The “Fight on Everest” that occurred on April 27th this year has gotten international headlines as a fight where the Sherpas behaved atrociously. Now, we finally hear the Sherpa’s side of the story and it paints a much different picture.
It appears that the Europeans weren’t being the coolest climbers in the world this day:
“They told us: We will not disturb you; we will take another route. After their assurance, we allowed them to go ahead. By this time we had reached 23,000 feet. Our goal for the day was to complete the rope fixing up to Camp III and then go 600 feet farther. When the Europeans traversed past Mingma Tenzing, our lead fixer, ice tumbled down and hit one of our crew members, a Sherpa who works for Adventure Consultants. His face had bruises. This hasn’t been revealed yet. (Earlier, we lied to people saying that it was from a slip, but in fact a chunk of ice had struck him.) I don’t know whether they had dislodged the ice intentionally or whether it was just an accident, but pieces of ice were dislodged and that was the main issue. Mingma told us that it was becoming too dangerous to continue. These people climbed up despite our call not to do so. Mingma said we should descend, so we followed his instructions.
This message was also delivered to our coordinator Greg Vernovage [the leader of the International Mountain Guides Expedition] at Camp II. Mingma had already anchored the rope and while he was rappelling down, Simone approached him and began the verbal abuse. “How much money do you need?” he asked Mingma. As this was going on, Ueli Steck stormed in and grabbed Mingma’s chest. It was very dangerous to grab someone’s chest in such a high and precarious place. I was 100 yards below him at the time. I was leading on the right side while Karma Sarki was at Mingma’s side. We had already decided to descend because the three were not only getting in our way but were also picking fights. Simone uttered words that were abusive. Ueli also pointed his ice axe toward Mingma. I was scared at the time. We descended wondering why they had defied our warning and why they were keen on getting into a quarrel.” – Tashi Sherpa/Outside Magazine
Read the full Outside Magazine article here: