Death on Everest divides climbers
AN ETHICAL battle is raging among mountaineers over a man left to die on Mount Everest as others forged on to the summit.
New Zealand climber Mark Inglis, a double-amputee who climbs on prosthetic legs, was one of many who passed British climber David Sharp, 34. Sharp was trying to climb the mountain alone. He died after he apparently ran out of oxygen 300 metres below the summit.
Inglis said his party was the only one among about 40 climbers to stop and help Sharp as he lay in Everest's "death zone", above 8000 metres. He said his group kept climbing after deciding there was nothing they could do to save the Briton. "He had no oxygen, he had no proper gloves," Inglis said. "He was effectively dead … so we carried on. Trouble is, at 8500 metres it's extremely difficult to keep yourself alive, let alone keep anyone else alive."
Brigitte Muir, the first Australian woman to climb Everest, said most would help a stricken climber if they could. She said it was futile to attempt to help somebody close to death. "Obviously if someone is in trouble you should help them, but your first responsibility is to your own group."
Some people pay guides up to $99,000 to climb Everest. "People do spend a lot of money to go up there (Everest) and I can see them thinking that if they help someone it would jeopardise all that," she said.