All this talk about MET5s and Sandy Pittman, got me wondering what happened to her after the Everest disaster. Well, a bit of Google journalism turned this up from a source I read regularly, the New York Social Diary:
[After Everest], now officially Sandy Hill, she decided to move to London, leading many to believe that she was looking to make a new life, away from noisome detractors who were plaguing her good name. There she met another American, also, a rich and handsome man — some say an even richer man than Bob Pittman, named Tom Ditmer.
In October of 2000, Aileen Mehle writing as Suzy in W reported that the couple were seen at a dinner given by the Prince of Wales in London, where “Sandy was one of the most attractive women in the room, swathed in white satin with her long dark hair falling in a fringe. Who doesn't know that's bangs to us Americans?”
In 2001, the couple married and moved to a ranch in the Santa Ynez mountains behind Montecito/Santa Barbara where they have lots of animals, and friends visiting. Some friends from New York, visiting Los Angeles, wanted to see the ranch. Sandy sent a plane for them. Later one of them remarked to her on how “nice it is” that she had a plane she could transport her friends in. “I have two,” Sandy Hill Ditmer corrected with that bright California smile.
Fun, Hill's greatest luxury, is on glittering display in the great room. The house, a Modernist affair designed by Hugh Newell Jacobsen, Jacqueline Onassis's architect on Martha's Vineyard, is packed with the sort of animals that Hill might have killed herself: stuffed coyotes and bobcats, giant tortoise shells, Mongolian yak, fruit bats in vitrines. (Hill, herself, hunts doves at her home in the Sierra Madre region of Mexico.)
''Everybody, shhh -- moment!'' Hill whispers. ''We need to have a moment for this dessert.'' She closes her eyes and spreads out her arms, then slaps the table. ''Is anybody in America eating like this right now?''
A few minutes later, Wyatt drags his spurs across the carpet and presents Babaloo to a fawning audience. When someone laments that there's no truffle sorbet left for the little fellow, the accessories designer Kendall Conrad pipes up: ''Sandy, I've thought of a great idea for you: California truffle farming.''
Just nauseating. Obviously Everest was no humbling experience. Probably just a character builder. Why I even blogged this I don't know? I think it was in memory of Anatoli Boukreev, who saved her ass only to die a year later in an avalanche on Annapurna. Saved her ass so she could sip her fine wine and ride her horses and enjoy "Fun, Hill's greatest luxury." She should be waking up every day and lighting a candle for Boukereev. Respect. The other reason I'm blogging this is Pittman epitomizes for me the ignoble decline of Everest into what it is now - a meaningless symbol of what money can buy you in this world.
I've dreamed of climbing Everest since I was young although after I read Into Thin Air I've had my doubts. Sandy Pittman really disgusted me and there are plenty of other people that have been on Everest only because of their money.
be sure that those of you who denigrate the social and mountain-climbing Sandy Hill, have tested yourselves. Say what you will about her motivations, her physical accomplishments involved a lot more than braggadocio.
the next time you run a marathon, or do a bicycle century race, or however you test yourself, do a reappraisal of your snide comments about ms. hill.
sorry, the book (into thin air) indicated that she (a) was literally dragged up much of the crucial part of the climb by a sherpa (Lopsang). also that she (b) brought along not one but two laptops, a fricking coffee maker, a video player so she could watch movies in her tent ... and had Vanity Fair and People magazines delivered to her by courier at base camp ... this cannot be considered anything other than the worst kind of vanity / celebrity-seeking endeavour. Everest is done, it's the Starbucks (literally) of mountain climbing.
Lopsang short-roped Sally Pitman on her summit bid on May 10, 1996, which left him too exhausted to assist others, including Scott Fischer. Boukreev, who had brought one canister, gave it to Pitman, after he found her, among others in the blizzard. He gave it to her because she was insensible. After assisting Charlotte Fox, he returned and half drug and half carried her to the camp. If Pitman could have moved under her own power, and the canister given to Yasuko Namba, it might have saved her life. In any case, Lopsang, who was paid only $2000 as climbing sirdar, received "no money, no thank you, nothing" from Pittman after the expedition for the help he provided her. Moreover, she has refused to acknowledged that Boukreev saved her life in a blizzard at 26,00 feet. (If she hadn't been on the mountain, perhaps Scott Fischer and Yasuko Pamba would have survived.)
Go fuck yourself! U do not know this women. She is one of the most accomplished and amazing people this world has ever witnessed. Know who and what you are writting about before you post such rude, irresponsible, and uneducated comments. this is me being very delicate with your feelings. You need to write an apology. I know the truth, u have zero clue! Enjoy your movies and the american news, I'm sure you'll be well versed in the thruth of the world.
It seems odd to blame any given person on that expedition. Every person knew the risks or else were consciously naive. The guides failed but even they cannot be blamed, they made mistakes and paid for it with their lives. Unfortunately in that environment even the smallest mistakes are multiplied. The environment there will kill anyone, and if the timing and weather aren't ideal summit attempts are simply suicide.
Poor planning/poor communication exacerbate the environmental risks, and obviously even the best laid plans can fail. Complications secondary to excessively high altitude predisposed the group to poor clarity and poor decision making.
It seems obvious that all guides should use O2, I don't need my degree in exercise physiology to tell you that oxygen is the most important thing for the body. In my opinion it is simply irresponsible to "guide" while consciously debilitating yourself.
It's easy for me to make these observations because i'm sitting on a couch in a climate controlled environment and O2 rich atmosphere.
As to Ms Sandy: It seems like a slap in the face to true mountaineers that Everest has commercial guides, and the amount of Sherpa support the customers receive. In the books Sandy epitomized the negative perceptions of said clients. Call it what you must, I'll withhold judgement.
Then again in my opinion the only non Sherpa that deserved to summit was the Swedish dude that rode his bike to Everest and climbed unassisted.
dude you missed the point. those activities like running marathons, etc. are personal goals. they are self-serving and self-centered activities. the real point you should be comparing is what sandy (ex-pittman, ex-dittmer) has done for those around her, compared to her detractors' accomplishments for humanity. it seems to me that sandy just takes up air space and is a liability to those who traveled with her in the mountains. she is a newt with no meaningful existence other than selfishly pursuing "fun".
Unreal, did she show up on this site just to write 6 words? I just finished the climb and I am happy i did not read "Into Thin Air", because I don't think Jonny Krack is an unbiased writer. I can't believe the alligations he made, could any of them be true? And as for Sandy hill, I can't help but wonder if those weeks on Everest still effect her in a negative way. Although she seems arrogant, I do not wish for her suffering. I just don't think she thought it was going to be that way on that mountain. people say she is beautiful? take a look at this picture above, sorry Sandy not a great picture.
To everyone who says Jon Krakauer is an, "unbiased writer," have you actually read Into Thin Air? Neither book should be judged for accuracy before you read both sides of the story. How can you be so ignorant as to make a big fuss about who is right and who is wrong when you don't decide for yourself? You should read both books, because I am sure both are somewhat biased. Come on, it's human nature! You were easily biased after just reading The Climb!
