Fight Breaks Out on Everest

Sherpas and Moro team clash

Joe Spring

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A fight between a group of Sherpas and the alpine team of Simone Moro, Ueli Steck, and Jonathan Griffith took place near Camp III and at Camp II on Mount Everest this weekend. Initial reports about the kicking, punching, rock-throwing skirmish have come from Moro’s Web site and articles filed by European news outlets.

A quick summary of Moro’s version of events: While the Sherpas were fixing ropes up to Camp III, the alpine team stepped over their ropes. The Sherpas said Steck or Griffith had kicked ice down on a member of their team. (Moro said in the report this was unlikely.) A confrontation ensued between the alpine team and a lead Sherpa, with the Sherpas descending to Camp II as a sign of protest. Steck helped fix ropes to Camp III as a sign of goodwill after the Sherpas left. When Steck, Moro, and Griffith descended to Camp II, a group of 100 Sherpas confronted them, and then kicked, punched, and threw rocks at them. A group of Western climbers stepped in and broke up the fight.

Officials have reportedly led three Sherpas off the mountain as part of an investigation. At least one report said that a Swiss national, possibly Steck, left the mountain and will fly home. Moro, Steck, and Griffith had planned to climb a new route up Everest without the aid of supplemental oxygen.

Initial reports about what happens on Everest are often murky or incorrect when first filed. Stay tuned to Outside as more details emerge, and as the Everest 2013 season unfolds.

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