Climbers and Guides in ‘Fight’ on Everest
One of the mountaineers described the “terrifying” scene as two famous European climbers fought with Nepalese guides in a high-altitude brawl.
Ueli Steck, a Swiss national who holds climbing records, and Simone Moro of Italy, who has climbed the world’s highest peak four times, were approaching the 7,470-metre (24,500 feet) Camp Three on Saturday when the bust-up occurred.
An American eyewitness, speaking to AFP by telephone and on condition of anonymity, said Steck, Moro and British photographer Jonathan Griffith were asked to wait on the mountain while a group of Nepalese rigged up some ropes.
The witness said the Europeans, who were trying to climb the 8,848-metre (29,029-foot) mountain by a new “undisclosed” route without supplementary oxygen, ignored the request and carried on.
“The Sherpas told the team not to climb above them while they were fixing the ropes but they did it anyway. Then some ice fell and hit the Sherpas, which made them angry,” said the eyewitness.
Later in the day, a furious group of Nepalese stormed up towards the climbers’ tents and pelted them with stones until the men came outside, after which a loud argument ensued and punches were allegedly thrown.
“It was terrifying to watch - they nearly got killed,” the eyewitness said.