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Author Topic: Summiting Everest with oxygen increases chances of survival by 200%. Is it fair?  (Read 38509 times)

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This is a poll about a current issue:
Possible answers:
- Yes, it's still no walk in the park
- Yes, surviving is part of the summiting
- Yes, oxygen is part of the gear just like gloves and crampons
- No, it is cheating
- Oxygen? huh?

Is using oxygen cheating as others have climbed without? Or is it part of the gear? Is using crampons or rope cheating too?
What is a fair climb? And what are acceptable risks?

Looking forward to seeing your votes and comments here!
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"He who climbs upon the highest mountains laughs at all tragedies, real or imaginary." -- Friedrich Nietzsche

trunl

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oxygen is not cheating, it is just another way to climb the mountain. it is everyones decision to make once they get on the mountain. i say if it feels right, do it! I, personally plan to climb without oxygen
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Ron

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oxygen is a way...not the most "pure"one..but a way to do it.
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trunl

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actually, i totally agree with you there, i feel we should all climb without oxygen, but some need it
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Born with Krampons

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I think that oxygen should be supplied on all everest trips but i don't think that it should be used as commonly as "krampons and ropes" I think that oxygen should be used for emergency purposes only otherwise if another disaster like 96 happens and people can't get to oxygen...
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Ron

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People who climb with oxygen are not acclimatized to the altitude they are on and then when something happens and oxygen runs out they are in big trouble.

Climbers who climb without it do not have that problem b/c they acclimatized properly.

Offcourse in case of HAPE it could be nice to have but then again you can feel problems coming up much better when you are climbing without and so react on it by the only good thing to do...and that is to descent and try it later. And taking oxygen with you so you can ignore the symptomes and stay at altitude is.........not smart (nicely said ;-)
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trunl

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you do know crampons is spelled with a c, right?
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Wild Rain

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I guess Anatoly Boukreev did answer to this question very well. "Oxygen Illusions"
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Alan

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It's not a question of "fair", it's simply reality.

If there was a highway to the summit of Everest I'd simply hop into my company car (BMW M5) and race to the top.

Now, I am not advocating that a highway is installed but if it was there, damn sure I'd take it:)

These "purists" are not pure in being true to themselves with respect to the REAL reasons for not taking oxygen... it's not a decision driven by oxygen and the merits of taking it or not, rather in most cases it's a decision driven by desire to "differentiate" from the rest.
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climbhigh

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Using oxygene is adding something to you body which you're body lacks....

It can be considered as a drugs which changes your normal bodyfunction in an artificial way  and therefore: results WITH extra Oxygene are not comparable with NORMAL results.
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Corsair

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Personally, I consider it "cheating".
I think Ron has some good points in his post.
I find this article on the subject interesting and I do agree with Ralf:
http://www.explorersweb.com/news.php?id=10162
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climbhigh

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Sounds nice what Ron said but..... Ron, you were going for Everest, relying on oxygene, weren't you ????
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rbarta

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No, not cheating to climb with oxygen.  You have to carry it (at least the canister you are using, however the sherpa carry replacements).  The mountain is still climbed.

However, those that climb without are in a totally different league, and everyone recongnizes that.

Hey, is it wrong to use porters, yaks to get all that gear to base camp, guides helping you along the way or sherpa carrying gear up?  If so, then who has actually summitted?  This list is going to either be real small or non-existant (even if you only discount those that are guided or used sherpa).

<edit : i rephrased this as it sounded like I was only referring to getting gear to base camp and not assistance on the mountain which was my intention.  sorry for any confusion>
« Last Edit: Jun 11 2007, 19:26 by rbarta »
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Kilimanjaro - March 9, 2007
Kosciuszko - Nov 18, 2007
Elbrus - July 16, 2008

MvdB

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Wrong is not the correct word in my opinion.

Everyone has his/her way to reach the top, or at least try. And rbarta: Using yaks and porters to get your stuff to the mountain, is not the part where you are climbing the mountain itsself actually. I am aware you can look at it in many different ways, but why make it so complex and vague, rather Keep It Simple.

My two cents about oxygen: I've never been above 6000meters(18000ft), so I cant tell exactly how it feels up that high. but what i do know is this: Climbing somewhere with oxygen feed = a lot easier then without. Regardless of the few extra kg's you might be carrying. While I climbed cotopaxi, I met the fact: thin air, low amount of oxygen. And I am pretty sure it would have been a lot easier to climb with oxygen. 2-3 kg's extra = nothing compared the amount of extra oxygen you receive from it.

But back on topic: I consider it cheating, or at least dangerous. Why dangerous? because people who are actually not capable of going that high, do go that high. Failure in your system would possibly kill you. While if you climb without, there is one less thing which can fail you. And your body is in general pretty clear about what it can take and what not. With oxygen you loose that contact with your body feeling.

Carrying oxygen with you incase of emergency(and that means you have to go down, not an emergency to still reach the top!) might be a good thing.

A fair climb... is when you find it fair yourself... it is hard to say when it is cheating or not on most parts of the climb. Some might say using sherpa's is cheating, or using ladders etc.
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Ron

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Sounds nice what Ron said but..... Ron, you were going for Everest, relying on oxygene, weren't you ????

No i went there without additional o2. (and that was along time ago)
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