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Just The Sports: Kitty Genovese, Anyone?

Just The Sports

Saturday, May 27, 2006

Kitty Genovese, Anyone?

Some people may look at the death of a 34-year-old British mountaineer on Mount Everest while other climbers largely ignored him as simply tragic or view the events as a modern-day Kitty Genovese story, I look at it as another reason to not attempt to climb Mount Everest if you do not know what the hell you are doing. The tourists who frequent Mount Everest and hire guides to help them reach the summit have commercialized the event so much as to make it almost boring.

Why are there still people, inexperienced at climbing, who want to risk death to stand at the top of a mountain? They are not the first ones to do it. Nor are they the 17th. Nor are they the 168th. Fifteen hundred people have made the climb before them. Instead, these are the people who are so unimaginative they cannot think of any other way to spend their time than to do something, which has been done many times over, and only gives them the illusion of accomplishment. Note to inexperienced climbers everywhere: as the following quote suggests, more experienced climbers have moved on, leaving you with your less shiny and less respected mountain.

"We've been seeing things like this for a very long time," said Thomas Sjogren, a Swedish mountaineer who helps run ExplorersWeb, a Web site widely read by climbers. "The real high-altitude mountaineers, the top people in the world who are doing new peaks and going to mountains you don't know much about, most of these people have become completely disgusted by Everest."

Hopefully the more inexperienced climbers will move on too, to activities that will be less likely to result in someone's death.


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