What do you think about corporate-sponsored climbers?
Question: Mr. Krakauer,
First let me start by complimenting you on your Everest coverage. It may very well be the best magazine article I've read in many years — thanks.
Anyway, now my question.
Here in Calgary we have a pair of motivational speakers, Allan Hobson and Jamie Clarke, who have failed on two attempts to Everest. They are both of questionable experience and yet because of corporate sponsorship they seem able to put together expeditions. Last time ('94 or '95) they came very close to killing a team member. Still the media treats them as golden-haired heroes, and off they go, spreading their special brand of snake oil to petroleum executives who "have to climb their own Everest." I guess my question is, what do you think about this? I look forward to hearing from you.
I am not acquainted with Mr. Hobson or Mr. Clarke, and have no knowledge of their credentials as climbers or motivational speakers. I did note, however, that a few days ago both of them reached the summit of Everest as members of a commercial expedition.