Camping on Everest summit?

6:52 p.m. on August 22, 2011 (EDT)
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This may be old news to some but has anyone seen this. I watched it and was like woah. This is interesting. Granted it was in 98-99 but still pretty amazing.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VP019LNdc0E

Martin Zemetis(Mountain Hardwear) apparently designed the tent.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4SV9RA_CDTs

The tent was sub 3lbs and could handle 150mph winds. Ouch, that takes UL to a whole different level.

10:07 p.m. on August 22, 2011 (EDT)
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!50 mph winds, where does that claim come from?.  I truly doubt any tent can take 150 mph winds.  The fabric would need to be kevlar or something along that line.  Additionally there is the challenge of anchoring it to the mountain.  There are instances where climbers have been sent air borne off mountain ridges in lesser breezes, certainly a tent with a less favorable mass/volume ratio would fare less well. One can counter, and claim a revetment would protect the tent, but revetments we have constructed that were subjected to high winds were literally blasted away by the crud such winds carry aloft.  I can't say how strong the wind was - we were forced to crawl - but it was way below 150 mph.

The articles I recall describing this event, mentioned support sherpas braved high winds returning to camp 4, but nothing regarding conditions Chiri endured.

Regardless, overnight on the summit is crazy amazing.  Chiri later perished in 2001 on Everest.  He stepped off into a crevasse while shooting photographs.  Ironic. 

Ed 

10:15 p.m. on August 22, 2011 (EDT)
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whomeworry said:

!50 mph winds, where does that claim come from?.  I truly doubt any tent can take 150 mph winds.  The fabric would need to be kevlar or something along that line.  Additionally there is the challenge of anchoring it to the mountain.  There are instances where climbers have been sent air borne off mountain ridges in lesser breezes, certainly a tent with a less favorable mass/volume ratio would fare less well. One can counter, and claim a revetment would protect the tent, but revetments we have constructed that were subjected to high winds were literally blasted away by the crud such winds carry aloft.  I can't say how strong the wind was - we were forced to crawl - but it was way below 150 mph.

The articles I recall describing this event, mentioned support sherpas braved high winds returning to camp 4, but nothing regarding conditions Chiri endured.

Regardless, overnight on the summit is crazy amazing.  Chiri later perished in 2001 on Everest.  He stepped off into a crevasse while shooting photographs.  Ironic. 

Ed 

 That whole 150mph claim blew me away as well. Watch the 2nd video. Martin Zemetis speaks about it in the interview. I couldn't imagine what it would be like to "camp" up there.

11:51 p.m. on August 22, 2011 (EDT)
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Rick-Pittsburgh said:

 That 150mph ... blew me away as well.

 

150 mph wind will blow anyone away.

                                                          ~r2~

12:00 a.m. on August 23, 2011 (EDT)
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Robert Rowe said:

150 mph wind will blow anyone away.

 Now THAT is funny!

Ed

12:09 a.m. on August 23, 2011 (EDT)
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 "North Face says that properly staked, these tents can withstand a 107 mph (mile per hour) gale."

As quoted from: http://www.fast-autos.net/diecast-cars-models/North-Face-ECWS-Military-5-Person-4-Season-Tent-Set_280669166483.html

I have this tent and I would believe that this tent could handle this and more in a heart beat.  This is a four/five man beefy tent weighing in at 38lbs total weight.  I only hope that I will have the chance to test this out some day.  The winds that come over the Olympic Penninsula in the winter can reach 80-90 mph, maybe more.

 

The North Face Spectrum 23 withstood winds of 130+ mph in a wind tunnel.  Please note that this tent weighs on 3.6 lbs.  So I guess you can have light weight and a safe tent.

http://www.outsideonline.com/outdoor-gear/camping/tents/Spectrum-23.html?d-16544-s=2&gear=Spectrum-23&d-16544-o=2&d-16544-p=1&action=showgear&gear_id=2702

 But, check out the trailspace reviews  http://www.trailspace.com/gear/the-north-face/spectrum-23/

Notice that the only good review is from someone who was in a 45 steady mph wind all night.  Now this is what I would call a specialized tent.

12:34 a.m. on August 23, 2011 (EDT)
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Rick-Pittsburgh said:

 That whole 150mph claim blew me away as well. Watch the 2nd video...

What Martin said was not related to the overnighter on Everest.  Martin states at minute 2:19 of the second video the tent was tested only (sic) to 100 mph, although designed to withstand 150 mph.  I remain skeptical.  If you have ever camped in winds over 70mph a little voice inside warns you to dig a cave and collapse the tent before you lose it.  I have been on two trips where tents were lost to the wind.  One simply shredded; the other, a NF VE25, was blown away, along with its occupants and gear.  They managed to escape but lost most of their stuff, including the tent, causing the group to abandon the remainder of the trip.  I suspect the wind scoured the snow and exposed the dead man anchors tethering the tent down.  It is one thing to design to a spec, but it is experiences such as I relate why field testing demonstrates actual limitations.

Ed

12:53 a.m. on August 23, 2011 (EDT)
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Rick, did you see the Ferrino review on the second video comments? 

Not sure if you read them of not so I thought I would let you know.  Sounds like he really liked it.  It also list that "Trango" was/is trying to get the rites to sell them in the US.  Not sure who that is, but I thought it might help.

Wolfman

1:00 a.m. on August 23, 2011 (EDT)
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whomeworry said:

Rick-Pittsburgh said:

 That whole 150mph claim blew me away as well. Watch the 2nd video...

What Martin said was not related to the overnighter on Everest.  Martin states at minute 2:19 of the second video the tent was tested only (sic) to 100 mph, although designed to withstand 150 mph.  I remain skeptical.  If you have ever camped in winds over 70mph a little voice inside warns you to dig a cave and collapse the tent before you lose it.  I have been on two trips where tents were lost to the wind.  One simply shredded; the other, a NF VE25, was blown away, along with its occupants and gear.  They managed to escape but lost most of their stuff, including the tent, causing the group to abandon the remainder of the trip.  I suspect the wind scoured the snow and exposed the dead man anchors tethering the tent down.  It is one thing to design to a spec, but it is experiences such as I relate why field testing demonstrates actual limitations.

