Conor Dary wrote:I almost wish it was a volcano and blow itself up. Almost....
Then things would get REAL interesting with K2 at the top of the heap. One can eat quiche and still climb Everest.
True, K2 is hard. As you noted, there are no tourists routes up there, like the South Col. Also it isn't as easy to get to, since no one really lives nearby, since there are no indigenous names for the Mountain. That is why it called K2.
Eat quiche? I am surprised someone hasn't brought a hot tub up there yet.
Yes, I would love to see the socialites queue up K2. Too bad Cerro Torre isn't the highest in South America. That would put a dent in the 7 Baggers club.
Conor Dary wrote:Thanks for the reminder. Yes, going up the South Col. Of course the real adventure was Tom Hornbein and Willi Unsoeld's climb up the West Ridge. The first traverse of a 8000 meter peak.
50th anniversary of that one was yesterday. Probably the greatest Himalayan climb up to that point. Up the unclimbed West Ridge, over the top, descend the South Col route (now the "normal" route), catch up with Barry Bishop and Lute Jerstad who had climbed the South Col route a few hours earlier. The four were benighted and had a forced bivy at about 28,000', no tent, no sleeping bags, no oxygen. Fortunately a windless night. Lost a bunch of toes.
JumboElliott wrote:I'd avoid Everest like the plague, especially the South Col. I want to climb Kanchenjunga.
With four "peaks" above 8 km (I believe) that is quite a mountain, as seen from Gangtok or nearer points. My one wish would be just to see the North Face (Wall of Shadows) of Jannu or Kumbhakarna, just tucked away behind Kanchenjunga. A sheer, icy crusted wall some two kilometers high, overhanging in places, leading to the summit. I guess I will have to forgo that view - not even on the "bucket list" now.
One of my best friends, 54 now, started climbing in eastern Canada and the Adirondacks when he was 14, eventually the Canadian Rockies, Alaska, NZ, etc. Everest was always one of his dreams. He went over maybe 12 years ago, knowing as much as any climber does about Everest and its routes and history, took one look at the Khumbu Icefall, had a vision of his 8 and 6 year old boys saying "Daddy, don't go in there," and packed out the next day. He went back about five years ago and summitted from the Tibetan side (much safer.)
The weird thing about the Northeast Ridge being safer is how much more technically challenging it is. The same thing is true of K2, where the majority of the deaths occur on the Abruzzi Spur, even though that is technically the least challenging route.