Hiker Left for Dead on Mount Everest
Near Everest's peak, the climbers faced a choice: head for the summit, like others had
done, or stop to save the injured man.
By Cathy Free from Reader's Digest
Ten minutes later, the head Sherpa on Hall’s team came on the radio.
“Lincoln Hall is in big trouble and needs your help,” said Mazur.
There was a long pause. “You mean he’s alive? How alive is he?”
“Well, he’s moving around, he’s talking,” said Mazur, exasperated. “We need extra food,
water and oxygen to get him down. Otherwise he’s not going to make it.”
Mazur insisted the man put Hall’s leader, Alex Abramov, on the phone.
“You’ve got some guys in high camp, right? Send them up!” he told Abramov. The
Russian climber agreed to send all the Sherpas he could gather.
“You can’t blame the Sherpas for leaving Hall on the mountain,” says Mazur. “It’s their
job to help us climb, but it’s not their job to die.”
For more than four hours, Mazur and his team waited, stomping their feet and pacing on
the small snow-packed ledge to stay warm.
“We were all pretty quiet,” recalls Brash, who had spent years training to climb Everest.
“It was disappointed silence. We knew we weren’t going to get to the summit.”
At that point, no one knew if Hall was going to live. He shivered uncontrollably and his
head jerked up and down. He was suffering from snow blindness, common at high
altitude on such a bright, clear day. His fingers were so frozen they looked like pale
The team was relieved when two Italian climbers suddenly appeared on the ledge.
“Good morning!” said Mazur. “We’ve got a guy in trouble here! Can you help?” The men
kept moving toward the summit. “Sorry, no speak English” was all they said. Mazur would
spot them later at base camp, speaking English very well. “All I can say is, God bless
It was almost noon when a dozen Sherpas finally arrived to help take Hall down the
mountain. With a guide on either side of him, he was able to walk down to high camp.
From there, he rode a yak to base, bumping down the mountain on a saddle made of
foam sleeping mats.
It took Mazur and his team two days to make their own way down. As soon as they
arrived, they went to visit Hall, who was recuperating in his tent before the 100-mile trip
to a hospital in Katmandu.
I hope that after all this, he’s a nice guy, Mazur thought.
He wasn’t disappointed. Although Hall was still groggy and slurring his words, they
clearly understood when he said thank you for saving his life.
Hall would need surgery to amputate the tips of six fingers. Still, he knows he’s a lucky
man, that he could very well have become the 12th person to die on Everest this year —
the deadliest season since the 1996 tragedy. Although his rescue is miraculous, it has
sparked a debate about climbers who leave behind the sick and injured in pursuit of
Everest’s grand prize.
Even Sir Edmund Hillary, the first to reach Everest’s summit in 1953, chimed in with
disgust when he learned that 40 climbers had passed by Britain’s David Sharp.
“People have completely lost sight of what is important,” he told a New Zealand
newspaper. “In our expedition, there was never any likelihood whatsoever if one member
of the party was incapacitated that we would just leave him to die.”
Mazur doesn’t know whether much can be done to prevent future deaths. The allure of
the world’s highest peak is so great, he knows, climbers will continue to gamble
everything for a few minutes at the top.
“It’s such a personal challenge — once you’re up there, you feel as though you could do
anything,” he says. “Sure, I wish I could have reached the summit again. But there’s no
way we could have left Lincoln Hall on that ridge. If we’d done that, the odds are he
wouldn’t be alive today. And I would have to live with that for the rest of my life.”
|San Diego Education Report
Wall Street has destroyed the wonder that was America.
The Big Lie
Dec 26, 2011
The Daily Beast
Imagine a vast field on which a terrible battle has recently been fought, the bare
ground cratered by fusillade after fusillade of heavy artillery, trees reduced to
blackened stumps, wisps of toxic gas hanging in the gray, and corpses everywhere.
A terrible scene, made worse by the sound of distant laughter, because somehow, on
the heights commanding the dead zone, the officers’ club has made it through intact.