P.S. just to state my opinion, I feel that it was clearly, and fairly pointed out in the BEGINNING of Into Thin Air that there is no truth, just a combination of everyone's accounts. He even says later that he probably doesn't remember it all completely correctly due to the fact that they are on the highest point on the planet and there is a lack of oxygen which messes with your brain. He never claims to be the messiah, geez.
Besides, have any of you actually CLIMBED a mountain? How would you know what it feels like to be in a haze for two months? I'm pretty sure we should cut them some slack, considering the extreme altitudes and the state of all the climbers.
P.P.S. Bourkreev's book was written by someone thousands of miles away who was not there. Krakauer just says what he remembers, not "the truth." He also interviewed as many people as he could before publishing his book. DeWalt decided to do this later to double-check his facts. AFTER the book refuted Into Thin Air. Just think about it.
P.P.P.S. Sorry to get off topic, I know this is about Sandy...
The problem with Bourkeev and his supporters is that they are unwilling to except that he made any mistakes. Unlike Jon K., who admits what his mistakes are, ...Bourkeev and his supporters are fanatical about how he should not be blamed. But-I think the criticism that GUIDES should be using oxygen so that they don't get cold and weak as fast-IS A FAIR CRITICISM. Its also true that he went down to base camp ahead of all of the clients-and it seems to be a fair criticism that it MIGHT have been wiser to stay with some clients rather than rush ahead to base camp.
Bourkeev did an amazing job by saving Sandy and the others.
There is NO doubt about that. But calling Krakauer a "twisted piece of garbage" for raising this issues. ..well it makes Bourkeev's supporters look crazy. When someone else talks about another writer that way-they are probably being defensive.
Krakauer also issued a few corrections to his book, as someone else here mentioned. He seems, by journalistic analysis-to be trying to be fair and accurate. Bourkeev and his camp seem defensive and vitriolic.
Krakauer even accepts blame for things I don't really think he should be blamed for. For mistakenly misidentifying Andy Harris (while this was unfortunate-it was not don't out of MALICE!). And, as a non-professional and non guide, how should he be blamed for not "doing more."
No one can take away from Bourkeev that when called upon he acted heroiclly and amazingly saved lives. But, he MAY have made mistakes. And trashing Krakauer for pointing that out is silly.
As for Sandy-its hard to say how much she should be judged for being frivolous. I don't think that Krakauer would have changed facts to slam her, but he may may made harsh judgments based on those facts.
In the end, the main cause of the deaths were bad choices by the leaders and guides, who should have turned around earlier and stayed with their clients. And of course the storm.
Watch Storm over Everest, people
I think Sandy is beautiful. I came to this site because I am interested in the Everest disaster and I really liked Storm over Everest.
I liked Jon. K's book and have no reason to think he manipulated facts. I beleive he called it like he saw it. I don't think that means his recollections are perfect, but he tried to piece it together.
If she really brought Laptops and crap, that sucks. On the other hand, when Charlotte fox found her and gave her a shot, she appeared to be sick. That doesn't really have much to do with whether or not she was shallow or selfish. Also, if she is riding ponies and drinking wine, that doesn't mean that she didn't learn anything.
I don't know. I think that people who were not there should tone down their vitriol . People love to judge each other, but she was not an inexperienced climber.
I think the guides should be judged more harshly. It was their job to see to the safety of all of these people, and many of them made poor choices, and that includes Anatoli.
Guides should ALL use oxygen and stick with their clients.
The disaster was caused by the storm, bad choices, and chance.
First off,everyone may/can be critical, but not one of us has been in her shoes. I respect her, and yes even admire her. Anyone who goes to the mountains to test their own endurance, is ULTIMATELY RESPONSIBLE FOR ONES SELF !!! Buttom Line. End of subject. That horrific yr, the odd's were just against most who were on that mountain. I admire the russian climber,( yes he did end up rescueing them, but it was Charlotte Fox and Neil Beidleman who saved her life, with a shot of DEX. even read his book, THE Climb as well as Into Thin Air, The Dark summit, etc, anything I can, I have read. WHat bother's me the most is how all can pick one some who are able to afford the luxuries in life ( and trust me, I'm not one,) yet I harbor no ill towards those who are. Who are like Sandy, there's nothing wrong with living life. Now sure the mountain has become a disaster in alot way's, yet it's still a majestic place, yet one with much saddness attached to it, but then alot of mountains do. You want to mock her & put her down, yet what about the people who lie, cheat & steal to just be able to buy their way onto a permit through a sleezing trekking guides, paid bare minimal, which means they have absolutely no support on the mountain, no oxygen, n sherpa's, not even a satalite phone. They die, and yet not much is said of those individuals. When one decides to push against mother nature, there's only their self to assume all responsibility for it. NO ONE IS TO BLAME, and stop picking on her !!! Be respectful of the lost souls , it was nobodies fault ! But yet it seems to me, she's the one who felt the wrath the most, what because she is lucky enough to have what WE CALL MONEY, in this thing we call life ??? Get real people...and be real I just think myself, how accurate could I do things and comprehend and execute action, when my body is only functioning barely. Ms Hill,( though I think you have remarried) I admire all that you have accomplished, and don't begrudge you at all for living a prospourus & luxury lifestyle. Hell who wouldn't want it I'm glad you had true friends to get you through all these rough patches...take care, and know there is an underdog who always admired you....
Deary me. Drinking coffee from a machine that somebody lugged up a mountain so that you could sip on a brand name beverage while you watch movies in one of the most remote places on Earth................this constitutes knowing how to live? Sandy is a narcissist, admired by narcissists, or people sold on the consumerist lie.
I am terrified by the prospect of having to share an environment with people like Hill Pittman, and those who aspire to be like her. The resources she put(s) into self aggrandisement and promotion could be placed in the hands of, say, people who do not have access to those resources. Do you think? I wonder what type of espresso machine the Dalai Lama has carried around after him.
Sandy....is this you from good old Los Gatos? If so, pretty awesome that you climbed Everest. Makes me feel old.....Lainey
Lainey Miller Richardson
UltraRob, don't think you can immediately gain respect and admiration because of seemingly similar name to a GoBlog celebrity. Nor can you expect an honour such as has been bestowed on UF - the greatest hits post. It takes years, perhaps decades of commitment, living on the edge, and angst to become such a tome of outdoor knowledge. You, my friend, like me, are currently a mere blemish. But there's still hope for us! Step up the blase phrasing, condescension, and jaded outlook!
Listen, Sandy Pittman may have been a pain in the rear because she acted like a queen of technology and everything, but still she climbed mount everest, even though she was short-roped by Sherpa Lopsang, she also may have taken alot of the oxygen canisters (since they put it to full), and put the rest of the team in jeopardy, which she consequently did afterwards, but what she did is a big mistake, and thus she has to be able to recognize what she did wrong, and there's little that can be done now.