Ed

 Agreed, but if they make a tent that stands up to wind conditions and the only problem is the anchors then that must be fixed.  It seems to me that while all aspects of tents materials and designed have been pushed to the their limits due to ever expanding technology, anchoring systems have remaind static ofver the last 100 years.  Time to bring in the big harpoon launcher that can bury a stake 6-8-10 feet in the ground and then expand when in place.  Or sumthin like that ;-}>

1:02 a.m. on August 23, 2011 (EDT)
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whomeworry said:

Rick-Pittsburgh said:

 That whole 150mph claim blew me away as well. Watch the 2nd video...

What Martin said was not related to the overnighter on Everest.  Martin states at minute 2:19 of the second video the tent was tested only (sic) to 100 mph, although designed to withstand 150 mph.  I remain skeptical.  If you have ever camped in winds over 70mph a little voice inside warns you to dig a cave and collapse the tent before you lose it.  I have been on two trips where tents were lost to the wind.  One simply shredded; the other, a NF VE25, was blown away, along with its occupants and gear.  They managed to escape but lost most of their stuff, including the tent, causing the group to abandon the remainder of the trip.  I suspect the wind scoured the snow and exposed the dead man anchors tethering the tent down.  It is one thing to design to a spec, but it is experiences such as I relate why field testing demonstrates actual limitations.

Ed

I absolutely would not pitch any tent in an area where wind speeds would approach the triple digits. I have been in hurricane force winds on the gulf coast. I would not pitch a tent in this type of wind w/o some type of wind break. Granted on something like the summit of Everest that may be hard to do.

A wind tunnel test and the real deal with sustained winds over a period of time are definitely 2 different animals.

One of my dreams is to actually do the Everest thing before I kick the bucket but being it has become so commercialized anymore its lost its appeal to me in a sense.

1:07 a.m. on August 23, 2011 (EDT)
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Wolfman said:

Rick, did you see the Ferrino review on the second video comments? 

Not sure if you read them of not so I thought I would let you know.  Sounds like he really liked it.  It also list that "Trango" was/is trying to get the rites to sell them in the US.  Not sure who that is, but I thought it might help.

Wolfman

 I did notice that. From what I have found in my "brief" research of this company it seems as though there are alot of positives in the aspect of user feedback.

8:16 a.m. on August 23, 2011 (EDT)
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Rick-Pittsburgh said:

..One of my dreams is to actually do the Everest thing before I kick the bucket but being it has become so commercialized anymore its lost its appeal to me in a sense.

 Yea forget Everest, the zoo up there also makes it more dangerous.  There are plenty of less popular tall peaks world wide that will give you all the adventure you could ever ask for, without feeling like a minion on a million man march.  Back in the day I had a lot of fun in Alaska and Peru. 

Ed

10:54 a.m. on August 23, 2011 (EDT)
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Yeah, one of my biggest concerns is the lines being backed up tighter than the DC beltway during rush hour thing. As you have said plenty of peaks out there. So many want the "top of the world" moniker in their bag. 

I on the other hand am not one of those people lol. 

I have alot of time on that one(hopefully.) So who knows where I will end up in the coming years. I don't ever really know where I will end up in the coming weeks let alone in the coming years. :)

4:57 p.m. on September 2, 2011 (EDT)
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i have hiked in sustained 100 mph winds with higher gusts, and it is really hard to walk.  i got knocked down a number of times.  even if you think your tent can withstand that kind of abuse, it's a recipe for a sleepless night.  no matter what tent, it will make an awful lot of noise.  also, we were so nervous about the tent getting blown over and away that we had to repeatedly suit up and check the guylines and deadmen. 

as i get older, i prefer tents at lower elevations but tend to like winter hiking places that have some kind of lodge, hut, or shelter when i'm higher up.  there are options in the white mountains, almost always unheated.  it means having to deal with other people and has a less "wilderness" feel, but after a long day in the weather, it can be a relief to cook and sleep out of the wind. 

12:50 p.m. on October 13, 2011 (EDT)
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Always remember that wind speed does not always equate to wind force.

For example, hurricane force winds are in excess of 73 mph according to the Beauford Scale.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beaufort_scale

73mph winds can be devastating at sea level where the air density is very thick. I live in central Wyoming and 73mph winds are not uncommon. In fact for most of the winter months it is quite common to have sustained winds in excess of 50 mph with much high gusts for days at a time. 

The reason there isn't the damage that you would see at sea level is because the higher you go in elevation the less dense the air is, and therefore the less force the wind has.

Think of it this way, at sea level wind force would be like being hit with golf balls, where as at a mile high, that same wind speed would be more like being hit with ping pong balls at the same speed. Now take that to the summit of Everest, where the air density is 1/3 that of sea level. 150mph sounds impressive, but relative to air density, you are now having packing peanuts thrown at you.

Not something I would want to test for myself, but something to consider when looking at claims of how much wind a tent could withstand. Of course there are so many other variables to consider, including how well the tent is staked down, and of course, location.

My question is whether the testers are taking this into account when they make those claims. If not, then that is one burly tent indeed!

1:12 p.m. on October 13, 2011 (EDT)
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Hey JC5123, welcome to Trailspace. 

Very valid points there. Thanks for pointing this out.

3:02 p.m. on October 13, 2011 (EDT)
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I am always amused and interested in these discussions of camping in winds. Some may remember the fellow who posted for a while on Trailspace about his ambition to go through a hurricane in a tent.

Anyway, the first question I always have for these tales is "how was the windspeed measured?" The only way to acceptably get the windspeed is to actually measure it with a proper, calibrated anemometer. I often take one of my Kestrels along on climbs. We used these on the Cordillera Blanca Environmental Expedition 2011, with each team having one and measuring the winds for specified periods at specified altitudes on their mountains, according to the protocol that our met scientists and I devised, along with the permanent met stations we installed at the refugios.
20091115-peru-slide-066.jpg

On Denali, the rangers have met stations installed during the climbing season at Kahiltna base, the 14,000 ft camp, and the 17,000 ft camp, along with the Japanese met station at 19,000 ft. The met stations have a 10 meter tower to put the anemometer above ground effects (and into stronger windflow). With the Kestrels (pocket instruments), you are generally no more than 2 meters above the ground, hence measuring lower wind speeds.

