05-01-2007, 11:39 PM #1Inactive
- Join Date
- Mar 2005
Everest climber returns to mountain to bury woman he was forced to abandon 9 years ag
I wasn't sure where to post this, but I thought this man deserved some honor for giving this woman a proper burial. He made me smile for caring enough about her.
She was alone on a mountain shelf when they found her - a frozen, pathetic figure just 800ft below the summit of Everest.
When they eventually reached her she barely had the strength left to speak. But Francys Arsentiev's last words would stay with them for the rest of their lives: "Don't leave me," she begged. "Please don't leave me." In the treacherous terrain of the world's highest mountain, and in temperatures below minus 30C, they had little choice. They stayed with her for as long as they could before abandoning their summit attempt and heading back down for help. In their hearts, however, they knew they were leaving her to die.
Ian Woodall is leading a new expedition to provide a poignant last chapter to a tragedy that continues to haunt the mountain into the next millennium. He will wrap her in an American flag, lay her to rest within sight of the summit she had earlier conquered, and cover her with a cairn of stones and boulders to shield her body from view.
05-02-2007, 12:12 AM #2
It's nice to see some good news from Everest!Just thinkin' out loud....
05-14-2007, 01:22 AM #3Registered User
- Join Date
- Nov 2005
- Southwestern Maine is home but I'm not there nearly often enough
"To see the view from Everest's summit and die". Some have their wishes granted I guess. I don't want to sound cold hearted but isn't it sort of foolish to climb a 35,000 feet mountain without oxygen? Maybe her husband who had been on top with her would agree if he had not died himself. Personally I believe anyone climbing that mountain without oxygen who makes it back from the top alive is a walking miracle. What will Woodall's wife say if he doesn't make it back from his romantic but unjustifiably dangerous expedition? Francys' soul has long left her body and the very small number of people who'd ever see it perhaps need to be reminded that life is precious and probably not worth gambling with for the purpose of having one's name appear in a book published by a beer company.
05-22-2007, 05:35 PM #4
Here's a story to attest to the fact that there are many corpses on the slopes of Everest.
What's sad is that climbers are more interested in reaching the summit, for their own glory, than in assisting climbers in distress on the mountain. Many will step over a dying climber on their way to the top rather than stopping to help the person down and possibly save that person's like. Truly sick...
"As the death toll mounts, life-and-death ethical issues also arise: Who's responsible for rescuing climbers in distress? Should some inexperienced climbers be barred from the mountain? When a climber in the "death zone," above 26,000 feet, is deeply frostbitten and delirious, and a rescue attempt would endanger the lives of rescuers, should the distressed climber be left to die?
Such questions took on renewed urgency after last year's season, when more than three dozen climbers passed an independent Briton, David Sharp, as he froze to death in a small cave at close to 28,000 feet."
05-23-2007, 02:19 PM #5
There are life-and-death ethical issues, as well as enviromental issues, because climbers leave their stuff up there... abandoning their used oxygen tanks and trash. By the end of the climbing season, the base camps look like landfields. It takes volunteer groups to get things cleaned up...
To climb Everest you have to climb with a sense of selfishness... to those around you and the land. That doesn't appeal to me one bit...
BUT... Everest only has the highest peak above sea-level... I'll stick to driving up to the peak of Mauna Kea, the tallest mountain in the world (its base starts on the sea floor... half the mountain is under water). But even up there at the 14k level, the air is thin and leaves you feeling woozy... but at least death to people and the land by trash, is rare.
05-24-2007, 01:16 PM #6
I often wonder what inspires people, both men and women, who have spouses or children at home, to risk their lives for a moment of glory, to be able to say "I did it". Is that worth the very real possibility of leaving your children without a parent or making your spouse a widow? Is it worth it to lose your life for a moment of personal satisfaction? Especially people who engage in such extreme risk-taking hobbies, like free-climbing or rafting previously unnavigated white water. Is it worth it to say, "I was the first to do that"? What would there families say if asked the same question? They always say "He died doing what he loved." as if that is some great consolation. What it says to me when they say that is "It was more important to him to do what he pleased than to be a responsible parent and husband. Nothing is more important to him than his own personal gratification." (I'm only using "he" here for simplicity, could be a "she".)
05-24-2007, 03:37 PM #7Former Member
- Join Date
- Aug 2003
05-28-2007, 08:41 AM #8
I've always read that it would be dangerous to "healthy climbers" to try and bring an incapacitated person down. Not that it's never been done, but it puts the entire group at risk. And I also don't really understand the whole idea either. I understand the thinking of a person dies doing what they love, but to those left behind they're still dead. Yes, it's better then being murdered and it can be a small comfort, but in the case of daredevil or "wreckless" hobbies/careers it's still all about THEM.