Is it just me? Does anyone else find it grossly unfeeling and selfish for wealthy European and American trekkers to continue their assault on Mt. Everest in the wake of the worst earthquake to strike the area in 80 years? With
- an estimated 8 million people affected
- a rapidly rising death toll of over 4,000 people
- thousands of families sleeping outside in Katmandu
- limited food and medical supplies
- transportation issues
couldn’t the resources and energy of these climbers help in the recovery of bodies, the comfort and solace of survivors, in any number of ways help a country devastated by this 7.8 earthquake?
With guided service costing $10,000 or more, it is obvious that the clientele on the mountain have cash to spare. In addition, it is a safe assumption that these climbers are at their peak of physical fitness. And what of the Sherpa that guide them and schlep their shit up and down the mountain for them? How many Sherpas have families down below who are missing or sleeping on the ground without the benefit of expensive tents and sleeping bags? And if those highly skilled and fit Sherpas were released by their wealthy clients, think of the value they could add in rescue efforts throughout the effected areas of Nepal!I was appalled to read in my local newspaper, The Idaho Statesman, that a local climber had escaped injury at the base camp and was preparing for his second attempt to climb the mountain. To be clear, Boise mountaineer Charlie Linville is not a rich man. He is a survivor and a hero, having lost a foot in the war in Afghanistan in 2011. His climb is sponsored by the Heroes Project.
Perhaps I am jumping to conclusions. (I hope I am.) Perhaps Linville and team are preparing to come down the mountain and make their second attempt on Everest at another time. But that is not how I read the article. I am appalled at the notion that any climbers might continue up the mountain at such a dangerous time, when aftershocks are still changing the topography of the ice and the mountain, and while people below camp are enduring such misery.
Am I nuts?