Climbing Everest is really a form of mental illness. Some really lucky, really fit people, are able to survive it. Many do not.
I think Krakauer was trying to warn us about this illness.
There are many enjoyable things to do in life that don't endanger yourself, or those around you. Why not do those things? There are too many people, from all over the world, trying to climb Everest now, and you can't put in passing lanes up there.
Most normal people would not stick a plastic bag over their heads for even a minute, let alone the months that an Everest expedition takes, no matter how fantastic the view from the top.
I just wished Sandy could read this and know that since I have read her comments about Anatoli and Scott Fischer and the way 2 years in a row she hiked into everest base camp to make sure his memorial was built and then being looked after that I have a new found respect for her. With Mononey comes jeolousy unfortunatly and yes I fell into the same trappings after reading into thin air and others. I met Anatoli 3 times and as I am also russian speaking was able to converse with him. I never did talk to him about Everest, I didnt have to, the man is what the rest of us mere mortals attain to be. Scott Fischer lived not far from me and I got to meet and speak with him a few times as well, THANK YOU Ms Hill for your love and kindness to that man and his family, kudos lots of kudos for youi.
Sorry, but it is not that Hill climbed the hill, but HOW she did it. OK, so she can tolerate high altitudes. so what. I can finish a marathon too, only I won't run it the whole way, in fact, I'll walk the last 20 miles. She was literally carried to the summit. Carried. And if it wasn't for Boukreev, she would have been another one of the casualties. Her self-absorption, ego, and materialism is pathetic. She should keep making attempts at Everest so that Mother sharamatha will have another shot at her.
Wow - amazing, the petty jealousy that thrives in the world today is amazing. I wonder if anybody on here attacking someone they have never met may have acted in the same situation. Then again, they were sitting on their butts in May of 1996 weren't they!
Seems The only people so quick to judge are the ones never done anything more athletic than getting beer from the fridge before the football game and haveing to ask thier wives to get their popcorn because they are out of breath. Krakaur had to make so many retractions from his book and speechs it makes him look like the most deplorable type of liar, the one who hurts others! There is a widow in NZ He really tortured because of his not knowing anything and opening his mouth when he should of kept it closed, Sandy Hill has money, BIG DEAL I wish her happiness and prosperity. Her money doesnt make her a villian for that fact alone, IF any of these people judgeing her took the time to read the many other GOOD books written they would soon see just how much of a crackpot he was! EVERYONE including David Brashears, Ed Viesturs, Conrad Anker Niel Biedleman and Alex Lowe to name a few, ALL said how much of true mountaneer she was and that for Lopsang to short rope her was something he did on his own without any approval from the team! Besides< even when your short rope YOU STILL HAVE TO DO THE PHYSICAL CLIMBING. Sandy is being ripped apart because she has money, jeolousy is a dangerous thing so its best left out of mountain climbing where life is already hanging by a thread.
Jon Krakauer made two (2) corrections, and conceded that a third could be made when another book was published, but THAT climber/writer/pathologist, Beck Weathers (left to die by Boukreev) felt the discrepancy was minor and that Krakauer's book was very accurate.
The info about the Andy Harris misidentification and Krakauer's inability to fight the altitude and failure, therefore, to join rescue teams was provided by...Krakauer! It is the addendum to the Outdoors magazine piece (written prior to discovery of the Harris ID error) and a chapter in the book. One theme of the book is the overwhelming guilt that Krakauer was not part of the solution, and likely a part of the problem.
Paraphrasing Krakauer, Boukreev flatly denies ANY blame, and states that he'd do everything just the same way. Thus, everybody else on the mountain screwed up, except Boukreev.
It is a shame and tragedy that an accomplished sportsman was killed on Annapurna. But a responsible guide-- no.
Have any of you met any of these climbers? I have and I have autograghed books etc and pics to prove it, including my origanal team lists for different climbs with some of these people, Jon Krakauer is an agotistical idiot wanting to profit off the tragedy, Conrad Ankar who did a climp up the Vinson Massif in antartica couldnt believe the pompousness or audicity he displayed with hi altitude climbers with almost 20 hi assents each more than him, telling them where and how to climb, till he almost got killed in an avalanche. He was originally slated to go with scott fischers team till a last minute mind screw to mountain madness had him on Rob Halls team. Dont read one book and swear by its truthfulness, especially if its the 1st/only one you have read. read beyond the clouds, or david Brashears books with the incident in it or Lene Gamelgaards or any of the other books written by the people that were there. Krakauer by his own admission had never been to high altitude before so was at the very least "clueless" compared to Anatoli or Jangbu or Brashears or Ed Viesturs and on and on. Sorry but I will believe a plethora of people who "have been there done that" over 1 lone nay sayer selling a book. Krakauer hurt people in a far worse way than any mistakes that might have been made on the mountain! He was also in reality "not there" he was passed out in his tent while Anatoli was saving E1`s asses including those from Robs team who HE HAD NO RESPONSIBILITY FOR! anyone can monday morning quarter back but at least have all the data before you do and then do it with an open mind and responsibly
Ok, the point is, she climb the mountian, but why did the hell she take all the stuff with her??? Cappuccino machine, VCR, TV. Come on, nobody is jealous of her, why did she have to take this with her, get with it woman, you want to climb the mountain, why take unnecessary things with you???? When I read this, I thought, WTF, what is going on in this woman's head???
ok how do I start? I've just finished reading krakauer's book, ...and what else can it be said on the whole context on claimbing the ultimate challenge of human spirit in phisycal terms ? one can not but wonder on what the human spirit and its futile desire of achieving recognition of others is capable of create. Mount Everest it's not a joke or a weekend picnic , where the celebrities can go and get some motivation to get going in life to reach other goals in life, like going to the manicurist next thing in the morning. How wrong this people is thinking that Everest its just another caprich of the bored and the needy for recognition. I hope the 1966 tragedy help us all to understand that climbing that mountain i'ts not going to the mall for a stroll in a weekend's boring afternoon. what happened, happened, and it's not going to get any better. Every one one that takes that challenge should go and ask himself or herself , what in the hell wants from that experience? And should be definitely aware that his or her life it's in absolute risk of perish. And if after that decides to continue in the quest of Everest, assume full responsability of his, her acts.After all nobody it's to blame of a tragedy of this magnitud when you are willing to take the risk.
The bottom line here is that if Lopsang Jangbu Sherpa hadn’t been short-roping Sandy Pittman, he would have been at the front of Fischer’s group when it reached the South Summit. He was certainly at the front when the group left Camp IV that May 10th morning.
Still, it wouldn’t have mattered where Lopsang was or what he was doing, if he hadn’t been the one carrying the two coils of rope for the final fixed-rope ascent from South Summit to the peak. But he was carrying the critical rope, falling further and further behind dragging Sandy up the mountain.
So when guides Anatoli Boukreev and Neal Beidleman arrived at South Summit, there was no rope to fix the last section of the trek.