Unless very experienced at comparing wind feel with calibrated met towers, people almost always estimate the wind speeds substantially higher than they actually are. For example, I have been on some of our local hills when others on the summit were estimating the wind speeds to be 50 or even 70 or 80 mph, but an actual measurement on my Kestrel would be 25-30.

I have spent a fair amount of time both climbing and waiting out storms in tents when the wind measurements gave wind speeds over 50 knots, including some time at the 17k camp on Denali when the rangers told us the speeds were steady 60-70 knots with higher gusts (remember, the measured speed on the tower is at 10 meters, hence higher than at ground level; also, we had constructed windwalls around our tents). During one of the tent-bound episodes, one tent was blown out from behind its windwalls (which were too low) with the people in it and another was shredded (both happened to be TNF 25s).

It becomes difficult to stand and move at a measured 50 knots, and 70 knots will almost certainly knock anyone down (been there, done that, while I was trying to get a good measurement of the wind). Usually, when I have measured wind speeds over 50 knots, I have been hiding behind my windwall and holding the Kestrel up above the top of the wall as high as I could reach (the Kestrel has a max-speed and averaging function).

How well a tent stands up to the wind depends on several factors. First is design. Some tent designs shed wind very well. The Keltys we had in Antarctica in 2006 were excellent in the wind, but really hard to erect (3-person tents, but required 4 people to set up). They were a tunnel design. My Trango 3.1 (a dome style) does very well in shedding wind, as does my Bibler Eldorado (the Eldorado flexes, which can be scary when sitting inside in high winds, but it stays in place). Second is proper guying and staking. All tents I have used that did well in winds used internal guying as well as external. Placement of the guy loops makes big difference, as does how you angle the guy lines relative to the tent. Third is orientation and placement of the tent with respect to the wind. Of course, this is easier to plan if there is a clear prevailing wind direction. Setting the tent behind a low hill or just on the leeward side helps a lot (but watch out for buildup of cornices above you!!!!!). If you look carefully at the Babu Sherpa video, you will note he placed the tent in a small hollow on the lee side of the summit. Fourth is proper use and construction of wind walls. In heavy snowfall areas, you may need  to use a double windwall to make the lee-side snow drop from the wind go between the walls rather than onto the tent.

Yes, tents can be made (and pitched properly) to stand up to 100 knot or stronger winds. And the wind effect diminishes only slightly at the lower densities at altitude (remember, the force goes as rho*v squared - at 18,000 ft the density, rho, is down by half, but going from wind speed of 50 to 100 knots increases the force, or more correctly, pressure which is force per unit area, by factor of 4). Tent shape makes a big difference, which is why the old Logan tents with their conical/pyramidal shape actually stand up pretty well in wind - the larger cross-section is near the ground in the lower wind flow while the tall upper part is smaller cross-section.

I am going to try to find a photo I have of people walking in a measured 30 knot wind and stick it in here.

11:28 a.m. on October 16, 2011 (EDT)
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That tent, or a version of it, actually made it to production:

http://www.moontrail.com/mountain-hardwear-bunker-1.php

It has been discontinued.

6:14 p.m. on October 16, 2011 (EDT)
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Bill S said :
"I am always amused and interested in these discussions of camping in winds. Some may remember the fellow who posted for a while on Trailspace about his ambition to go through a hurricane in a tent."

 

I believe that fellow was/is me.  If not, then I do resemble that remark. This is a great discussion regarding testing tents in high wind speeds. As I live on the Olympic Peninsula I do not have ready access to hurricanes per say. I do however have ready access to the leading coast of the Olympic Peninsula.  As we are directly under the Jet Stream for most if not all of the winter I do have access to lower end hurricane force winds.  I would think it to be better to start at the lower end rather than the higher end of hurricane winds.  As I can drive my truck up to the campgrounds and pitch a tent within 300-500 yards of the open ocean I will be able to test my tents a will in all the comfort I need.   This will allow me to not have to worry to much fo flying debris.  I agree that, like any good fish story where the fish gets longer and longer at every telling of the story, peoples estimations are usually way to high regarding wind speeds and in fact get faster and faster as the stories are told. I will be taking my new anemometer  that I just bought with me to get accurate wind speeds.  This can be tough to do however as during the La Nina winters we quite often do not get a let up in storms for months on end as storm after storm lines up to come thru.  I've seen as many as 8 storms lined up ready to thrash us.  We will see in the near future as to how brave I really am.
DSC04998.jpg

 

 

5:41 p.m. on October 18, 2011 (EDT)
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Rick: I have yearned to be at Everest nearly all my life. But never have had a a desire to go UP the thing.....two reasons are most prominant: 1) The death zone is a race with the grim reaper. I am better off taking a hand beating that puts me in a coma and then fighting my way back from that. 2) The commercialization and lines you speak of have made the death zone an even more dangerouse place to be. Like making a coffin even more of a coffin. 

Someone mentioned Babu Chiri. He was one of my favorites EVAH. Died around the same time as Dale Earnhard...but nearly nobody knew Babu Chiri. He was the first really commercialized sherpa as well. Had some western sponsorship due to his achievments on Everest. Was going for number 11 when he died. Since then, that record has been shatered by Apa Sherpa who has summited 20 times. Now days many sherpas are like sports heros in Nepal. More power to them. I have often wondered why we in the west get our feathers ruffled when a developing country starts going for the greed/fame/modernization of their people. Like it interferes with our notions of their quaintness. Truth is, it is our selfishness and arogance that assumes they should be left in the dark days of history so taht we can see first hand what that was like without letting it change naturally through inevitable exposure to the rest of the planet.......

 

9:17 p.m. on October 18, 2011 (EDT)
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apeman said:

.....

I believe that fellow was/is me.  If not, then I do resemble that remark.  

