That really chaps my hide.

Lately I’ve been watching quite a bit of the Discovery channel and I’ve gotten hooked on Everest: Beyond the Limit 2007. This is a TV series that follows an expedition of mountain climbers and guides as they attempt to summit beautiful, awesome and deadly Mt. Everest.

Tonight I watched my dvr’d Episode 7 to see Summit Day for Team 1. I have to say, I have traversed a wide spectrum of emotions while watching Everest this season: amazement, horror, awe and many others. I have watched, literally sick to my stomach or breathless in anticipation of the next step. Tonight, however, was ruined for me in watching Tim Medvetz climb the mountain. Tim has become something of a hero in the series, rallying from a motorcycle accident and a failed attempt last season, to summit this season. Early on Summit Day, Tim falls and breaks his hand in two places. However, he chooses not to tell the guides and to soldier on. Some praise him for a his true grit, others for his bravery in the face of danger and his strength at summiting with a virtually unusable hand. For me, the excitement of the climb is ruined by his actions. What I watched tonight was a selfish foolhardy man who let his desire to summit Everest get in the way of what was safest for the whole group. On the return down the mountain, Tim is so injured that the Woody, the guide has to help him every step of the way. In continuing up the mountain Tim puts his own life at risk, but worse, he puts his team members at risk as well. Because of the happy outcome (Tim makes it down the mountain with no other major injuries to himself or anyone else) he receives a hero’s welcome, but the potential for this situation to have been so much worse is huge.

It is this cavalier attitude that causes so many accidents on Everest. After reading Into Thin Air and many other accounts of disasters on Everest, I simply cannot applaud a man who knowingly does something so selfish.

So that’s my two cents this episode.


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