The Fischer expediton now ground to a halt. The clients cooled their heels for an hour or so, before the ropes were fixed and the operation once again up and running.
Though few realized it at the time, that delay set in motion an inexorable chain of events, ensuring that everyone arrived at the peak after the agreed turnaround time. And for some of them celebrating at the top of the world that day, the consequences of losing that hour would soon prove fatal.
Meanwhile, did Sandy Pittman ever say “thank you” to Lopsang for short-roping her up Everest?
I've read "Into Thin Air" by Jon Krakauer, "The Climb" by Anatoli Boukreev/G. Weston DeWalt, "High Exposure" by David Breashears, "Sheer Will" by Michael Groom, and "Climbing High" by Lene Gammelgaard...all relating the tragic events of the 1996 Everest Expeditions. I guess you can rightly say I was absolutely fascinated and riveted by what had happened on the mountain on May 10, 1996. After reading all of these different accounts, some agreeing with each other, some not, I finished with the opinion, that yes, Sandy Hill Pittman had no business being on that mountain. She treated it as if it were a cavalier adventure involving nothing more than lots of money and sherpa help to get herself to the top. She was short roped most of the way to the top depleting Lopsang's energy and attention to other matters, namely helping to secure the fixed ropes. She used way more Os than everybody else, and in the end, had to be carried back into camp, near death, by Boukreev. But...she can't be blamed for the tragedy that happened that year. One cannot ignore the fact that the guides disregarded their own turnaround times to the great peril of their clients. The greatest mistake was that the clients and guides summitted way too late. When the storm hit, they had run out of time, they had run out of oxygen, and they had run out of daylight. No matter how great your dislike of Sandy Pittman may be, these factors were not her fault.
Say what you will about who/what you think Sandy is but the truth is that all of the people who were with her at Everest were there because they wanted to be. All of them were at risk of losing their lives, including the ever loathed Sandy. I do not know her but do give her credit for reaching the 7 summits. Even under the most "luxurious and pampered" conditions the Everest climb is notorious for the physical and mental toll it takes on those who climb, even with great assistance. The fact that this woman attempted not once but 3 times shows a level of determination that warrants respect. Face it, she could have died as easily as many other poor souls and you would be looking for someone else who you don't know to hate. Judge not lest ye be judged.
I've read most of the books about 1996, and i think Jon Kraukuers book is a twisted piece of shit, and if you surf the web you will find jon kraukuer is incredibly rood and stuck up when replying to lobsang and antoli Bookreev's comments. It is not Sandys fault the weather went haywire, but her useless equitment shows her vanity, dumbness, and if she hadn't had it carried up, Fischer may not have died, also if you read the climb you realise Sandy couldn't cope with sharing a tent . Scott fischer was have regrets about taking her. Lastly in a three page article in the new york times she didn't even mention Boukreev saved her big riach ugly butt from death.
What part of Krakauers book is a twisted pos? Your perception of Krakauers comments seem naively misunderstood. I didn't find his rebuttal rude in the least--rather quite right minded. If Fischers own partner shared that he was frustrated at Annatolis' AWAL style of guiding (leaving his the clients because of his own egocentrism) than your personal understanding and opinion are ignorant. Your homepage sucks as bad as your post.
I live on my ranch in Santa Ynez, which has become a mecca of wannabe's as is S. Hill Ditmer..She is loathed for her revolting materialism from the beauticians to the gardeners to horse trainers and horse-handlers. She is a pathetic wreck of an aging -retired not by her choice-socialite, who treats the grassroots people of our valley like she did the poor men she killed for her selfish whims on her Everest un-accomplishment. I would give anything to meet this critter face to face, and eventually wils as I shall have to take a verbal vomiting forth of how I see her in society and how she is a snob without credentials and a mean spirited criminal!
A neighbor of Ms Hill in Santa Ynez, Calif.
I'm reading The Climb finally after all this time and I have to say, SHP is pretty revolting. I'm shaking my head as I read at the sheer arrogance of SHP and all the warning signs that seem to have been ignored by some who should have known better. Of course, 20/20 and all....except where she's concerned. Spoiled and oblivious to humanity.
If only everyone on this blog was paying as much attention to what has been going on in our government for the past 6 and a half years.
Hill Pittman was provided the same opportunity as any others on the trip. Hall, Lopsang, etc. offered their services for lots of money. Hill was a client. Hansen was a client. Beck was a client. Etc. All knew the risks. Mistakes are made every trip. Most of the time people get away with these errors with their lives. Pittman could have easily died on the mountain as those who did. Class envy rears its ugly head (as ususal). She didn't go because she had money; she went and did something most people could never do physically (help or no help). Beck paid his money as did Hansen (& others). She (like all who attempt this mountain) had much more courage than it takes for those who don't to sit on their butts and criticize those who do.
RIP to those who left us; Carry on to those who made it home.
I've read about this woman for years...she is so incredibly spoiled and to boot, shunned by the socialites of New York it seems. Personally, I feel like people of her likes just want what they want, when they want, without much regard for others...unless they are on her level...
If Sandy Hill Pitman did not pay FULL PRICE UP FRONT to Mountain madness it is possible that the climb would never have happened at all. The spirit at the times was that ANYBODY could summit Everest and that is what is what bot h Rob and Scott wanted to portray. Anatoli did save her life and she is grateful for that. BLAME THE WEATHER!
If you have enough money for not one, but two planes, then you need to be paying more taxes. The rest of us who actually work for a living and make this country happen on an unrelenting daily basis deserve to have access to the things only taxes can provide for: public libraries, clean air, clean water, a healthcare system, public transit, and an education system to be proud of.
I just watched the PBS broadcast of Breshears' "Storm Over Everest" and Sandy Hill commented on being injected with dex. She claimed the other climber had "a crazy, maniacal smile on her face" when she injected her. What an attention seeking liar. At the time she was injected, she was laying FACE DOWN and totally incapacitated in that moment. Her good samaritan was wearing a mask. SHP couldn't have seen anyone's facial expression. She is a legend in her own mind, the worst sort of nauseating egomaniac.
after watching the PBS special and reading some comments; it sickened me to hear that Pittman woman bitch about "false summits that weren't explained" and "we thought we would have the patio all to ourselves"..typical of a new york rich bitch. Makes me want to puke. That woman doesn't deserve to live.
Pittman was responsible for the huge delays in setting up the ropes ultimately causing the deaths of her team. She is so utterly self serving she had no right to be among human beings. Her category is stupid brained worthless specimen.
I don't remember hearing this. The Sherpas were supposed to set up the ropes the night before and then at the last minute left it until morning. There is dispute about which Sherpa is to blame but it wasn't Sandy's fault.
