more climbers killed… yawn
(originally posted 3/19/2016)
I’m getting just a bit sick of hearing about climbers getting killed on Everest. Why the fuck are they there to begin with?
Ok, that’s not fair. Let me back up and think about this a second. I’m not mad that they are there. If they want to climb up a giant, freezing-cold mountain in the middle of nowhere, they are certainly free to do so. I’m mad about all the publicity they get every time there is an avalanche. I couldn’t care less about a bunch of rich people that are so painfully bored with their lives they have to jet off to another country just to climb a mountain.
I can almost hear you now… “What have YOU done that’s so impressive, Lance Manion?!”
Nothing. But I’m not going to get killed by an avalanche watching TV on my couch in my underwear. And if I do, I won’t be clogging up the news reports with details of my “tragedy.” In fact, if someone is killed by an avalanche while sitting in their home, that would actually qualify as a tragedy. An avalanche killing people on the side of a mountain in the middle of nowhere isn’t eligible to use that term. Those people had to spend a lot of time and money to put themselves into the path of that snow.
That’s what mountains do. They have avalanches. Humans are the only species on Earth that actually intentionally puts itself into the path of danger. There are no “extreme” zebras.
Maybe I just don’t get it. If the view from the top of Everest is so good, why not put in a fucking escalator? You could even put in one of those cameras at the top like they have when you ride a rollercoaster and you don’t know when the picture is being taken. Instead of a look of terror ruining the picture, it would be the snot frozen to your nose. If you’re worried about an escalator taking all the challenge out of getting to the top, I don’t think you’re taking into account the long line that would no doubt form. And where there are escalators there are inevitably fat people trying to get their fatmobiles up them.
I could see it being a very trying experience.
Of course, for some people, the idea that you would remove the possibility of them being turned into a climbercicle ruins the whole thing.
Who cares? These bored rich people can find some other hobby to fill their empty hours. They can bungee jump into a wood chipper, for all I care. There are people with real challenges to face scattered all over the globe. I’m not losing any sleep if we make Everest a Disney Park with a Mr. Moose character walking back and forth at the summit trying to peddle foam antler hats.
I’m not sure why I had to invent a new character named Mr. Moose when there are so many beloved Disney characters to choose from, but I’m unclear about the subtleties of trademark infringement and such so I was scared to mention Mickey or Pluto.
Inevitably one of the “victims” of the most recent avalanche will read this and be offended by its tone. I might even get an email yelling at me and telling me what a great husband and father one of the climbercicles was.
Yeah, he was such a great father, he had to leave his family for a month or more to walk up the side of a mountain. Maybe if his wife wasn’t such a naggy bitch, he wouldn’t have felt the need to sleep in a tent, freezing his ass off. Just saying, before you attack Lance Manion, make sure you have your own house in order. I know there are many ways I could die this afternoon, but I’m not actively engaged in making that list longer. Your frozen ex-cicle should have taken up bird watching.
Every now and then, you run into one of these Everest characters. Sitting at a cocktail party waiting to be asked about his adventure at the top of the world. He thinks everyone knows because we’re all talking about him and I just want to go up to him and tell him the reason that everyone knows he’s a climber is because half is face is black with frostbite and could he pull his wool cap all the down and stop scaring the children. When he dishes out a condescending chortle at my expense, I just want to whip out a picture of me and Mr. Moose at the summit eating corn dogs and waiting to get our sack so we can start our three-hour slide down to the bottom.
Here’s my point… avalanches are not only super dangerous but also about the most preventable form of death out there. If you stay away from the sides of mountains loaded with snow, you won’t get killed by an avalanche. There is no reason to be in the way of an avalanche in the first place. If you get avalanched, it’s on you. I don’t want to hear about it except maybe as a joke on a late-night talk show.
Fuck Everest and quadruple fuck the people who climb it.