Would You Have Helped David Sharp?

everestWould you have helped David Sharp? He's the British mountaineer who collapsed on his way up Mount Everest last week. In desperate need of oxygen, about 40 people walked right on by while he sat dying.

That's right, 40 people climbing Mount Everest saw Sharp but kept on climbing. Sir Edmund Hillary, the first man to reach the top way back in 1953, called this horrifying. I agree.

Some of the forty walked right on by Sharp because they didn't think he'd have a chance to survive even with their help. Others were afraid of jeopardizing their own climb. Others just didn't care. I've never reached the top of Everest and I'll probably never even try, but if I were at its base camp I'd like to think I'd do whatever I could for someone in need until they had gulped their last breath. This culture where you blow by a fellow mountaineer in trouble because it's better him than you is pathetic.

They're right about one thing though. David Sharp never had a chance.

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Forty people passed the dying man, including double amputee New Zealand climber Mark Inglis who has definately fallen from grace. ( I recently made reference to my admiration for this this man on my own blog) but none of them did anything to help him.
I know that death is a risk of mountaineering with temps of 100 degrees below zero farenheit, with the jet stream draining the life from every man and woman on the mountain, with treacherous ice fields and rope climbs to navigate. I imagine it is difficult enough to get yourself to a safer (or rather, less deadly) altitude. Even if the 40 people who passed him by felt they couldn't have saved David Sharp, why would they let a suffering man die alone, lonely and cold without someone to hold his hand or offer some comfort for as long as possible?
Who are those forty people? How can they live with themselves? These days, people care more about fame and themselves than a fellow human being. The saddest part is that the dying man told his mother before leaving that he would be okay. He said, "You are never on your own. There are climbers everywhere." He forgot to add, "But they won't care about me."

May 26, 2006 @ 10:58 PM


The question to be answered is this: Can you receive the same amount of pleasure for winning under conditions such as this, ie. winning but leaving a fellow mankind to die in the middle of Mt. Everest as you would when all condition went right? There's the rub. It would have been that one would not have had a good feeling of the win that took place under such horrid condtion as David Sharpe's death but today it doesn't seem to matter? People seem to have less and less morales. This is why we are seeing young 15 year olds die as we did at the Boxing Day disaster. Morales don't seem to be developed in people the way they use to. Let's look at some of the Westerns of the 50's and 60's where wrongs were righted but rights were rewarded.

May 27, 2006 @ 12:51 PM


turns out he's actually alive

May 28, 2006 @ 11:36 AM

Mike Boon

Nope, David Sharpe is dead. I think you're thinking of Lincoln Hall.

May 28, 2006 @ 12:36 PM

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