Replies: @Barnard
    , @Pat Kittle
  74. Anonymous[141] • Disclaimer says:
    @Steve Sailer

    Rope work is a well-certified industrial specialty. I have hired contractors to do lots of work in petrochemicals and required such certs in the contract (and vendors very proactive at describing their certs). It’s not something strange that some lady rock climber thought up.

  75. “the mountain’s ‘intentional lack of access for black people’”

    Citation needed.

    • LOL: europeasant
    • Replies: @clyde
    , @WowJustWow
  76. Bill says:

    Overall, people seemed to consider mountain climbing about as fun as mining for coal.

    I wonder if you could make money with an adventure-tourism underground coal mine.

    • Replies: @JMcG
    , @Brutusale
    , @Pontius
  77. Danindc says:
    @Achmed E. Newman

    Your Redneck Past is another great, and revealing, song from that album.

  78. Cortes says:
    @Clyde

    Didn’t Graves live in Mallorca, Spain?

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Deià

    • Replies: @flyingtiger
    , @clyde
  79. @JMcG

    “There is a significant amount of objective hazard in mountaineering, even hobby-level mountaineering. You can do everything right and still be killed quite easily.”

    Absolutely. Yet it seems to be addictive, you read of people weeping for lost comrades but then planning the next climb. If many climbers give it up when they become fathers, for example, or even mothers (see Alison Hargreaves), you don’t read about it.

    Same with things like motorcycle racing. I’ve seen a whole bunch of friends sitting round a wrecked bike, all crying, and right next door a family with young kids are working on a bike for the next race. I remember thinking of the mother – “How can she bear this? She knows it could be her man tomorrow”.

    At 16 Chris Bonington and a school friend hitched to Snowdon in winter and tried to climb it in deep snow and wholly unsuitable footwear. First trip to any mountain. They slipped and slid several hundred feet, very lucky not to die.

    The school friend went straight home – Bonington stayed on and found someone else to go up with. Bitten by the bug.

    Maria Coffey, widow of Joe Tasker, has written a lot about the people left behind.

    https://explorersweb.com/how-death-in-the-mountains-affects-those-left-behind-interview-with-maria-coffey/

    It’s devastating. I think particularly when the person has died so far away and if the person has disappeared without a trace, it compounds the loss. If the bodies have been left on the mountain, there is no possibility of seeing the body to say goodbye. It can be hard to believe they have gone.

    Of course, it is different for everybody. When I interviewed partners who had lost someone, many had found it very difficult to let themselves be angry. For me, that came a lot, lot later. You felt angry because the person had gone away but you don’t want to let that feeling in. But I think for me, there was the sense that there was another great love in my partner’s life. Partners at least have a choice, they have chosen to be with someone who is going to take these risks.

    Likewise, for the children, there is no one pattern. There have been instances when a child has told me that the role of a parent was to protect them and that they couldn’t understand why their father or mother had put themselves before their child. Age can factor into the impact, but even very young children can feel the absence of the parent throughout their life. I had a very emotional interview with the daughter of Mick Burke who was lost on Everest in 1975. She spoke about problems in her relationships with men, a fear of being left. She described it as a shadow in her life.

    We shouldn’t forget the parents either, the suffering for the parents is terrible too.

    • Replies: @JMcG
    , @AnotherDad
  80. FozzieT says:

    Seems like the type of person who would climb Everest would also fit Steve’s profile for a trans-woman, but after exhaustive research (okay, I Googled “trans Mount Everest”), it looks like only one, James “Jan” Morris, came out as a tranny afterwards.

  81. Gordo says:
    @TyRade

    Well worth a read:

    • Agree: JMcG
    • Replies: @J.Ross
    , @Veteran Aryan
    , @Mr Mox
  82. clyde says:
    @JMcG

    Japanese and Koreans were very active on Mt. McKinley. They weren’t known for being timid either. One section of the standard West Buttress route on McKinley was referred to as the Orient Express because so many Asian climbers fell there. I’m sure it’s no longer called that, this was back in the eighties.

    Since they had to fly out of Seattle to get back home. I hope they made a diversion to Las Vegas to depressurize and/or to get any frostbite treated. My opinion, they were very active on McKinley as part of a general trip/vacation to the USA. And to compete against white American climbers. Thus showing that orientals are not 98lb weaklings. Hopefully, since many seemed to have taken a good plunge. And not at the Las Vegas poker tables.

  83. Don Unf says:
    @HammerJack

    “Part of the reason that we are here today is because these students tried to do something that all people do,” Shabazz said. “They tried to organize a space to give voice to their lived experience their values, their practices, their racial and gender lives.”

    The most frustrating part of this is how dumb they sound. I was reading articles on these black activists/politicians arguing over reportedly racist recent redistricting results, and they all sound so dumb. They can barely string to together coherent sentences; and what sentences they can form, are a patchy quilt of mindless cliches.

  84. Gordo says:

    The Full Circle Everest Expedition, which climbing leader Fred Campbell described as ‘the first all black and brown expedition

    The brown one better be Sherpas else its gonna be a bad trip.

  85. clyde says:
    @Gunnar von Cowtown

    “the mountain’s ‘intentional lack of access for black people’”
    Citation needed.

    The usual victimization, cry baby bs, when these mountaineering blacks must be of the educated 10% black elite. Conniving their way into free rides at college and so on ever after. Their public face for dimbulb libby whites is an eternal con-game. Most of the time for financial gain, as in gettin’ paid. Or paid off one way or another. Or paid off just to go away.

  86. Thirdtwin says:

    Any black women on the team? If so, any special gear for their hair?

  87. @Gunnar von Cowtown

    I’m not sure about the lack of access for black people, but I think we can all agree that the mountain’s lack of handicapped access is egregious in this day and age.

    • Replies: @Achmed E. Newman
  88. Thirdtwin says:

    Just looking at the bios of the “climbers”, it’s going to be a disaster. This ain’t no “Cool Runnings”.

  89. @Dan Smith

    The first documented winter ascent of Fuji was by American adventurer Richard Halliburton in the 1920’s. The Japanese thought it was a ridiculous thing to attempt.

  90. A while ago black twitter added to its classic “we taught whypipo how to wash dey asses” with “why whypipo clime mountains? what dey think be up there? lol”

    So yes, of course climbing mountains is white – or, at least, non-black.

    • Replies: @Sick 'n Tired
  91. @James Braxton

    I read that Richard Halliburton book.

    • Replies: @Clark Kent
    , @James Braxton
  92. @Meretricious

    The Daily Mail article says,

    The team, which is full of highly-qualified climbers, has already gained sponsorships from …
    The team is made up of highly-qualified people, including Demond ‘Dom’ Mullins, a combat veteran of the Iraq War, a US Senate staffer on veterans health and veteran climber after summiting Mount Kilimanjaro (19,341 ft) and Mount Kenya (17,057 ft)

    Fred Campbell, who is serving as the team’s climbing leader, has also climbed Mount Kilimanjaro, plus in the Alaska Range, Sierra Madres in Mexico, the Bugaboos in Canada and the Cascades in Washington over the course of the past decade.
    On Instagram, he showed off how he trains by running up stairs and ascending local hills in his home of Seattle, Washington.

    I don’t know about those North American mountains (or “running up stairs”—shades of The Old Negro Space Program?), but “climbing” (more like walking uphill a lot) Mt. Kenya and Mt. Kilimanjaro is not that difficult. The hardest part is getting there. They’re essentially just obtuse cones, so you walk uphill until you reach the top, then turn around. Mt. Kenya has some craggy technical stuff near the top, but it can be avoided. I don’t know squat about mountain climbing and I’ve done it. If this is the “highly-qualified” resume, it doesn’t inspire much confidence. As you surmise, though, Sherpas will undoubtedly do all the difficult work. These guys are basically tourists—tourists who are getting someone else to pay for their holiday by chanting the ritual incantation words about “colonialism” and “racism”.

    Amusingly, Rosemary Saal, who appears to be the youngest and whitest member of the team, looks like the latest iteration of Rachel Dolezal and hogs the foreground in the Daily Mail‘s selected ascent photo:

  93. The one thing I gather from this article is that the most isolated, hard to get to place on earth will soon be inhabited by negroes. Thus, there is NO place you can be free of them. sigh.

  94. @FozzieT

    Morris, the Times of London correspondent on Hillary’s Everest expedition, broke the news to the world the day before Queen Elizabeth II’s coronation, leading to much hopeful comment about a New Elizabethan Age.

  95. @Steve Sailer

    He wrote an outstanding book called “The Book of Marvels”, about the most wondrous places on earth. Was that it?

  96. Mike Tre says:
    @Dieter Kief

    It likely shows that a lot less blacks die doing it then whites.

    So the opposite of desperate impact.

  97. @Danindc

    Agreed, and Brick, which got the most airplay of all his songs, was a great one. If you don’t know, it was about driving his girlfriend to the abortion clinic and the sadness that resulted. I have no idea if that was taken from any of his real experience or not.

    • Replies: @Danindc
  98. Still, the first vegan has ascended Everest successfully, though these 2016 pioneers weren’t so successful. Dr Strydom was a pretty, intelligent woman of 34. What a waste.

    https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/asia/woman-who-died-climbing-everest-wanted-to-prove-vegans-are-not-weak-a7043431.html

    An Australian woman who died after reaching the summit of Mount Everest had wanted to prove that “vegans can do anything”.

    Dr Maria Strydom, 34, from Melbourne, Australia, died of apparent altitude sickness while descending the summit of Mount Everest on Saturday.

    Her husband, Robert Gropel, who was part of the climbing team, suffered a high altitude pulmonary oedema while descending the mountain but survived the journey.

    Both Dr Strydom and her husband were experienced climbers and had made the decision to climb the seven summits – the highest peaks of the seven continents – in a bid to prove that “vegans can do anything”.

    In an interview conducted by Monash University’s Business School where Dr Strydom was a finance lecturer, she said the couple had been inspired to climb the seven summits after following repeated questions about whether they had iron or protein deficiencies.

    “It seems that people have this warped idea of being malnourished and weak,” she said. “By climbing the seven summits we want to prove that vegans can do anything and more.”

    The story is incorrect btw. She didn’t reach the summit – her husband did but became ill on the descent.

    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/may/30/mount-everest-death-maria-strydom-fell-ill-15-minutes-summit

    • Thanks: Old Prude
  99. @Rosie

    I climb for the exercise and view. Although what I did I would not call climbing except for Long’s Peak at Rocky Mountain national park. Most of what I did would be referred to as mountain hiking. For example I hiked up Mt Whitney in the Sierra Nevada range California. I started at midnight and reached the summit at about 10:00 AM. Itz a hike but very strenuous due to lower oxygen levels and length of hike.

    I’m an old man in my 70’s but try to stay in shape in case the CHICOMS attack from the west or the Russkies and Cubans invade from the east(per the movie Red Dawn). IE, that,s my attempt at humour these days.

    The mountains in Colorado are rated 1 to 5. You can get all the information at;

    https://www.14ers.com/

  100. @WowJustWow

    Yeah, not as funny as it sounds – to government officials anyway. Out in California, this one 2-mile trail through desert – rock and cactus – to a big rock one could climb had half of the 10 spaces at the trailhead allotted for handicapped people. Man, if you can’t even walk 20 ft to the trailhead …!

  101. J.Ross says:
    @Clyde

    Dated references from a better time.
    Datsun!

    • Replies: @clyde
  102. The previous ten black climbers will cheer this group on.

  103. J.Ross says:
    @Gordo

    >wade davis
    where have I
    >the serpent & the rainbow
    [pupils dilating]
    ENHANCE!!

    • Replies: @Gordo
  104. possumman says:

    No thanks-I like all of my fingers and toes.

  105. Thea says:

    Why is copying what others have done thousands of times and is now available as a pre-packaged tour noteworthy?

    Serious climber scoff at the commercialized open toilet that Everest has become.

    Why not try something fresh and original instead of being the first of whatever group to do what others already succeeded at long ago?

    • Agree: Buffalo Joe
  106. psmith says:
    @Almost Missouri

    “running up stairs”—shades of The Old Negro Space Program?

    Since you asked, no. Stairs are great.

    Don’t have any hills? Be creative—find a big stadium and use the stairs. Make friends with the building superintendent in a skyscraper. Andy Hampsten,two-time winner of cycling’s Tour of Switzerland, and multiple-time winner of King of the Mountain in both the Giro d’Italia and Tour de France, both of which demand incredible muscular endurance on the mountain passes, grew up and trained for years in pancake-flat North Dakota. He once told Scott that he trained for hills while in North Dakota by doing laps on the interstate overpass ramps.

    (Training for the New Alpinism)

    Using a weighted pack for the above method:
    This can be particularly effective for ski mountaineers who will normally be carrying a heavy pack and moving more slowly upward. It can also be used by those who do not have access to steep hills. Don’t discount the usefulness of the fire stairs in tall buildings for this type of workout.

    (Training for the Uphill Athlete)

    https://sofrep.com/news/surviving-delta-force-selection-assessment-pt-1/
    http://www.edhartouni.net/running-stairs.html
    https://uphillathlete.com/the-martian-trains-for-everest/
    https://books.google.com/books?id=N7N-0rq_f8YC&pg=PA24&lpg=PA24&dq=mark+twight+stairs&source=bl&ots=O62U77ebRI&sig=ACfU3U2U1LLcrxMOO6kMo7Kbl-61xIgfpw&hl=en&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwiIi5yQsZj1AhWHkokEHY2ABdIQ6AF6BAgpEAM#v=onepage&q=mark%20twight%20stairs&f=false

    • Thanks: europeasant
    • Replies: @Dieter Kief
  107. Abe says:
    @Bardon Kaldian

    Typical black experience & sensibility:

    Right. I don’t have time today to work out a whole theory on the sublimity of mountain climbing, why it is in some sense NECESSARY, and the boundary lines at which, yes, it can become self-indulgent, a consumerist commodity, and therefore absurd. That some Midwest dentist shot Cecil the Lion does not negate the awesomeness of Hercules’s first labor, nor exactly tell us where Francis Macomber’s final weekend falls on that spectrum.

    About 5 years ago some kid trained to wrestle and punch-out octopi in Puget Sound. He got a lot of shade for that. A mere 3 years ago the documentary FREE SOLO came out, about rock climber Alex Honnold getting to the top of El Capitan with no equipment save his hands and a fanny pack full of chalk (i.e. no ropes, no safety net, nothing preventing his becoming a red splat at the bottom of Yosemite were he to make even a single, tiny mistake).

    FREE SOLO won the Academy Award. President Obama, still in cool black friend mode, professed himself a fan of Honnold. It is too depressing to bother, but I’m sure I could instantly find a couple hundred clickbait articles on why Honnold’s feat is suddenly “problematic”. After all, almost 10 years ago (and therefore pre-Trump) TV movie critic-hobbit David Edelstein was sputtering all over my Sunday morning tranquility about why the latest JACKASS movie was an insufferable exercise in white male privilege.

