Month: May 2014

A Gigapixel interactive 360×180 photo from Gokyo Ri

Ok folks … it’s the hyperlink you need to hit not the embedded photo.
It’s a Gigapixel interactive image. If it doesn’t ‘do’ anything you’re not on the right page.
This is a joint venture between myself and Thomas Worbs to get a stunning 360×180 shot from Gokyo Ri. Thanks also to Gerald Blondy for supplying the Gobi Panorama Head and Gitzo tripod.
You can turn the labels on to list the peaks, have it autorotating, it can be interactive on a smartphone, you can zoom in, you can zoom out and add a compass.

If you like it then please don’t just ‘like’ it but please ‘share’ it as well.
There are more to follow so please watch this space.

Here it comes:  (please click on the link above to view). Gokyo Ri, the first panorama of Tim Mosedale from his expedition in the Everest Region (of course you can see Everest in the pano) and it is a premiere: it is the first Gigapixel Full Sphere here on Mountainpanoramas. Shot with Sony A7R and Bushman Panoramic Gobi panoramic head. Stitch & labels by Thomas Worbs. Dare to zoom in!
(please click on the link above to view). Gokyo Ri, the first panorama of Tim Mosedale from his expedition in the Everest Region (of course you can see Everest in the pano) and it is a premiere: it is the first Gigapixel Full Sphere here on Mountainpanoramas. Shot with Sony A7R and Bushman Panoramic Gobi panoramic head. Stitch & labels by Thomas Worbs. Dare to zoom in!

My first hate mail – which I thought I’d posted previously but just found in my ‘saved’ folder.

Whoa! Just received my first hate mail. Well not exactly hate but certainly a bit of a rant with a slightly menacing undertone.
There have been a few people (4) who have written short comments and disagreed with what I have written over the past week or so, but this is on a different level. Everyone is entitled to their opinion aren’t they?
Most replies or comments have been from people who have understood where I’m trying to come from and that I am trying to be objective about a very sensitive issue.

Obviously it’s very difficult to be impartial when you’re involved in the expedition business and looking for a favourable outcome – but I have tried my hardest. And without disregarding the tragedy I am trying to report the situation and events ‘post accident’. Admittedly post accident issues have arisen as a result of the accident, but no one could foresee where it was going until it was way too late (and it pretty much all happened in a week).

I’m not trying to disregard the tragedy or gloss over the terrible loss. Indeed I knew a couple of the Sherpas who died and am deeply saddened by their loss and the loss and suffering their families are enduring.

What I find particularly saddening is that in the aftermath Sherpa has turned on Sherpa, sides have been taken and threats, ominous, insidious, threats have been used to force those who want to work to accede to the will of those who don’t, or who would use the tragic circumstances to their own political ends.

Anyway back to the rant I received … apparently The Sherpas wouldn’t need the climbers, mountaineers and trekkers to sponsor their children if the Sherpas were able to directly negotiate with the government. Which is, of course, absolute tosh. There is no social welfare system. Without peak permit fees and tourism there wouldn’t be a pot of money. And The Sherpas wouldn’t have a job. In which case they would be even more reliant on the sponsorship that they receive. Except there wouldn’t be any one here to meet them, engage with them and give generously – not out of guilt or misguided loyalty but as a gesture from one human being who realises how lucky they are to another human being or family who has made an impression. It’s not some sort of post British empire guilt trip.

Ah, stuff it, here’s the letter in entirety. I hope it provides you with as much joy as it did me!

“I’ve read a few of your blog posts and saw the interview on the BBC.

It baffles me how the climbing community doesn’t understand why politicization is part of things.

16 bodies, no matter from where, are worth more than your conquer and divide British pounds. You sound like a descendent of Thatcher.

Let them have the year. Maybe English people – so well known for lack of feeling – only need 4 days to grieve, but others need a lot longer.

You’re turning lives into a business deal.

Go home. If the Sherpas could negotiate directly with their government they might not “need’ you to sponsor their children and pay school fees.

The world doesn’t need Great Britain’s charity. Most of us are still trying to pick up the pieces from all the wars, bloodshed and problems that the English have caused. The politeness doesn’t fool anyone. The Sherpas need to work as a unit at this time. And you need to clear the way to do so. It’s not about you or your ego to summit again.

There are 3 communities that disgust me in India, Nepal and environ.
1. The drug addicts
2. The enlightenment-in-a-weekend seekers
3. The climbers. Who as those who in the supposed benign imposition think they hurt no one, are starting to cause the greatest hurt of all.

Shame on you and your company. I would banish you for the rest of this lifetime.

Devi Singh”

So, dear readers, there it is. We’re all guilty for being born where we’ve been born and therefore by association are guilty for all the horrible things our ancestors did. Any amends that we might be making in the present day aren’t acts of generosity but acts of penitence.

And for the record I wasn’t suggesting that 4 days after the serac fall that we ought to be back on the mountain. I don’t know what timescale would have been acceptable because different people grieve in different ways and need different amounts of time.

But having chatted on the trek out with lodge owners and Sherpa friends and families they all agree that the outcome is really bad for the region for this season and possibly years to come.

So, yes, I’m going home but not in shame.

Another well balanced and frank feedback to my blog. My response …

Dear Eli,
Many thanks for your in depth and well constructed review of my blog post. I suspect that you haven’t quite read what I wrote in the tone that I wrote it. I do not feel slighted by The Climbing Sherpas – but I do feel saddened that a small minority have managed to hold the mountain, the government, the Westerners and, most importantly, their own kin to ransom.
I have no shame about my reporting of the situation and I have tried to be as objective as possible.
The climber / Sherpa relationship is not one of a parasitic nature but it is a symbiotic relationship. Without the Climbing Sherpas Westerners could still attempt to climb Everest … but it would be a different proposition. Without Westerners the Sherpas could still feed their families … but, again, it would be a different proposition.
Of the nearly 90,000 page views and the feedback that I have received yours, and one other, have been a bit dismissive of my take on the issue. I suspect that you are not a climber, haven’t met the Sherpas and don’t have an understanding of the situation other than what you have read elsewhere. Please, please always question the source of your information.
The next time you are embarking on a US$40,000 holiday but find that you are unable to fly because a few of the pilots have gone on strike and are threatening those who still want to work – please remember that you could always fly yourself. So, yes, we could climb Everest without the Sherpas and yes, you could fly yourself to your holiday. But we don’t choose to because we decide to employ people who are good at their respective jobs.
I’ve worked with the same team of Sherpas for over a decade and have built up a great rapport with them. They returned to Base Camp looking to climb the mountain again because that is what they are proud of doing – and of doing it well. Our team of Sherpas have over 60 Everest summits between them. A few of them have summited so many times that they don’t really need to come back and do it again because they could retire on their earnings. But they choose to come back because it is work that they are good at, and enjoy and it pays well. I, and my team, hold the Climbing Sherpas in the highest regard and view them with the utmost respect.
If you would care to expand on your take on things I would welcome a response but, as mentioned, please be sure to question the source of any information that you may decide to throw my way.
I look forward to hearing from you in the near future, but I won’t be insulted if you choose not to.
Tim Mosedale
From: Eli Lesser-Goldsmith []
Sent: 09 May 2014 03:58
Subject: Everest
Shame on you for your actions and your words:
If you feel so slighted by the sherpa’s, why not climb Everest without them?

Shame on you.