Saddened, but not surprised by most recent Everest tragedyon May 21, 2012 @ 4:47 pm (Updated: 11:04 am - 5/22/12 )
There is no physical test that climbers have to go through, but that doesn't mean you can pay your way onto the back of a Sherpa. The goal of those assisting the climb is a safe return to base, said Breashears, to return to their families.(AP Photo/File)
Adventurers have been watching the death toll rise on Everest as four climbers have been reported dead over the weekend. David Breashears, a filmmaker, author and mountaineer just recently back from the Everest base camp, has been getting his information from friends near the scene, and online news.
Breashears has summited Everest five times, and most recently documented it for a film called "Storm Over Everest." The film is about the oft-documented 1996 Mount Everest Climb disaster.
"That storm killed our friends," Fisher told 97.3 KIRO FM's Ron & Don Show.
Climbing Everest requires four things: Time, goals, training, and money. Climbers will pay anywhere between $30,000 and $90,000. There is no physical test that climbers have to go through, but that doesn't mean they can pay their way onto the back of a Sherpa. The goal of those assisting the climb is a safe return to base, said Breashears, and a safe return to their families.
To Breashears, one of the main intuitive problems among climbers is the mentality that summiting the mountain is the goal. It shouldn't be - the goal should be to safely get down the mountain.
"[Climbers] apparently get themselves into a position where they're just too tired to get back down the mountain." Sometimes, it's because even those among the most physically fit have bodies that don't respond well to the elevation changes. Other times, guides and Sherpas can't read the exhaustion on the faces of the climbers until it's too late.
Conquering Everest is risky - something Breashears knows all too well. While people have lost their lives and many people are saddened, he's not surprised. When a storm can roll in unexpectedly - whole groups of climbers could find themselves encountering risks greater than exhaustion - the weather. "I'm surprised there hasn't been a bigger tragedy."
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