There’s nothing some journalists like more than a bit a death. It generates controversy, helps sell copy, and gives them an opportunity to drum up hatred against people who live more interesting lives than they do.
And this year on Everest 10 people have died, the highest death toll since 2006. Combine this with German climber Ralf Dujmovits’ photo of climbers queueing up the Lhotse Face that’s getting buzzed around the world, and they’ve been having a field day.
For example, when my team mate Grant ‘Axe’ Rawlinson got back to Base Camp on May 22, he decided to write a blog post about his summit day in his usual stream-of-consciousness style, which involves writing all the thoughts that are going through his mind as he climbs. When he got stuck behind slow climbers on the Second Step with teddy bears strapped to the back of their packs, one of Axe’s thoughts was how much he’d like to stick those teddy bears up their backsides. A Kiwi journalist picked up on Axe’s blog and decided to write not about his incredible climb (he was up to the summit and back down in Camp 3 again five hours before I was) but his lack of sympathy for other climbers. Very quickly Axe became the most hated man in New Zealand, and was getting comments on his blog along the lines of, “you’re not so tuff [sic] Rawlinson, you’ve proved even jerks can climb Everest”.
Continue reading on Mark Horrell’s blog