From its balconies flutter bunting, and across the blasted landscape there comes a
chorus of hearty male voices in counterpoint to the wheedling of cadres of wheel-
greasers, the click of betting chips, the orotund declamations of a visiting
congressional delegation: in sum, the celebratory hullabaloo of a class of people that
has sent entire nations off to perish but whose only concern right now is whether the ’
11 is ready to drink and who’ll see to tipping the servants. The notion that there might
be someone or some force out there getting ready to slouch toward the buttonwood
tree to exact retribution scarcely ruffles the celebrants’ joy.
Ah, Wall Street. As it was in the beginning, is now, and hopes to God it ever will be,
world without end. Amen.
Or so it seems to me.
It was in May 1961 that a series of circumstances took me from the hushed precincts
of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, where I was working as a curatorial assistant in the
European Paintings Department, to Lehman Brothers, to begin what for the next 30
years would be an involvement—I hesitate to call it “a career”—in investment banking.
I would promote and execute deals, sit on boards, kiss ass, and lie through my teeth:
the whole megillah. In consequence of which, I would wear Savile Row and carry a
Hermès briefcase. I had Mme. Claude’s home number in Paris and I frequented the
best clubs in a half-dozen cities. But I had a problem: I was unable to develop the
anticommunitarian moral opacity that is the key to real success on Wall Street.
I had my doubts from the beginning. A few months after I started to work downtown, I
ran into an old friend from college and before, a man later to become one of New York’
s most esteemed writers and editors.
“So,” he asked, “how do you like what you’re doing now?”
“I like it quite a lot,” I said. And this was true: these were new frontiers for me, the pace
was lively, the money was good enough ($6,500 a year), and there was so much to
learn. But there was one aspect of Wall Street that I found morally confusing if not
distasteful: “There’s one thing that bothers me, though. It’s this: on the one hand the
New York Stock Exchange has sent its president, the estimable G. Keith Funston, out
into the countryside, supported by an expensive, extensive advertising campaign, to
exhort the proletariat to Own your share of America! As if buying 50 shares of IBM or
GM in 1961 is as much of a civic duty as buying a $100 war bond in 1943.”
I then added, “But here’s the thing. At the same time as Funston’s out there doing his
thing, if you ask any veteran Wall Street pro how the Street works, the first thing he’ll
tell you is: The public is always wrong. Always.” I paused to let that sink in, then
confessed, “I have to tell you, I have trouble squaring that circle.”
And that was back when Wall Street was basically honest, brought into line thanks in
part to Ferdinand Pecora’s 1933 humiliation of the great bankers of the Jazz Age and
even more so because of the communitarian exigencies forced on the nation by war.
From Pearl Harbor to V-J Day, greed was definitely not good, and that proscriptive
spirit lingered on right up to 1970, when everything started to change, and the traders
began their long march through our great houses of finance, with the inevitable
consequence that the Street’s moral bookkeeping grew more and more contorted, its
corruptions more elaborate, its self-interest less and less governable. What someone
has called the “Greed Wars” began.
I had to laugh when I read this story opening: "...defense lawyer
says his client is the victim of a corrupt industry."
Which industry would that be?
Lawyers should remember that line to use with all their clients--and with the Bar
Association if they ever get called on the carpet themselves.
NY prosecutor: Calif. wine collector was greedy
December 9, 2013
NEW YORK — A prosecutor has opened the New York fraud trial of a California wine dealer by
calling him greedy, but a defense lawyer says his client is the victim of a corrupt industry. The
differing views were offered to jurors in federal court in New York City during opening statements
Monday at the trial of Rudy Kurniawan (KUR'-nah-wahn). The Indonesian-born immigrant of Chinese
descent was arrested last year and accused of trying to sell more than $1.3 million worth of
counterfeit bottles to other wealthy collectors. Prosecutor Jason Hernandez says Kurniawan
manufactured fake wine labels at his Arcadia, Calif., kitchen. Defense attorney Jerome Mooney
portrays his client as a scapegoat. The millionaire businessman is being held without bail...