Wednesday, 25 November 2015

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Cumbrian climber’s disappointment as Everest bid abandoned

A Cumbrian climber has spoken of his disappointment after being forced to abandon an attempt to conquer Everest in the wake of a tragedy there that claimed 16 lives.

Tim Mosedale photo
Tim Mosedale

Tim Mosedale, 48, from Keswick, who has scaled the mountain four times, had been leading a five-strong party attempting to conquer the peak.

Their plans and those of other mountaineers were thrown into chaos after the tragedy on April 18.

The devastating avalanche killed 16 mountaineers, 13 of them sherpa guides, the biggest loss of life in a single tragedy in the history of the world’s highest mountain.

Nepalese guides – essential to most expeditions – abandoned this year’s climbing season, partly to honour those who died and also to add pressure to demands for improved financial protection for guides and better compensation for victims’ families.

The decision threw the plans of hundreds of foreign mountaineers – including Mr Mosedale – into chaos.

Speaking from near the mountain’s Base Camp at the weekend, he said the human tragedy was foremost in everybody’s mind, but he questioned the decision of sherpas to walk away, leaving expeditions in tatters.

He said: “I’ve just left Base Camp and we’re now trekking down the valley.

“Sadly, the situation seems to have been hijacked by a few militant sherpas.

“A lot of people have been preparing for this for years and their whole lives have been leading up to it. It’s hugely disappointing.

“People will have lost a lot of money but the local economy will be suffering too. Sherpas will be going home not having been paid the full whack.”

Throughout the expedition, Mr Mosedale has written of his experiences and the effect of the tragedy on a blog.

On April 24 he wrote: “I’m not going to go in to the details of what happened, but what a superb effort went in to the recovery and treatment of the injured.”

He talked of how the feeling of despair increased as the death toll spiralled. The blog adds: “Someone tweeted to me saying that it was a long time coming and the sherpas deserved more respect and pay. This is, I’m afraid, a view that is rather out of kilter with reality.

“For many years now the climbing sherpas have been earning handsomely and the respect they have is absolute.

“Every expedition I have been on in The Khumbu (in excess of 35 now) I have been utterly humbled by their approach to the job and I have been utterly in awe of their strength of mind as well as their physical prowess.

“I cannot imagine that any of the hundreds of clients I have taken along on my various trips has not been touched in some way by the experience, or left with a lifelong impression and fine memory of being with these fantastic people.”


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