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Human Error And A Mountain's Fury Is A Bad Combination

1017 words - 5 pages

Human Error and a Mountain’s Fury is a bad combination

When you decide to take on the extremely dangerous journey of climbing Mount Everest, you need to take every precaution to be as safe as possible. Perhaps the most important precaution is to stick to your designated plan or listen to your professional guide. No matter what the weather conditions may have been, human error, including lapses of judgment and simple physical mistakes were the cause of eight people dying up on the summit on that fateful day of May 10th 1996.
Of the various mistakes made on the Summit, the most obvious mistake would be that the guides, Rob Hall and Scott Fischer, did not make their clients turn around at ...view middle of the document...

However, Beck stated, “I didn’t want to bail out prematurely.” (198) So he pushed forward and continued the climb. It wasn’t until 27,600 feet on the Balcony that Beck finally informed Rob Hall of his failing eyesight as well as the laceration on both corneas caused by ice crystals. Client Yasuko Namba would not listen to guide, Mike Groom. At one point Groom was trying to remove her oxygen mask. She was out of gas and the mask was suffocating her, but every time he removed her mask, she insisted on putting it back on. Pushing passed their limitations and not following the instruction of their guide is something that would contribute to the demise of these inexperienced climbers. On the other hand, the guides pushed their limits beyond their capabilities as well. Scott Fischer, head guide of Mountain Madness, was extremely exhausted from the physical and mental strain of the weeks preceding the climb to the summit. He also hid from everyone that he had a gastrointestinal parasite and would often experience bouts of acute physical distress, especially when he was stressed. Fischer hid these warning signs and disguised his fatigue from his clients; therefore it didn’t occur to any of them that he might be in trouble.
Sherpas are highly regarded as elite mountaineers and experts in their local terrain. They are hired for their knowledge and experience of climbing Everest, however they also made grave errors that contributed to the tragedy on May 10th 1996. There were two Sherpas at Camp Four who had not accompanied the summit party and were waiting to help in case of an emergency. These two Sherpas used poor judgment and had been cooking inside their tent, which was poorly ventilated, and as a result they suffered from carbon monoxide poisoning. Due to not following their training, these two Sherpas were unable to help when Hutchison tried to organize a rescue team. There was also...

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