Walking past the dead
Inglis defends Everest actions
By Dan Harrison
May 26, 2006 - 12:28PM
I guess it's just a Small Circle of Friends, the Everest version.
New Zealand adventurer Mark Inglis, who walked past a dying climber on his way to the summit of Mount Everest, says he would do the same thing again.
Inglis, the first double amputee to reach Everest's peak, was in a group of climbers who came across oxygen-deprived British climber David Sharp about 300 metres below the summit on May 15. Inglis' group and several others decided to push on. Sharp, who was climbing alone after unsuccessful attempts to reach the top in 2003 and 2004, later died.
Speaking by telephone to theage.com.au shortly after his arrival in New Zealand, Inglis said there was nothing he could have done to help Sharp.
"My sherpa sort of just pushed me on . . . that was the end of the situation really. I did nothing. I did nothing, you know. I did everything that I possibly could, which was essentially nothing," he said.
"I know that the situation that I walked past, that I saw, only had one ending. Of that I am confident. That's why I guess I sleep at night. . . David had been on the mountain for a long time . . . without oxygen, unsupported," he said.
Sir Edmund Hillary, who with sherpa Tenzing Norgay in 1953 was the first to reach the summit of Mount Everest, this week criticised Inglis for not abandoning his climb to help Sharp.
"I think the whole attitude towards climbing Mount Everest has become rather horrifying. The people just want to get to the top. They don't give a damn for anybody else who may be in distress and it doesn't impress me at all that they leave someone lying under a rock to die," Hillary was quoted as saying.
It's all about getting to the top, not the comradship of climbing. Walking past a man in distress is vile beyond words
posted by Steve @ 12:51:00 AM