(By Olivia Feldman, Kathmandu, Nepal) Climbers Ueli Steck, Simone Moro, and Jonathan Griffith signed an agreement yesterday afternoon with the involved Sherpas to put Saturday’s (April 27) ugly altercation behind them and resume climbing.
Steck was in Base Camp Monday morning, April 29, to attend the mediation. Surendra Sapkota, a Nepali Tourism Ministry official, stated that “both parties apologized to each other and ended the meeting amicably.” Any further issues that arise will be brought to the Ministry of Tourism, according to Nima Nuru Sherpa, Vice President of the Nepalese Mountaineering Association and Director of Cho Oyu Trekking (through which the climbers made their arrangements).
Some officials believe that the incident could have been avoided had the climbers heeded the Sherpas’ requests not to climb above them while they were fixing the rope. Tourism Ministry spokesman, Mohan Krishna Sapkota, said that “the foreign climbers, who are regular visitors to Everest, should have honored the safety advice of the Sherpas.” Other officials have cited “hurt pride” as a possible reason for the Sherpas’ aggressive actions.
Still, Nepalese authorities strongly condemned the Sherpas’ aggressive actions. Many worry how the incident will affect Nepal’s image abroad. Nima Nuru Sherpa stated that: “[such incidents] wouldn’t give a positive image… it would bring disrepute to [Nepal’s] security and managerial system.”
Meanwhile, the Chief District Officer for the Solokhumbu district (encompassing the Everest region) pledged his commitment to ensure the safety of foreign tourists, promising to fully investigate the incident and hold those guilty responsible.
Unconfirmed sources reported that the three lead Sherpas in the incident have been ordered off the mountain. The Nepali Government plans to issue a code of conduct for climbers and expedition personnel to prevent future violence.
Previous - Everest brawl: Ueli going home
Press release on Ueli Steck's website
Incident on Simone Moro's website
Simone & Ueli's cameraman Jonathan Griffith reports to EpicTV
Planet Mountain interview with Simone Moro
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