“History teaches us that history teaches us nothing “ Georg Hegel
Everyone who is, or not, an “Everest Expert” has given his or her opinions and comments on what happened on Everest this season, and on how to avoid unnecessary deaths in the future. I am working on my own two bobs worth of advice video, which I will publish once I am happy with the content.
Sometimes it is good to go back in time, and verify that history really does not teach us much. I recorded, in a book chapter, ( The Wind in my Hair, 1998) and in a yet unseen video interview with one of the protagonists ( in May 1996) , how the tragedy unfolded, and why the rescue efforts were so random.
I was on the South Col, in 1996, oblivious to the drama happening outside our little expedition cocoon. Communications were appalling, help was not asked for when it could have been given.
Perhaps this offering will enlighten hopeful climbers, their families and friends, on what can go wrong, and on how fast a series of mistakes turns into a death row situation for unsuspecting clients, even on expensive, well resourced expeditions, employing top quality Western and Sherpa guides. There was a storm in 1996. The weather was by all accounts reasonably fair in 2016. And the expeditions concerned were allegedly “way under resourced”, as a guide working on the mountain at the time told me.
If anything needs to be highlighted, it is the duty of care that leaders have towards their clients, and their employees. In 1996, two expedition leaders perished in the line of duty, captains going down with their ships.
I honour them, and the people who died then, those who died since, and recently; their families and friends. It is always harder for those alive.
You can read the chapter and watch the video HERE, for $4.99.
Please note that this video interview/illustrated book chapter release was scheduled for publishing on 11 May 2016, the twentieth anniversary of the tragedy, and that my ineptitude at getting videos uploaded caused a synchronistic delay. The couple of dollars you will spend on getting a fresh perspective will be used for editing the Beyond the Smile Documentary, a work in progress.
PS: My love and respect to people who do what they love to do, to those who die doing what they love doing, and to those loved ones who have to live with it.
Brigitte Koch-Muir OAM summitted Everest in 1997, on her fourth attempt. Storms, spending the night out at 8500m without light or oxygen, and being caught in the 1996 disaster on the South Col of Everest are some of the challenges she faced before eventually summitting. She was a high altitude expedition climber, and leader, for almost thirty years. She is now a story teller, and belongs to the Beyond the Smile Friendily, and the SEED Alliances, a network of people excited by the idea of changing the world by implementing a business model based on the seven chakras, and having fun doing it.
I share my passion for ‘live your dream, don’t dream your life’
Inspirational Speaking is how I fund the many hours of volunteering I happily give to the Beyond the Smile Program in Lura. You can help the women and school leavers of Lura by hiring me as a speaker! Or donate to the BTS documentary ( tax deductible over $250 in Australia) and get yourself or the organisation/company of your choice a highly inspirational talk. ( BEYOND THE SUMMIT ANGELS AND ARCHANGELS only)