This DID cause delays-but assign blame where it is due
I've just read Into Thin Air and several articles on the story, including some by the people involved, so I've red all sides of this. Forget about Sandy Pittman. Whether you like her or hate her, she wasn't the issue. And the issue wasn't Krakauer really, despite the fact that he may have been able to do more, and made a mistake in misidentifying Andy Harris. The issue is, you shouldn't be running commercial expeditions on Everest. Period. There are too many variables, and too many dangers to where only experienced high altitude climbers should be up there. These expeditions made several key mistakes that lead to the disaster, most notably poor communication, poor chain of command structure, and not ensuring that proper lines had been affixed ahead of time. It's one thing when your mistakes put yourself at risk, but another when you are risking the lives of amateurs who in over their heads to begin with.
I cannot believe all of the accusations of envy of Pittman. It is with disdain that I look upon her. She offended everything that climbing stands for on that trip, as well as offending the people whose country she was visiting. The sad thing here is that she got away with it… and didn’t seem to learn anything from this great tragedy.
Whether she realizes it or not, she was an ambassador of America on that trip, and she seemed to perpetuate the sickened attitude that the rest of the world sees in us.
It saddens me to realize that this is what we are turning into.
I'd have to agree. Hiding behind the "envy" argument is stale and unimaginative. I don't envy Sandy Pittman one bit. She will never live down what happened on that mountain. After reading several books and articales on the 1996 climb, all I have left is pity. The turn in the weather killed all those climbers. Not Sandy. She may have caused delays and flounced up that mountain like a rock star, but she wasn't truly what killed those people. Everest is a mountain to be revered and respected. It isn't a marathon or a regular hike in the woods but it seemed like it was approached by some as such.
A deplorable princess, perhaps. A murderer? I'm not so sure.
I did groan out loud at the list of things she brought with her up the mountain. Why didn't someone just drop the stuff and say
"Lady, you're crazy if you think that is what you need up there."
I have read many accounts of this event on Everest. It seems to me that Scott Fischer is the beginning of the sorry events that occurred. He thought all he had to do to achieve Rob Hall's success in client-team climbs was to imitate him. But Fischer's style was too gonzo for it to work. He took on clients who were not ready, shorted the number of guides, had too few radios, too little oxegyn, an inexperienced Sherpa leader, did not prevent one client (Pittman) from partying before the ascent began, and all the gonzo in the world was not going to work because Fischer exhausted himself to the point where he could not pick up the slack. He lost respect for the mountain and it took him and several other people.
Sandy Hill Pittman should have been kicked off the mountain right after the partying. But it was all wound up with money -- money people had paid and money that other people would pay in the future.
Pittman seems to be a revolting example of a human personality. But she was allowed her hubris and her little displays of socialite behavior by her lead guide.
My Conclusion Thus Far
SH if you're reading this, somewhere deep down inside, you know you haven't redeemed yourself. Other people made mistakes by letting some one like you pretend to climb a mountain. That's not your fault, however I do believe Everest permantly froze your heart and some ice blocks will never thaw
Pittman is not too blame for any of these deaths. As expedition leaders, only Rob Hall and Scott Fischer are to blame. Rob let his personal feelings about Doug interfere with his judgment REPEATEDLY. Doug should have been turned around earlier plain and simple (note this opinion is also explicitly shared by David Breashears). He was out of gas completely even after reaching the top of the Hillary Step and had ro reserve to get down even at that point let along after taking another hour and a half to reach the summit. Even after Doug collapsed, Rob made a huge mistake staying with him. He should have made the quick trip (for him) down to the south summit to get more oxygen. If after returning to Doug he still wouldn't move he should have left him for dead. Rob had never left a client for dead before, but it was likely necessary this time. Rob, if he had left Doug, would have likely rounded up Andy Harris, and helped him down. After that he would have caught up to Mike Groom who was having a hell of a time trying to get both Beck AND Yasuko down by himself. It looks like that if he could of let Doug go, himself, Andy, and Yasuko might have survived.
Fischer's death was much more accidental, with both a physical illness and the pressure of his first expedition weighing so heavily on him that he was not fit to climb that mountain safely. He also should not of let Lopsang short-rope Hill. Lopsang had a duty to fix ropes with Ang Dorje AS IT WAS UNDERSTOOD by all admitted to be involved. But frankly that blame does only fall on Fischer and Lopsang (who apparently was a very arrogant and cocky climber who wanted to be known as someone who could climb Everest towing somebody else along the way)
Sorry but in no way is Sandy Hill Pittman/Ditmer or whatever she is calling herself these days a "true mountaineer." A true mountaineer doesn't need to pay $65000 to be guided up a mountain. That goes for all of you paying BIG money to be guided up the cattle route on Everest. A true mountaineer is self sufficient, and doesn't rely on others to stock their camps and do their work for them. Learn the skills gain some experience and do something new, otherwise stay in your elements and quit putting the lives at others at risk.
Thanks to most of you for demonstrating how a tiny bit of fact, a generous quantity of speculation and a truckload of tripe can potentially ruin a person's reputation. I was at EBC in 1996 and saw the whole event unfold, even today I doubt any, or perhaps just a few, could even comprehend life at altitudes exceeding their local video store, let alone anything above 6000m. Shame on most of you.
Wow, just finished the book, Into Thin Air and made a study of memorizing the Googled features to become more familiar with this utterly mind numbing adventure/true story. I will pick up one or more of those suggested books in the near future. I've read with great interest all these well intentioned comments and I appreciate the quick study all these postings provide. So after reading and taking all this in I come away: wondering what other sport in the world would tolerate these deaths? Their manner and their number! What other sport can you name where you slog your way through dead bodies? and it seems, Lots of them! I know you can't retrieve some from long falls or deep crevices but there's a disconnect here for me that surpasses comradery, sportsmanship and competing. Having asked the questions I must say I love the sport myself. I just can't imagine spending the night on Everest, in minus 100 F with hurricane winds beating your oxygen depleted,exposed body. That's a leap in testosterone but I have to agree with just about everyone above and obviously in New York and California ... that pig Pitman... Is anyone sending this stuff to her?? I detest vermon like that, she doesn't belong.
I talked to Sandy a few months ago. I asked about the coffee-maker. She said it was a tiny one she carried herself in her backpack. And all the rest was just wrong. She sounded resigned to being made the butt of the book.
I'm curious as to why she was portrayed to have had an espresso machine in the movie and the book. Who is telling the truth? Why would anyone lie about it? If she did take luxury items like this, why? If she is such an experienced climber and athlete what would motivate her to have these insane items, and to have them carried by a lead sherpa, who also pulled her up the mountain. Why would an experienced climber endanger the sherpa's life and the lives of the others in the party who may have benefited from the strength that he expended on this "athlete."
She can blame who she was writing for, and she can blame Scott Fisher, but in the end, we are all responsible for the decisions we make.
