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A rider’s quest for snowboarding’s Holy Grail—Everest’s Hornbein Couloir
September 8, 2013 8:21 PM   Subscribe

The Disappearance of Marco Siffredi. For those not near death, reaching the summit of the highest mountain in the world is a time of unequaled euphoria. It’s the achievement of a lifetime, the realization of a magnificent dream. But for Marco, the dream is just beginning and the summit is nothing more than a hurdle. His goal-3,000 meters of first tracks down the Hornbein-still lies before him. prev Everest
posted by allkindsoftime (16 comments total) 6 users marked this as a favorite

 
Just to start off this thread: I knew Dr. Thomas Hornbein as an adolescent. I thought he was a wonderful man. He passed around helium for squeaky fun before we sent our postcards off to the wind. Mine came back! I talked to him last year. He is a funny, smart and very likable guy. Just wanted to say this, because mountaineers have often been portrayed as narcissistic jerks.
posted by kozad at 8:48 PM on September 8, 2013 [4 favorites]


Hoped this might be about Rocco Siffredi.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 10:43 PM on September 8, 2013 [7 favorites]


Ah mom, your son is Icarus.
posted by qinn at 1:44 AM on September 9, 2013


Weird. Starts off like Krakauer, ends like the Onion.

Sketch Article.
posted by mannequito at 2:13 AM on September 9, 2013 [3 favorites]


This somehow claims Shishapangma is the second highest peak in the world. It's not, of course, that's K2, Shishapangma is the 14th highest, and the lowest eight-thousander.

Good story, though, about a guy who doesn't know his own limitations or mortality.
posted by Joakim Ziegler at 4:14 AM on September 9, 2013


Weird. I made a Rocco S post earlier and it disappeared with no mod notation.

Huh.
posted by Samizdata at 4:30 AM on September 9, 2013


I love stories like this. When I was young I used to fantasize about being so awesome. Now that I've aged a bit it freaks me out to think people would take such risks.
posted by Literaryhero at 5:07 AM on September 9, 2013


Related: The Man Who Skied Down Everest & Roger Ebert's review
posted by chavenet at 6:19 AM on September 9, 2013 [1 favorite]


I am glad there are people this extreme in the world, but I'm also glad I am not one of them.
posted by thelonius at 6:35 AM on September 9, 2013


Now that Everest is the destination for stunt records (besides this, there was recently an 80 year old man who summitted, chased closely by his 81 year old rival), I'm having difficulty knowing how to feel about these things. On the one hand, it's of course impressive to get there, and to do so with extra limitations or considerations. On the other hand, it just seems so fucking stupid to die because you want to be the first to shred down from Everest. Such an absurd and pointless goal over which to lose your life.

I guess I'm missing that part of me that should vicariously thrill to the danger of fulfilling an arbitrary goal.
posted by fatbird at 8:27 AM on September 9, 2013 [4 favorites]


I guess once you've shredded down Everest (which is pretty cool), the only thing left to do is try it again, only on a more difficult route. The tragedy here seems to be that the team (including Marco) did not seem to have a plan for 'the conditions are not ideal, maybe today is not your day' situation. He was tired, but, understandably in the death zone, incapable of making a good decision in the face of his sherpas telling him not to go.
Maybe his sister is right and he and Sandy Irvine are having beers and beating around the Himalaya together still.
posted by OHenryPacey at 9:47 AM on September 9, 2013


I love Everest stories, so thanks for posting.

It's worth noting that Phurba Tashi, the Sherpa that works as the sirdar for Russell Price and who went with Siffredi to the summit on his fateful attempt, holds the record for 8k summits at 30, including 21 summits of Everest.
posted by Lutoslawski at 12:00 PM on September 9, 2013 [2 favorites]


Holy shit that's crazy.
posted by allkindsoftime at 7:10 PM on September 9, 2013


Lutoslawski: "
It's worth noting that Phurba Tashi, the Sherpa that works as the sirdar for Russell Price and who went with Siffredi to the summit on his fateful attempt, holds the record for 8k summits at 30, including 21 summits of Everest.
"

Eh, it's like riding a bicycle.
posted by Joakim Ziegler at 1:10 AM on September 10, 2013


Eh, it's like riding a bicycle.

Except for the consequences of falling off.
posted by TedW at 9:56 AM on September 10, 2013


Eh, it's like riding a bicycle.

Ha, yeah, I think climbing the Khombu Icefall is the exact opposite of riding a bicycle.
posted by Lutoslawski at 10:28 AM on September 10, 2013


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