    Mountain climbers or any stale pale male daredevils, but especially awesome ones like Honnold who do unbelievable things effortlessly, without money, without before-the-fact institutional media cheerleading, are hated precisely for their awesomeness, their carefree joy, and how inadequate this makes so many other people feel. For 2 minutes every day let us remember to hate Finnmanuel Huckstein….

  108. @Nathan

    Corpses that have been left in place supposedly because they can’t be recovered, but in actuality are there because nobody that attempts the climb respects the dignity of the dead more than they care to reach the top of the mountain.

    You can’t haul a corpse when it is the limit of your capacity to carry enough oxygen tanks to keep you from dying. Respect to the dead is impractical.

  109. I fear for them They could run into White guys at the top with MAGA hats who will beat them up, put nooses around their necks and tell them the top of Everest is MAGA country!

    • LOL: europeasant
    • Replies: @Pontius
  110. jill says:

    While watching the Alpinist on Netflix, my first thought was this guy is not of this earth. Truly stunning documentary

  111. @Buzz Mohawk

    Thanks for sharing! Some of the elements in your post (like a deserted monutainroad, (existential) loneliness, being at risk to lose your life in high altitude snow) show up in a great short story by T. C. Boyle called The Fast Extiction of All Animals in his short story collection Tooth and Claw. – Its one of the best short stories I know of. There is another great one in thsi collection about an American women losing her life birdwatching on a superwindy island – and a few decent ones too.

    • Thanks: Buzz Mohawk
  112. Thea says:
    @Almost Missouri

    As you surmise, though, Sherpas will undoubtedly do all the difficult work. These guys are basically tourists

    There have been a lot of articles about how anyone can summit Everest with enough money. It is always the Sherpas short roping a client up. Sometimes the results are tragic and for what?

    Tourists is exactly right.
    It is as much of an accomplishment as visiting the Trevi fountain.

  113. @Buzz Mohawk

    I took the easy route and drove up to summit lake and hiked the rest of the way up. So far I’ve done all the front range fourteeners. In total I have hiked up 13 14ers. I get all my information from

    https://www.14ers.com/

    Itz fun and exercise at the same time. Long’s peak was the most difficult that I’ve done so far. One of these years I’ll move to Colorado although I’m in my early 70’s and time is running out.

    • Replies: @Buzz Mohawk
  114. @Arclight

    Bantus are invaders and colonizers for 90% of the African continent they inhabit. If “conquering/colonizing” is your metric, then the Bantu are some of the most archetypal example cultures.

  115. If these black guys heroically succeed, will future black female politicos anachronistically claim to be named after one?

  116. @Jack D

    Jack, I spent five days in Breckenridge, Co. in October of this year. Amazing countryside and the thought that trappers and gold miners climbed up and over or around those mountians before there were maps and roads is mind boggling. Easy to see passes now when most of the trees are gone.

  117. @Cortes

    His next door neighbor was Eric Burton, the lead singer for the Animals Rock band. On the day that Graves died, Eric saw his spirit fly away. Eric used a lot of LDS at that time.

  118. @Almost Missouri

    Like this guy.

    • Replies: @Almost Missouri
  119. Doesn’t one choose either to to climb mountains or not? So if blacks choose not to, how is that racist? Or is it the mountain that by its very existence being called racist? Being a cynical follow the money enthusiast, I wouldn’t want to be the Nepalese guides who will be sued for any failure on the part of racist screeching diverse mountain climbers. Given the lack of white involvement, I do have to wonder if this has been thought out. Then again do many even die these days on the climb up thanks to the brave Nepalese guides?

  120. @Achmed E. Newman

    Peak What Achmed? – To go on à la Groucho Marx: Which Peak peaks highest – the Witch Peak! – Which is not only good for witches, but also for other Stupid Peaksters of sorts – – : – – Have you had a look at Ron Unz’ Aggregated Newslinks lately? – Just in case you wonderv why the masses are loggin in to your blog lately, there might lie the reason. You have to stay cool now, and don’t loose contact with the ground – remember Antaios!

    • Replies: @Achmed E. Newman
  121. @James Braxton

    The first documented winter ascent of Fuji was by American adventurer Richard Halliburton in the 1920’s. The Japanese thought it was a ridiculous thing to attempt.

    I knew someone who was an avid alpinist. While working in Tokyo in his 30s, he resolved to climb Mount Fuji in winter. Evidently, that is discouraged due to winter winds – he was blown off of the mountain to his death.

  122. I would say that few people climbed mountains back in the day because that’s where the gods lived. And you don’t want the gods to be angry…

  123. @FozzieT

    James Morris is an exception to Sailer’s Law of late-transitioning he-men, or is he? He was 38 and a father of five when he started his conversion, though it was eight years later when he went for the surgeon’s knife.

  124. @Jack D

    Historically, when one undertook a hazardous journey, there was some reward (other than self-fulfillment, which is fundamentally narcissistic) that was commensurate with the risk. You climbed the mountain (pass) in order to get to the territory on the other side, or you were taking sheep up there to graze or to harvest some mineral or crop.

    The tops of mountains have historically been associated with spiritual enlightenment and revelation in multiple cultures. Moses on Sinai, etc. So climbing mountains has never been strictly a matter of acquiring material resources, and in fact was a path to acquiring non-material good.

  125. @Arclight

    The same cultures that have done a lot of conquering/colonizing through history also seem to have a lot of people who are into adventure for the sake of adventure, so it’s clearly in the blood or ethos.

    In John Keegan’s classic Face of Battle, he notes that

    of the first seventy climbers who attempted the Eigerwand between 1935 and 1958, seventeen were killed on it, either by falling or from exposure. These figures provide material for an arresting comparison. Two of these, Hinterstoisser, after whom one of the most difficult traverses on the face is called, and Kurz, whose heroism in death has become one of the legends of Alpine climbing, were, as it happens, both taking leave from the German army to tackle the climb. Their regiment, the 100th Gebirgsjäger, was that subsequently chosen, during the airborne invasion of Crete in May 1941, to crashland on to the runway at Maleme airport under the guns of the defending New Zealanders – perhaps the single most reckless operation of the war, though the one which turned the battle from a disaster to a victory for the Germans – and in doing so suffered about 150 casualties out of a strength of 800 – an 18 per cent ratio, contrasted with 24 per cent for the first thirteen Eiger attempts. Thus an operation of war of the most ‘extreme’ kind was actually proved slightlyless dangerous to the unit involved than the chosen diversion of its bravest spirits.

    So warriors go mountain climbing when plain old war isn’t enough.

    ——

    Keegan also has a few paragraphs describing the transition from Romantic-era mountaineering to modern mountaineering:

    [MORE]

    At the beginning of this [20th] century, when climbers began to travel widely in search of new climbs, an attempt was made to collate the difficulties each offered so that a stranger would know whether or not it was within his capabilities. And though the British, the French, the Swiss and the Italians each produced a different system of classification for their own mountains, the systems roughly agreed in recognizing six grades of severity from ‘easy’ to ‘extremely difficult’. Warning that a face was at the upper end of the scale was usually enough to deter beginners from tackling it while most climbers were content to confine themselves to those in the middle band.

    The systems thus achieved their purpose. But just before the outbreak of the Second World War, a new spirit took hold of top-class European climbers which made the classification of the most spectacular climbs thenceforth attempted and achieved more and more difficult. The spirit was that of ‘extreme’ climbing – climbing to ‘the limits of what is physically and psychologically possible’ – by ‘artificial’ methods: the use of metal pegs, hammered into the rock, on faces where no ‘natural’ hand- or foot-holds can be found. These methods stimulated a violent hostility among the traditional Alpinists who had developed a Romanticist philosophy of mountaineering which laid stress on its spiritual value to man through the harmony it engendered between him and nature, leading them to describe the extremists’ feats as ‘perversions’, ‘degradations’ and ‘evil demonstrations’. And the outcome of the best-publicized of the early essays in extreme technique, the 1935 and 1936 attempts on the ‘unclimbable’ North Face of the Eiger which killed all six of those who set foot on it, lent force to their disapproval by suggesting that there were indeed affronts which the spirit of the mountains was not prepared to tolerate.

    In 1938, however, the North Face was conquered by extreme technique and since the war has been climbed again and again. By the nineteen-sixties the mere ascent was commonplace. Additional hazards were sought to add spice and sensation to that climb and to others: climbing in the depth of winter, or climbing ‘direct’ (‘superdirettisima’) up the line which ‘a drop of water would follow if it fell directly from the summit’, finally climbing both ‘direct’ and in winter, at first on lesser peaks like the Cima Grande in the Dolomites, ultimately on the Eiger itself. But by the time this stage had been reached the classical grading systems had lost most of their meaning. Much of the climbing was of standard five or six; but the technical difficulties paled beside the objective dangers – the volleys of stones travelling at killing speeds down the face, the showers of ice-splinters, the avalanches, the lightning strikes, to which the ‘extreme’ climber, hung about with the ironware of his fad, actually acted as a point of attraction – while the ‘objective dangers’ were themselves overshadowed by what we may call – though it is not a term mountaineers use – the ‘subjective dangers’. For several days on the big faces, and several days was what superdirettisima demanded, drove men to the end of their physical resources, and with their strength went their will and their courage, upon which everything else in extreme climbing depends. Climbing, always a test of nerve and of physical skill, had been transformed by the mania of the extremists, who were now using electric drills, expanding bolts and what looks to the ignorant suspiciously like pieces of scaffolding in their search for more and more ‘direct’ lines, into a battle of attrition in which will-power and endurance were paramount. …

    What had begun as a one-day event, a scramble up the easiest route to the top of any mountain which took the fancy of a group of friends, either because of its prominence or its promise of a prospect, a day to be enjoyed for the pleasure it brought in exercising one’s agility, testing one’s nerve, practising team spirit and enjoying God’s great outdoors, has become in our own time a sort of military operation, in which sport imitates war, and war of the dreariest, deadliest, most long drawn-out sort. Indeed the hard men of the ‘Winter Eiger Direct’, crouched shivering day after day in their tiny, filthy, smelly snow holes, hacked with infinite labour out of the face, depressed by the death of comrades, short of food, and expecting from moment to moment to be swept out of existence by the explosion of an avalanche, recall none so vividly as the soldiers of Paulus’s Sixth Army, freezing to death in identical snow-holes among the ruins of Stalingrad.

  126. Gordo says:
    @J.Ross

    Not the same dude I think.

  127. @Almost Missouri

    Long, braided hair on these guys just looks ridiculous. Especially when they’re going bald.

    Men, everywhere around the planet, please, for all that’s good: Short hair!!!

  128. JMcG says:
    @Loyalty Over IQ Worship

    He reached the summit of Nanga Parbat alongside his brother, Gunther, in 1970. They were stuck overnight near the summit. After a two day descent, Gunther disappeared.
    There was a great deal of controversy over the next three decades; a lot of people accused Messner of sacrificing his brother to his ambition, unfairly in my view.
    Gunther’s body was found in 2005 in a spot which pretty much confirmed Reinhold’s version of events.
    His continued survival is amazing. He and Chris Bonington are a couple of the very very few long-term survivors of early Himalayan mountaineering. So many died in the hills.

    • Agree: YetAnotherAnon
  129. JMcG says:
    @Bill

    I’ll go up as high as you like, but the hair on the back of my neck stands up the entire time I’m underground. No chance I’d have been a Molly Maguire.

    • Replies: @Bill
  130. @Dieter Kief

    A big THANKS, Dieter, and LOL for that last bit. I remember Icarus, but now I gotta look up that other guy.

    [EDIT:] OK, a Greek mythological wrestler then. Got the reference now.

  131. I’ve summited Mont Blanc three times, and I never saw a black face among the masses ascending or descending. Then again, what do you expect from a mountain dedicated to White privilege?

    • LOL: europeasant
  132. @Almost Missouri

    Thus an operation of war of the most ‘extreme’ kind was actually proved slightlyless dangerous to the unit involved than the chosen diversion of its bravest spirits.

    I don’t have numbers, but wingsuit flying is also quite deadly. The rescue crew of Lauterbrunnen in Switzerand, consisting of nothing but down to earth moutain folks itself, complained to their mayor, that they are not willing to go on collecting dead or hafl dead bodies in the woods on a regular basis. Wingsuit flying was then forbidden in Lauterbrunnen (thirty miles from the Matterhorn) for that reason.

    When the Kawasaki four cylinder half-racer came out, it is said that all five of the first to buy and ride one in Mannheim suffered from severe wounds and / or died.

    • Replies: @Almost Missouri
  133. Jack D says:
    @Nathan

    The spot where the corpses are is up near the summit in the “Death Zone” where you are practically at the edge of space – it’s bitterly cold and there’s very little oxygen. That’s why these people are dead to begin with. So by the time other climbers reach that point, they are in a fight for their own lives and they don’t have the time and energy to be dragging corpses off of the mountain. Not only do they leave corpses there, they sometimes pass other climbers who are not quite dead and they leave them too.

    These are the rules of the Death Zone, which are different than the rules lower down. When you go up on the mountain, you accept these rules. If you don’t accept those rules, don’t go into the Everest Death Zone. Maybe being up there on display on the mountain as a frozen and mummified corpse where you will be seen by your fellow climbers is a more fit burial than having your remains dragged home. Some of the corpses form landmarks along the route and have acquired more fame in death than they had in life (albeit not usually by name – there is “Green Boots” and so on). BTW, from time to time they have removed some of the corpses – I don’t think Green Boots is there anymore.

    Different situations and institutions have different rules – the Marines have a rule that they will never leave a buddy behind on the battlefield, dead or alive, even if that means that they might die too. You can question whether that is really a wise rule – to sacrifice more lives in order to retrieve a hunk of dead meat, but those are the rules that they have agreed to play under when they joined the game. You do it because your buddy would do the same for you. The Marine’s rules are more in keeping with the values of the Marine game and the Everest rules are more in keeping with the values of the Everest game. But these are both extreme games so neither one is in keeping with the values that apply to the rest of us and we are in no position to judge their rules other than to say that you are not interested in playing these games at all.

    • Agree: Wilkey, Johann Ricke, AndrewR
    • Thanks: bomag
    • Replies: @Nathan
    , @Inquiring Mind
  134. JMcG says:
    @YetAnotherAnon

    I stopped around the time I got married. It was time to move on with my life. I can’t imagine the worry I put my parents through when I was young. Motorcycle racing is one of the other sports I engaged in – funny you should mention it.
    Allison Hargreaves son, Tom, was six when his mother died on K2. He went on to become a very good alpinist himself. He died at age 30 on Nanga Parbat.
    Now my son looks at my old pictures and it fills me with dread.

    • Replies: @YetAnotherAnon
  135. Alfa158 says:
    @Clyde

    He did. You can see the movie on the web and it was basically a giant pratfall. He didn’t start from the top but on a snow field, and using a skydiving parachute to control his speed he snowplowed for a ways. Eventually he skied over particularly rough terrain, crashed and then skidded and tumbled for another while, shedding skis in every direction. The chute kept his speed down until he finally flew off the top of a big rock and came to rest in a patch of deeper soft snow. His friends who were filming this hiked up to him and helped him hobble back to camp.
    I wonder how you say “Hey y’all watch this!” In Japanese.