Sandy has repeatedly stated it was like a small french press type coffee maker and that as it went through the media it ended up as a 20 pound electric espresso maker, I for one have been to base camp and have tried to the climb but failed to get any higher than #3 but I can assure you there isnt nearly enough power at base camp to run something as frivolous as an espresso machine and up the hill forget it all you can do is recharge the radio batteries with solar panels and perhaps small devices at abc. so I dont believe she had anything as big as the media led everyone to believe HOWEVER that said it still doesnt excuse her absolutley childish and spoild behavior when you are on a rope with someone it is a very personal thing you are doing its all about trust and belief which I know noone had in her at all. Scott Fisher took her as replacement for Jon Krakauer because he had been double timed by mountainzone to get him on Rob Halls team. He seen her as a way to get some publicity for his new company but I dont think he knew in the slightest what a prima donna she would turn out to be. She cost people their lives and would of died too if Lene Gammelcard had risked her life and and sacrificed her full bottle of O`s Read a better example of what happened in becks book or anatoli`s lene wrote an excellent book as well, dont just read into thin air and think its the truth because its far from it in a lot of ways.
How anyone that was not on that climb or anyone period can write what some have written about this woman shows me that you are certainly not of the kind of character that could be depended on when it hits the fan.
As a survivor of close combat, years of extreme training in various climates and environs, I have been there and done that on many occasions when most would curl up and die it sickens me that so many of you dare to question the life of someone has chosen to lead. I don't know this woman probably wouldn't care to know her who knows but I certainly would never sit and assume to judge how she has decided to go on with her life.
I have seen bold men break and have wanted to break myself on occasion and certainly after a duty injury that took 9 major surgeries to put me back together. To sit on your ass and judge how another chooses to live their life after nearly dying or to sit in judgment when you were not there is pathetic.
I have read the books and articles I have seen the movies. I wouldn't even remotely presume to judge her or any of those people. And to those of you obviously jealous of the money or even suggesting that people who make more money should pay even more taxes you are nasty leeches. Nothing more than that and maybe much less. Go live in one of the failed communist utopias or start a socialist colony somewhere.
When I opened up this blog, I never expected to run across so many disgusting people. If you weren't there reading a book doesn't give you what is necessary to make a call about this woman. LET her live her life the way she sees fit and you go forth and lead yours the way you see fit let's just hope some of you are as saintly as you act. The pettiness of people I guess should never surprise me.
Just read Krakauer's book. I think he tried to be objective and the book was a fair account of events without any finger pointing as to whose shoulders blame should rest on for the tragedy. IMO the book was, as much as anything, an honest attempt to make sense of things and an exorcism of Krakauer's own grief and (quite unwarranted) self-recrimination.
Re Pittman: not my kind of person but in no wise was she responsible for anyone's death. Climbing teams are like military units: whatever actions are undertaken or, to make the point, whatever -notionally- unnecessary items are brought on the climb, are exclusively authorized by the ones to whom ultimate authority devolves, the leaders. And to no-one else. So it may be asserted, however bitter a pill it is to swallow (as they seemed by Krakauer's account, genuinely noble souls), that those most responsible, were the ones who had most responsibility: Hall and Fischer. Even the noble make miscalculations - especially under duress. To take such a gamble was a serious miscalculation. There are always risks in such an endeavour, but they are calculated to the Nth degree and safety protocols are set accordingly. Had the weather held, they might have scraped through, but chance conferred the wrong weather to push the envelope and ignore their own statutes.
just read into thin air and a lot of the articles and comments by stakeholders floating about. The 20/20 hindsight of the Monday morning quarter back is not worth shit when it is you during real time at 28,000 ft with a storm kicking up and darkness setting in. It was mother nature plan and simple that we humans did not respect enough or simply were not lucky enough with. No big deal - she blew up a little wind and snow for a few hours in the natural course of weather in the region.
I would say the Russian, Anatoli was a hero, plain and simple. He risked life to go out in the blizzard and find the Huddled group. Yes, in hindsight, he shouldn't have come down the slope so fast, but if it werent for the storm, he probably would have been able to return to near the top with O2 for Hansen and Hall. Hall made a serious, serious mistake in judgement by encouraging to let Hansen summit well past his own well known and strictly enforced 1 or 2 pm turnaround time. I guess he knew in his heart that he was responsible for pushing Hansen to summit and that is why he could not bring himself to leave Hansen's side even when he realised he would also die. If he would have abandoned Hansen, I bet he would never have been albe to live with himself after. Again though, if not for Mother Nature, everyone would have likely gotten down, one way or another.
Mistakes were made by all on Everest in '96 ; at least Krakauer did a thorough job distributing the blame for those events, to include blaming himself. Boukreev however, never owned up to his part in the fiasco. Had he done so, his life and career would not be so blemished with contradiction. Krakauer generously gave credit where credit was due and clearly endorsed Boukreev as an excellent mountaineer.... but also factually concluded that he was a lousy mountain guide. Even Boukreev himself admitted that he was ambivalent about taking on the Everest mission because the impending demands were not in sync with his personal climbing agenda and practices. His self-centeredness and lack of experience as a mountain guide are quite telling. This in tandem with Fischer bringing on such revolting materialistic socialities such as Pittman...... How could disaster not be in the making? She was more of a catalyst to that disaster than she's been given "credit" for ; frankly, I don't know how she lives with herself.
My thoughts exactly, C Phillips. After fifty years of climbing one realizes that it is you against the Lord and the elements up there...as high as Everest or even amongst Colorado's 14'ers. Timing is everything. Today you can listen to accurate real-time weather reports anywhere on the planet and make realistic decisions on the spot...but back then, maybe not.
Um, you know, it's a bit rich to whine about Sandy Pittman when everyone but the Sherpas on that frickin' mountain were overpriviliged dolts spending more than most people make in a year (or even TWO years) to climb a mountain and possibly die. Yes, Pittman had an espresso machine--but the mountain expeditions have been commercialized for years, and client hungry companies willingly sign on wealthy novices who want to take these sorts of things with them. Fisher WANTED Pittman because she provided publicity for him.
Frankly, it sounds like you're angry that she survived the climb because she's privileged and is living a happy life. Well, you know what? Anyone who can fork over $65K to climb Everest is pretty damned privileged; from what I gather, the survivors are all doing well. It's disingenuous to single out Pittman for her arrogance and entitlement when frankly, anyone who climbs up a mountain that size has more than a little hubris and entitlement.
Absolutely agree with Caroline above. SHP is a murderous parasite. She didn't survive 1996 by chance; Everest flat out rejected her rather than be contaminated by such a sorry, selfish, worthless example of human filth for eternity. Neither New York nor California are known for such discernment.
SHP is only one of those with marginal talents for whom bagging the summit of high mountains is just "Trophy Collection". She epitomises and takes being ungrateful to a new level. I believe from all that I have read on the 96 disaster on the Big E, that not once has she mentioned a word of gratitude for Lopsang and Toli. With limited mountaineering skills all she did was flaunt her wealth unabashedly by doing things as ridiculous as having sherpa runners bring her a copy of Vanity Fair and other glam mags to the base camp of E. Guess she was better left on the South Col, but I guess even Chomolungma wanted none of her.
