Next time you hear someone rationalize why climbers are left where they die on high altitude peaks, remember the case of Markus Kronthaler who died of exhaustion descending after his successful summit of Broad Peak last year. Rather than leave his body exposed at 8,000 meters, his brother Georg Kronthaler led an expedition this year to recover it; it is the highest body recovery in climbing history according to the Alpinist. Word from Everest is Ours today is they were successful. Will this set a precedent for future body recoveries? Probably not, but kudos to Georg Kronthaler, Paul Koller, Stefan Lackner, Hubert Rieger, and the five Pakistani porters that brought the body back successfully. BTW, why are porters always nameless? They have names. Anybody have them? If you read German, you can read a more detailed account of the expedition on Welt der Berge.
UPDATE: According to a comment, the porter's names are:
1.) Mohammed Khan
2.) Mohammed Amin
3.) Ghulam Hussain
4.) Rozi Ali
5.) Mohamad Hakim
6.) Mohammad Hussain “Little”
A sample: "It gnawed on my head, and I could feel flesh
tearing away. I grabbed the animal by the throat; its fur felt like a
dirty wet dog, only thicker. I hit it with a rock, but the rock
crumbled, so I wiggled back into the fetal position. Its teeth cut deep
into the bottom of my skull; I actually heard bone cracking."
People keep pointing out the weird weather ad nauseum. It's almost cliche. But the latest series of weather shenanigans in Europe most certainly qualifies as some kind of sign. Some might say of global warming, I'm going with the apocalypse. But I'm just messianic like that. So you've read about the floods obviously sweeping through England and the heat wave killing people in Southern Europe. But what about the sub-zero weather in the Alps freezing hikers to death? Reuters calls them climbers, they sound more like hikers to me. But nevertheless, 6 people have died of exposure in 3 separate incidents in the Alps over the last few days. Apocalypse folks. You read it here first.
This is a video shot the same day Hirofumi Nohara fell to his death from the cables. You're telling me this is safe? People bunched up like lemmings going up and down? There are even people standing outside the cables. Accident just waiting to happen. The part at the cables is about 1/2 of the way through at the 4:20 mark. Via Yosemite Blog.
As I wrote in my previous post on Half Dome, it's only a matter of time before the NPS makes some drastic changes on Half Dome. Given the number of unprepared tourists clambering up the cables each year, it's almost guaranteed there will be a major accident at some point. And sooner than later IMO. That or a lawsuit by the family of some deceased white person (as opposed to a deceased foreigner of a ethnic persuasion that was just clumsy) will spur some kind of change. It's amazing to me, given the litigious society we live in, that it hasn't happened yet. But who am I to speculate. Read the SF Chronicle's quite extensive article on Half Dome and the hordes that climb it.
The Green Bay Press Gazette is reporting that Christine's body was found last week. Christine and Charlie Fowler perished last year while climbing in the Genyen Massif Area, Tibet. Charlie's body was recovered, but Christine's remained missing until last week. A memorial service will be held in Fox Cities when the body returns. Via The Adventure Blog.