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A Geek On Everest

kdawson posted more than 6 years ago | from the high-adventure dept.

Media 125

mysterious_mark writes "Recently I was recruited by Altitude Films to be the IT geek for a filming expedition to the north side of Mount Everest. I have written an account of my experience. It is a tale of high latency, low bandwidth, blown hard drives, and frozen fingers. Summit day is June 14th. See the expedition's site for the overall picture (caution: total Flash site)."

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125 comments

New RFC (5, Funny)

LiquidCoooled (634315) | more than 6 years ago | (#19436047)

ip over sherpa carriers with quality of service

Re:New RFC (4, Funny)

lpangelrob (714473) | more than 6 years ago | (#19436111)

I hear they're extending the avian carrier transmission protocol to cover sherpas, while crafting an extension of the protocol to allow llamas and other hoofed animals...

Bah .... (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19436051)

.. I would join up with an elite crew of climbers, cameramen and production personnel ...

What a self masturbatory article ....

Re:Bah .... (0, Offtopic)

Spritzer (950539) | more than 6 years ago | (#19436259)

Main Entry: masturbatory
Pronunciation: 'mas-t&r-b&-"tor-E
Function: adjective
2 : excessively self-absorbed or self-indulgent (write tedious, masturbatory books...about themselves for people to read...with envy -- D. R. Katz)

Main Entry: self masturbatory
Pronunciation: 'self 'mas-t&r-b&-"tor-E
Function: redundant adjective
1 : a redundant form of the word masturbatory
see also: self autonomy, self narcissism

flash? (0, Troll)

dwater (72834) | more than 6 years ago | (#19436055)

> See the expedition's site ... (caution: total Flash site).

Then, no, I won't visit your site.

Re:flash? (2, Interesting)

WombatDeath (681651) | more than 6 years ago | (#19436317)

According to the article, Flash is used for video footage because it compresses well and their outbound bandwidth is tiny.

There may be better ways of doing it, and I'm not sure why the whole site has to be Flash, but the decision wasn't completely arbitrary.

Re:flash? (3, Insightful)

rockmuelle (575982) | more than 6 years ago | (#19436385)

Don't be so quick to discount this site based on its use of Flash. It's user interface is incredibly well designed and a great example of how Flash can be used to improve the user experience. It's more of an interactive media site than a traditional text-based Web site. And, amazingly, it works on my old 500 MHz G4 running Safari (very few "Web 2.0" sites work on this configuration - even most Google apps perform poorly).

Skip to the route map to get an idea of the effort they put into the site (http://www.ueverest.com/route_map.html). It's Java, not Flash (which also suggests the designers understand how to choose the right technology for the job).

Anyway, as someone who tends to have the anti-Flash bias, I was surpised by this site. Even if you're not into mountaineering, it's worth looking at to see the potential of interactive Web applications.

-Chris

(And what's up with moderators moding the anti-Flash parent as 'Insightful'?)

That explains it. (2, Funny)

Rob T Firefly (844560) | more than 6 years ago | (#19436677)

It is a tale of high latency, low bandwidth, blown hard drives, and frozen fingers.
Yep, Flash'll do that..

Sure it will (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19436971)

And you've got a better video codec that can be seen by the majority of web users..?

Man ... (5, Funny)

iknowcss (937215) | more than 6 years ago | (#19436081)

If it was me, I wouldn't have filmed on the side of Mt. Everest. If I ever get the time and money, I'm going to climb to the top of The Mountain with a laptop and a monster of a directional wifi antenna, sit at its peak, come to slashdot, and comment "frist pots frum EVEREST."

You will all envy me. Or mod me as troll. I'M THE MOUNTAIN TROLL.

Re:Man ... (3, Interesting)

NMerriam (15122) | more than 6 years ago | (#19436717)

and comment "frist pots frum EVEREST."


I know I posted on Slashdot from Everest back in 1999, I suspect it was frist. It probably had nothing to do with Everest -- it's a place with lots of hurry up and wait (and I do know they rejected my story on our mission, bastards!).

What an Elite Article! (5, Funny)

Luscious868 (679143) | more than 6 years ago | (#19436141)

From the article:

.. I would join up with an elite crew of climbers, cameramen and production personnel ...

... we had both a production leader, Anthony Geffen, world renowned documentary producer, and elite climber, ...

... I teamed up with gadget guru and professional climber, Kevin Thaw (http://www.kevinthaw.com), often heralded as Britain's best all-round climber ...

... where we found our complimentary skills and synergy allowed us to produce top quality work ...

... We endured torrential downpours and hacked with machetes for days through triple canopy rain forest ...

... As for myself, I had a variety of skills that led to my recruitment for this project ...

Apparently all he's missing a cape with a big fat S on his chest.

What a poser (4, Funny)

packetmon (977047) | more than 6 years ago | (#19436211)

We should all know by now if he were truly a geek he would have at least spelled 31337 correctly.

Re:What a poser (3, Funny)

loconet (415875) | more than 6 years ago | (#19436457)

The primary mode of failure for laptops in this environment is hard drive failure since hard drives rely upon the viscosity of air to provide lubrication and damping among the moving parts, the same manner that oil provides lubrication and damping for moving machine or engine parts.

To his credit, he did manage to slip in the car analogy..

Re:What an Elite Article! (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19436241)

Yet as an Elite IT expert, he forgets to buy Tough books that can handle the cold and conditions but tries to use regular laptops.

Re:What an Elite Article! (1)

Tell999 (874678) | more than 6 years ago | (#19436323)

If it wasn't for this "elite crew", the geek would much likely face death up there. Once in a while, the elite is good for something...

Re:What an Elite Article! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19436867)

Umm.... look at his resume on his home page - it's worse.

Though he's an American, so it's hardly suprising. They all shoot their mouth off at the least opportunity. Just one of their objectionable habits, like invading places and then shooting their allies.....

I suspect his British colleague (gadget guru and professional climber, Kevin Thaw?) really does all the work while he's out posing for the cameras!

Re:What an Elite Article! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19438661)

his website is pretty damm far from elite actually.

biggest pile of crap i've seen in a long long time.

http://www.kahrlconsulting.com/ [kahrlconsulting.com]

i agree with you about his resume - bits of java for pda's here and there, he's a cock for sure

if he had half a brain he'd use pure flash on his website, instead he's throwing his java skills into the mix and it sucks for it

another bragging yankee loser

piss orf and jump down a ravene

Re:What an Elite Article! (1)

USMC Marine (905202) | more than 6 years ago | (#19437035)

... We endured torrential downpours and hacked with machetes for days through triple canopy rain forest ...
There isn't much need to hack through triple canopy jungle. Double canopy is actually thicker vegetation on the floor since sunlight actually reaches the jungle floor. In triple canopy the canopy is so thick very little sunlight reaches the floor, hence less vegetation to "hack through".

How's that site look on the mountain... (4, Funny)

neurovish (315867) | more than 6 years ago | (#19436157)

(caution: total Flash site)
Because nothing says "high latency, low bandwidth" like flash!

helicopter ride (1)

ed1park (100777) | more than 6 years ago | (#19436159)

So, how much for a helicopter ride straight to the top so I can snap a few pictures and say I was there? B)

Re:helicopter ride (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19436205)

The altitude of Everest is too high for a helicopter. I think the highest a helicopter can go is around 20000 feet though I'm probably wrong. Everest is somewhere around 29000.

Re:helicopter ride (2, Informative)

ed1park (100777) | more than 6 years ago | (#19436399)

Alrighty, who wants to chip in for a helicopter ride!?!!

2005 - Helicopter landing

On 14 May 2005, pilot Didier Delsalle of France landed a Eurocopter AS 350 B3 Helicopter on the summit of Mount Everest[19] and remained there for two minutes. (His rotors were continually engaged; this is known as a "hover landing".) His subsequent take-off set the world record for highest take-off of a rotorcraft -- a record that of course cannot be beaten.[20] Delsalle had also performed a take-off two days earlier from the South Col, leading to some confusion in the press about the validity of the summit claim. This event does not count as an "ascent" in the usual fashion. [wikipedia]

Re:helicopter ride (2, Funny)

ed1park (100777) | more than 6 years ago | (#19436447)

"a record that of course cannot be beaten."

Btw, I don't like claims likes that. Who's to say that I couldn't fly up to the summit in my helicopter with a bunch of materials, build an elevated landing pad, then take off from that thus setting a new altitude record! Who's with me?! Any billionaires out there with cash burning a hole in their pocket, please contact me as I proclaim exclusive, patented, trademarked, and copyrighted rights to this idea!

Re:helicopter ride (1)

genner (694963) | more than 6 years ago | (#19436693)

Can not be beaten?
I thought K5 was higher than Everest.
Hmm..someone want to loan me a helicopter

Re:helicopter ride (2, Interesting)

Profane MuthaFucka (574406) | more than 6 years ago | (#19437935)

Too high for a regular helecopter, but you could easily design one that would get to Everest easily. You'd basically need the powerful jet engines driving a larger than usual rotor. Not difficult really.

NASA is even looking at helecopters for Mars because the thin atmosphere makes fixed wing aircraft difficult to design. Flying fixed wing on Mars is easy, but the problem is that the speed of sound is very slow in the thin air. And, because the air is thin, you've got to fly fast to generate lift. This means that on Mars you end up landing your plane at higher than Mach 1, a difficult proposition. A helecopter just needs a large rotor spun very fast, and you don't have to land with such a large horizontal speed.

I don't want to be an ass ... (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19436181)

I don't want to sound like an ass but they're only currently at an advanced base camp according to their flash site. They've traveled (vertically) 1,200m so far and they have another 2,400m to go. It only gets worse and steeper the higher up you climb too. So you've spent 30 days so far according to your clock & you want to hit that summit by June 14th? Good luck and may god (of your choice) be with you, hundreds of people have lost their lives due to stupidity & ill preparation.

I can't say I've ever done anything like this, though I've read a lot of books about it. For public consumption, I heavily recommend "Into the Wild" by Jon Krakauer [wikipedia.org]. Read it before the movie comes out--movies are always so much worse than books.

Re:I don't want to be an ass ... (3, Informative)

u-bend (1095729) | more than 6 years ago | (#19436275)

I think his Everest book was "Into Thin Air" [wikipedia.org]. I haven't read either, but worked in a bookstore when they were popular, and they are supposed to be very readable.
:)

Re:I don't want to be an ass ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19436327)

You're right, his Everest book was "Into Thin Air" but I meant that I've read a lot of books generally about climbing or just insane expeditionary work (whether it be Antarctica or Alaska). There's something about the way Krakauer parallels his ascent to Devil's Thumb in Alaska with Chris McCandless's tale that really struck me as ... well, ingenious.

Prior to reading this books, if you had told me about McCandless I would have responded obtusely with something along the lines of "good, one less idiot to take up space" ... but after reading that book with its "I didn't climb up there to die, I climbed up there to live" message, I kind of envy what McCandless did. I'm an eagle scout so I've done a bit of camping without tents or in the boundary waters miles away from civilization.

I consider "Into the Wild" a religious/philosophical work.

Re:I don't want to be an ass ... (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19436465)

>> I'm an eagle scout so I've done a bit of camping without tents

Clearly you must be an expert on high altitude mountaineering.

Re:I don't want to be an ass ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19436823)

I'm an eagle scout so I've done a bit of camping without tents
Clearly you must be an expert on high altitude mountaineering.
Yeah, well, you know it's really easy to get that experience when you're in Minnesota and your parents are dirt farmers. Nowhere did I claim to be an 'expert' on high altitude mountaineering. Dream of doing it? Sure. Have the funds or location to do it? Nope. Doesn't mean I can't read and talk about it ...

Re:I don't want to be an ass ... (1)

u-bend (1095729) | more than 6 years ago | (#19437237)

Don't worry. We got your message. Grandparent was a troll, and missed your outdoors point completely.

Re:I don't want to be an ass ... (1)

Otter (3800) | more than 6 years ago | (#19436333)

I can't say I've ever done anything like this, though I've read a lot of books about it.

No offense, but I'd trust Conrad Anker's judgment on this over yours...

I'm not sure exactly what you think they're doing so wrong, so maybe this is obvious to you but: "1,200m so far" is counting from Everest base camp, which is already at 5200 meters.

Re:I don't want to be an ass ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19436441)

"1,200m so far" is counting from Everest base camp, which is already at 5200 meters.
Well, shit, let's start our journey at Death Valley, California and consider this the largest vertical climb ever!

There are towns and villages along the trek to base camp. People live there year round. Do you consider that part of your climb? I would certainly hope not. There are shelters there & other people. It takes about 15 days to get there [away.com].

It's pretty naive to think you've done anything at all if you've made it to a base camp of a climb where people are living in shelters or small villages. I guess that's just me but these days you don't have to do much to be considered "an adventurer" by your friends and family.

Re:I don't want to be an ass ... (1)

Otter (3800) | more than 6 years ago | (#19436671)

Well, shit, let's start our journey at Death Valley, California and consider this the largest vertical climb ever!

Yeah, I'm looking forward to when someone posts live updates from the Death Valley to Mount Whitney ultramarathon, and you dopes complain that he used Front Page instead of vi.

It's pretty naive to think you've done anything at all if you've made it to a base camp of a climb where people are living in shelters or small villages.

Nobody is saying that going to base camp is a huge accomplishment. The AC who posted originally (not sure if that's you) was claiming that a couple of the top climbers in the world don't know what they're doing because they've been acclimatizing instead of charging straight up the mountain.

Re:I don't want to be an ass ... (1)

rockmuelle (575982) | more than 6 years ago | (#19436603)

The parent is not 'Informative'.

Conrad Anker is one of the best mountaineers in the world. There's no chance he's ill-perpared for this trip. Of course, they _are_ doing this trip using only 1920s-style clothes and gear (their team is removing all the fixed ropes and ladders before they ascend). But, if anyone has the skills and experience to attempt this, it's Conrad. Leo Houlding, on the other hand, is an odd choice from an high-altitude experience perspective, but he's proven himself on a number of bold ascents in Patagonia recently and this will be a great tick on his resume.

From the geek perspective, think of Conrad Anker as Richard Stallman and Leo Holding as Miguel de Icaza c. 2002.

-Chris

Re:I don't want to be an ass ... (1)

Hoi Polloi (522990) | more than 6 years ago | (#19437217)

"their team is removing all the fixed ropes and ladders before they ascend"

I hope he isn't removing all of the fixed ropes and ladders from the North Route. Other climbers expect those to be there and they can be lifesavers.

Re:I don't want to be an ass ... (1)

rockmuelle (575982) | more than 6 years ago | (#19439313)


Yeah, I wondered about this, too. Their goal is to simulate the conditions faced by Mallory and Irvine as much as possible, so removing the fixed aid makes sense. I'm assuming (hoping) that their support team will remove them and then replace them once Conrad and Leo pass. It would be a little irresponsible to not replace them and risk the lives of other climbers.

-Chris

Re:I don't want to be an ass ... (1)

oudzeeman (684485) | more than 6 years ago | (#19437177)

the climb to the summit only takes a couple days but it takes a month for a westerner to acclimatize. First they hike in to base camp and then hang out. then they do acclimatization trips up the mountaint, each time going higher, then back down to lower altitude to sleep. They would then return to advaced base camp or even base camp and rest, then make a summit push. Spending 30 days on the mountain and being in ABC isn't out of the ordinary. anyone making the summit has surely climed higher and back down to ABC during training. There are sherpas that could start from base camp and hit the summit in half a day provided they had spent a little time at elevation earlier in the season

Re:I don't want to be an ass ... (1)

metlin (258108) | more than 6 years ago | (#19439135)

You're correct.

They have a long way to go before they get to the top - from their route, it looks like they will be going through the Northeast ridge [wikipedia.org] route. This means that they have a long way before reaching the First, Second and Third Steps and finally, the summit.

And like someone else mentioned, Jon Krakauer's Into Thin Air [amazon.com] is his book on Everest - he talks about Anatoli Boukreev (a Russian climber whom Jon criticizes) and he talks about Beck Weathers who was left for dead but despite being frostbitten, he found his way to the nearest camp and was rescued (he did lose both his hands and part of his face).

If you want to read another awesome book that has nothing to do with Everest, but is about a story of survival in the Andes, you should read Touching the Void [amazon.com].

And yes, I'm a mountaineer - not good enough to climb Everest (yet), but I do plan on climbing Denali within the next couple of years.

Stay warm! (3, Interesting)

Billosaur (927319) | more than 6 years ago | (#19436201)

Laptop computers provide most of the computer power we need on the mountain but they have to stay lower on the mountain, at or below advanced base camp at 21,000 feet. For redundancy we brought three laptops, all different brands, just in case one particular brand proved problematic. The primary mode of failure for laptops in this environment is hard drive failure since hard drives rely upon the viscosity of air to provide lubrication and damping among the moving parts, the same manner that oil provides lubrication and damping for moving machine or engine parts.

And depending on the make and model, the second failure mode, the batteries bursting into flames, will keep you warm on those chilly Everest nights.

It is safe to say that climbing Everest has no more significance now than parking your car. Every year, a cavalcade of people charge up the mountain, to the point there are actual people jams at the approach to the summit. Ho hum.

Re:Stay warm! (1)

dabadab (126782) | more than 6 years ago | (#19436763)

It is safe to say that climbing Everest has no more significance now than parking your car


Yeah, I agree. Every obese, untrained geek can do it. Ten times a day.

I mean, de you really mean it? Of course, a trained, highly experienced, thoroughly prepared team nowadays has a good chance of actually reaching the top and not dying on the way (though many do) but it is still very far from being trivial.

The sexual equivalent... (0, Offtopic)

Life2Short (593815) | more than 6 years ago | (#19437583)

Kind of like shagging Paris Hilton????

I'm not saying everyone on the planet could pull it off (perhaps only a handful of Slashdot readers), but when it happens it's not exactly big news, is it????

Great, and I'd like to hear more... (3, Interesting)

dfdashh (1060546) | more than 6 years ago | (#19436225)

I liked the article, but I really wanted to hear more about the particular problems he experienced with the equipment, and what (if any) type of workaround he used to get them back into shape. In such extreme weather, he HAD to have more failures or problems other than that one hard drive. On the other hand, he didn't go above a certain altitude, and maybe everything was fine and dandy. For that, I can think of the ads now: "ABC Corp's hard disks survived EVEREST - put them to work in your demanding data center today!"

Re:Great, and I'd like to hear more... (1)

$RANDOMLUSER (804576) | more than 6 years ago | (#19436257)

My data center is COLDER than the summit of Everest.

Temperature vs. pressure (1)

KlaymenDK (713149) | more than 6 years ago | (#19436751)

> My data center is COLDER than the summit of Everest.

A hilltop like that will both be cold and have thin air, but there's a difference between the two.

When laptops were fairly new (early 90's), Toshiba made some headlines by having a laptop used by an arctic team. Low temperatures on an arctic scale do strange things to components (besides mild natural overclocking?), and keeping the LCD liquid was by itself a feat.

However, as stated by others, temperatures are not the only, or greatest, problem. Low pressures cause negligible difference in coolant airflow (esp. as the air is cool), but hard drives DO require air pressure bocause the read/write heads hover above the platters on a tiny cushion of air caused by the rotation speed (not totally unlike dolphins surfing on the bow wave of a vessel). Run a hard drive in vacuum, and you're as good as certain to have a disk head crash.

Re:Temperature vs. pressure (1)

Hoi Polloi (522990) | more than 6 years ago | (#19437295)

My GPS alone couldn't handle a February climb up Mt Washington NH. The batteries struggled but the worst part was the LCD screen was so cold that it was just a mottled mess. Even keeping it next to my chest in my jacket couldn't keep it warm enough. Don't depend on handheld electronics in severe cold.

A Geek on Everquest? (2, Funny)

XxtraLarGe (551297) | more than 6 years ago | (#19436231)

Anybody else read that when they saw the headline? I was like "A Geek on Everquest? Tell me something I don't know!" :-D

Blown Hard Drives? (1, Redundant)

Vulcann (752521) | more than 6 years ago | (#19436245)

I havent RTFA but I cant help thinking that when someone puts so much money and effort to climb everest why the hell dont they carry a "Flash" drive? Ran out of money?

Re:Blown Hard Drives? (1)

Vulcann (752521) | more than 6 years ago | (#19436315)

Ok ... update. I read the article and apparently he did carry Flash drives to "backup" data onto. And carried 3 laptops for redundancy!!

Why not save all the money from the several thumb drives and the 3 laptops and buy one nice big SSD. They might not be very commonplace but hey, neither is climbing everest!! Sure they're expensive but I bet they're cheaper than all the other hardware they bought "for redundancy".

Unbefreakinglievable (5, Insightful)

Otter (3800) | more than 6 years ago | (#19436261)

The comments here are like a parody of IT Guy obnoxiousness. Mark Kahrl is hauling gear up to 21,000 feet and updating a website at sub-freezing temperatures and no oxygen. And summiting Mounrt Everest next week.

Meanwhile, a bunch of IT dorks who a) have a 70% chance of developing a basic LAMP site correctly at sea level and b) a 15% chance of walking around the block without stopping for breath are sneering at him for -- using Flash.

Re:Unbefreakinglievable (1)

Billosaur (927319) | more than 6 years ago | (#19436467)

Admittedly, it's impressive, but then again climbing Everest is no longer a glamour thing. It's become pedestrian, with basically climbing "tourists" being led up the mountain by guides making big bucks while the Sherpas do most of the hard work of actually summiting. And there are plenty of people going up that mountain who have no business being up there. And every year people die because of stupidity, in a place which is unforgiving of mistakes [amazon.com].

I admire the guy for doing it. God knows, my wife would like to go there just to reach Advanced Base Camp (though I know if she got that far, the lure of the summit would be too great for her). There's something about it that despite the current Disneyland quality of the trip, lures you in. I just am not that impressed by the whole spectacle.

Re:Unbefreakinglievable (1)

Hoi Polloi (522990) | more than 6 years ago | (#19436985)

Ah Everest, the Las Vegas of mountaineering. I think the hardest part of Everest nowadays is getting the ~$60,000 it costs to be guided up there. It isn't much cheaper for permits to do it youself via the Nepal side either.

Let me know when they set up a network on top of K2 or Gasherbrum IV.

Re:Unbefreakinglievable (1)

metlin (258108) | more than 6 years ago | (#19440809)

Ah Everest, the Las Vegas of mountaineering. I think the hardest part of Everest nowadays is getting the ~$60,000 it costs to be guided up there. It isn't much cheaper for permits to do it youself via the Nepal side either.

Let me know when they set up a network on top of K2 or Gasherbrum IV.
K2 or the Gasherbrums are hard because they are technical. But just because Everest is not very technical does not make it easy.

At high altitudes, it is not just how hard it is technically, you have a million other factors. Remember that people die at Everest regularly, not the least because of factors beyond their control.

Like another poster mentioned, climbing Everest is a question of your mental state (for that matter, climbing any peak is - it's just that it's a lot harder in case of Everest because of the time, altitude, weather and strain involved). I know people with excellent technical skills _and_ stamina who've failed to summit Everest on multiple occasions.

It's quite easy for you to comment on the ease of climbing Everest, sitting comfortably (wherever you are) - but unless you've done it yourself, your comment is laughable. Mountaineering isn't easy. And climbing any of the 8000-ers definitely isn't, no matter how "popular" any of them may seem.

Re:Unbefreakinglievable (1)

NMerriam (15122) | more than 6 years ago | (#19437161)

It's become pedestrian, with basically climbing "tourists" being led up the mountain by guides making big bucks while the Sherpas do most of the hard work of actually summiting.


This is a popular meme, but it simply is not true. Everest is called a "walk-up" in the sense that it is not technically challenging, so you don't have to be a world-class CLIMBER to get to the summit, but to suggest that makes it either easy or safe is just wrong. It has a ridiculously high death rate, and most of the prime physical danger is right at the "base" (20,000 ft) of the mountain in the Khumbu icefall, which you might traverse dozens of times while there. It's kind of like walking across a minefield in an earthquake-prone area. you can prepare all you like, but in the end you're doing a certain amount of crossing your fingers and praying.

The challenge of Everest is primarily a mental one. Anyone can learn technical skills, but to be somewhere you are quite literally dying (its just a question of how quickly) and decide to push on for no reason other than desire is something not many people really have in them.

Certainly there have been folks there who shouldn't have been, but the idea that you just show up with a check and get your ticket validated at the summit is ridiculous. If you are not absolutely passionate about getting to the top, you won't. Physical conditioning is not enough to get there, technical skills are not enough to get there.

This is Slashdot (1)

wiredog (43288) | more than 6 years ago | (#19436889)

It's how we roll. Check out the comment linked to in my sig for the best flame on this issue.

Re:Unbefreakinglievable (1)

Maelwryth (982896) | more than 6 years ago | (#19437029)

Agreed. I have only climbed a small mountain in the French Alps (Mont Aiguille [wikipedia.org]) and I would have been buggered carrying more than a small amount of gear. The man has my respect for even being able to type in those temperatures (By Christ those rocks get cold!) let alone keep a website together.
 
To all those criticizing, please try coding after keeping your hands in ice for fifteen minutes, and with a bag over your head to simulate oxygen deprivation (You are allowed a small hole). My uncle has been to base camp and had severe problems just doing normal things, like sleeping, because of the atmosphere. Being able to think properly at that height is a feat in itself.

Re:Unbefreakinglievable (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19437221)

I'm sneering at him, sure I can't do basic LAMP (never tired), but I can set up a GPS base station in high winds at 30 below and have it work. Don't assume everyone one Slashdot is the same.

Re:Unbefreakinglievable (2, Insightful)

PMuse (320639) | more than 6 years ago | (#19437769)

  1. Those of us who've never climbed past 10,000 feet can STFU. There goes 90% of /.
  2. Those of us who've never climbed past 15,000 feet can put a lid on it. There goes another 8% and me.
  3. Those of us who've never climbed past 18,000 feet should please sit down. There goes another ~2%.
  4. Now, let's hear from the couple of dozen /.ers still standing.


There is no ambiguity about climbing a mountain. He's doing it.

I don't care (1)

Tony (765) | more than 6 years ago | (#19438587)

I don't care how much equipment this guy totes up the side of a mountain while being passed by the couple of thousand other tourists heading up to the summit.

If you use Flash for your website, you lose your geek credentials. You aren't a geek-- you're a graphic artist who knows enough about computers to be dangerous.

End of fucking story.

Re:Unbefreakinglievable (1)

DaveCar (189300) | more than 6 years ago | (#19439601)


Well, I'd like to see his site but I'm running Linux on x86_64, so I'm SOL.

Maybe if he (they?) had had the foresight to just stick up a bunch of text files and pictures as well as the Flash monstrocity I'd be able to take a look, but as it is, hey, nothing to see here, move along.

Flash is great for your 3D panoramic views, embedded movie players, games and all, but using it for the *whole* of your site is a case of "I've got a hammer so everything is a nail".

it's a story about... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19436341)

some stupid geek faggot

Whoa, holy crap! (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19436389)

A geek on Everest??? Why is his moms basement all the way up there?!

2000 climbers in 2007; about 600 summits so far (4, Interesting)

peter303 (12292) | more than 6 years ago | (#19436499)

Beats previous 2006 record of 480 summits. Gets pretty crowded on top when the 1-2 week weather window opens in late May. This year the window was unusally long, so more peole had second chances. Theres a second, much smaller season in October for a handful of remaining summits.

The factor that greater increased climbers was the entry of cut-rate Chinese climbing companies from the north. Nepal permits cost about $10K per climber, total expedition is $20K - $60K. China cost be below $10K, thus attracting hordes. 2006 had the second highest death total (8), mostly blamed on the shortcuts and inexperience of Chinese companies. I saw (6) so far in 2007.

Re:2000 climbers in 2007; about 600 summits so far (1)

Hoi Polloi (522990) | more than 6 years ago | (#19437055)

For the cost of getting up Everest I could do a handful of other equally or more interesting mountains. Hell, I could do Cho Oyu in the Himalaya and the Vinson Massif in Antartica for less than a guided trip up the Nepal side.

Solid state hard drives? (2, Insightful)

edremy (36408) | more than 6 years ago | (#19436505)

Since their HD failure rate is so high due to the thin, cold air, why are they even using them? You can buy fully solid state flash hard drives these days. The capacity is limited and they are expensive, but it's nothing compared to a trip up Everest. Buy a bunch of the 64GB ones, spend some time cutting down a copy of Windows to the absolute mininmum that you can work with and you'll still have space for Photoshop, some video editing stuff and the content.