A few rational thoughts:
- I believe much of the anger toward Krakauer and Sandy Hill (especially from those who have read The Climb) stems from a recognition of Boukreev as a legendary example of the human species and the desire for him to be portrayed and remembered in a good light. I don't think Krakauer (or Hill) ever had any intention of specifically targeting Boukreev for character assassination or denigration. But, their words and actions have caused that to happen, at least to some extent.
- So many things can go wrong in the mountains, and so many of them did on May 10 1996 that assigning blame is like arguing with the wind. The decisions and actions of men can only overcome so much.
- All 6 climbing clients on the Mountain Madness expedition that attempted the summit survived the ordeal. Boukreev personally saved three of them in impossible conditions and at direct risk to his own life. Again, all six of the Mountain Madness clients survived (not to mention summited), despite everything that went wrong. Fischer, Boukreev, and Beidleman, as guides, did everything in their power to get them up and down the mountain.
- I don't think people hate Sandy Hill because she has money. I don't think you can really hate someone you don't know. I mean, you can feel the emotion, but its toward an amalgamated creation of the media, public statements, stories from books, comments and debates like the one here...you aren't really hating the person because you don't really even know them. I think that Hill's public persona is a villain in a place where we all desperately want to find one, and where we can raise a cry for Anatoli and his legacy.
- Anatoli Boukreev was a hero and a great mountaineer who should be remembered. As someone aptly put it in one of the comments here, his story inspires you to be better. That is a priceless thing, and one of the greatest gifts a person can leave for future generations.
The responsibility for May 10 1996 falls squarely on Rob Hall and Scott Fischer. I guide in New York, the Adirondacks. As I read the book Into Thin Air, I could not believe the lack of communication between guides and clients. Seriously, if my clients paid me $60K each for a climb I would invest some of that dough in a communication system that was effective. I know it was 1996 but come on! On summit day there was no plan. Stuck on the So. Col? No reason for it. Who had the compass? Oh wait...There was no compass. Allot of down time at base camp could have been used to educate these "inexperienced" climbers on basic land navigation techniques. Sorry folks, I respect Rob Hall and Scott Fischer as climbers. As guides? They failed and people died.
I've read all of these books except for Groom's, which I shall endeavor to find. I agree with Rob (and I'm just a hack technical climber) , but want to digress.
Too many windows of opportunity to avoid the tragedy presented themselves.
A. Too many attempting summit push at same time-Taiwanese not keeping their word to wait another day...bottlenecking the Step
B. Radio help from South Africans denied
C. Allowing sick HACE and HAPEs to get a second chance to climb
D. Fischer attempting summit after exhaustion
E. Hall conning Hansen to come back and then buckling under pressure to get to top
F. Anyone trying to make a living bringing people to the top of Everest has to know eventually things will go bad, real bad
G. Fischer should have hired Boukreev on a shorter, less dangerous escapade before entrusting him- though Anatoli came through in spades earlier
H. Sherpas didn't work well together from different teams,,,,,,bottleneck at Hillary Step as a result
I. Hall telling Weathers to wait ALONE and shiver.....wtf
J. Probably a guide to client shortage.
K. And then, of course, the weather, hypoxia, and fatigue are huge factors in the end.
L. Pittman could have done without the hi tech equipment past Camp Two- I'm sure she has beaten herself up for far too long since.
M. I couldn't do this kind of work, so know that I'm not judging anyone personally....just easy to see the mistakes and oversights.
N. Pride isn't a seven deadly sin for nothing
But one would think that a better system for determining the eligibility of clients for any serious climb should have been in operation. Something other than just the desire and ability to come up with the $cratch at any rate. As you know one weak climber with a hidden yellow streak can screw things up pretty damn quickly and put everyone at risk.
I'm not a guide, I don't have a lot of patience with people. But I had a guy go almost catatonic on me on the fifth pitch of Frenzy in the Valley once. I had to lower him down like a sack of meat for four pitches before he stopped freaking out. My mistake I'd never climbed with the guy before and barley knew him...but he talked a good game and I needed a climbing partner (I should have smelled something when he said he didn't want to do any leading).
For something like Everest a record of something other than guided climbs should be in order. As well as prerequisites like:
• The ability to LEAD some moderately difficult rock and Ice,
• Mastery of the equipment, rescue techniques and First Aid,
• Land Navigation skill (Good point on that),
• A good physical exam by an unbiased MD,
• Excellent physical condition and endurance,
• The ability to think and act under stress.
• The ability to persevere can be tested with a very heavy pack on any long steep snow gully in cold weather.
Seriously someone that wont take the sharp end on something a few grades easier than the goal is unlikely to be anything but a haul bag if things get rough. (Sandy Pittman for example).
Unfortunately $$ is king and high altitude guides have to have enough clients to pay for all the fees, gear. assistant guides, Sherpas and everything else and still make a little money. So some will tend to compromise to make the thing happen.
Good post Rob
I know its mean but, it sure would be swell to hear of Sandy Pittman cratering off some miserable choss pile in Scotland.
I read many of the books about this tragic story while in Nepal in 1999/2000 and have been interested ever since. One of my friends just gave me a copy of a new book, "A Day to Die For" by Graham Ratcliffe who was part of another party due to climb Everest at the same time. I finished reading it this morning. His account is well researched, fascinating. and definitely worth reading if you would like some more insight into the story.
Thanks for the tip on 'A Day To Die For' I just located it on Amzn
On the outside chance you haven't read it read it before I suggest, 'Eiger: Wall Of Death' by Arthur Roth. It is an absolutely captivating read. There is just something about that mountain that I find fascinating even if it is a chossy piece of work.
Went there once with the intent to climb it. I got a glimpse of it on the day I arrived with my climbing partner but in the morning the upper half of it was hidden and stayed that way for almost a week...hiked to it and played around a bit but there was a lot of shit coming down. But I had a great time drinking with the other parties that got skunked by the weather .
My non experience on that was depressing but I can only imagine how much worse it would be to spend months training and spend all that $$$ to try and get a shot at any stunning feature in the Himalayas and get punked off by the weather.
I understand desire but with that Pittman broad I just can't imagine her feeling any satisfaction or sense of accomplishment in being dragged up the mountain and being a burden to everyone else. Of course Fischer must bear some blame for allowing Pittman to use Lopsang as her personal beast of burden from the bottom to the top. However, for Pittman, the terms 'miserable self absorbed parasite' comes to mind.
Then again I don't understand going on guided climbs. The biggest part of climbing (for me) is being on your own with success or failure being the result of your own strengths and foibles.
