Sunday, October 26, 2014
I've been considering writing something on this since the news broke. Fortunately experienced Mountain Guide and Author Jamie McGuinness has taken up the mantle and has said what needed to be said in a much better way than I ever could (see the link below).
Jamie McGuinness wrote the Trailblazer guide book "Trekking in the Everest Region". We used it extensively on our first unsupported trip in 2012 and found it to be invaluable; referencing it on a daily basis.
It is a tragedy that really could have been prevented for the most part. Nepal is a staggeringly beautiful country, but it is a country that is also chaotic and suffers from many social and political problems that will take a long time to be fully addressed, if ever. Don't let that put you off from visiting though; it is one of the most rewarding places in the world in which to travel.
I would personally add to Jamie's comments that there is a worrying lack of genuine mountain experience amongst the majority of trekkers. Hiring a reputable guiding company is a good start but there is no substitute for personal experience. The ability to route find, read a map & compass, and make simple safety decisions, should be something most people entering The Himalaya should probably consider before embarking on an arduous trek in a remote, and potentially hostile, region.
My heart goes out to all the families that have been affected by this unfortunate tragedy; I know from personal experience the pain that you are suffering. Rest In Peace.
You can read Jamie's viewpoint using the link below to his website Project Himalaya.