 No, it definitely was NOT you. You live in a different location, have experience in winter camping, etc etc etc. He poo-pooed the idea that things like storm surges and wind-transported debris. In one post he said that, even though 2x4s are regularly driven through thick walls and storm surges of 30 or 40 feet height come onto the beaches and travel long distances inland, his chosen tent would have no problems comfortably surviving a Cat 5 hurricane. He also claimed to have his car packed during hurricane season so he could leap into it and chase down the highest wind spot in a hurricane and pitch his super-tent (sort of like the Storm-Chaser people on the Weather Channel and their "tornado-mobile" - except that they have done a fair amount of engineering studies and wind tunnel tests, plus actual tests in real tornadoes).

10:36 p.m. on October 18, 2011 (EDT)
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Bill is correct that one of the best designs for high winds is the conical or pyramid shaped tent, which goes back to Shackleton's time as an expedition tent and even far earlier. I'm surprised that no one has yet mentioned the Whillans-Box here. A stout tent if ever there was one. I never had to use one, but remember a display with one at REI in about 1970.

11:38 p.m. on October 18, 2011 (EDT)
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Bill S said:

"He poo-pooed the idea that things like storm surges and wind-transported debris. In one post he said that, even though 2x4s are regularly driven through thick walls and storm surges of 30 or 40 feet height come onto the beaches and travel long distances inland, his chosen tent would have no problems comfortably surviving a Cat 5 hurricane."

Dang, I want that tent. 

Here is the closest I have found to such a beast.

The cement tent.  This would not fit in the catagory of "leave as little trace a possible" as I think packing this baby out would be a pain in the keister.

 

http://www.wired.com/science/discoveries/news/2005/03/66872

http://www.thedailybeast.com/newsweek/2008/04/05/these-four-walls-won-t-fall-down.html

 

 

 

2:11 p.m. on November 21, 2011 (EST)
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Sleeping on top of the world sounds great.

5:59 p.m. on November 25, 2011 (EST)
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apeman said:

Bill S said :
"I am always amused and interested in these discussions of camping in winds. Some may remember the fellow who posted for a while on Trailspace about his ambition to go through a hurricane in a tent."

I remember that post, but don't recall who it was. I know there being a long lag later where we never saw a followup post. Did he ever re-appear?

1:18 a.m. on November 26, 2011 (EST)
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bheiser1 said:

apeman said:

Bill S said :
"I am always amused and interested in these discussions of camping in winds. Some may remember the fellow who posted for a while on Trailspace about his ambition to go through a hurricane in a tent."

I remember that post, but don't recall who it was. I know there being a long lag later where we never saw a followup post. Did he ever re-appear?

 I think he was last seen just before that wind storm.....

8:02 a.m. on November 29, 2011 (EST)
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does anyone see this one :

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lG1mI78FM20

note that speed is measured in  km/h. 

PS : don't do this at home :D

11:24 a.m. on November 30, 2011 (EST)
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From watching that vid (quite interesting) it would seem that a lower tent that was more wedge shape at least at one end and then pointing that end into the wind would greatly improve the overall performance of the tent.  By that I mean less crushing effect.  Just my thoughts, wish I had access to a wind tunnel to test my Walrus Arch, I think it has a great design for wind.  Very low pointed back end that slowly slopes up to the high side. 

Anyway, great fun for a bunch of big "Kids".  :D

Wolfman

8:00 p.m. on November 30, 2011 (EST)
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Brumo said:

does anyone see this one :

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lG1mI78FM20

Wolfman said:

From watching that vid (quite interesting) it would seem that a lower tent that was more wedge shape at least at one end and then pointing that end into the wind would greatly improve the overall performance of the tent. 

 

My experiences indicates:

  • The more head room a tent offers, the more likely it will flatten in a high wind.  Hence why most four season tents are relatively squat.  More important, a tent’s capability to withstand distortion in wind is a function of how its skeleton is designed.
  • A tent with a large surface areas between guy points and poles is obviously more likely to distort. 
  • A tent utilizing clips instead of pole sleeves is more likely to distort. 
  • A tent with more mid pole guy line points to secure it to the ground is usually more stable than a similar design with fewer guy lines. 
  • Tents designed such that guy lines can be attached directly to the tent poles are less prone to distortion than tents where the guy line secure to fabric element of the tent. 
  • Tents that have more points where tent poles cross each other are more rigid than tents of similar shape with fewer poles crossings.  Furthermore devising a method to clamp crossing poles so that intersection unifies the two crossing poles makes such configurations even more rigid. 
  • Lastly tents that permit running guy lines between poles inside the tent will reduce the tent’s tendency to deform in a wind.
  • One exception to most of these observations are the pyrimid shaped tents such as BD's Megamid.

But:

A very rigid tent skeleton requires the fabric elements of the design to be more durable (generally heavier), since more of the wind force is absorbed by the fabric panels as the wind buffets them like sails on a boat.  A well designed tent will balance the strength of its skeleton with the durability of the fabrics used to make the tent and fly.  That noted, attempting to customize a tent’s capability to resist the wind may shift the forces borne by the various design elements and create failure modes that otherwise may not occur had the tent been left unaltered. 

I have been in tents that would have blown flat, if not for people and gear occupying the interior space.  I have seen tents experiencing pole damage when subjected to high winds, and other tents whose preliminary failure mode was seams between fabric elements of the tent.  You will survive a tent blow down, provided no physical damage results, albeit it an intimidating experience.  But a physically damaged tent may only be a nuisance, or progress to the point where the tent is reduced to a tangle of sticks and cloth shreds.

Lastly I question the notion of attempting to design tents for a 90mph (150kmh) wind.  The only times I have ever seen winds even approaching such velocity they were casting blowing ice, snow and gravel about with such force it abraded the windward aspects of gear, fraying cloth, and removing paint from metal surfaces.  When forced to endure these rare experiences with no other shelter options, we chose to purposefully collapse our tents, and use them like multiperson bivies.  Take my word, high winds are God awful far before they reach such velocities.


stormwalls.jpg

The image (above) was from a January trip up Mt Langley, Ca.  We estimated the wind speed @ 45pmh.  This was a ground effect blizzard, not a snow storm.  Note the snow drifting up against the tents (lower right of picture), after only 45 minutes.  It sucks big time to shelter in a tent under these conditions.  We eventually dug a snow cave to get a warmer, quieter, shelter.  That plus we were close the Sierra Crest, were concerned the winds would really start blasting at sun set, and not interested in testing the limits of our tents.  Cannot imagine, nor wish to be tent bound in 90mph wind.