Dear god, why didn't they buy SSD's? (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19436523)

I mean, are they stupid?

Only a retard would buy a bunch of ordinary harddrives with them to mount everest as spare parts.

Spend the extra 200$ for an SSD and use that space for more oxygen or whatever.

"Daily tasks included changing harddrives.." - Riiight... I can think of better things to do when you're on mount everest!

Some people from Digg snuck through (4, Insightful)

Mystery00 (1100379) | more than 6 years ago | (#19436527)

Flamebait: People who have such a strong negative attitude towards all things flash and refuse to look at well made flash websites are just misinformed assholes, same goes for the people that mod them up.

Non-Flamebait: A lot of interesting information in the website, and the photographs are excellent, good luck with the expedition!

Re:Some people from Digg snuck through (1, Funny)

Tony (765) | more than 6 years ago | (#19438507)

Flash is an abomination unto God. The eleventh commandment was, "Thou shalt not be a complete ignoramus, for Flash is not a true standard."

Alas, while lost in the desert, the chosen worshiped golden idols, and all things shiny, and did hold presentation more dear than God or standards or content. And so the internet did become a desert also, bereft of intelligence and littered with the bones of broken websites and pages inaccessible to those not of the tribes of Adobe.

In his wrath, God sent down a plague of locusts to eat the flesh of the fallen, and the fallen did tear out their eyes and wail in agony, and the plague's names were Microsoft and Adobe.

At least, that's what my New Geek International Version says.

Re:Some people from Digg snuck through (1)

DaveCar (189300) | more than 6 years ago | (#19439709)


Well, I simply can't view flash on 64bit Linux and I really cannot be arsed going to the bother of installing a separate 32bit browser just to view what mostly amounts to annoying epilepsy-inducing adverts and assholes singing along to a song that some other asshole sang along to.

I'll file it for later when Adobe get their fingers out and release a 64 bit plugin, or gnash gets halfway usable. Filed in /dev/null.

*Yawn* (1, Insightful)

Mockylock (1087585) | more than 6 years ago | (#19436705)

Over 500 people have climbed Everest THIS YEAR. Not only that, but they pay over $40,000 to do so. Basically, if you've got money.. they'll make sure you get there. If you want to be stupid and fuck around with a computer while you're up there, don't act like you're cool because you did.

If he wants to be impressive and tell a story about something that people haven't heard before, he should try to climb the East face of K2, THEN get back to us.

Newsflash! (1)

Bazman (4849) | more than 6 years ago | (#19436841)

The expedition just found a yeti with a laptop playing a game that involved a human being whacking pigeons down a shopping mall...

Why bother posting (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19437149)

If you need to warn that it's a total flash site, then that should be a giant clue stick, it should not be posted, and it should not even be on the internet.

Simple as that.

What cheat codes will he use? (1)

Nim82 (838705) | more than 6 years ago | (#19437635)

I personally would recommend using 'noclip', and 'iddqd' (just incase!).

Spawning at the top could lead to all sorts of clipping problems if he gets the coords wrong...

EVERYBODY climbing the Everest is a geek (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19438169)

ONLY geeks climb the Everest, normal people dont do that. There is no news here, geeks have climbed the Everest for ages, from the first British surveyors (read geeks) in the 1850s up to now.

British surveyors - the geeks of th 19th Century (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19438481)

As surveyors they needed to know how to do triangulation, draw maps, use a little bit of trigonometry; all these are geeky things, jocks would not cope with them.

Everyone is going up Everest (1)

zymano (581466) | more than 6 years ago | (#19438567)

They did a story in the kcstar.com about it. Story mentioned a highschool girl and also playboy playmate climbing it. The prices have come down and that has opened the flood gates. Another point of the article is that there are like 70 dead bodies up there and no one will help you if you get into trouble, instead just ignore you until you die.

High tech K2 attempt (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19439961)

This is a cool project. In similar conditions, but on a much more difficult mountain, these guys are in the middle of a high tech summit attempt of K2.
http://sharedsummits.com/ [sharedsummits.com]
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