Sherpas Wanted to 'Kill Us': Everest Climber
Simone Moro gives his side of the story
By Matt Cantor, Newser User
Posted May 3, 2013 7:25 AM CDT
Mount Everest, site of a brawl between climbers and Sherpas.   (AP Photo/Binod Joshi, File)

(Newser) – Exactly what led to a Mount Everest brawl between Sherpas and climbers? Stories conflict, but one of the climbers has provided National Geographic with a firsthand account, and it's a harrowing tale. As previously reported, Simone Moro and two other climbers were trying to get to Camp III when Sherpas fixing ropes nearby told them to turn back. Moro says they told the Sherpas they wouldn't touch their ropes; as they began to climb rope-free, the Sherpas hurled a piece of ice "to scare us," he says. Tensions apparently mounted when the climbers had to cross the rope-fixing team's line; one Sherpa waved an ice ax, Moro says. Screaming and profanities followed, and fellow climber Ueli Steck, in an attempt to get out of the path of the ax, touched the Sherpa, "but just to keep himself from falling."

Things got truly nasty after returning to Camp II, says Moro. "After maybe five minutes, there was around a hundred people, mainly Sherpas, around our tent, and one group of Sherpas started a real attack ... They told us, 'Now we kill you.'" That's when the fighting began. A female American climber, knowing the Sherpas "would never beat a woman" tried to shield the men. It didn't work: Moro says a rock struck Steck's face, a penknife was thrown at his hip, and their group just repeated "sorry, sorry" as the Sherpas kicked and punched them. The skirmish lasted for 50 minutes, Moro says, before climbers made their way downward, "trying to hide." Moro asserts that the Sherpas are "different" this year, noting that the explosion of expeditions to Everest has led to many more hires. Click through for more.

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Showing 3 of 18 comments
squiggysmom1
May 4, 2013 7:58 AM CDT
There has to be much more to the story than that the Sherpas just suddenly attacked. It's the Sherpas' job to give directions, and to keep everyone safe. If climbers are refusing to do as they are instructed, it can cause not only their lives, but the lives of the Sherpas, too. Although there's not enough details to prove this yet, I believe the Sherpas ended up with a group of climbers they couldn't control, and they became furious that these people were putting everyone's life in danger.
K.KRANK
May 3, 2013 4:53 PM CDT
Boy you pay these peons to haul equipment up a mountain at extremely low-oxygen altitudes for Everest tourist-climber types & they get all uppity & in your face when you ask them to bring another cup of tea to you in the morning. The next thing you know they'll be unionizing & asking for better wages & health care (or worse, dental). Nepal is next to China. Isn't there a way to H-1B some Chinese Sherpas over there to take care of this labor problem? ;)
People_Suck
May 3, 2013 3:33 PM CDT
Sherpa Lerpa's. The cold weather version of the Oompa Loompa's.