Last week forty mountaineers on their way to the Mount Everest summit marched past dying climber David Sharp without offering assistance. And then those same forty people walked right past the dying man on their way down. Without helping! They said they didn’t rescue Sharp because it was really hard to determine just how die-ish the dying man was. An excuse that makes all kinds of sense when your hippocampus is deprived of oxygen.
This week 50-year-old climber Lincoln Hall was left for dead by his climbing partners after Hall began showing signs of altitude-induced dementia. Dementia! Just because he stripped down to a tee shirt. When it was -33 degrees. Twelve hours later he was found alive. “You must be surprised to see me,” he said to his Canadian rescuer Andrew Brash. But I bet Andrew wasn’t that damn surprised. After all, is there anyone who doesn’t try to climb Mount Everest?