Fighting on Everest seems like a strange thing to happen on Mt. Everest. When I was there in 2008 the mountain was closed above 6,400m until May 10th which caused some friction between teams. There was interference from the Army, guns at camp2. Yes there was a lot of tension and stress but never any aggression or violence recorded. Maybe this was because the Nepalese Army were at hand. I know some of the Sherpa who are fixing the ropes on Everest and very surprised to hear about this terrible incident.
I am very interested in here their version on events and how this kind of incident can be stopped. I remember Sherpa’s shouting at people who were using the roped incorrectly, I even remember the discussion continue at camp 2, but shocked to hear of confrontation and physical fight at camp 2. We have a trip there next year and will need the support of the Sherpa climbers to make this a success.
A greater respect for the Sherpa people and climbers may be needed in terms of their role on the mountain. Respecting procedures and maybe some guidelines need to be established by the mountaineering association of Nepal in order to set roles and guidelines for teams and people to follow.
There is an understanding of the role of the Sherpa’s play in setting the ladders and ropes in the ice fall. This has been established for a long time now. Maybe because they are called Doctors they get the respect they deserve. Seriously, the ice fall doctors fixing ropes and ladders are respected for their work and team follow their lead and this has been established over a number of years. Maybe the higher altitude rope fixing Sherpa’s are not getting the same respect, maybe there is too much ego on both sides. I think Sherpa’s working on Everest need support from their mountaineering council. Also guidelines should be handed out to teams at base camp to read and understand. This might help clarify roles, respect and understanding.
In terms of the violence, it is a disgrace, no one should be raising their hand to anyone on Everest and gangs of Sherpa’s attacking climbers need to be dealt with and banned from Everest if proven guilty.
We await more news from people we know on the mountain. Log on and support Peter O’Connell climbing Everest for Pieta House and Suicide awareness this climbing season.