I don’t post a lot about sports on this blog — Insomnia is a counterculture blog and sports are mostly intrinsically mainstream culture in America. That said, certain extreme outliers are so crazy that they create subcultures that are ever bit as weird as any artists’ enclave, musicians’ scene or drug tribe. The men and women who climb the highest peaks in the world are definitely a countercultural class — and let’s not forget that even Aleister Crowley fancied a scamper up a mountainside.
Earlier this week Swiss mountain climber Ueli Steck fell 1000 feet off of a ridge while preparing to summit Mount Everest. Here’s some news from AJ…
A famed Swiss climber has died in Nepal’s Everest region after falling 1,000 metres from a ridge during preparations to scale the world’s highest mountain.
Ueli Steck, 40, died on Sunday after falling to the foot of Mount Nuptse, a smaller peak in the area, officials said.
“He skidded off about 1,000 metres from camp … Other climbers ascending Everest saw him and asked for his rescue,” said Dinesh Bhattarai, director-general at Nepal’s Department of Tourism.
Steck, one of the most renowned mountaineers of his generation, was acclimatising before a bid to ascend Everest through the less-climbed West Ridge route and nearby Mount Lhotse next month – all without the use of oxygen supplies.
Every time I hear about a mountaineering disaster like this I’m reminded of the body count of 1996. Here’s a documentary about the worst season on Everest, and the subculture that risks their lives to top that mountain…