Denis Urubko

Khumbu Wars

(about the conflict in C2 on Everest April, 27 2013 between Simone Moro, Ueli Steck and Jon Griffith and Sherpas)

1. Many people want and try to climb Everest and everybody has the equal rights for it.
2. Nepali Rules FORCE climbers to use sherpas (the Nepalese stuff) for fixing ropes on the
route - on Khumbu ice-fall and Lhotse slope also.

The story happened with Simone Moros group, certainly, is not new. For me, there was the expected conflict which had to arise in spite of old pink relations. Therefore, not wishing to look as final instance, I only will express my personal relation to the event, and to the reasons laying, in my opinion, at the heart of the conflict.

For brevity a statement I will not put examples though each of the given list taken from my personal practical experience.

From the many years spent in the expeditions, I have taken out hard belief that it's useless to try to solve the conflict on the route by force. Finally the problems will appear for both (all) parties. Nobody will be able to understand, who was the first, who is more to the right
and who was guilty.

On the other hand, Sherpas, as I saw, often lose self-control, and the first rush in fight,
begin the aggression, catch at the weapon. There were IN ALL cases of oppositions between
Nepali and persons of other nationalities, which I saw or participated by myself.

Contrary, Westerns' consciousness differs bigger suspension, search of ways of the decision of a problem without physical interaction. So, Simone Moro became a teacher for me, he managed to find the peaceful solution, satisfying all, in the extraordinary situations. European tolerance of Ueli Steck passes any borders. In relations with people he is the softest delicate person. The same is possible to tell about the artist John Griffith, who never get any confrontation with any people during the expedition.

Locals, when they're in crowd ( or group) absolutely lose frameworks of decencies and care.
The impunity multiplied by confidence of forces in the home territory, breaks last restrictions. This is property, of course, not only Nepali. And, as a rule, they always have the possibility to continue the conflict, to revenge after - to create a problem in relations with other locals, or to steal or spoil your equipment, to spoil your health, or a spirit on an ascension, or to rat in other hundred ways.

It's fact that Sherpas consider Everest as their property, forgetting, that they are a part of
the people of whole Nepal. This invented "hi-cast level feeling" urged to lift a self-estimation, allows them to look haughtily at people of other nationalities, and to dictate the unwritten rules. Therefore, the majority of them is deeply indifferent to other unwritten rules like hospitality, respect of skill, to aspiration to study new, etc.

In this point I had to mention the minority of Sherpas (which actually is the majority,
simply has less contacts with persons of other nationalities). They concern other people with sincere respect, observe etiquette, support the human's unwritten rules mentioned above, with real heat . Such Sherpas belong to two categories: they're the adult successful men remembering the youth, knowing the price of money as a result of hard work. Or perfect youth who have not yet admitted to a feeding trough who was corrupted with idleness and an easy money. Both categories are kind with visitors of Khumbu valley.

All the rest are impregnated by money. It sounds paradoxical, but team Moro-Steck-Griffith had been broken by money. Because behind the back of that sirdar, who began the conflict, there were uncountable dollars from commercial groups of clients, for whom the line of ropes was fixing. Together with the aforesaid, it alowed the conflict became more deep, so deep, that it became impossible to pull the situation out this abyss.

Hundreds of psevdo-climbers, who paid money for the road to Everest top, stood behind one
hundred Sherpas, got a false idea that they were offended.

This rod has two ends. Sherpas have the stereotype for a long time that they are the
actual (main) climbers. And the crowd of the collectors, ready to pay money for possibility to become the first -ner, the person with , the person without -sual, times in days depend on their work. Yes, let them! But
while so occurs, all these psevdo-heroes should be in slavery at masters of the situation,
Sherpas. And to suffer any spittles and smiles behind the back. But, in front of client they
will smile so widely, the as client's bank account allows. If the client can't pay- no problem!
There're a lot of another, ready to fork up.