    • LOL: Mr. Anon
  136. @Buzz Mohawk

    • Thanks.

    If you don’t mind my asking, what was the main equipment for this jaunt? Besides the dog, I mean.

    • Replies: @Buzz Mohawk
  137. Wilkey says:

    Especially lately, there seems to be this effort to push minorities and women to the top (literally, in this case) of endeavors which were conquered by white men long, long ago. Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay conquered Everest almost 70 years ago now.

    The Artemis Program – the proposed trip to the moon – has the same thing going on. The government has made sure that half of the Artemis astronauts are women and half are racial minorities, so that women and blacks can finally get to walk on the moon. NASA even produced a comic book about a Latina astronaut named “Callie Rodriguez” who goes to the moon.

    Ironically (or not) I guess we have Trump/Pence to thank for the 50% female, 50% minority Artemis crew requirements. or at least they never pushed back against those requirements.

    By the time the Artemis astronauts finally get there I suspect it will have been 60 years since Neil Armstrong first arrived. But when Callie Rodriguez and her black transgender lesbian comrades finally land, they will say that it proves “equality.”

    • Replies: @Jack D
  138. @Gordo

    For my money, George Mallory and Andrew Irvine were the first to climb Everest back in 1924. But if you don’t survive to tell the tale you’re unlikely to get credit.

    On June 3, 2017, Alex Honnold scaled El Capitan in under four hours. He did it without ropes. The dude is clearly on the autistic spectrum, but for me what he did was even more impressive than climbing Everest. There’s a documentary about it called ‘Free Solo.’ Just watching it makes me sick to my stomach. But that’s because I took a fall out in California in the early eighties. I still go into the mountains at every opportunity because I love them. But I warn anyone with me that when I’m near the edge, don’t even come close to me. ‘Cause if you touch me, I will pound you senseless and possibly throw you over the side. Don’t touch me. Seriously.

    • Replies: @Danindc
  139. Jack D says:
    @Almost Missouri

    So warriors go mountain climbing when plain old war isn’t enough.

    War at least has some objective or goal other than the battle itself. The 100th Gebirgsjäger didn’t crash land on the runway at Maleme airport just for fun and then leave as soon as they landed.

    • Replies: @Almost Missouri
  140. ATate says:
    @Clyde

    “and moved a nine-year-old Manoah and his sister from Los Angeles to Spokane, Washington. (a former Aryan nation stronghold)”

    There were maybe a hundred “Aryan” dipshits over in Coeur d’ Alene, ID back in the day. Not sure how that means Spokane is a Aryan Nation “Stronghold”?

    Wish the cunt’s (whoever wrote it) writing and thinking this shit actually believed it and stayed the fuck out of here.

    • Replies: @clyde
  141. @Steve Sailer

    My school librarian in second grade sent me home with the first Book of Marvels and I still reread his work from time to time. Halliburton was an amazing guy.

  142. Barnard says:
    @HammerJack

    It appears his future time orientation was to live a lifestyle of conspicuous wealth so he could run a seminar scam for his online followers convincing them they could also become wealthy. Given the number of suckers who fall for these scams and the fact that he was going to pitch it to “the community” he may have been able to keep it going for a couple of years before it fell apart on him. He was living the high life until his inevitable arrest.

  143. Jack D says:
    @Buzz Mohawk

    the deserted parking lot and the empty astronomical observatory that the University of Denver used to operate.

    The most mind bending one is the Sphinx viewpoint on the Jungfrau in the Swiss Alps. To reach this point you can climb the mountain at enormous risk. When you get there, you will see all the grannies in the coffee shop who reached the same point by taking a train and an elevator.

    The train passes (it no longer stops at) a tunnel through the famous North Face of the Eiger. When people get stuck on the Eiger, they send the rescuers out by train.

    • Replies: @Hangnail Hans
  144. dearieme says:

    Should a bunch of blacks be permitted to conduct such an act of Cultural Appropriation from whites and Nepalis? Should God smite them?

  145. Slopes says:

    I used to climb for “the visuals,” the absolutely gorgeous views from summit. And then one fine day I didn’t think the discomfort and time sink made the effort worthwhile any longer. I lost two friends to falls but I was never fearful just respectful. Back in the day if I urged a black to take it up I was universally greeted with OH HELL NO! It’s not that we kept them out.

  146. ATate says:
    @Jack D

    “In the end, by climbing a mountain, you have exerted a lot of time and effort and accomplished nothing. You could have been doing something useful – climbing up onto your roof and replacing the shingles or pointing your chimney, but instead you engaged in a pointless activity. If you fall in this place where you have no business, you will cause others to risk their lives to save you and you will cause grief to your family.”

    Yes, better to be “safe” climbing around drunk on your roof fixing a chimney or replacing your own shingles, Jesus.

    We average about 30 deaths from climbers every year in the US. But roofers are the fifth highest workplace deaths in the country, averaging about 50 per year. Who knows how many rednecks fall to their deaths sweeping pine needles off their thatches we lose every year.

    Good call.

    Plus, most mountain rescue teams are volunteer. Here in Washington State ALL of our mountain rescue teams are volunteer. The same people daring greatly to climb mountains are the same ones that go and help each other out.

    No need to worry, they’re not jostling some tired Nurse in the middle of a surgery to go rescue some retard from the city who never heard of the 10 essentials when they’re out on their “Eat, Love, Pray” walkabouts and get confused about which way North is.

    It’s OK to be scared.

    Signed,
    ATate, NOT a mountain climber

  147. Old Prude says:
    @Hypnotoad666

    “Blacks have the advantage that it’s always possible for them to be “the first black person to do X.””

    Well, from what I have been told, its a big deal because they have to overcome an Everest of obstacles that are the legacy of slavery and colonialism, not to mention scaling the structure of structural racism.

    Women have to overcome the K2 of obstacles that are the legacy of the patriarchy while wading through the mire of toxic masculinity.

    • LOL: europeasant
    • Replies: @The Wild Geese Howard
  148. Mr. Anon says:
    @Alfa158

    I wonder how you say “Hey y’all watch this!” In Japanese.

    Hah!

  149. Just a few thoughts …

    Mountain climbing is a product of the culture of heroic individualism. You won’t find it in the collectivist culture, with just a few exceptions.

    Then, you have to make a clear distinction between mountain climbers & people who enjoy, sometimes, outdoors activities for fun, with family, or just want something like psycho-spiritual regeneration & rejuvenation through the experience of Nature’s beauty.

    Professional mountain climbers are people who experience the world mostly through senses, in Jung’s typology, and who have a competitive edge, who possess restless & heroic individualist spirit in that area.

    I am not that type, but I fully understand it.

    Then, you have psychological transformation through the beauty of Nature types, and Petrarch was an early example of this. All later Romantics fall into this category. You can experience a sort of rapture & “enlightenment” without mountains (Beethoven); with mountains, you, in theory, pass through various levels of ascent to the source on high, i.e. you elevate yourself spiritually.

    A harsh, non-European journey of ascent is shamanic initiation, when a shaman-novice either in trance climbs the world tree substitute, or- which is much more dangerous- during the initiation climbs on the real mountain, encountering various life- threatening situations. In sum, this is a part of a hero’s initiation, but on the primitive level of illiterate cultures.

    For us in the West, most moderate mountain climbing is, generally: time well spent with company or family; physical regeneration & empowerment; escape from the city & dreary humdrum life.

    Professional mountain climbers are something different, they are similar to professionals in any athletic activity, people whose life fulfillment is through expansion of consciousness through higher levels of sensory activity.

    Blacks, as a race, are not individualized enough…..

    • Replies: @Bardon Kaldian
  150. @Alfa158

    “Hold my Saki.”

    Great story.

  151. Old Prude says:
    @Loyalty Over IQ Worship

    He only looks good because he has a full head of hair. Otherwise he’d just look like another cranky 70 year old. What, me jealous?

  152. Old Prude says:
    @Almost Missouri

    Mr. Henderson, in the color photo, looks for all the world like Sasquatch. There’s a joke in there somewhere about a Yeti.

  153. Danindc says:
    @Achmed E. Newman

    Yes, I sat in the front row and his concert with a sign that said you’re going to hell

    • Replies: @Achmed E. Newman
  154. @Dieter Kief

    I don’t have numbers

    Speaking of numbers and Everest, in his book Into Thin Air, John Krakauer states that

    Everest had killed more than 130 people since the British first visited the mountain in 1921—approximately one death for every four climbers who’d reached the summit,

    a claim which is repeated in garbled form in Wikipedia’s Deaths on Everest article as

    Before 1996, one in four climbers died making the ascent[.]

    The Daily Mail article says over 10,000 climbers have summited Everest. Per Wiki, 309 people have died attempting to ascend Everest (about 40% of them Sherpas). If those figures are correct, that means that Everest climbing got massively safer since Krakauer’s disastrous 1996 expedition:

    130 × 4 = 520 summits. 130 deaths / 520 summits = 25% fatality rate pre-1996. (Not really though, because deaths include those who were not summiting, though perhaps it would be accurate to say that each summiting had cost the life of a quarter person.)

    ~10,000 summits – 520 pre-1996 summits = ~9500 summits post-1996. ( 309 deaths – 130 pre-1996 deaths = 179 post-1996 deaths) / 9500 post-1996 summits = 2% fatality rate post-1996, better than an order-of-magnitude improvement.

    It also means that Everest tourism has accelerated massively. First 42 years: 520 summits = ~12 summits/year. Since 1996: ~9500 summits = ~380 summits/year. When you consider that for every summiter there are several disappointed non-summiters plus support personnel and hangers-on, and that the climbing season on Everest is only a few week long, there must really be a throng of thousands jamming the slopes there every year now.

    P.S. The fee to be among those 380/years is typically in the mid-five figures, plus a couple of months of preparation. Plus a 2% chance of dying.

    • Replies: @Dieter Kief
    , @Jack D
    , @David
  155. Anon[177] • Disclaimer says:
    @PiltdownMan

    Reinhold Messner

    Thank you for the mention of this Giant. BTW he’s from the autonomous region of South Tirol so he can be claimed by Italians, Austrians, maybe even Swiss and Bavarians as one of their own.

    • Agree: PiltdownMan
    • Replies: @Neil Templeton
  156. @Jack D

    War at least has some objective or goal other than the battle itself.

    Agree, but that is what is so notable about this. The same guys risking worse-than-Russian-roulette odds to win the Battle of Crete decide to risk even worse odds just to turn around and leave as soon as they finish. For certain people, the goal really does seem to be the battle itself.

  157. @Almost Missouri

    A friend of mine is a seventy+ year old secretary from Czechia (Prague). She walked to Rome this summer from the Lake of Constance – crossing the Alps. Last time I met her she showed me her cellphone with a pohto on it: Tell me, what you see here, Dieter?
    I: A mountaintop, a glacier maybe, and a climber, alone, on top of it.
    – She: Yeah, but have a closer look: Where is that, and who is that climber?
    It was her, in her glorious sweventies, standing on top of Mont Blanc!

    (She admitted, that her guide had to set the scene a bit, so that it looked , as if she had been alone up there…)

  158. ex-banker says:
    @Anonymous

    Reminds me of the time I was riding up in a chairlift at Whistler in the 90s with a no-English Japanese guy. Some guy coming down underneath us lost it in the powder, shedding both skis, poles and his hat, prompting him to scream, “YARD SARE!”

  159. Several great probabilists have died in climbing accidents.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rollo_Davidson

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oded_Schramm

    The New York Times wrote in his obituary:

    If Dr. Schramm had been born three weeks and a day later, he would almost certainly have been one of the winners of the Fields Medal, perhaps the highest honor in mathematics, in 2002.

  160. Fox says:

    That the reach of the Ideology of Anti-Racism is now extended to mountain climbing is merely evidence for the statement that once the door to the realm of madness is opened there is no limit to the twists and contortions of reality.
    The hour of waking from this evil dream will be terrible for those who indulged in it. The grandiose view of the dream will change to the reality of the bottomless abyss of no future, self-loathing, despairing confusion and the slum-like world that has been erected in the name of this ideology.

    • Replies: @Buffalo Joe
  161. Did Lewis & Clark climb any mountains for the fun of it…?

    It would seem not, for if they had, we’d know they had stood on the summit of any such peak.

    But as is fairly well-known here in South Dakota, there is only one spot where we can say precisely where they stood during the course of their western expedition. And it is atop a small hill ie. what has come to be known as the Spirit Mound.
    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spirit_Mound_Historic_Prairie

    It’s in Clay County, in the southeastern part of the state (near Vermillion.)

    It’s a brief stroll up the trail to the top of the hill, but it’s a cool place to visit in the late spring or early summer months especially.

  162. Seems high time Sherpa was declared offensive (and replaced with something unpronounceable and unrememberable but authentic).

    • LOL: Achmed E. Newman
    • Replies: @Dieter Kief
  163. AndrewR says:
    @PiltdownMan

    But doctor… I’m Pagliacci

    • Replies: @PiltdownMan
  164. @Anonymous

    Climbing a 360-meter-tall industrial chimney on which handholds have been installed (that’s a cheat). Secured by a rope in case her hand slips (it does). And she come down via a ladder. What a disappointment — splatless climbing.

  165. Jack D says:
    @Almost Missouri

    there must really be a throng of thousands jamming the slopes there every year now.

    Yes.

    The idea of one or two men challenging the summit for the first time like Hillary and Norgay has a certain romantic appeal but that just looks stupid to me. Might as well wait in line at Disneyland to ride the Space Mountain. At least you won’t get frostbite.

    Yes, Everest climbing is now an (expensive) package tour activity and in return for the hefty package price and a couple of months of your time, the tour organizers make it their job to see to it that you will be herded there and back alive in most cases if not 100% of the time. The oldest Everest climber was over 80.

    • Replies: @AnotherDad
  166. @Almost Missouri

    Uh-oh, sounds like a disaster in the making.

    We may have wait a few more years before the first African reaches the top of Everest, and when it happens, he won’t be a Bantu, he’ll be a Kalenjin.

    However, late in this century, a Bantu from the US will perform the first end zone dance on top of Everest.

    Those are my predictions for now.

  167. Jack D says:
    @Wilkey

    There are a few white guys (maybe 5 or 6 out of 18 depending on whether you count the Latino) on the Artemis Team and it’s half men and half women.

    https://www.nasa.gov/specials/artemis-team/

    Each mission will have 4 astronauts . I’ll bet that at least 1 will be a white guy every time just in case something goes wrong.

    • Replies: @Wilkey
  168. @Almost Missouri

    In 1938, however, the North Face was conquered

  169. @Almost Missouri

    Crete – ” the single most reckless operation of the war, though the one which turned the battle from a disaster to a victory for the Germans

    Churchill had a slightly different view of the British defeat, because the tenacious defence of the island (predominantly by the New Zealanders under Freyberg, himself one of the toughest of the tough*) took out so many of Germany’s finest troops .