Ed

8:14 p.m. on November 30, 2011 (EST)
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Very valid points Ed. 

10:38 a.m. on December 1, 2011 (EST)
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Great Info Mr. Ed.

I have been on the Washington Coast in 30 to 40 MPH winds and could not even imagine trying to set up a camp or tent in that kind of wind with out seeking out some form of shelter in the trees or logs on the beach.  Luckily we went back to the motel for the night! :)  Storm watching is always fun if you have some place secure, warm, and dry to go after.  I can't even think what it would be like up in the mountains in the winter with that kind of storm, and I hope I never find out!  :)  I guess I am just a big softy. 

Wolfman

1:16 p.m. on December 1, 2011 (EST)
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I will leave it as an exercise for the reader to figure out the wind speed in the photo below.
DSC_0095.jpg
Clues - shutter 1/2000sec, focal length 18mm, onto a DX sensor, distance to tent about 3 meters. The image is full frame, no cropping. This was "calm" period during a 8 "night", 6 "day" stint in the tent at 4000m High Camp on Vinson (barometric altitude 15,000 ft).

Bonus if you get a reasonable estimate for Mt Shinn, the mountain in the photo.

1:24 p.m. on December 1, 2011 (EST)
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I will let you know in a few days. Waiting on a price from Greyhound now. Travelocity said they would get back to me on that. :0

I can't find my tire pump so the 10 speed is out of the question. 

Estimate wise 37kmh? At least this is what google told me the average for Mawsons station is. 

Maximum of 248.4kmh/154mph. 

So I guess somewhere in between lol.

2:24 p.m. on December 2, 2011 (EST)
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BillS, That is a puzzler. Estimating that the blowing snow moved about 1 inch, I come up with a  figure of 113 mph. The distance was probably half that in retrospect so I'm going to say 55mph.

6:10 p.m. on December 2, 2011 (EST)
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I would base it on the snow streaking by in the upper left.  I assume these steak are close to the focal point otherwise they would appear as fog, out of focus if closer, and too small to see individually further off. 

I  have to add some "blue sky" to guess the scale used to determine the length of each streak.  Guesstimating the length of the tent @ 11 ' = and that the horizontal margins of the image are a bout 4 tent lengths @ 9M, I guesstimate the margins @ the focal point to be about 5' wide (you used a fish eye lens?).  Some of the streaks appear to span 1/9 of the horizontal axis, therefore are just over 6" long, provided all the prior musings are within the ball park.   Given the shutter speed that means the snow flakes are passing by @ 250'/sec, or ~150mph!  Obviously something is off in my assumptions; the tent is still standing, as is the photographer.

Resorting to intuition, the tent looks like it is only mildly deformed, and the snow furls in the background about 15' - 20' tall.  (It would be nice to have a moving picture of a flag.)  Based on these observations, I am guessing the wind @ ~25 mph.  As for the winds at the peak, there appears to be a fairly long plume on the leeward side; the wind there could be anywhere from 65 - 130 mph (or more?). 

Ed

8:46 p.m. on December 2, 2011 (EST)
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whomeworry said:

... Guesstimating the length of the tent @ 11 ' = and that the horizontal margins of the image are a bout 4 tent lengths @ 9M, ...

 Ummmmmm, Ed, click on the photo and you will see that you are looking at the top of the tent, not the whole tent. So the width you are seeing is a lot less than 11 ft. Plus the tent is behind the wind walls, which you can see if you look carefully at the photo when you click on it to see it in larger form.

As for the width of the image, try an "angular" point of view.

8:18 a.m. on December 3, 2011 (EST)
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I knew I wasn’t looking at the whole tent, but from the part I could see I assumed most of it was in the frame, and that it was a 2 sleep viewed from the side, with a vestibule on one end.  If it is a base camp tent I have no idea how to scale the tent, as it could be a range of sizes.  I cannot figure your hint about angular views, if you mean the tent is viewed at an angle, not face or profile, if you are referring to the vertical tilt angle required to frame the shot, if you mean I should view the image from an oblique angle, or some other detail.   A forensic technician I am not!

So Bill, how would you obtain the wind speed off this image?

Ed

7:25 p.m. on December 3, 2011 (EST)
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Angular view => high school trigonometry.

Or try proportionality.

Now, it wasn't a fisheye lens. It was the Nikkor 18-200 mm zoom on a D300s, which has a DX sensor.

Couple more images:


DSC_0093.jpg


DSC_0092.jpg
The front tent was Ukyo's and my tent. His crampons are the ones with the blue bots.

1:08 a.m. on December 4, 2011 (EST)
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The additional images do not compel me to change my original analysis, so obviously I am missing something.  You hinted at angular view.  I thought I was accounting for that, estimating the view width of ~45’ at 10’.  Plotting that to scale indicated to me the view width @ the indicated focal length would be.  From that I could determine the distance the blowing snow traveled past while exposing the image.  I either made some wildly incorrect assumptions in setting up these data, or my estimate of the distance the blowing snow traveled across the image during the exposure time is wrong because it was difficult to be certain where one flake left off and another began.  Furthermore I question the actual distance the flakes used to make this estimate were from the camera.

So – how do you deduce wind speed from the image?

Ed

12:11 p.m. on December 4, 2011 (EST)
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This is so giving me a headache!!   :D

I could figure it all out but I would need to know time and location to get the correct angle of the sun...  

:p

1:45 p.m. on December 4, 2011 (EST)
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Wolfie, The sun is above the horizon 24 hours a day down there, so coming from all azimuths. Knowing anything more than it was late December and on the slopes of Vinson won't do you any good.

C'mon, now, surely there are several people out there who remember enough high school trig and know enough about cameras to figure this out. It's really quite simple.

Ed, there are no snowflakes in Antarctica, particularly inland more than 100 km. It only snows about 2 inches a year. The "snow" is more like ice pellets that are pretty much rounded. But you are sort of on the right track.

1:51 p.m. on December 5, 2011 (EST)
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It's math. Girls don't do math.

6:29 p.m. on December 5, 2011 (EST)
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giftogab said:

It's math. Girls don't do math.

