Low Oxygen Fight Night at the Top of the World

It is extremely difficult for our human bodies to operate in the thin air and low levels of oxygen experienced in high altitude mountain climbing. But that didn’t prevent a near brawl from breaking out at the Mount Everest base camp earlier this month.

“Three European men were involved in a brawl at 24,000 feet when a dispute over climbing procedure turned into a violent, near-death scuffle that raises new questions about the overcrowding of the summit,” Dashiell Bennett writes for The Atlantic. “Local officials are investigating the matter and say it’s the first time they ever heard of such an incident at the world’s biggest mountain.”

Impoverished Sherpa communities are dependent on the international climbing community, local Valley journalist Jonathan Green tells the Advocate. “Wealthy climbers often get winched up, tied in to Sherpas, and basically dragged up the mountain,” says Green, author of Murder in the High Himalaya: Loyalty, Tragedy, and Escape from Tibet (see “Gunshots on the Roof of the World,” Valley Advocate, 9/6/12). “Then [the climbers] go back and make all this money speaking about character and courage.”

“There’s such an income disparity between the Sherpas and these luxury adventures,” continues Green, “there’s bound to be animosity.”

Read on at Free Sport

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