    “We did not know how many parachute divisions the Germans had … in fact the 7th Airborne was the only one which Goering had … it never appeared again in any effective form… Goering gained only a Pyrrhic victory in Crete; for the forces he expended there might easily have given him Cyprus, Iraq, Syria and perhaps even Persia. These troops were the very kind needed to overrun large wavering regions where no serious opposition was to be encountered. He was foolish to cast away such almost measureless opportunities and irreplaceable forces in a mortal struggle, often hand to hand, with the warriors of the British Empire.”

    (* in a convivial moment Churchill got him to strip and counted 19 different wounds on Freyberg’s body)

  170. @Meretricious

    if the Negro climbers do not have sherpas, fatalities are guaranteed. Elite mountain climbing ain’t hoops

    I hate it when TPTB thrust blacks upon whites–communities, schools, now into white history and costume dramas! But i like it just fine when American blacks choose to culturally appropriate civilized white activities.

    The US was in much better shape in 1960–pre-minoritarianism–when many blacks at least tried to conform to the majority culture–i.e. act white. Most blacks got married. Black illegitimacy was 25%–ok, quite high, but nothing like today’s 70%. Blacks had their own neighborhoods that included middle class–business owners, professionals, salarymen–who at least made some attempt at enforcing middle class norms. Crime was lower.

    If some blacks want to trot off to Nepal and miss the Floyd season, great. (As long as i don’t have to carry their stuff.)

  171. @Jack D

    I love climbing–well not climbing, but hiking and scrambling–up to the top of a mountain or hill. But yeah, not much appeal there. (All for bragging rights of being on “the highest place on earth” when everyone who flies has been higher.)

    I’d prefer to rappelling from whatever sort of jet helicopter they develop to operate at altitude–on a day outside the climbing season, when it’s not crowded. Or else waiting until the Chinese have built the tram to 29,000 ft.

    Trekking in the Himalayas OTOH would be more interesting and more scenic. Except i’ve still got about 2600 miles of the PCT to do … and it’s available just an hour drive away.

    • Replies: @Rosie
    , @YetAnotherAnon
  172. @Almost Missouri

    Amusingly, Rosemary Saal, who appears to be the youngest and whitest member of the team, looks like the latest iteration of Rachel Dolezal…

    Now, now. Rosemary is from Seattle. Rachel is from Spokane. They are worlds apart.

    These guys are basically tourists—tourists

    When Ann Bancroft– the lesbian “explorer”, not the paesana actress– sought funding for a “research” trip across Antarctica to the Pole, she was turned down. It was dismissed as “adventure tourism”. Do it on your own dime/crown, ladies!

    Ann Bancroft and Liv Arnesen’s 2000/01 ‘Your Expedition’ estimated the costs of operating a support ship and ANI air cover had been ‘in the region of US\$250,000–300,000’

    Independent expeditions and Antarctic tourism policy (PDF)

    Few of Miss Bancroft’s feats feature the word first without woman following it. Apparently just the Greenland and Ganges things:

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ann_Bancroft#Select_achievements

  173. @International Jew

    Reminds me of the slur of P. J. O’Rourke about the Civil War on the Balkans: “The unspellables fight the unpronouncebales.”***!

    ***This Rolling Stone article is – hands down – one of the five best articles I’ve read in my life – it’s called All the Trouble in the World and can be found in the essay collection Hollidays in Hell – highly rcommended*****.

    ***** No. 1 is Heinrich von Kleist’s On the Marionette Theatre

  174. Rosie says:
    @AnotherDad

    I love climbing–well not climbing, but hiking and scrambling–up to the top of a mountain or hill.

    Me too. The adventures you and Buzz describe are exactly my favorite way to spend a day. Good for the body, good for the soul. I am very fortunate that that my nearest and dearest likewise prefer those to any other outing. And if you plan carefully they don’t even make you late for supper.

    I have no interest in the kinds of jaunts others have described here, which I suppose is what is generally meant by the term “climbing” as opposed to a challenging hike.

  175. I get the feeling that climbing Everest became popular because it was romanticised and portrayed as adventurous. Men love to give off the persona of being adventurous and exicting. Plenty of young men love to partake in snowboarding, surfing, dirt biking and other extreme sports, in part because it makes them look cool. Far fewer young guys are moved by badminton and snooker. Edmund Hillary would have known he would become wildly famous and feted when he succeded in reacing Everest’s peak.

  176. Climbing the highest mountain is certainly a social construct. If you intend to do it from the base:

    This excludes Chimborazo, which is the farthest point of land from the earth’s center. Our dear and hearty Mr Mason, who lives in its shadow, will no doubt report to us from his own ascent.

    He and all those refugees his adopted land is taking in. From her shaky neighbors.

    Often literally shaky:

    Avalanches/Landslides Deaths 2000-2017

    • Replies: @Anonymous
  177. “hopping to change the future of mountaineering.” So if a memeber of the climbing party dies on the climb will they leave a little shrine with mylar balloons, candles and an empty bottle of Hennessy’s ? Will climbing gangs shoot up the camps of their rivals. Will there be empty styrofoam cups, Popeye sandwich wrappers and empty Newport cigarette packs littering the slopes? Will the Sherpa shop owners need to put security gates and glass block windows in their huts? Will the Sherpa guides be stiffed when it comes to tipping ? Feel free to add to the list. Climb safely.

    • LOL: JMcG
    • Replies: @Jim Bob Lassiter
  178. clyde says:
    @Alfa158

    loL — I super appreciate the account. If I ever see this Nipponese ultra schussboomer video, now I can skim past the dull parts. You have saved me at least 30 minutes of my until now misbegotten life.

  179. Anonymous[177] • Disclaimer says:
    @Reg Cæsar

    I’ve heard that McKinley/Denali is the largest base to summit climb.

    Not undangerous. Had a ski instructor friend of mine (when I was young and strong and same) who almost died up there.

    • Replies: @Reg Cæsar
  180. clyde says:
    @J.Ross

    Dated references from a better time.
    Datsun!

    I have owned 3 Datsuns. My favorite that I drove cross-country (Cali to New England) was a 510 wagon. 95 horsepower. What I own now is by Honda. Same exterior length, probably same weight, but with 136 horsepower, due to Honda perfecting fuel injection and internal combustion engines in general, meaning diesel too
    My other Datsuns were>>
    B-210
    910
    No Zs unfortunately.

    • Thanks: J.Ross
  181. Nathan says:
    @Jack D

    Well, I fundamentally disagree. And so does no less an authority than Sir Edmund Hillary:

    “If you have someone who is in great need and you are still strong and energetic, then you have a duty, really, to give all you can to get the man down and getting to the summit becomes very secondary,” he told the New Zealand Herald, after news of Sharp’s death broke.

    “I think the whole attitude towards climbing Mt Everest has become rather horrifying,” he added. “The 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.”

    https://allthatsinteresting.com/mount-everest-bodies

    • Replies: @Jack D
    , @frankie p
  182. clyde says:
    @Cortes

    Didn’t Graves live in Mallorca, Spain?

    You are right. Years ago I read about him walking 8 miles a day to pick up his mail. Playboy magazine interview in fact. My faulty recollection was, a Greek island that he lived on.

  183. Mr Mox says:
    @Gordo

    Another good (and gripping) read.

    Jon Krakauer and his fellow “pure” climbers regarded Mt Everest as a tourist attraction, and he never considered climbing it. Yet, he ended up as a member of one of the groups which were involved in the 1996 Everest Disaster.

    • Agree: Calvin Hobbes
    • Replies: @Inquiring Mind
  184. I recall reading once that in Europe, Neanderthals tended to camp at the bottom of valleys, presumably to be near water. Homo Sapiens tended to camp on high points, presumably to keep watch for migrating game and/or approaching enemies.

    • Thanks: Rob
  185. Wet roots and rocks are slippery in all seasons. I’ve noticed that.

  186. OT, although in the woke era, is anything ever OT, in the eyes of the woke commissars? Anyway, Amy Wax is in the news again, along with the predictable howls of outrage from the left and respectable (for now) right on social media.

    https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-10367749/University-Pennsylvania-professor-says-America-better-fewer-Asians.html

    Parenthetically, she is an MOT.

    • Replies: @J.Ross
  187. Jack D says:
    @Nathan

    Hillary was a man from another era and he’s been dead for years now so it’s “did” and not “does”.

    One of the things we know from bystander incidents is that if everyone is responsible then no one is responsible. Yes, if it’s just you and one other fellow maybe you come to his help. But did you see the lineup of dozens of Everest tourists I showed up above. Each one of them has paid up to \$100K for his or her Everest quest. Which one of them is going to abandon his quest of a lifetime when there are so many others around who could do it instead?

  188. David says:
    @Almost Missouri

    Seven Summits by Dick Bass initiated the Everest fad. Krakauer was on assignment for Outside Magazine ten years after Summits to report on the commercialization of Everest.

    I spent an evening with Bass and his team on Baffin Island once. They were in the neighborhood to climb some easy peaks that hadn’t been summitted before only due to remoteness. His people didn’t like him, and the whole operation seemed joyless and perfunctory.

    If you’ve read into thin air, I’d recommend The Climb by Anatoli Boukreev. Not since Falstaff’s has one telling of the same event been so put down by another.

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
  189. @interesting

    I had no idea that it was illegal for black people to climb mount Everest. But the area around Everest isn’t controlled by white people so is that still their fault?

    It is an always will be “white people’s fault”. (At least that’s the story.)

  190. @psmith

    To prepare for mountain walks, use a chair. Ste up to it with your right then with your left foot. Repeat till you sweat. Do it two times a day. Eat a banana. You’re ready to go after five days. – Ver useful for skiing too.

    • Replies: @psmith
    , @Muggles
  191. @Mr Mox

    “Into the Back Forty” (my rewrite of the Krakauer classic about enduring physical hardship to do actual, productive work)

    My parents were German-speaking tree huggers, and it was my filial duty to operate the tree farm by taking a 40-horsepower light utility tractor with a 72-inch brush cutter to suppress weeds between the tree rows. I had long shirked outdoor work on the property owing to grass pollen allergies since childhood, but as a man, I knew what needed to be done.

    I mounted the tractor and placed the injection pump delay lever into the middle, starting position. After two seconds of cranking, the diesel rattled to life in a cloud of smoke inside the tractor shed, and I held my breath against the fumes that smell of candle wax now that environmental regulations mandated removal of the sulfur that had produced the traditional diesel stink.

    With the tractor in low-range, third gear, I trundled out to the tree planting. Checking for all clear behind, I first engaged the clutch on the power takeoff, and the brush cutter blades swung into cutting position with a clunk. Advancing the throttle to 1800 RPM, I carefully operated the hydraulic cylinder on the 3-point hitch to lower the cutter deck until the anti-scalp wheel contacted the ground.

    Releasing the clutch, I started a weed-cutting pass. I knew I could not hold out long before my nasal allergy symptoms kicked into high gear. After the second tree row, snot was just pouring from my nostrils and running down my face. My eyes started to burn with that intense itch, but I dare not rub them and make this all worse. Crazed by the itching and sneezing, I pressed on . . .

    • Thanks: AnotherDad
    • Replies: @Dieter Kief
    , @AnotherDad
  192. @Buffalo Joe

    Rest stations for mixing fresh bottles of “Lean”?

  193. @Danindc

    ;-}

    Now, that’s a being real fan, Dan!

    You should have been at the Driving & Crying show, so you could have sung along:

    “I’m goin’ straight to hell.
    Just like my Mama sa-a-aid,
    I’m goin’ straight to hell.”

    • LOL: Danindc
  194. what most people don’t know is that Mt Everest is only the fifth most dangerous elite peak in the world–therefore, it’s overrated, more so now since the ladders have been installed.

    Which is the deadliest mountain in the world?
    Annapurna I (Nepal)

    The deadliest mountain in the world is a specific ascent of Annapurna, another peak in the Himalayas. The route is so deadly because of an extremely steep face (south face). Astonishingly, 58 people have died from just 158 attempts. It has the greatest fatality rate of any ascent in the world.

    • Replies: @JMcG
    , @Danindc
  195. psmith says:
    @Dieter Kief

    One spring I was living about twelve miles from the nearest hill and did probably ~15k step-ups to a park bench with a 60lb pack over an eight-week period. It wasn’t one bit fun but I moved pretty well when I got to the hills.

    • Replies: @Dieter Kief
  196. @Steve Sailer

    There was also that Togolese guy who went to Greenland because he feared snakes to become an Eskimo, whom I first heard about from Derb, I think. Of course these stories are notable because they are so rare.

  197. @Danindc

    As a fan, you must know this, but at 02:45 to 02:53, in the lyrics he alludes to the next song about his redneck past. “… but my redneck past is nipping at my heels.”

    Gerry Rafferty used to do some of that, using the lyrics in one song to refer to another song.

    Yeah, Chapel Hill has not always been the woke, yuppie, and yankee-filled mess it is today.

    • Replies: @Reg Cæsar
  198. @JMcG

    I remember seeing Alison Hargreaves’ small kids with their dad, skiing at Ben Nevis in Scotland after she died. My kids were about the same age. Sad that Tom met the same end.

    You can’t stop young people taking risks, though my view is that a parent should stop taking them. But I can see it’s very hard when you love the life and are maybe making a career of it. And climbers are pretty driven, competitive types.

    Joe and I didn’t discuss the risk of death often, because he didn’t want to talk about it, but I remember him saying once, “if I really think about what would happen to you if I die, I wouldn’t be able to go and climb, so I don’t think about it.”

    Double or treble that feeling when you think about your small kids.

    • Agree: JMcG
  199. @Almost Missouri

    At least a couple of the big international climbing outfits and guides are based in the Seattle area, in large part due to Mt Rainier (see also Into Thin Air) as are many of America’s top alpinists: Mark Twight, Steve House, Ed Visteurs et al. So that’s all pretty standard. And the Alaska Range has some of climbing’s great test pieces. But nowadays anyone with decent fitness stands a good chance of being hauled up Everest by sherpas and bottled oxygen. (Without bottled oxygen probably 3/4+ of males and even a greater proportion of females do not have the physical/athletic potential to make it to the top, regardless of training). Normally I would wish them luck, but I’m can’t align myself with anyone who espouses wokness.

  200. Jack D says:
    @interesting

    Well, it was illegal until just recently (ok, 60 or 70 years ago), but what we have now is “structural racism”. While Blacks COULD climb mountains if they wanted to, white children at an early age learn words like carabiner and belay and kermantle and Jumar while black folks have no friggin’ idea what this sheet does or means. However, if you will just make a contribution to their GoFundMe, at least a small portion of it (minus administrative costs) will surely go toward edumajating away the structural racism. Thank you.

  201. @YetAnotherAnon

    Absolutely. Yet it seems to be addictive, you read of people weeping for lost comrades but then planning the next climb. If many climbers give it up when they become fathers, for example, or even mothers (see Alison Hargreaves), you don’t read about it.

    People really ought to do it the other way around.

    Have a big family and great family life, then head out to the mountains when you’re 60 or so–sort of the Hindu program. You’re also more likely to die sooner, so will spend less money, and the family left behind will all agree “it was his time” … plus they don’t have to piss away \$\$\$ on long term care.

    • Replies: @YetAnotherAnon
  202. Bill says:
    @JMcG

    Exactly. I’ve never been down in a coal mine, but the pictures I’ve seen look really frightening.