 Balderdash! You need to read Danica McKellar's books. Math Doesn't Suck: How to Survive Middle-School Math Without Losing Your Mind or Breaking a Nail, Kiss My Math, and Hot X: Algebra Exposed! Here is an interview with her. Her books are well-written and lots of fun. My spouse, Barb, has her degrees in math, plus worked for years as a computer scientist. Real girls and women do indeed do math (and are better at it than most boys and men).

8:25 p.m. on December 5, 2011 (EST)
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Bill S said:

giftogab said:

It's math. Girls don't do math.

 Balderdash! You need to read Danica McKellar's books. Math Doesn't Suck: How to Survive Middle-School Math Without Losing Your Mind or Breaking a Nail, Kiss My Math, and Hot X: Algebra Exposed! Here is an interview with her. Her books are well-written and lots of fun. My spouse, Barb, has her degrees in math, plus worked for years as a computer scientist. Real girls and women do indeed do math (and are better at it than most boys and men).

 I would agree with Bill women are better at math then men.My sister inlaw double major one in math graduate degree in statistics, Her daughter my niece Math scholarship to Portland has been published and is going to Japan to do Math all as an undergrad. Real women do math just fine giftofgab. no offence to those who choose not to. lol

 

10:04 p.m. on December 5, 2011 (EST)
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I can do math....was just playing the stereotype. Here is another one: I am a lawyer, if I could do math I would have gone to med school.

12:09 a.m. on December 6, 2011 (EST)
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Well Actually Bill, I was thinking that I could look it up somewhere on the web if I got the location and time, but...  What's Ball's saying, "that how I roll!"  :)  I am always looking for the easy way. :)  Didn't know that it was the bottom of the world though, I don't think their are a lot of weather records out there in the froze wasteland! 

As for math, actually My degree is math based, sorta, Double major in Finance and Real Estate with a Minor in Construction.  Calculate you ROI, Payment, Some Statists, and stuff like that, Probably, although I have not used much of it for quite a few years.  Money Counting - Yes, Wind speed from flying ICE! - NO WAY! 

But it's fun watching others try. :D

Humbly,

Wolfman

7:00 p.m. on December 12, 2011 (EST)
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Bill S said:

I will leave it as an exercise for the reader to figure out the wind speed in the photo below...
DSC_0095.jpg

Ok, if I may speak for the peanut gallery, we give up, what is the answer, and how would you determine it?

Ed

9:50 p.m. on December 12, 2011 (EST)
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I re-examined the other photos taken around the same time, and determined that the tent was actually a bit farther than the 3 m I gave. But you have to take ice streaks that are against the tent, so less than the tent distance. When you go through this, the average for a number of the streaks works out to about 40 knots/46mph. I measured about the same speed on my Kestrel.

As for the sharpness of the streaks, the f/stop in the photo was f/22, meaning that pretty much everything from a couple feet from the lens to infinity was in focus (the depth of field is pretty much infinite at f/22). So using the streaks in the upper left includes a lot of particles that are probably within a couple feet of the lens, hence their tracks subtend a much larger angle than ones at an average of half-way to the tent. Using those will indeed seem to indicate speeds of a couple hundred knots. Using the tent side puts an upper bound on the distance. Note that the streaks there are much shorter than in the upper left, since most are much farther away, hence subtend smaller angles.

A couple things in the data given are essential - 18mm lens onto a DX sensor. A DX (or "half-frame") sensor is 24x18mm, half of a FX sensor, which is the same as a 35mm full frame film camera at 24x36mm. The long dimension of the frame (24 mm) subtends about 85 deg at 18mm.You don't need to know the actual dimensions of the tent, except as a check on assumptions.

The tent is more like 10 ft than 11 ft. Plus only the top is seen in the photo (as you can see in the first of the two added photos.

10:47 a.m. on December 13, 2011 (EST)
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Wind is right up there with rain as my least favorite thing to travel in. 

When people who haven't been up Everest complain that they wouldn't go because its too "commercialized" or some such, I think it sounds a little too much like an excuse. 

I think it would be able to start a phrase with, "The time I was on Everest..."

My reasons for not going are simply that its too expensive, too dangerous and too hard. If it weren't everyone would go. 

12:39 p.m. on December 13, 2011 (EST)
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So my 55mph was close, but not necessarily through any scientific method.:-)

12:55 p.m. on December 13, 2011 (EST)
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FromSagetoSnow said:

When people who haven't been up Everest complain that they wouldn't go because its too "commercialized" or some such, I think it sounds a little too much like an excuse. 

 I wouldn't necessarily agree on that one. Some may have the money to take a shot at it but may not want to have their summit attempt compromised due to heavy traffic on the lines.

At the same time, I don't know how much footage you have seen of the summit but it kinda resembles a landfill.

Here is an article in regards to this problem(at least 5 tons of trash)

 http://climbing.about.com/b/2011/04/06/eco-everest-expedition-to-continue-mt-everest-clean-up-effort.htm

Here is something I pulled from the article:

Prior to this year, the Eco Everest Expedition's three previous expeditions (2008, 2009, and 2010) brought down over 13 tons of garbage, 660 pounds of human waste, and four human bodies for proper burial.

I think the lure of Everest is that it is dubbed the "worlds tallest mountain." Alot of people would love to have that bragging right. 

Then again there are many that would say why do I want to spend 10s of thousands of dollars just to climb Everest when I could climb many others for less? At the same time they are far less traveled which means less waste. 

As Ed previously mentioned there are quite a few "non-commercialized" peaks out there that can give one equal adventure/thrill if one is skilled enough to tackle them. 

1:29 p.m. on December 13, 2011 (EST)
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I will be able to say..."That time at Everest base camp!" So, being at the base of Everest accomplishes my dreams. I agree that if I HAD the skill and HAD the money a big question in the CONS column would be how a long traffic jam on the ropes at the steps could cost my attempt...or worse, my life.  I have never possesed the skills to climb these types of mountains and the Trek, for me, is MY big adventure and I do not appologize for that! Touching the Khumbu Ice Fall will be magic to me, if insignificant to others.....and that is all that matters!