But with that, I know that some truly outstanding climbers do rope up with guides out of necessity; its often the only way anyone other than a luminary is going to get a shot at their dream.
come on, stephen. what you are referring to happened more that 15 years ago. you don't know ms. hill. you weren't on the mountain. you are leaning on one subjective account of the everest tragedy (into thin air) and a lot of angry people.
what ms. hill brought onto the mountain back in the nineties, is positively frugal compared to what people bring onto the mountain today (and leave behind as trash). get real; exposure killed those people, not sandy hill. you are all presuming what would have happened had not lopsang short-roped her, but at the end of the day, nobody knows. nobody. and that's a fact.
you call her a "wretched parasite", stephen. hello! you don't know her, you've never met her. postings like yours is the equivalent of a 9th grade bathroom wall grafitti.
seriously guys. whatever sandy hill did or did not do, bring or did not bring, when scaling mountains in the first half of the 90's, does not allow you to pass judgement on her in 2011. discuss her, fine. discuss mountaineering, great. discuss "into thin air", be my guest. but "white trash", "miserable self absorbed parasite", "revolting materialistic socialite" - pleeeze...
these dozens of attacks on this page has nothing to do with mountaineering. attacking sandy hill has turned you into a lynch mob, guys. the call here is "hang the rich", not "how can we avoid deaths on mountains".
let it go now. instead of spending time here hating, get out onto a mountain and enjoy a climb! bar that, buy sandy hills gorgeous new book "mountains" and revel in some of the best mountaineering photography you've ever seen.
Really? I wonder many people died so she could put out that book?
Seriously, though, the Sandy Hate is a little much.
She didn't kill anyone. But she contributed to their deaths. The extra pounds required for the gear needed to maintain her "image" and the necessity that she be short-roped contributed to the tragedy. Simple as that.
She's just a Reality TV star without a show; a vapid, shallow, self-absorbed attention junkie who would fit right in on any program starting with "Real Housewives of ____".
As for people bringing up "things that happened in the 90's"..
I just read Into Thin Air after first reading No Shortcuts to the Top by Ed Viesturs. I enjoyed both books. Jon's was more entertaining while I found Ed's to be heartfelt and inspiring. Jon did come off more critical of some climbers, like Sandy. At first I didn't care for how he made her sound but then I grew to care for her as she hung in there and did her best. I was so happy she survived. I don't believe everything I read or hear so I don't want to judge her or anyone. I did wonder if Jon and Ed had some kind of personality conflict though. Jon rarely mentions Ed and makes him sound like an underling to David Breshears and other guides. But maybe it's just that Ed wasn't part of his expedition. I also noticed Ed mentioned Jon very little in his book. Regardless, I admire both men, their climbing, and their books. I've never met them but feel a kindred connection to both. Climbers are such strong, intelligent, and motivated people. I would never want to attempt high-altitude climbing but I absolutely love hiking and I wish to do more backpacking.
It's amusing how much chihuahua barking occurs on this topic. Reminds me of my neighborhood dog situation.
I understand rage against Sandy Hill, but was the really worse than Rob Hall and Steve Fischer? No. She was a client who money paid for Hall and Fisher to climb and to fill their pockets. These two worthless attention whores (Fisher and Hall) tried to get "fame" and squeeze bucks out of Mount Everest--Chomolungma... spreading their disgusting Western COLONIALISM and EGO-centrism, intruding on sacred mountain and trying to put even more human filth and sh*t on it--well, they paid for it. Sandy Hill, and the rest did not belong on the mountain. People like Boukreev, true mountaineers, perhaps did. Sherpas did. The self-serving Western BRATS, like Breashears, Hall, Fischer DID NOT. They got what they deserved.
They also risked the lives of Sherpas who weren't paid equally as Westerners (which would be classified as discrimination in the US of A, btw) whom they used. They came to THEIR country to take a big dump of their mental disease diarreah on the sacred mountain... and they had to die.
It AMUSES me to see all the boo hoo whining about "bodies on Everest" and climbers who died-these ADULTS who thought they were still little kids and the world was their playground/sandbox--BECAUSE THEY WERE BORN IN THE PRIVILEGED WESTERN WORLD THAT IS SUCKING RESOURCES OUT OF THE REST of the world, with their lavish excesses and their mommies and daddies and Uncle Sam behind them---they thought they can come and play there--this doesn't impress anyone, and no one feels sorry for their useless bodies that are apparently not even useful as food for animals--as thousands of people die from hunger and war throughout the world facing REAL hardship and real life challenges.
Liars, ambulance chasers and filth spreaders like Krakauer, who live like vultures, living off and making money off the death and misfortune of others, profiting from lies and misinformation, did not deserve to live. Boukreev did, and, as hero, he ensured that ALL CLIENTS OF HIS EXPEDITION RETURNED ALIVE. Do not bark, Western dogs--you are weak, wussy nothing--as Russian living in the US I KNOW that and see this every day--Boukreev is a hero and pure soul person above you and your little pretty lives. He descended strategically, ok-d by Fischer, and there was NO ONE in Westerners camps, not even their hired Sherpas to wanted to assist him in rescue that night. Little cowards sat it out, while he ventured many times to save lives. Krakauer and others left Namba for dead, alone. 90lb Japanese woman would not be removed by several strong men (cowards and murderers) FROM HER OWN "TEAM" to 400 meters where the camp was. She was not given comforts of last moment to alleviate her suffering. Do not LIE here--whoever said Boukreev left Dr. Weatehrs for dead--Weathers was not in sight and definitely not mobile, not to be carried by a tired guide on his back, alone--it must be lazy Ameri-coward, worse than subhuman filth, who accused Boureev on that on this board.
As to reading the books written by members of these expeditions and IMAX team (with exception of "The Climb" by deWitt/Boukreev)... it is an amusing display of attention-whoring, egotism, vanity and soullessness, by typical spoiled, unfamiliar with *real life*, sheltered, vane Western "world is my playground" type of person (who are only alive because of slave labor by someone else). Instead of reading that crap, read something like "Everest Diaries", etc, written by real mountaineers and pure, unspoiled and brave souls, and true sportsmen.
So many viscous & nasty comments. What happened on Everest in 1995 was tragic. Many families & individuals lost a parent a sibling a child or friend. I have read INTO THIN AIR several times & felt the author did his best to give an honest account of this tragedy. He interviewed most of those there to see how his recollection compared to theirs. I thought he held back on personal criticism & allowed the facts to speak for itself.
Jon K. stated that Boukreev defied accepted convention for a paid guide by not climbing with his clients for most of the expedition, by not carrying a pack with basic equipment (ropes, first-aid kit, rescue gear etc.) & climbing the peak sans oxygen. Facts not criticism.
He also made a point of saying that it was a 20pound phone ( that worked marginally at camp 3 & did not work at all at camp4) that Lobsang Jangpu hauled unnecessarily up to the South Col (his pack weighing 80 pound in total) for Sandy Pitt Bull,that drew on Lobsangs energy reserves, that was ONE of many things that contributed to the outcome of that fateful day.
I can only imagine that those of you who write such nasty vicious judgemental comments from the safety of your comfy chair while hiding behind a pseudonym are petty spineless limp wristed wimps who ought to be ashamed of yourselves. Paul Wilton. Sydney Australia.