  203. @David

    Seven Summits by Dick Bass

    Did I read that as a Boy Scout, or a less ambitious climbing book about climbing the tallest mountains on 3 continents?

    • Replies: @JMcG
  204. @AnotherDad

    “Have a big family and great family life, then head out to the mountains when you’re 60 or so–sort of the Hindu program.”

    Purun Bhagat style but with less meditation and more climbing?

    https://www.kiplingsociety.co.uk/tale/the-miracle-of-purun-bhagat.htm

    Next month, when the city had returned to its sun-baked quiet, he did a thing no Englishman would have dreamed of doing; for, so far as the world’s affairs went, he died. The jewelled order of his knighthood went back to the Indian Government, and a new Prime Minister was appointed to the charge of affairs, and a great game of General Post began in all the subordinate appointments. The priests knew what had happened, and the people guessed; but India is the one place in the world where a man can do as he pleases and nobody asks why; and the fact that Dewan Sir Purun Dass, K.C.I.E., had resigned position, palace, and power, and taken up the begging-bowl and ochre-coloured dress of a Sunnyasi, or holy man, was considered nothing extraordinary.

    He had been, as the Old Law recommends, twenty years a youth, twenty years a fighter,—though he had never carried a weapon in his life,—and twenty years head of a household. He had used his wealth and his power for what he knew both to be worth; he had taken honour when it came his way; he had seen men and cities far and near, and men and cities had stood up and honoured him. Now he would let those things go, as a man drops the cloak he no longer needs…

    At night his antelope skin was spread where the darkness overtook him—sometimes in a Sunnyasi monastery by the roadside; sometimes by a mud-pillar shrine of Kala Pir, where the Jogis, who are another misty division of holy men, would receive him as they do those who know what castes and divisions are worth; sometimes on the outskirts of a little Hindu village, where the children would steal up with the food their parents had prepared; and sometimes on the pitch of the bare grazing-grounds, where the flame of his stick fire waked the drowsy camels. It was all one to Purun Dass—or Purun Bhagat, as he called himself now. Earth, people, and food were all one. But unconsciously his feet drew him away northward and eastward; from the south to Rohtak; from Rohtak to Kurnool; from Kurnool to ruined Samanah, and then up-stream along the dried bed of the Gugger river that fills only when the rain falls in the hills, till one day he saw the far line of the great Himalayas.

    Then Purun Bhagat smiled, for he remembered that his mother was of Rajput Brahmin birth, from Kulu way—a Hill-woman, always home-sick for the snows—and that the least touch of Hill blood draws a man in the end back to where he belongs.

    • Thanks: JMcG
  205. Anon[424] • Disclaimer says:

    OT: A thought about Soros DAs and their lack of prosecution. Is it possible that criminals from all over the country, realizing they can get away with crime in these DAs’ districts, are choosing to move to those areas? Is it possible that these districts are actually sucking criminals out of other areas of the country and super-concentrating them in a few boneheaded Democratic districts? It’s an idea that makes sense.

    • Replies: @Johann Ricke
  206. JMcG says:
    @Meretricious

    South face of Annapurna might be the deadliest route, but I think K2 is the deadliest mountain. No easy route, super high and remote, terrible weather and high avalanche risk. It’s the complete package.
    Edit – just checked and you are correct- Annapurna it is!

  207. @YetAnotherAnon

    I hope this subthread keeps going…

    • Replies: @YetAnotherAnon
  208. Wilkey says:
    @Jack D

    I count only three white men. White men comprise 16.7% of the Artemis astronauts versus ~30% of Americans overall. I guess you could argue they are 27.8% of Artemis astronauts if you count the two – Raja Chari and Kjell Lindgren – who are half-white.

    Since nearly all of the Artemis astronauts are military vets it would be interesting to compare the white male share of Artemis to, say, the white male share of servicemen who died in the Global War on Terror.

    I’m sure that most if not all of the astronauts are perfectly competent at their job, regardless of race or gender. But there was indisputable race and gender discrimination involved in selecting these astronauts, and that alone should be enough to cancel the whole damn program.

    • Agree: Jim Christian
  209. Anon[424] • Disclaimer says:

    What do you bet that they don’t go, but say they went, and just keep the Gofundme money?

    If they do try it, I’ll bet they quit or one of them will die on the mountain from ineptitude. Careful planning and perseverance are not black traits.

    • Replies: @JMcG
    , @Danindc
  210. Kylie says:

    From The Daily Mail: “A team of nine black climbers is attempting to scale Mount Everest to tackle the mountain’s ‘intentional lack of access for black people’ and mountaineering’s ‘colonial history’.”

    So in addition to magic dirt, there is also a magic mountain.

    Some white man ought to write a book about it.

    • Replies: @Bardon Kaldian
  211. JMcG says:
    @Steve Sailer

    That book came out in ‘86. You’d have been the tallest Scout in your troop, for sure.

  212. @psmith

    That makes me smile – we think and act quite a bit alike. – You left out the banana part though.

  213. @Almost Missouri

    … what was the main equipment for this jaunt?

    Just backpacking stuff for winter conditions.

    Good hiking boots (never skimp on those!) Layers of clothing for all conditions and all weather. A lightweight, two-man backpacking tent. A down-filled mummy-type sleeping bag. An insulated pad for underneath. Food and water for three days for a man and a German Shepherd.

    My dog drank from streams in the forested areas below, and he ate snow above, but I shared water with him. His food was high-protein pellets in a small bowl I carried. My food was simple stuff with no need to cook or prepare it: nuts, peanut butter, raisons, beef jerky, some cheddar cheese the first day, etc.

    The snow was firm, and the rocks stuck up through it. No problem, no snowshoes or skis needed. Otherwise, the dog could not have made it.

    • Thanks: Almost Missouri
  214. @Jack D

    Aren’t you afraid of ending up in the Eagle’s Nest?

  215. @Anon

    whether the mountain settings were recorded because it was extraordinary ..

    The Midrash explains that the Torah was given at the mediocre Sinai in order to symbolize that humility is good.

  216. @europeasant

    You can create fantastic, reverberating echoes at Summit Lake. I discovered this when I lived in the area. So far, I am the only person I have witnessed who does this: Scream, shout or yodel right across the lake toward the cliffs on the side of Mt. Evans. Your sounds will return in a few seconds, clear and repeating, over and over. Every time I go back, I surprise the tourists with this trick.


    14ers.com is a nice website. I just clicked on it and it had a photo of Mt. Elbert, which I climbed twice.

    Congratulations on your 14er climbs! I hope you do move the Colorado. I miss it. Thank you very much for your reply.

  217. @Nathan

    Eh, it’s not like the frozen corpses are innocent war dead. They are largely corpses of the same status striving types who climb over them. The dead knew what they were getting into.

    Climbing Everest isn’t any more vulgar than sky-diving or other dumb/expensive thrill-tourism activities.

  218. @Bardon Kaldian

    Carl Gustav is at times a tad too perfect, almost. – His last interpretation of the mountaineers ecstasis (=sidestep…) reads well but is a bit unsatisfactoy in that it adds up perfectly well, so to speak.

    (But thanks for bringing this up here!)

    • Replies: @Bardon Kaldian
  219. @Achmed E. Newman

    The band lacks a bit of cohesion – what was it: New Wave – Post Punk New Wave? Eigthies stuff?
    The horns are nice and the video is too. The key line is the one you quoted about his redneck past and the army in the title too, most likely, which is a kind of commitment. – Not shallow, all that, quite reasonable and lighthearted all the while!

  220. It is easier to talk with spirits on top of mountains. Take this truth figuratively if you like, but it describes genuine experience and is universal.

    Having said that, universal is not universal in any present moment. Plenty of people can’t begin to escape their most immediate fear to appreciate even small parts of themselves. That’s tough, and it seems to describe some groups of people more than others, but it is not the end of things.

    In other words, go climb a mountain. Have a spiritual experience and be honest with yourself, rather than merely “rational”, about what you experience.

    • Thanks: S. Anonyia
  221. @Dieter Kief

    Jung, although frequently wrong, was completely right.

    Here, ek-stasis means “to stand outside of oneself”, which was, ultimately, the point of the dream which is about deification of the dreamer & relinquishment of his egoic consciousness.

    Butterfly & caterpillar, that’s it.

  222. JMcG says:
    @Bardon Kaldian

    My mother, God rest her soul, was terrified of heights. She told me once that she was afraid she’d throw herself into space. Isn’t there something called the lure of the abyss?

  223. @Fox

    Fox,….”door to the realm of madness.” Great phrase.

  224. @Bardon Kaldian

    In The Greeks and the Irrational Eric Dodds, who by all the surface evidence is a dogmatic materialist who believes in neo-Darwinism and the Big Bang and believes his grandfather’s religion is complete bunkum, makes the offhand comment that all ancient mystical experiences recorded are from solo sages hiking in the mountains.

    Modern occult hipsters make hay about Aleister Crowley and Julius Evola both being expert mountaineers. Neither of those guys was as healthy a senior citizen as the Austrian/ Italian guy pictured higher in the thread. Their mountaineering expertise never got as high either. : )

    • Replies: @El Dato
    , @Bardon Kaldian
  225. JMcG says:
    @Anon

    If they try to self guide, they won’t get near the summit. An earthquake in 2015 toppled the Hillary Step, leaving the climb technically easier, but there are still plenty of hazards.

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
  226. Anon[424] • Disclaimer says:

    OT: “Black Manhattan District Attorney Pledges to Abolish Prison Sentences for Most Violent Crime.”

    https://bigleaguepolitics.com/manhattan-district-attorney-pledges-to-abolish-prison-sentences-for-most-violent-crime/

    I don’t think New York can survive this bozo.

  227. @Achmed E. Newman

    Yeah, Chapel Hill has not always been the woke, yuppie, and yankee-filled mess it is today.

    Real Yankees would miss the snow.

    Hell, I miss it just from moving from the east side to the west side of the Great Lakes. We’re lucky to get four feet in a winter.

    This map of 30 hours’ snowfall in last month’s “storm” shows how Western Reserve Yankees are hogging all the white stuff:

    This is not a freak occurrence. It happens all winter long, winter after winter.

  228. Mike Tre says:

    OT – but on isteve:

    Tranny Jeopardy champ robbed:

    https://wgntv.com/news/deans-list/jeopardy-champion-amy-schneider-robbed-over-new-years-weekend-im-fine/

    Very scant on details. Hoax or negro? Hard to know yet.

  229. @JMcG

    That would have been scary: trying to climb the Hillary Step on Mt. Everest and then the mountain shakes and the rock you are clinging to slides 10,000 feet down the mountain.

    That would be scary.

    • Replies: @JMcG
  230. joe862 says:
    @Meretricious

    They’ll form gangs, the gangs will lose members from in-fighting until there’s one member in each, and then the gangs will kill each other until there’s only one guy left. That could happen before they even get to the mountain.

    • Agree: Meretricious
  231. Anonymous[141] • Disclaimer says:

    Couple threads I haven’t heard yet:

    1. Otzi the Iceman, discovered above 3000m (in the Alps). Pretty extreme area. But he ran up there while wounded.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/%C3%96tzi

    2. The Andes plane crash of the 70s (rugby cannibals):

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alive:_The_Story_of_the_Andes_Survivors

  232. J.Ross says:
    @Johann Ricke

    She’s right and will be proven right but our new Asian overclass will Asianishly censor all related information.

  233. @Anonymous

    I’ve heard that McKinley/Denali is the largest base to summit climb.

    Without diving gear. Sea level is for wusses landlubbers.

  234. Whom did the first white male use as his guide to go up the mountain?

    An experienced indigenous (non-white) climber.

  235. El Dato says:
    @HammerJack

    Why are nose bone girl’s eyes injected with blood?

    Why does the other lady try to impersonate a wide-nosed Sphinx?

    Anyway, here is a naturalistic manga about a borderline autistic dedicated Japanese person climbing mountains until someone dies. It’s five fat volumes.

  236. El Dato says:
    @Emil Nikola Richard

    makes the offhand comment that all ancient mystical experiences recorded are from solo sages hiking in the mountains.

    AND wandering around in the desert.

    Empty-of-humans vistas dig deeply into the brain.

    neo-Darwinism

    What the hell might be lying between “Darwinism” and “neo-Darwinism”? Biblical studies?

  237. JMcG says:
    @Steve Sailer

    The avalanche killed 20 people at Everest base camp. And around 8000 other assorted Nepalese, Tibetans, etc. As my mother always said, “If you’re born to hang, you’ll never drown.”

  238. @Emil Nikola Richard

    I’ve read Dodds & I don’t think he was a materialist. His was just a modern mind who married Philosophia Perennis with the modern science- and he was right, unlike the Perennialist gang, who remained obscurantists, as I’ve noted.

    Dodds refused to be explicit about these matters, and thus he showed wisdom unlike Perennialists.

    Although they differ in some respects, these people are often grouped together: Fritjof Schuon, Rene Guenon, Titus Burckhardt, Martin Lings, Sayyed Hossein Nasr, Marco Pallis, Ananda Coomarswamy, Julius Evola & some others. I’ve read many of their stuff – and would advise anyone who has spare time on his hands to do so – but I must admit I am highly critical of the whole group.Good things about them all: they’re polyglot erudites; artistically sensitive, cultured & cosmopolitan; mostly, know their stuff & won’t misrepresent a tradition they expatiate upon (Islamic Sufism, Vedanta, Christian medieval art, …).Bad things: most of these guys (though not all) are Islamic converts, therefore I am not persuaded by their supposed universalism; they are crackpot political reactionaries without elementary knowledge of the world’s realities; they are basically – obscurantists, even the best among them like Burckhardt (while Guenon & Evola could be considered psychos by any sane-minded shrink). They, virtually all of them, are very uneasy with our Greco-Roman heritage of individualism, rationality, skepticism & Prometheanism; they abhor the Renaissance & all artistic & scientific development after the Middle Ages, including Copernicus & the rest (Darwin is also an ogre, while 20th C physics is, I suppose, something they hadn’t heard of). Heliocentric system is an abomination, while Enlightenment is the final nail in the coffin of the  Western culture.

    They should not be confused with, I would call them- Eranos circle. I won’t delve into technical & organizational elements, but they were frequently supposed to be Jungians, after the most influential member, Swiss psychologist C.G.Jung who financially & in all possible ways tried to keep this banquet of free & erudite spirits. Some were, bit not most, influenced by a few of his ideas The most read & notable people from that circle were Henry Corbin, Mircea Eliade, Heinrich Zimmer, Gilles Quispel, Gershom Scholem, Joseph Campbell, Erich Neumann, Herbert Read & some other guys (Karl Kereny is also a famous attendant, but I haven’t read him because he seemed to offer not much).Unlike Perennialists, the Eranos bunch were true scholars of myth, esoterica, philosophy & culture. True, they also share a streak of obscurantism with the Perennialists, but were far from aggressiveness & anti-modernity of the Guenon-Evola axis. Corbin is sometimes funny with his high rhetoric & lapses into obscurantism (he praises “Goethean science”), but these are minor transgressions.True, Eliade & Corbin sometimes refer to Guenon and his flock, but they should not be confused with the Perennialist gang.