1:35 p.m. on December 13, 2011 (EST)
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My thing is that people have just trashed the upper portions of the mountain. It seems to me that alot of the guide services are more concerned with the preservation of their pockets and not the preservation of the mountain itself. 

Its just sad. 

2:41 p.m. on December 13, 2011 (EST)
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I agree, Rick, that for years and years that was the 100% case.....garbage just left. But I am hopeful that the clean up expeditions are helping curb that and that some day, there will be more serenity restored to the mountain. Read HIGH CRIMES. EYE opener, for sure!

8:30 p.m. on December 13, 2011 (EST)
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FromSagetoSnow said:

When people who haven't been up Everest complain that they wouldn't go because its too "commercialized" or some such, I think it sounds a little too much like an excuse.

 My big inspiration to start technical climbing was the "conquest" of Everest in 1953. For years, it was my dream. But as I did more and more climbing and saw Everest and the rest of the 7 Summits become a commercialized "pay your money and we will get you to the top", I lost interest. I think the first big turnoff was when I climbed the Matterhorn with my friend Clark in 1964, and we summited among a crowd of some 50-60 people, plus hearing the professional guides brag that they could get a cow to the summit, I got very turned off on guided climbing and crowds.

Summit of Matterhorn, me with the red hat, Clark in the T-shirt, and a portion of the crowd.
matsmt.gif

Yes, there are some times when I have used a guide, due to legal requirements (Tanzania) or logistics (Antarctica), plus the guides and porters we used in the Cordillera Blanca last summer to help with the large amount of scientific gear we had to get up and down the mountains. But when possible, I prefer to climb with a small group of 2 or 3.

I do have the skills, experience, and gear, plus a way of dealing with the finances for Everest. And I have been accused (by my brother-in-law) of doing the 7 Summits (yeah, 3 of the 7 at this point). And I do have friends who have done it (some guide friends who have done it multiple times). But when we are sitting around talking about climbs, my friends who have climbed with me and been on Everest mostly say "it isn't your kind of mountain." They know how I feel about crowds. On Denali, we had more of a crowd on the route and on the summit than I care for. On Kili, my guide (required by law) and I had the mountain from before reaching the rim to the summit and back almost to Stella Point to ourselves (a half-hour between seeing anyone else). On Vinson, we had the last 1000 feet of ascent to ourselves and the descent all the way back to High Camp. A lot of my climbing is solo, including some fairly technical ascents. I hate grocery store queues, and flee quickly every time I get close to a WalMart. Holiday shopping? NO WAY!!!! Yosemite Valley used to be a real pleasure at Thanksgiving and Christmas - almost no one in the campgrounds. But now, there is a mob there year around. Thankfully, many of the classic routes are now uncrowded and not on most climbers "must do" lists. Plus, get into the back country and there are wonderful, fun, challenging routes to do with no one around for miles.

If Everest ever gets deserted, I may consider it again. But not now. There are lots of other more interesting mountains in the Himalaya and the Karakoram (if Pakistan ever becomes safe again).

11:12 p.m. on December 13, 2011 (EST)
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Bill S said:

If Everest ever gets deserted, I may consider it again. But not now. There are lots of other more interesting mountains in the Himalaya and the Karakoram (if Pakistan ever becomes safe again).

 That sort of makes me feel bad for you. Here is a guy that SHOULD bag that summit, but modern conditions actually make it a non starter. When I was watching THE WILDEST DREAM the last time, I thought about the virgin-ness of the mountain and what it must have been like to be there....and how crowded even that must have felt at the bottom to these explorers. What must Mallory have thought as he got higher and there was no one them but him and his partner......nobody. Now, watching EVEREST AND BEYOND you can really get a taste of the crowded situation and it isn't the same. I also know that my own trek to base camp will not be what it once could have been. For me, it is the act I accomplish not the crowd that makes it. It will be the locals and the 14 new friends and staff. But Bill....I wish you could have that mountain the way it would be palatable for you.

11:15 p.m. on December 13, 2011 (EST)
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Bill S, sweet hat !!!

4:35 a.m. on December 14, 2011 (EST)
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Bill S said:

 My big inspiration to start technical climbing was the "conquest" of Everest in 1953. For years, it was my dream. But as I did more and more climbing and saw Everest and the rest of the 7 Summits become a commercialized "pay your money and we will get you to the top", I lost interest...

..Yes, there are some times when I have used a guide... But when possible, I prefer to climb with a small group of 2 or 3.

I do have the skills, experience, and gear, plus a way of dealing with the finances for Everest... But.. my friends.. ..say "it isn't your kind of mountain..."  Yosemite Valley used to be a real pleasure at Thanksgiving and Christmas - almost no one in the campgrounds. But now, there is a mob there year around...

If Everest ever gets deserted, I may consider it again. But not now. There are lots of other more interesting mountains in the Himalaya and the Karakoram (if Pakistan ever becomes safe again).

Forgive me for crowding you, Bill, but we are two peas in a pod in this regard. 

Like Bill, reading about Mt Everest inspired my ambitions.  I remember reading about the first US summit of Everest in a 1963 National Geographic Magazine.  By the time I was technically capable, many of the destinations climbs had become “crowded.”  The last time I was on Denali, in the 1980s, I promised myself to do one of the other venues in the area, such as Foraker or Huntern, if I ever get the gumption again to venture there.  Then again most routes up these alternate venues are technical; many of the technical routes up Denali still are not congested, so we elitists may be grousing somewhat.  I think some of the crowded feeling is a state of mind.  Something feels different if you make the effort to get that far away from the crowds, only to see someone else’s tracks or head lamp in what’s suppose to be the end of the earth.

I agree with Bill about Yosemite.  When I first got into climbing rocks, just for the climb, it was in the 1960s. Yosemite Valley already was a carnival, not exactly what I sought from the experience.  Thus I preferred crags accessed via Tuolumne Meadows, and other East Side venues.  Yea, the approaches often required schlepping a heavy kit some distance, whereas The Valley practically offered curb side convenience, but that is a small price for solitude and the unsullied sound of the wind. 

I pushed myself, seeking bigger, more difficult, objectives for about ten years.  At some point the objective risks became too high for me to justify.  I realized my priorities needed realignment after losing some friends to the mountains (all to snow avalanches) and one too many stints of my own in vertical bowling alleys.

