Mark Inglis. Hero.

Peter Cresswell's picture
Submitted by Peter Cresswell on Tue, 2006-05-30 02:37

A brief word on the issue of Mark Inglis, his heroic climb and the tragic death of David Sharp. Many people including Everest conqueror Sir Ed Hillary have questioned the morality of Mark Inglis walking past the dying David Sharp. Many details have emerged of what happened up 8000m up in the death zone -- a place so inhospitable to human life that at times just surviving is all you can do -- including the news that Inglis's own sherpas did investigate David Sharp and concluded no help was possible to him.

Morality pertains to actions over which you have a choice, over which it is possible to do something. David Sharp chose to ascend the mountain unaccompanied, and it seems insufficently prepared. That seems to have been a bad choice. As for Mark Inglis, given the challenges he faced in just getting back from the summit himself, I'm not sure what he could possibly have done anyway. Inglis's heroism consisted in fully preparing himself; in doing what was necessary to get up the mountain and get back down again - a return journey without which no mission can have any success -- and his efforts and were fully and necessarily focussed on that goal. That goal took all his work. He physically had no capacity for anything more. And he knew that.

And given the dozens of other fully able-bodied people in Inglis's party and on the mountain that day, I'm not sure why Inglis is the focus for the fury in any case, even if it were deserved. Which it isn't. Mark Inglis, you are a hero. Robert Falcon Scott could have learned a lot from you.

TAGS: Heroes, New_Zealand


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I personally haven't heard

JoeM's picture

I personally haven't heard anything on the news here.

News in the US?

Peter Cresswell's picture

Very apposite, Joe. I'm curious to hear to what extent this story made news in the States?

Another relevant quote from

JoeM's picture

Another relevant quote from THE FOUNTAINHEAD, this one brought to mind by the outrage against Mark Inglis:

"We have convicted him without a hearing. We want him to be guilty. We are delighted in this case. What you hear is not indignation-it's gloating. Any illiterate maniac, any worthless moron who commits some revolting murder, gets shrieks of sympathy from us and marshals an army of humanitarian defenders. But a man of genius is guilty by definition....To what level of depravity has a society descended when it condemns a man simply because he is strong and great?"

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