  239. frankie p says:
    @Nathan

    “If you have someone who is in great need and you are still strong and energetic, then you have a duty, really, to give all you can to get the man down and getting to the summit becomes very secondary,”

    No climber who has ascended to 7,500 – 8,000 meters elevation is still strong and energetic. I think that you lack a fundamental understanding of what climbing at such an altitude entails. When you enter the “death zone”, your body begins to break down; you are dying, slowly, quite slowly, and yet, if you remain there for a longish period of time, you will die. High elevation climbers understand that they have a window of opportunity to reach the peak and descend to lower elevation where there is enough oxygen to sustain human life. I completely agree with Hillary’s statement, but we must consider what is feasible for the people who are struggling at such an altitude.

    The sad truth is that the only climbers who are equipped physically to deal with climbers in great need are the Sherpas, and the stories of people being saved are nearly always those in which the Sherpas save lives and bring people down at considerable risk and danger to themselves. An incapacitated climber is very difficult to deal with, and we are talking about trying to take this climber down extremely steep slopes, often roping them to the Sherpas.

    Climb at your own risk. If I were younger and able, I would climb other peaks: never Everest. There are enough less climbed peaks that are super challenging, and every one of them, the 14 peaks over 8,000 meters, are super dangerous. My dream is to get to Nepal and climb East Lobuche, with an elevation just over 6,000 meters. There are wonderful opportunities to do trekking trips with just one or two days with some technical climbing using ropes. Real climbers would climb those without ropes or with just man ropes, but tourists like me would need fixed ropes. Know your abilities and weaknesses and plan accordingly.

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    , @Nathan
  240. What’s so great about the tallest summits? The deadliest would be more impressive. E.g., K2 and Montana’s Granite Peak are far worse than their continents’ champions.

    That would make a hell of a triathlon– Platinum? Titanium? Scale one of these, attempt the water speed record, and… any ideas for #3?

    Reverse skydiving?

  241. @JMcG

    It is, and this shows your mother was a wise woman.

    • Thanks: JMcG
  242. @Achmed E. Newman

    I’ve had the same Escherian experience.

    Seeing a top and making my way up towards it, then seeing the unseen taller top beyond that top. Really annoying is the valley between, meaning that I have to go down, then up all over again.

    • Replies: @LP5
  243. PSR says:

    When they get back down will seven of them be sporting bullet wounds?

  244. @Anon

    OT: A thought about Soros DAs and their lack of prosecution.

    On this subject, Manhattan’s new DA, who bears the Soros stamp of approval, has pledged to seek prison terms only for a subset of violent felons:

    Who needs soft-on-crime judges when the district attorney doesn’t even want to lock up the bad guys?

    Manhattan’s new DA has ordered his prosecutors to stop seeking prison sentences for hordes of criminals and to downgrade felony charges in cases including armed robberies and drug dealing, according to a set of progressive policies made public Tuesday.

    In his first memo to staff on Monday, Alvin Bragg said his office “will not seek a carceral sentence” except with homicides and a handful of other cases, including domestic violence felonies, some sex crimes and public corruption.

  245. @JMcG

    Call of the void.

    • Thanks: JMcG
  246. @AndrewR

    Thank you. If my friend was using a meme to himself spin a yarn for us, the meme is probably very old. I heard that story from him in the early 1980s.

  247. prosa123 says:

    Mount Dankova in Kyrgyzstan is slightly less than 20,000 feet but is so challenging there are no known ascents. That’s a pity, because according to mapping software a climber on its peak should be able to see a mountain in China called Hindu Tagh 334 miles away. That would be by far the longest sightline between two places on the earth’s surface.

    The longest sightline ever photographed is 275 miles, from Pic de Finestrelles in the Pyrenees Mountains of northern Spain to Pic Gaspard in the Alps near the border of France and Switzerland. Some people have reported (but not photographed) a view of 342 miles between two impossible-to-spell-or-pronounce peaks in Iceland and the Faroe Islands; this should not be possible based on the earth’s curvature but may occur in very rare situations due to atmospheric refraction.

    Mount Kilimanjaro in Africa has the greatest viewshed of any mountain, in other words the greatest amount of land visible from its summit. It’s about the same area as the entire state of Nebraska. Rather than being part of a mountain range, Kilimanjaro is an isolated peak with nothing to block views.

    All 23 square miles of the Republic of San Marino can be seen from atop a peak just inside its border with Italy.

  248. @Kylie

    He did, in German, somewhere in the 1920s….

  249. Been said before but bears repeating (apologies to Jack White):

    One of the first facts I learned as a child about L+C was that they expected the Rockies to be of similar altitude to the Appalachians and therefore attempted to cross the former without proper footwear.

    If I remember correctly, the average quality of their party’s footwear during the subsequent crossing amounted to the sparse protection provided by the Indian moccasin (they had horses and Indian guides though, so they made it).

    Maybe someone here will correct me on this possible folk myth.

  250. @frankie p

    What percentage of the top 100 climbers in the world at the moment have never bothered climbing Everest? Is it becoming passe among the best climbers?

    • Replies: @frankie p
  251. frankie p says:
    @PiltdownMan

    Messner was the first to ascend Everest without oxygen, first with Peter Habeler in 1978, when there was a great controversy about whether it was possible. Many believed that they would die trying to reach the peak without bottled oxygen. Messner likes to say that “impossible” is in your mind, not in the thing you are trying to achieve. Two years later Messner would solo climb Everest without oxygen in incredible time and cement himself as the greatest Himalayan climber of all time. The reason Messner is alive today is his deep understanding of mountains and mountain conditions and his willingness to call off expeditions when he feels that the conditions are not optimal. On his solo attempt to climb of Everest without oxygen in the summer of 1980, he acclimatized for three weeks and made the first assault, reaching 7,000 meters and finding the snow so wet that he knew the avalanche risk was much too high. He descended, and moved north to Tibet, where the monsoon doesn’t reach. He climbed a few 7,000 meter peaks to keep his body acclimatized, and then returned to Everest. In August, the weather changed, becoming cold and most suitable for good snow conditions. Messner decided to climb. He started just after midnight and climbed from the advanced base camp (6,400 meters) to 7,800 meters elevation in ONE DAY. This is an incredible altitude gain at such high altitude. I believe that he descended before sleeping, because gaining so much altitude in one climb would give anyone altitude sickness that would kill you. He ascended Everest solo, with no oxygen, in three days, with two days for the descent. Messner: “On the way down, I needed my footprints, otherwise, I would not have the smallest chance to come back. It was slightly snowing and these clouds everywhere, sometimes a hole would open and I could see down to the glaciers. So I was looking back and the footprints were still there. Otherwise it would be dangerous, but I could find them, so I found my tent again.”

    It’s hard to overemphasize the effect of this solo ascent among the mountain climbing community.
    John Krakauer called it ” a deed widely regarded as the greatest mountaineering feat of all time.” The climbing community knew that Messner was a phenomenal climber, but this iced the cake, and as far as I know, NOBODY has ever matched this feat.

    Messner would be the first climber to summit all 14 of the world’s 8,000+ meter peaks without supplemental oxygen.

    “The passion for limits. I think this is the best title for my activity. Passion for limits. Almost going a step further on the limits of the possible. My personal limit. ”

    Great documentary

  252. frankie p says:
    @Steve Sailer

    Steve,

    I would say that all of the top 100 climbers in the world have climbed Everest. We should keep in mind that these climbers are more willing to attempt alternative routes and use scheduling that will avoid the two short windows that most of the “tourist climb groups” use. The SOP for climbing Everest is that at the beginning of the season, Sherpas will climb up and fix ropes that ALL of the tourists will use. The mountain guiding companies will have to pay the Sherpas who fixed the ropes according to the number of people who climb and use the ropes. This of course leads to the photos we have all seen of massive traffic jams of people waiting in line when they encounter a particularly difficult place where it takes more time to get up. The top climbers in the world have the ability to assault these mountains WITHOUT ANY FIXED ROPES. They climb in a team with “man ropes”, which they can tie to each other and belay any climber that slips and falls. This gives them more freedom to attempt alternate routes or at least get away from the fixed lines. For his 1980 solo climb of Everest, Messner chose the northeast ridge to the summit, where he crossed above the North Col in the North Face to the Norton Couloir and became the first man to climb through this steep gorge to the summit. Messner decided spontaneously during the ascent to use this route to bypass the exposed northeast ridge.

    This is the kind of freedom these pros have. They can read the mountain. Those who do so, climb patiently without taking unnecessary risks, turn back when weather conditions are not ideal, and HAVE GOOD LUCK, get to live to be old folks. The rest die on the mountain.

  253. Danindc says:
    @Veteran Aryan

    Can you elaborate on your fall.

  254. Danindc says:
    @Meretricious

    Yes that’s the one although K2 has never been climbed in the winter

  255. Danindc says:
    @Anon

    Regardless, it’s going to be a miserable experience for all involved…especially the Sherpas. Who draws the short straw in the Sherpa community?

  256. @frankie p

    So even for the most sophisticated climbers, Mt. Everest hasn’t yet turned into Yogi Berra’s former favorite restaurant that go so popular nobody goes there anymore.

  257. @Inquiring Mind

    This is good IM, do you have the rest in the Kindle format? I want to know how it turns out.

  258. @Jack D

    Yeah, I read Krakauer, but I am not sure if I “get” the thing about mountain climbing and supplementary oxygen.

    I have a hunch that the climbers (with the exception of Mr. Messner) use oxygen, but they don’t use enough oxygen. I don’t know if Krakauer fully explains this, but there are accounts of feeling really good and full of energy near the summit of Everest and then finding you have the oxygen flow turned up too high that you may not be able to make it back?

    There are high-tech oxygen systems used in aircraft and spacecraft (and in diving) that recycle the breathing gas instead of using it up on a once through, breathe in-breath out basis? They use lithium hydroxide to purify the breathing gas and remove the CO2?

    I am aware that such apparatus, especially diving “rebreathers” are not risk free. If the gas concentrations get out of spec, a diver can pass out and die without knowing what happened to him — similar accidents happen with farmers entering silos.

    That said, there are other ways of supplying oxygen besides breathing it out of a compressed gas bottle — liquid oxygen, oxygen concentrators (these are used by everyone from F35 pilots to the old people in those “Medicare pays for it” commercials?

    Is the use-oxygen-but-not-enough-oxygen the result of by modern standards the primitive oxygen systems used by climbers? Are these higher tech solutions too expensive? Too hazardous? Too heavy? Or would it make the climb too easy and not give the mountain a sporting chance of killing you?

    • Replies: @Jack D
    , @frankie p
  259. JMcG says:
    @Achmed E. Newman

    There’s a feature on any hill or mountain called the “military summit.” It is that point on a slope from which one can last directly observe the valley floor when ascending towards the true summit. Rounded hills have a military summit a long way from the top.
    I’ve had the same disheartening experience in the mountains of Ireland. No ammo can, though.

  260. Dube says:

    Decades ago I was roasting coffee for a specialty producer, wearing a db-reducing headset, and smiling for visitors who occasionally were being led through the room. An attractive couple appeared; he was a good-looking chap but she was a stunner, and yet her attention was entirely for him. He calmly carried a steady, serene happiness as if from on high – indeed he’d carried it from the highest of climbs, Everest. His climb had been involved with publicity for the company.

    I had to remove the headset and try some conversation (and not burn the roast). It was a chance to ask a naive question. Does Everest come to a point at the top, or what? He continued kindly, no, it levels to an area like this – he waved to show an area maybe 10′ x 10′ around him – and you can walk back and forth and look down – which he did, right there in the roaster room, to my eyes, although more than that to his. Oh, he was up there still.

    Was it a social construct? Entirely surpassing.

    • Replies: @JMcG
  261. JMcG says:
    @prosa123

    That’s fascinating, thanks. From the top of Mt. Rainier, one can see more of the volcanoes of the Cascades peeping up off in the distance. That has to be quite a distance. I have some summit shots from ‘86 I think. I’ll have to see if I can find them. Thanks again!

  262. clyde says:
    @ATate

    FWI I have read that a while back there were quite a few Aryan nation types in Spokane. Today it is still quite white. About one seventh non-white. https://suburbanstats.org/population/washington/how-many-people-live-in-spokane

  263. JMcG says:
    @frankie p

    Messner is, without question, the greatest. I was fortunate to meet him once, and to shake his hand. But, he was lucky too. Jerzy Kukuczka was great, Ueli Steck was superhuman, but they’re both dead.
    Messner is alone at the top.

  264. clyde says:
    @PiltdownMan

    I read up on your Reinhold Messner. What a man! He was born with a bull of a constitution. You can tell just by the photos. His wiki has a 2017 photo of him, he still looks very strong at age 72 or so, when the photo was taken.

  265. clyde says:
    @Loyalty Over IQ Worship

    As for Reinhold Messner….

    Great strong genes indeed. Courtesy of his parents and ancestors. But strong genes do not automatically mean a long life. You can always find ways to dissipate such an inheritance. The reverse can true. Where someone born with medium strong genetics can live into his 90s via moderation, discipline, healthy habits and lifestyle. I don’t know about Messner. His face tells me he likes to drink, but can still handle it.

  266. @Nathan

    I agree with you. I made the same point about 15 years ago in an old, old post I wrote for Pajamas Media. It must have been a different age then, because my post did not receive the same kind of positive responses yours is getting. In those days, the right-leaning blogosphere was still redolent of “Conservative, Inc.” types who had apparently been catechized to believe that climbing a mountain was an intrinsically valuable activity.

    I think it is important to realize that anything, absolutely anything, can become some sort of abstract social accomplishment. Whether it’s climbing Everest, drinking a huge amount of liquor, sword swallowing, juggling chainsaws, or what have you, the infinite variety of extreme things people do is largely meant to garner some sort of notoriety before witnesses.

    At this point in the discussion, someone will always chime in to say “Well, that’s the greatness of the human spirit. Without this impulse inherited from our evolutionary ancestors, we would still be living in caves. We never would have sailed to new continents or flown into space; we wouldn’t have accomplished this, that, or the other. You have to accept the frequent, evil misfires of this all-powerful impulse if you want to enjoy the blessings of progress.”

    I vehemently disagree with every word of this view. Most of these accomplishments are pretty useless. Many people could potentially climb Mt. Everest, but very few can actually do so honorably—that is, do so in such a way that it doesn’t take away from other, more important things they could be doing with their time, energy, and resources.

    It is easy to climb Mt. Everest. I don’t mean that the activity itself is easy; I mean that it requires no great moral courage to set this as your goal and carry it out; and it is, in fact, perfectly compatible with sheer vanity. It is much more difficult to identify some truly difficult, dangerous, and beneficial moral purpose and to forge ahead with it in spite of the opposition of society and the lack of any tangible reward. For any man and any age that hears a call to heroic virtue and saintliness, climbing Everest would be nothing more than a cop-out, a means of avoiding the real battle.

    This has been the case in the West for some time now. We have no business climbing mountains—the battle is here.