Like Bill I also prefer the small team, self contained, manner of trekking, rarely using guides, and then usually for the reasons he states.  On my Peruvian trips we hired what passes as a guide, but mostly to guard our base camp, so someone doesn’t steal our food and gear while we were up on the mountain.  My climbs rarely have more than six climbers; I find four is an ideal number, as it still affords speed and offers the backup of another tent, gear, and more hands, should something go really wrong.  I have been known to solo, too, more often than what my wife is comfortable with.  Sometimes you just have to air it out on your lonesome.  I always wanted to venture in the Karakoram, but lacked the funds and time such ventures entail.  Perhaps, in a another lifetime…

Ed

9:29 a.m. on December 14, 2011 (EST)
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Cool pic Bill!

Looks like lots of wool, twisted hemp (or manilla?) rope and steel. 

 

Sure, its messy and crowded but its Everest

Its like Washington DC.  I'd love to see Washington DC some day too.  Sure its filthy, trashy and crowded but hoping that the politicians will leave for a while so I can have a pristine visit isn't something I see as realistic.  I'd go just to go. Trash and all, its DC.

Its funny though, I dont go to DC for the same reasons I dont go to Everest, its dangerous and expensive!

There are other big peaks but who, besides other climbers, would know what you are talking about if you mentioned your climb on Manaslu, Shishapangma or Makalu?

 

11:47 a.m. on December 14, 2011 (EST)
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I wish I was confident enough and skilled enough to venture out on my own without a guide. But I know my novice skills need some expertise and back up or I could not go to Basecamp safely. Sure, I can walk it and be alone or with a group. But if something goes wrong, I am ill equipped on my own to deal with it. I havegotten adequate gear. I have done all the preparations I have needed to be fit to do it, but will feel safer with the group.  For that, I am greatful for the trekking choices I have.

2:12 p.m. on December 14, 2011 (EST)
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I have to chime in and agree with Bill and Ed here. One of my climbing heros is Walter Bonatti who left the company of guides he had started with, because he didn't like the commercial aspect. His last climb was the winter after Bill summited the Matterhorn, the first solo ascent of the North Face in winter.

For me, the climb was(as I no longer do extreme stuff) about companionship, exploration, challenging myself. Certainly, for anyone to climb Everest, they have to be in decent shape. However, the guiding ethic has become so clouded in recent years, because it is about money, as much as about the skill. The debacle on Everest some years ago, being a good example, IMHO. Some very good climbers died, because as guides, they were paid to get charges to the summit despite the latter not being up to the task. After that climb, Edmund Hillary commented that it was the commercialism that had largely been responsible for several of the deaths, individuals being on the mountain who had no reason to be there, aside from having paid to join a team.

In some cases, where the risk is low, a case like giftogab's is acceptable. However, we must not forget that in situations such as Everest, the risk is very high, despite the mountain having been summited many times since 1953.

Certainly climbing has had its cliques. The English assaults on Everest being a good example. Perhaps if George Finch had accompanied Mallory, rather than Irvine, Everest might have been successfully summited then. But, Finch was an Australian, and not acceptable.

One factor that wasn't mentioned, is that numbers on mountains is inherently dangerous. As much as I love the Mountaineers and what they stand for, I would never climb on a Mountaineer outing.

If, as Bill mentioned, a guide could get a cow to the summit of the Matterhorn(and I think it possible), isn't that an affront to all who have summited the Matterhorn on their own? How would Whymper respond? Perhaps like Hillary, saddened that commercialism had taken over what was once one of the great challenges of mountaineering.

9:04 p.m. on December 14, 2011 (EST)
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Luckily I know I'll never have to worry about deciding which great 8,000m  mountain to climb so its all really kinda academic anyway. Still, if I did, it would have to be Everest; strip malls, ski resorts, garbage and all.

 

3:01 a.m. on December 15, 2011 (EST)
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But which "Everest"? In Bonatti's case, it was the last unclimbed Alps North Face. For me, it is the classic route on Mt. Whitney. Or perhaps, the Nooksack Tower.

Regardless, we each have our own "Everest" in our goals. Hopefully, that quest, the journey that we take to get there, makes us more human, more aware of our place, our capabilities and our weaknesses, and lets us see ourselves more clearly.

4:28 p.m. on December 15, 2011 (EST)
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Rick-Pittsburgh said:

Bill S, sweet hat !!!

 The two pins on the hat are my CAF (Club Alpin Francais, French Alpine Club) and Sierra Club Angeles Rock Climbing Section Qualified Leader pins.


RCSCAFPins.jpg

The Sierra Club Rock Climbing Sections are either defunct or are purely social clubs these days - insurance premiums for "risk sports" were too high and competed with the Sierra Club's political activities, so were closed out.

4:47 p.m. on December 15, 2011 (EST)
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Erich said:

But which "Everest"? In Bonatti's case, it was the last unclimbed Alps North Face. For me, it is the classic route on Mt. Whitney. Or perhaps, the Nooksack Tower.

With the proper skill set(which would take quite a few years for me to develop) my Everest would be K2. 

Something about that big rock draws my attention. The bottleneck looks pretty wild as well. 

Granted Everest was something that I wanted to do before I leave this world but honestly K2 would be my ultimate goal without a doubt.

4:49 p.m. on December 15, 2011 (EST)
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Bill S said:

Rick-Pittsburgh said:

Bill S, sweet hat !!!

 The two pins on the hat are my CAF (Club Alpin Francais, French Alpine Club) and Sierra Club Angeles Rock Climbing Section Qualified Leader pins.


RCSCAFPins.jpg

The Sierra Club Rock Climbing Sections are either defunct or are purely social clubs these days - insurance premiums for "risk sports" were too high and competed with the Sierra Club's political activities, so were closed out.

 Those pins are really interesting. I was trying to get a glimpse of them on the photo but I couldn't quite make them out.

Thanks for posting this. 

12:23 a.m. on December 31, 2011 (EST)
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Just used my Marmot Sawtooth Membrane in the snow.  Good stuff

11:40 a.m. on December 31, 2011 (EST)
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My Everest is Everest Base Camp.

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