Monday, January 17, 2011

A Mountain of Hype by Will Gadd

Rating: ****

This article is about a public speaker who is expressing his opions on Mount Everest and how all the people who claim to have climbed it, actually didn't.

There are about 4000 successful climbers of Mount Everest and it seems as though 3999 of those people go on to become motivational speakers. The actual cost to climb the mountain is about $30,000-$100,000 for a guide, oxygen, fixed lines and other support required. The author said that in sports someone always sets the bar but then others set it higher, but on Mount Everest the bar doesn't get raised higher it has gotton lower. The reason is becasue very few people climb it without oxygen and the rest think it's equal, but it's not. Climbing up Everest on a leash while huffing oxygen then bragging about it seems dishonest, like back in 1980 when Rosie Ruiz claimed to win a marathon even though she took a bus to the finish line. If you meet someone who says they've made par on the hardest golf course, then it seems impressive, but when they move the tee up 50 feet of the hole, it's less impressive. Will does a lot of public speaking and that's why he cares so much about all this. All these Everesteers are clogging up the market and when he loses a job to some guy who basically got carried up the mountain, that hurts. When people ask him when he's planning on climbing Everest he always replys with "Didn't you hear, the whole mountain is sinking, and it's only about the 675th highest peak in the world as measured by available oxygen."

I never realized any of this before, and after reading it it makes me feel less impressed with all of the Everest speakers that have come to school ad talked to me about their expirences. Some of them went on to do more adventurest things which is impressive but the ones who will just spend the rest of their lives telling their story to people who have no clue how little they actually did, then that's not so impressive.

A Mountain of Hype. Gadd, Will. Explore , July/August 2010. Issue 164. Print.

No comments:

Post a Comment