  267. @flyingtiger

    “Any side effects from this LDS?”

    “Well, nothing to get hung about. You may feel like tithing ten percent of your income, putting on funny underwear or moving to Provo. In extreme cases, some men have reported an overwhelming urge to join the Secret Service.”

    (In all seriousness, anyone who wrote, sang and titled a song “A Girl Named Sandoz” was likely more familiar with hallucinogens than anyone this side of T. Leary or R. Alpert.)

  268. Nathan says:
    @frankie p

    “The sad truth is that the only climbers who are equipped physically to deal with climbers in great need are the Sherpas”

    You bring up a good point and another reason that I find current-day Everest ascents to be distasteful. Climbers are putting the Sherpas under a considerable degree of moral hazard. Climbers know that they can rely on the experience and skill of the Sherpas to reach the top, and probably push themselves into dangerous situations that they otherwise wouldn’t because of it. Is it fair to put the decision to go on or turn back in the hands of a Sherpa, who has the experience and knowledge to make the decision that the paying climber doesn’t? Do the paying climbers consider the effect that their own death might have on a Sherpa? These are complex questions, and I don’t think the typical climber considers them at all.

    “I think that you lack a fundamental understanding of what climbing at such an altitude entails.”

    Those words aren’t mine, they’re Edmund Hillary’s. If you would like to question his fundamental understanding of climbing, feel free, but as commenter JackD helpfully pointed out, he’s dead.

    “If I were younger and able, I would climb other peaks: never Everest.”

    Well, I think we fundamentally agree on the basics of what we’re talking about. I’m not arguing to have climbing Everest shut-down, just that it’s distasteful and that there are probably better and more worthwhile adventures to be had.

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
  269. Anonymous[214] • Disclaimer says:
    @Anon

    The boomers will never be old.

  270. @Nathan

    Is Everest the safest 8000 meter peak to climb? It sounds like any alternative to Everest, such as if the world decided that K2 was the most admirable mountain to climb, would just get more people killed.

    • Replies: @Nathan
    , @Anon
  271. Nathan says:
    @Steve Sailer

    Steve,

    That’s possible. K2 is deadlier than Everest in terms of the ratio of attempts to deaths, but it’s also possible that Everest is in a sweet spot that ensures that more total people will die. It’s “easy” enough that traffic jams in the death zone can occur and easy enough that it’s approachable by less experienced climbers.

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    , @prosa123
  272. @JMcG

    “military summit”

    That’s a useful concept. Thanks.

  273. @Nathan

    So, Mt. Everest is sort of an “attractive nuisance:” relatively easy to get to the base of, the weather isn’t that cold, the technical climbing demands aren’t that high, etc. So it’s gotten a whole lot of people killed over the years.

  274. @Hypnotoad666

    ‘Blacks have the advantage that it’s always possible for them to be “the first black person to do X.” It must be cool to be hailed as a pioneer for doing what thousands of other people have already done.’

    It’ll be fun when they ballyho their achievement. I’m looking forward to that.

    It’s relatively dangerous. They could even get killed.

  275. JMcG says:
    @Dube

    The top of Devil’s Tower in Wyoming is approximately the size of a football field. It’s very disorienting to be standing on a large flat field and then to walk to the edge to set up your rappel and realize that it’s 900 feet in the air.

    • Replies: @Jack D
  276. @Steve Sailer

    Not unlike a mousetrap baited with nice cheese, eh Steve? Do ya feel lucky punk? The guy with the big hair who climbed alone and without oxygen (and any of his peers who have accomplished same) is the only one I regard as having made the climb. The rest are tourists on an exotic, if dangerous, thrill seeking quest. If you need so much assistance and oxygen to reach the top, how else to classify it? Me, I reached the top of Mount Washington. I have the bumper sticker to prove it.

  277. Graham says:

    I don’t know whether Nirmal Purja, a naturalised Briton of Nepali birth, counts as brown, but he and his all-Nepali team have already done it, and more. They climbed all 14 8000-metre peaks one after the other in 2019. I watched the film of his achievements last night on Netflix. He seems a very admirable person.

    • Replies: @PiltdownMan
  278. @Almost Missouri

    Who’s the now-deceased Brit evolutionary biologist often namechecked by Steve, who looked like a cave man?

    Found him – W.D. (Bill) Hamilton.


    https://unendedquest.org/2017/02/07/w-d-hamilton-1-august-1936-7-march-2000/

  279. @Graham

    Here’s Reinhold Messner voicing his views on climbing, and on Nirmal Purja, just last week.

  280. AceDeuce says:
    @Clyde

    One parent Ethiopian and the other one Samoan? They must look like the number 10 standing next to each other.

  281. @JMcG

    Thanks. Rather than a point, though, wouldn’t it be more of a line or a crest, as the edge of ground visibility?

    As nomenclature, I suppose “military crest” might get confused with other things…

    • Replies: @JMcG
  282. prosa123 says:
    @Nathan

    Mount Everest’s (literal) flip side is the wreckage of the ocean liner Andrea Doria off the coast of Massachusetts. So far 16 people have died scuba diving to the wreckage out of the approximately 1,500 people who have made the dive, the highest death rate of any known dive site. Lying at a depth of between 200 and 250 feet, it is at the extreme limit for highly experienced divers and therefore diving to it has become a major challenge and attraction. That depth also means that there is zero margin for error, and in one sense is the worst possible level: if it were shallower the risks would be much lower, and if it were deeper no one could try to dive to it at all.

    In recent years collapsing of the ship’s structure has effectively increased the depth of the wreckage and fewer and fewer people are attempting the dive. There have been no deaths since 2017.

    • Replies: @Jack D
  283. @AnotherDad

    “I’d prefer to rappelling from whatever sort of jet helicopter they develop to operate at altitude”

    A man has landed a helicopter on the summit twice, but passengers are a different matter(horn).

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Didier_Delsalle

    Didier Delsalle (born May 6, 1957, in Aix-en-Provence, France) is a fighter pilot and helicopter test pilot. On May 14, 2005, he became the first (and only) person to land a helicopter, the Eurocopter AS350 Squirrel, on the 8,848 m (29,030 ft) summit of Mount Everest

    AFAIK the highest helicopter rescue is this in 2013, from 7,800m. The pilot is thought to also be a record-holder, with two other Europeans and a lot of Sherpas, for the world’s highest fight. Has anyone fought on the summit?

    https://www.thebmc.co.uk/everest-worlds-highest-helicopter-rescue

  284. Jack D says:
    @Inquiring Mind

    There are old people type oxygen concentrators now that weigh less than 5 lbs but the battery is only good for a few hrs. I also don’t know whether they would work at the altitudes/temperatures/exertion levels needed.

    Climbers seem very willing to adopt technical innovations but I’m not sure the market is big enough to justify a lot of R&D or whether current battery technology would permit longer operation in any case. My guess is that if something else was possible they would be using it. People spend up to \$100k on Everest ascents so another few \$k on the latest newfangled oxygen device would not faze them.

    • Replies: @JMcG
  285. Jack D says:
    @JMcG

    Better hope you brought enough rope!

    • Replies: @JMcG
  286. @Steve Sailer

    Even the easy mountains(14 thousand ft or higher) in the USA can be dangerous. Look at how many people have died on Long’s Peak in Rocky Mountain National Park.

    “At least 69 people have died on Longs Peak in the past century. In 2018, Jens “Jay” Yambert, 60, died instantly after a 200-foot tumbling fall, park officials said. In May 2019, the body of Ryan Albert was recovered after the 30-year-old went missing in October 2018 while trying to summit the peak”

    There are a few very dangerous spots where if you fall you will tumble at least one thousand feet or more . In the winter or when there is ice on the trail then the mountain becomes technical.

    The Maroon bells are also known as the deadly bells.

    “The beautiful Maroon Bells, and their neighbor Pyramid Peak, have claimed many lives in the past few years. They are not extreme technical climbs, but they are unbelievably deceptive. The rock is downsloping, rotten, loose, and unstable. It kills without warning. The snowfields are treacherous, poorly consolidated, and no place for a novice climber. The gullies are death traps. Expert climbers who did not know the proper routes have died on these peaks. Don’t repeat their mistakes, for only rarely have these mountains given a second chance. DO NOT CLIMB IF NOT QUALIFIED.”

    Don’t forget about mountain sickness or high altitude sickness. This is a condition that can happen when you travel to high altitudes. It is caused by the decrease in oxygen at higher altitudes. When there is less oxygen in the air, your body cannot get enough to function properly. Mountain sickness usually occurs within 24 hours after you travel to a higher altitude. One time when hiking up Mt Elbert(high point in Colorado) a group had to administer to a partner that got sick close to the top.

    • Replies: @JMcG
  287. Jack D says:
    @prosa123

    It’s interesting that in order to be in the “death zone” going up (in the air) you have to go up 29,000 feet but the “death zone” going down (in the water) is only 200′. It seems so tantalyzingly close.

    • Replies: @Achmed E. Newman
  288. @flyingtiger

    The following is Eric Burdens’ original lyrics but the record company execs forced him to change the lyrics;

    There is a mountain in Breckenridge
    They call the Quandary Peak
    And it’s been the ruin of many a rich boy
    And God, I know I’m one

    My mother was a mountain climer
    She sewed my new hiking pants
    My father also was a climbing man
    Down in Nouveau Riche Aspen

    Now the only thing a mountain climber needs
    Is a pair of hiking boots and an energy bar
    And the only time he’s satisfied
    Is when he’s on top of the hill

  289. Pontius says:

    One of Hemingway’s “only three true sports”.

    Of course, one of the other two was torturing animals, and he did blow his own brains out, so take that for what it’s worth.

    Hermann Goering was a pretty avid mountaineer in his youth. I’m not sure if it was the ropes and carabiners type, or walking stick and chocolates type.

  290. @Jack D

    Water is right at 1,000 x as dense as air (at sea level), a nice round number to remember. Therefore, pressure changes that much more per height change too.

    Of course, it’s not the same problem – one involves too much pressure, or too quick a transition in pressure, which the human body is not meant to withstand, and the other is just the lack of enough oxygen to breath and the freezing-ass cold.

    I know you know this, but I’m just pointing out that these death zones are ~ 1,000 x different in height. That’s not from any natural law though, just coincidental.

    • Replies: @Emil Nikola Richard
  291. Pontius says:
    @Bill

    It seems to be more enjoyable than being a playwright.

    • Replies: @Achmed E. Newman
  292. Pontius says:
    @Cloudbuster

    It’s certainly cold enough up there. Bleach bottles are kinda heavy though.

  293. @Achmed E. Newman

    Are there any notable death zone tourists who have opined on Moon shots and Mars shots? Like a Sir Edmund Hillary who has called out Neil Armstrong as a lying sack of yak dung?

    • Replies: @Achmed E. Newman
  294. JMcG says:
    @Jack D

    It’s the atmospheric pressure that’s the problem. I don’t think concentrators are capable of delivering increased pressure, though I’m way out of my depth here.

    • Replies: @Achmed E. Newman
    , @Jack D
  295. JMcG says:
    @Jack D

    Hah! The park service has set up rappel anchors every 130 feet or so. It’s still exposed enough to concentrate the mind wonderfully.

  296. Jack D says:
    @JMcG

    Something seems to be off in your terminology (althought Google doesn’t seem to be much help in this case). As AM points out, a “summit” implies a mountain top – a point or plateau. Could it be that there are two types of mountains – those with “military summits” where you can see the valley floor from the summit of the mountain (which would be tactically desirable to hold) and “non-military summits” where you can’t? Something like that?

    • Replies: @JMcG
    , @PiltdownMan
  297. Danindc says:
    @Steve Sailer

    The most admirable mountain to climb still wouldn’t be nearly as popular as the tallest mountain in the world.

  298. LP5 says:
    @SaneClownPosse

    then seeing the unseen taller top beyond that top

    Many hikers have had that experience, hearing “just over that next ridge”.

  299. LP5 says:

    If you are of a certain age, which many iSteve readers appear to be, then you may have come across the following book.

    https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/118565.Mountaineering

    Some were inspired by it or similar books. Those led to outdoor pursuits, for the fun, adventure, beauty of nature, camaraderie, teamwork, learning about one’s capabilities and limits, or other benefits. While not for everyone, there is something to be said about engaging with nature on its terms. Hike, climb, ski, mountain bike, each has its appeals.

  300. JMcG says:
    @Jack D

    Dang it, you are correct. It’s called the military crest, not the military summit.
    Thanks Jack, I hate when I put out bad information.

    Military crest is the correct term.

  301. Ralph L says:

    I’m shocked that no one brought up the Earl Butz-identified problems of blacks climbing Everest.

  302. Muggles says:
    @Steve Sailer

    I am only about 25% through the commentary here and have yet to read of any comment referencing women who have climbed Everest.

    I’m sure many have, but how many?

    Women in general don’t appear to be very interested in exploration or “summitting” high peaks.

    Many men (with too much money) keep logs of all of the high mountains they have conquered. A few women also, probably. Trans? Not yet…

    While in general women are less able to perform tough physical tasks, there are some exceptions like long distance swimming or solo sailing. A few women tried to walk to the North Pole, though I don’t know if they made it or not. There is a feminist “we can do anything men can do” ethic, but I’m not sure how wise that is.

    Women being generally smaller, that isn’t necessarily a bad thing when climbing. Maybe women are just less able to afford dangerous activities. Or chose not to.

    Pioneer women in American were often tougher than men, in some cases. But they seemed to be more risk adverse. Testosterone poisoning and all.

    Men seem to be attracted to danger. Women, other than the crazy ones, not as much.

  303. Muggles says:
    @Dieter Kief

    Step up to it with your right then with your left foot. Repeat till you sweat. Do it two times a day.

    This is similar to a regular gym exercise I do with an “exercise box” which is about 30 inches tall and has a springy soft feel. But it is stable and can bear your full weight.

    My trainer uses it for my glute work. Your gluteus maximus is one of the largest muscles in your body and is essential for leg strength and movement.

    When you step up on that box you have to rock your feet and lunge up a bit. You can feel that later.

    That muscle is what lifts your legs and I can see why in climbing it is essential to develop it.

    Professional skaters/ice dancers, among others, have well developed glutes.

    I’m told when they are large enough they burn calories which otherwise might turn into fat. So if a big butt is glutes, that’s good. If just fat, well, hello diabetes.

  304. jb says:
    @Nathan

    I think most people who climb Mount Everest do it for the same reason I once ran a marathon: so they can tell other people they did it (like I’m doing here 🙂 ). I.e., to earn the respect of others by completing a challenge that is extremely taxing physically, even if it isn’t in any way ground-breaking.

    What I don’t understand is people who do it twice.

  305. @Muggles

    “Maybe women are just less able to afford dangerous activities. Or chose not to.”

    How many more times? Taking risks is built into males. Who piles up cars and motorbikes? Who, at age 5, 6, 7 hurls themselves off the swing to see how far away they can land? Who, aged 11 or 12, has an irresistible urge to climb things? Mostly boys.

    http://www.denisdutton.com/baumeister.htm

    The other thing is sex preferences. Most men’s attraction to a woman isn’t based on how good she is at something (OK, OK, bar one thing) – so the fact that a woman is a top sport climber or alpinist is neither here nor there, although it does mean she’ll be toned and honed. But women ARE attracted to men who take risks or are among the best at what they do, whatever it is they do. Apparently even successful video game players attract groupies.

