Brutal Everest Fight May Inflame China and Tibet

Chinese hiker beaten 'down the ropes' by Tibetans

By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff

Posted Jun 21, 2012 4:59 PM CDT

(Newser) – A brutal encounter between hikers on Mount Everest could threaten the uneasy relations between China and Tibet, Outside Online reports. Last month, Tibetan graduates of a mountaineering school, working as rope fixers for expeditions, noticed a Chinese man by himself on Tibert's North Col route and concluded he had no hiking permit. So they attacked him and "kicked him down the ropes," says a witness. "It was a disgusting example of bullies egging each other on."

A Swiss guide filmed the encounter, but says he handled the incident internally rather than release the video and risk inflaming tensions between Tibet and China. "It’s a tough one," he says. "It’s really tough. I know all of them." He also admits that graduates of the mountaineering academy, the Tibet Mountaineering Guide School, have been involved in illicit activities before that have "to do with oxygen"—which probably alludes to thefts over the years of oxygen canisters than can run $1,000 a bottle.

Mount Everest seen from the Kalapattar Plateau some 87 miles northeast of Kathmandu.
Mount Everest seen from the Kalapattar Plateau some 87 miles northeast of Kathmandu.   (Getty Images)
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