Besides, in the conditions of overcrowded Everest visitors, qualification of high-altitude
Sherpas catastrophically drops in comparison to the necessary level. Commercial expeditions
have to hire everybody for any money. Therefore we see as often Nepali perishing in cracks on the ice fall - not experienced climbers, but just hardly learnt to hold jumar workers on the route.

And they consider themselves have the right to dictate the rules. And if (dont bless you)
someone from this group will decide that you send him "bad glance", he immediately offended hundreds of his collegues together,dreaming to protect the psevdo-rights and psevdo-duties.
And behind their backs there will be silently and severely hundreds of psevdo-climbers for
whom the service of fixing ropes, established camps and oxygen equipment is important.

Imagine, please, that the sirdar would be the good climber knowing with the conditions of
strong mountain route, respecting other people. He would not panic on 35-degree ice,
would be quiet about his workers. (Especially, using rope, already fixed by Bolotov and me)
to the C3. Then, seeing the real experts (Simone, Ueli, John), delicately crossing
a rope line, he would concern it easy and correctly - no problems. And anything explosive
won't follow. There're almost no stones on Lhotse slope, so it wouldn't be possible to
wound somebody below by them. Moro's group didn't cut out the ice lenses, and the maximum, that they could drop - ten-gramme ice splinters from under teeths of crampons. And it is absolutely safe on that relief spotted with cavities, cracks, stains of soft snow - more
than five meters nothing could fall.

Maximum that was possible to do by sirdar - to try to discuss an event in Base Camp with
a management. Instead the person mismatching his job, began an inadequate actions
which have outgrown in the wrongful. The same rascals- mismatching a high rank of Everest Kings - gathered in crowd against three climbers.

Details of that fight gradually appear in reports on mountaineering resources. For example, clearly, that around there were about twenty foreigners-climbers. Practically all of them only observed, not interfering with Sherpa crowd. If guys were more active, that fight could be hushed up without problems. To avoid the humiliation of my friends on knees, kicks and stones. And the further altercations. But only two persons tried to help Simones group - Melissa Arnot and Marti Schmidt. They rushed before attacking Sherpas, receiving kicks and boxes on the ear, pleasing for Sherpas their faces, broken in blood.

In the village Deboche where I recovered after illness, many people knew, that I am from
Simone Moro expedition. Therefore, I had not been surprised by malicious glances from porters and guides in the next morning. And two days later, approaching to the Base camp, near the tents I met two Sherpas who were selflessly wetted, having stuck out their genitals in front of group the foreigners in five meters from - Sherpa guys want to look like winners. What can you do with us?! One word - pigs. Bolotov, having learnt, that I has shown them indecent gesture, cough from nervous. And long convinced me to be meek and mild.

What then became with sirdar, made all this porridge? Heard, he have discharged of business, and had been sent home. Well, for certain have still told "ah-ah-ah". And after a week, of course, he again will appear on the route, self-confident and arrogant. We know such special eastern relations between relatives! Because it is necessary someone work.
The majority so-called sherpas are not able for usual climbing activity. The maximum such workers of business concerns are capable for - to ascend by jumar and crampons on ice-fall and to carry oxygen bottles and to establish tents for clients to Lhotse slope. But they have honors and arrogance - above a roof!

The result is unfavourable. Ueli Steck, injured physically and morally, has left home - and nobody will give him back the belief in Solo Khumbu people and ten thousand euro already.
A similar situation at Simone Moro and John Griffith. The world has lost Something Beautiful, new, interesting on Everest. The cattle which waved knifes and stones in Camp 2, was fully
satisfied self-respect. They remained to be right before their families, friends, fellow citizens and the law of Nepal. They should work, feed children, to feed economy of Nepal, to help people of the World to touch charm of the Highest top.

And the hundreds of people who paid money for the indisputable right to climb the top, of
course, will go by ropes, fixed by such guys yes

Good luck, friends, dare towards to your adventure! Just only do not throw empty oxygen cylinders to Everest East Face. Maybe, new Carlos Buhler climbs there in aspiration to lay the way to Unknown. He also has his rights for this.