Mark Inglis

Rick Giles's picture
Submitted by Rick Giles on Thu, 2006-05-25 09:42

The story broke this week that Kiwi adventurer Mark Inglis passed by a dying man during his Mt Everest assent. The domestic debate must have been delt with soundly because the Kiwi blogosphere has been really quiet about the whole thing.

Here in Australia the TV and radio media are mispronouncing Inglis' [sounds like 'tingles'] name as if it were 'English' without the 'h.' This is annoying. It's also annoying that all the DJs are making fun of Inglis as a lowlife who refused to do for this man what was done for him when Inglis was rescued from a similer situation 25yrs ago. Grossly unfair to Mark Inglis!

The top of the world is an inhospitable place. Entry to this ethereal realm costs the human body all but the last gasps of its vitality- and it is on these diminishing gasps that men tread the final steps to the peak. Here men are as weak as kittens. Here physically fit people struggle to walk a few steps in the snow and then have to stop to catch their breath and regain their strength. All who undertake to live at their limits are risking death because that's the game. Should man be morally prohibited from employing his final limits to his goal because they are greater than somebody else's?

It's not unlike Napoleon's retreat from Russia, Hannibal's crossing of the alps, Alexander's Gedrosian crossing, or most construction projects both ancient and modern. They are deadly endevours, fatalities are part of the fabric of the undertaking. The expedition comes first, for right or for wrong people give their lives to the mission and at least for the people on Everest it's voluntary. A sailor can put his life at extreme risk under the command of Admiral Nelson at Trafalger, why should a modern man enjoy less liberty than that, and not for others but in the name of his own dreams?

A fellow Everest expeditioner fell. Rest in peace brother, the expedition goes on.

And what's that now? 176 dead bodies on that mountain, including Rob Hall I guess because nobody can get them down. It's enough just to move your own frame! Still, there are plenty in line to make this climb although there is room only for some. Competition is high to be part of the limited number that gets to set out in favorable weather for the top of the mountain. That means that all of those dead must have been part of a larger group when they died, which gives an indication of just how unremarkable this story is. It's par for the course and has been for a long time and for all of that to fall on Mark Inglis head, now, is crappy news reporting. Tell you what though, it's been a riot on breakfast, mid-day and drive radio around these parts.

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Sorry ...

Lindsay Perigo's picture

There'll be no Sunday sweeping. I won't be on tomorrow. Back next week.


Rick Giles's picture

It is a pathetic condemnation and I hope a good Sunday sweeping puts a fright into backseat snap selflessness.

It's not really the point, Ross, that he's a hero....wo..just as I type the hourly radio news says an Australian vett has died comming down Everest. Chalk another one up. Yeah, they're not heroes just for the act. That English git in the fish tank put his body on the line too, so what. Actually, Inglis is better suited to the climb than anyone because he has the same heart and lungs as anyone but two less extremeties to heat and fuel. What's heroic about the guy, and of Sir Ed, is another kettle of fish.

Only in NZ, Land of The Long

Ross Elliot's picture

Only in NZ, Land of The Long White Poppy Chopper.

The recent debate prompted me to educate myself on Everest and the climb.

I started here: Wiki on Everest

Once you get an appreciation for the forces that climbers are up against and the psychological factors involved, you can see why the condemnation of Inglis is pathetic.

Fact is, Inglis *isn't* so much a hero as simply a bloke who wanted to climb a mountain. And so was the man that died. Perhaps the bleaters should appreciate the frailty of Man when exposed to the full cruelty of nature, and thank capitalism that 99% of the time we live protected from that.

I found a couple of kiwi

Andrew Couper's picture

I found a couple of kiwi blogs that with commentry:

As with your post, Inglis is a hero.

As for the pronouncation, get over it.
My Dad always said call me anything you like, except late for diner!


For once, Rick ...

Lindsay Perigo's picture

... you've said something with which I'm in total agreement. I'm gonna go to town on it when *I* go on air on Sunday.

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