Just offer jet rides to top of Everest for rich folks

May 5, 2004
Outside Magazine

Jon Krakauer

Just offer jet rides to top of Everest for rich folks
Question: John,

I've enjoyed reading your articles over the years and was especially impressed with your piece on the Everest fiasco. I think you might be too hard on yourself regarding the events of May 10, 1996. You have to realize that you and the others were not thinking clearly at the summit. The lack of oxygen would cause anyone to make questionable decisions. As for myself, I would love to climb Everest. However, I would have way too much guilt being away from my wife for that length of time. As a result, I'll choose other selfish, less-time-away-from-home endeavors.

Now, the other thing about Everest — it's a money game. There must be about 100 million people on Earth with the ability to climb the mountain with a guide. However, they will never get the chance. How about Sandy Pittman? As far as I'm concerned, she didn't climb Everest. Being short-roped to the top doesn't count, she wouldn't have made it on her own. By reading different accounts of the events of that day, it was obvious that there were a lot of Sandy Pittmans on the mountain on May 10. They might as well offer harrier jet rides to the top for the rich but under-qualified climbers.

Jay Tegeder
Saint Paul, Minnesota
[email protected]

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