  306. Negroes going up Mount Everest is a hoot. Everyone and his dog has been up there, so what’s the thrill? Getting back at the man by scrawling graffiti on the rock face? They’ll probably want the name changed to Nelson Mandela Peak or Martin Luther King Mountain because the person that the mountain was named after was white and therefore evil and responsible for the fate of de black man.

  307. frankie p says:
    @Inquiring Mind

    Your hunch about climbers is incorrect. Ed Viesturs, an American, has climber the 14 peaks over 8,000 meters, all without oxygen. Many climbers who have developed their abilities without supplemental oxygen take the challenge. Climbers who use oxygen and take their masks off near the summit report that they immediately lose all energy and capacity to continue. This is because they are conditioned to the bottled oxygen, and its sudden absence leaves them unable to continue.

    Viesturs on climbing without oxygen: “Your thought processes are slower. Your motivation is depressed. I mean, just to go and put your boots on takes 20 minutes of thinking, and then another half an hour of doing, and then you’re like exhausted”.

    Mario Dibona, a guide from the Dolomites, on climbing Everest without oxygen: “After 7,000 meters (23,000 feet), you have difficulty breathing. You have to concentrate on inhaling. The worst problem is the difficulty sleeping. The night comes and you can’t sleep. You gasp for air. You wake up and can’t inhale. On Everest, at the top, when you’re standing still, you’re okay. But when you start to walk you have to inhale and inhale over again.”

    • Replies: @JMcG
    , @Anonymous Jew
  308. @Jack D

    where you can see the valley floor from the summit of the mountain (which would be tactically desirable to hold)

    I’d think it would be the opposite. A mountain with a military crest below the actual summit would be desirable to hold as a fortification, because the force can withdraw as needed behind the crest, and it helps keep equipment and personnel not deployed and stores hidden from the enemy below.

    Ex-military folks here can probably enlighten us.

    India and Pakistan fought a major battle for three Himalayan peaks in 1999. A fascinating analysis of their experience with very high altitude warfare in the Himalayas is available from the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey.

    https://apps.dtic.mil/dtic/tr/fulltext/u2/a417318.pdf

  309. JMcG says:
    @europeasant

    There have been 150 deaths on the 6,288’ Mt. Washington, in New Hampshire. It has some of the worlds worst weather. Winds on the summit were once measured at 230 mph by the NWS.

    • Thanks: europeasant
    • Replies: @Brutusale
  310. JMcG says:
    @frankie p

    I think it was Viesturs who stated his pace at 8000 meters is 15 breaths per step. When I was on Rainier I was taking 4 or 5 breaths per step near the summit, but I’m an east coast sea level boy.

    • Replies: @europeasant
  311. @JMcG

    I’m way out of my depth here.

    You mean “out of your height” – we’re talking mountains here, right?

    OK, seriously, I don’t see why an O2 concentrator wouldn’t work, besides the energy storage reasons mentioned. The atm pressure is very low up there, so what would be the problem? In a “standard atmosphere” the pressure at 29,000 ft would be about 4.5 psi, less than 1/3 of that at sea level. Your O2 pressure could be lower than what the machine puts out at sea level or an an airliner (8,000 ft, or 11 psi max). You would just need enough flow to keep going.

    • Replies: @JMcG
  312. @Emil Nikola Richard

    I don’t know what you mean, Emil. I got this page from a search. It says that the two were lifelong friends later in their lives and the two even took a trip to the North Pole together. No faking.

    • Replies: @Emil Nikola Richard
  313. 93skidoo says:
    @YetAnotherAnon

    Aleister Crowley’s longtime climbing partner was Oscar Eckenstein, who was a significant innovator in the sport:
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oscar_Eckenstein

    (Crowley was basically written out of much of climbing history for his cowardice on Kangchenjunga, which haunted him the rest of his life.)

    • Replies: @YetAnotherAnon
  314. Jack D says:
    @JMcG

    AFAIK the concentrators can deliver oxygen at pressure – enough pressure that you can use a concentrator to fill a portable bottle.

    The way that they work is that they pressurize a zeolite (an aborbent mineral) filter with an air compressor – under presssure the zeolite absorbs nitrogen preferentially to oxygen. The gas that emerges from the other end of the filter bed is mostly oxygen because all of the nitrogen is bound up in the zeolite. You release this oxygen into the breathing apparatus or capture it in a tank. Then when you depressurize the chamber, the nitrogen escapes from the zeolite and is bled off into the atmosphere. Meanwhile you have a 2nd chamber doing the same thing so that when one bed is bleeding off nitrogen the other is making oxygen and the system alternates back and forth between the 2 chambers.

    Obviously starting with 5 psi air instead of 15 psi means that the compressor has to work harder but I don’t see why it wouldn’t work.

    • Agree: JMcG
    • Thanks: Johann Ricke
    • Replies: @Jack D
  315. Jack D says:
    @Jack D

    PS one of the byproducts of compression is heat – after the compression stage there is usually a heat exchanger and the waste heat gets blown out into the atmosphere. People at home don’t want to be breathing super hot oxygen. I’ll bet that up on Everest people wouldn’t mind having that waste heat piped into their boots and gloves and just having the -40 degree breathing air warmed up to room temperature would be nice too.

    But I assume the glitch is carrying around enough battery power to make this gizmo work for the whole time that you need it.

  316. @Old Prude

    Women have to overcome the K2 of obstacles that are the legacy of the patriarchy while wading through the mire of toxic masculinity.

    There’s actually a book about women climbing K2 that is not completely terrible called Savage Summit: The Life and Death of the First Women of K2

    Some of their eventual fates are pretty terrifying.

    High-altitude mountaineering disasters are far more horrifying than any slasher film you care to name.

  317. @Anon

    I believe the Neandertals have first claim.

  318. JMcG says:
    @Achmed E. Newman

    Like I say, out of my ballpark. I know they use pressure masks like military pilots, cannulae aren’t sufficient. Partial pressure of oxygen must be at some minimum value. My climbing days are over, and I don’t get much over 7 or 8 thousand feet in airplanes these days. I get scared watching the guys on YT doing what I used to do.

  319. @frankie p

    IIRC, Ed Viesturs has a VO2 max of approximately 70. I believe that’s one of the keys to his success. His VO2 max is on par with nationally competitive endurance athletes and pretty exceptional. Probably puts him, conservatively, in the 99.8%. Also, VO2 max is heritable. The percentage of humans that have the natural, genetic ability (training aside) to climb 8,000 meter peaks without oxygen is likely pretty small and certainly a small minority of fit young males.

    Most elite alpinists have vertical ascent rates on non-technical hikes/ climbs that suggest very high VO2 max numbers. (For example, in cycling you can calculate weight and rate of climb and get a pretty accurate estimate of a cyclists wattage output and VO2 max).

    • Replies: @JMcG
  320. JMcG says:
    @Anonymous Jew

    Alex Lowe was likely America’s premier alpinist until his death in an avalanche in 1999 at age 40. I met him on the Grand Teton in 1988. I soloed the tourist route that day, it took me 14 hours, though I napped for an hour on the ascent. I met him at around 830 am. He had soloed the north face of the Grand, a far more technical route, and was on his way down. His round trip was probably 3 1/2 hours.
    One of his nicknames was “Lungs with Legs.”
    He was a super nice guy, from the couple of times I met him.
    You are correct about the genetic component of high altitude performance.

  321. @JMcG

    My dad was a fine physical specimen who lived to be 95 in very good health almost the entire way. But altitude over about 9,000 feet really took it out of him. So there’s a fair amount of unpredictable randomness in how individuals deal with high altitude.

    • Replies: @europeasant
  322. duncsbaby says:
    @Clyde

    I remember stopping at a Burger King in Couer d’Alene, Idaho, in 1997 and the gal who took my order was black. I thought at the time that it wasn’t exactly the whiteopia it was cracked up to be.

  323. @HammerJack

    “Valesky Barosy, Executive Vice President”!
    🙂
    Most Creative Negro Name of the Year.

    • Agree: HammerJack
  324. @Muggles

    678 women have climbed Mt. Everest, about 10 to 15% of the total.

    I’d imagine most women mountain climbers grew up in an outdoorsy family with a dad who likes mountains. And they grow up and they like male mountain climbers.

    In general, high achievement in daring traditionally masculine undertakings among women correlates with a strong relationship with their high achieving fathers. If there is a Winter Olympics this year, you’ll note that the women skiers, snowboarders, and the other outdoor sports stars tend to have their good-looking, prosperous parents and siblings in the crowd cheering them on.

    Leaving aside figure skating, a big part of the appeal of the Winter Olympics to female audiences is that it tends to be the Festival of Happy Families.

    • Replies: @JMcG
  325. Anonymous[214] • Disclaimer says:

    I imagine that mountain climbing got a boost after WWI due to the technological advances in aviation that took place during the war. Air forces had to solve the problem of how to keep men, not just alive, but lucid and functional, at high altitude for extended periods. (This was a particular problem for the Germans, who in the later years of the conflict had to operate their airships at very high altitudes to avoid interception by airplanes.)

  326. JMcG says:
    @Steve Sailer

    Willi Unsoeld was on the first American team to summit Everest, in May of 1963. He lost all of his toes after getting stranded overnight near the summit. He died in an avalanche along with one of his students, a young lady, on Mt. Rainier in 1979.
    In 1976, he was on an expedition to Nanda Devi, in The Himalaya, along with his daughter. He had named his daughter Nanda Devi after the mountain, regarding it as the most beautiful mountain in the world. She died on the mountain at age 22, of a high altitude pulmonary embolism.

  327. Anon[221] • Disclaimer says:
    @Steve Sailer

    Perhaps you’ve seen it already, but there’s a film on Netflix, “14 peaks”, about a Sherpa who climbed the 14 existing peaks that are over 8,000 ft in 6 months. The documentary includes some footage with a Messner fellow, the only other climber to have done so, but since he did it without oxygen, it took him 14 years.

    The documentary is interesting, not only because it is very open about how sherpas and Nepali climbers have been discriminated by the world (?!?), but also because the hero seems to have done it half from vanity half looking for personal meaning in life. In that sense, he is a very modern thirtysomething.

  328. @JMcG

    It takes awhile to get acclimated. When I hiked up Mt. Whitney ( 14,500 but trail starts at 8,000) I trained for at least a month in Colorado and Utah at high altitudes. I also spent 5 days hiking near Whitney. You need a permit for Mt.Whitney and they give out 100 per day during an early year lottery. Old information from 10 years ago.

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    , @JMcG
  329. @Steve Sailer

    The older we get the more we lose our lung oxygen capacity. Itz a bitch getting old but there are perks like reduced fees and such. Plus we don’t have to eat as much.

    “Most of us remember a time when we could eat anything we wanted and not gain weight. But a new study suggests your metabolism — the rate at which you burn calories — actually peaks much earlier in life, and starts its inevitable decline later than you might guess”.

  330. @europeasant

    During WWII when my dad was about 25 he saved up his gas rationing coupons and he and another guy at Lockheed drove up to Mt. Whitney. They hiked all day from Whitney Portal to Trail Crest at 13,700 feet, only 800 feet below the summit and camped overnight. But the next morning he couldn’t get out of his sleeping bag while his friend went to the top.

    When I was 18, I made it to the top of Whitney with a little easier 3 day schedule: drive to the Portal on Monday and camp overnight at 8000 feet to acclimate, up to Trail Camp at 12000 feet on Tuesday, then a long Wednesday to the summit at 14500, then all the way back down to the car and then drive home (5 hours).

    My father was always physically more resilient than me, but very high altitude was one area where he wasn’t. So, there is some randomness in how one responds to high altitude.

  331. JMcG says:
    @europeasant

    I was on Whitney in 90 or 91. My girlfriend wanted to give it a try. She worked out for around six months before going, but she was in great shape to start with. After about three miles of the approach, she quit. So there were two of the daily permits wasted that day.

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
  332. @JMcG

    The correlation between your sea level aerobic fitness and how you’ll do at high altitude isn’t as high as I would have expected. There are a lot of surprises.

    • Agree: JMcG
  333. @JMcG

    the genetic component of high altitude performance.

    Genes help for sure, but I suspect that you can have most of the same effect just by growing up at altitude. I knew a French woman of lowland Dutch-Parisian stock who nevertheless grew up in the Alps. She pointed out that because of it, she had unusually large lung capacity compared to the rest of her family. Her torso/ribcage was visibly larger compared to even physically fit lowlanders. Even into old age, she was able to walk distances and altitudes that left much younger people sucking wind.

    But you have be living at altitude before you go through puberty and your basic physical form becomes set in [calcium]. If you move to altitude after becoming an adult, it’s too late. Well, your blood will get more hemoglobin-rich and so on, which is helpful, but you can’t regrow your ribcage size into a chassis for high altitude operation.

    I suppose there could be some downside too, like the energy/growth that goes into higher lung capacity didn’t go into higher cognitive functions, but in this n=1 case, she was a highly cultured and accomplished person. Of course genes matter for that too as she came from a highly cultured and accomplished family.

    • Thanks: JMcG
    • Replies: @Jack D
  334. Jack D says:
    @Almost Missouri

    I suppose there could be some downside too, like the energy/growth that goes into higher lung capacity didn’t go into higher cognitive functions

    It’s probably more likely that the extra growth you experience in your rib cage gets taken out of your limbs. Having extremities that are less extreme probably allows you to oxygenate them (and fend off frostbite) better than long limbs. People who live at high altitude (Sherpas, Peruvian Indians, etc.) tend to be barrel chested but not tall.

  335. Brutusale says:
    @JMcG

    A balmy -34 today. A researcher at the weather station went outside with his leftover spaghetti.

    https://www.boston.com/news/local-news/2022/01/11/mount-washington-observatory-cold-spaghetti/

    • LOL: JMcG
  336. @93skidoo

    I’ve just finished Doug Scott’s* last book about Kanchenjunga, in which he comes over as quite impressed by Crowley as a climber, if not so much as a leader.

    * first (with Pete Boardman and Joe Tasker) to climb Kanchenjunga without supplementary oxygen.

    I must confess to a sneaking admiration, (or is it a horrified fascination?) for the holy fools who attempt high mountains with no support and no experience, like the Brit Maurice Wilson on Everest or the American Edgar Francis Farmer on Kanchenjunga, last seen by his Sherpas heading up the mountain with no rope and no food, having told them to wait for him. The following day, 27 May 1929,

    “at about 7am we got on the top of an ice hillock and we saw all the way where Mr Farmer went up. We saw Mr Farmer climbing up on the steep snow. This time he was long way up. It was small figure. He was climbing up. The peak of Kanchen Junga was on his left hand side. He got on the top of a mountain when the sun struck the ridge. He crossed that mountain and we never saw him again.”

    The Sherpas waited three days for him before descending, and nearly died of hunger themselves.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maurice_Wilson

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