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Here is what Beck Weathers did to himself. He is becoming a folk hero among the Tea Party crowd.

He trashed his face and his feet, lost his right hand completely plus joints from his left-hand fingers and part of his left thumb.

Weathers is the Tea Party's Perfect Man.

He embodies self-destruction in pursuit of fantasy.

Teabaggers follow their rightie propagandists. They idolize this guy Weathers, despite that he didn't understand basic equipment, lied about a recent surgery, and ended up as a human anchor - a fatal danger to others on the high slopes of Mount Everest.

For the whole story, BTF :::

Media go out of their way to describe what Weathers did incorrectly.

-- In 1996 Weathers joined 10 other climbers on the ultimate mountain experience - Everest. Unfortunately, this trek coincided with one of the most devastating storms on record. Temperatures dipped to 60 below zero, and the wind whipped the beleaguered team at 70 miles per hour.

That's a normal spring storm for Mount Everest. Nothing unusual for a typical May 10th and trying to climb 29,000 feet up.

Plainly, if somebody thinks that climbing Everest needs to be hyped as "the ultimate mountain experience," they don't know that 1 in 33 people who try it are killed there, reaching a total of 206 known dead.

Some of the press work beggars our sense of proportion:

-- Beck Weathers has become a much-sought-after speaker before professional, corporate and academic audiences.

-- ...he was blinded by the effects of high altitude on his eyes that had been altered by radial keratotomy surgery [which he had not mentioned to the doctors overseeing the expedition. He also misstated the situation on his application for the Nepalese climbing permit.]

Some hero.


This guy Beck Weathers didn't believe in risk analysis. In all of his choices, what mattered was what he wanted at that moment in time -- a patent single-mindedness.

To begin with, despite being married with two young children, Weathers indulged his mid-life impulse to wander with a decade of popping off a week at a time doing climbs in the low-to-medium skill range. The better to get away from home. He was no one else's idea of a mountaineer.

Then in 1996 Weathers jumped over to playing the 33:1 game of Russian roulette that goes with trying to climb Mount Everest.

$65,000 for the pop.

He had no high altitude experience. Not one effort to summit an 8,000 meter peak. He was not technically competent for high altitude climbing. He was so inexperienced that he brought along a new-in-the-box pair of climbing boots -- he didn't know you have to do a proper break-in to use them properly.

Weathers had to lie about his eyes to get on the climbing permit, then on the mountain he went blind at 27,000 feet. Blindness plus the boot problem slowed him to a snail's pace.

On May 10, 1996, this Beck Weathers was the slowest climber on a combined team, the dragging anchor for the most of 10 hours before he gave up trying to summit Everest and admitted to being blind.

These delays to the whole group on the May 10th effort were critical later on the descent: the difference between life and death for a Japanese woman, Yasuko Namba, and directly contributory to the deaths of Doug Hansen, Andy Harris, and the teams leaders Rob Hall and Scott Fischer. their deaths contributed to the worst day ever for climbing Mount Everest.

Now, don'tcha know, the Tea Party people are making him one of their national heroes.

To be sure, Weathers is a man of right wing politics. Always was. He adores Rush Limbaugh and Glenn Beck. He speaks of selfishness as the highest virtue.

Gets paid for doing it. Sicko corporations know what they want.

Up on Everest, during the descent phase, Weathers had gotten lost which is understandable from what we know about him going blind. Then he and Namba had to be left alone as they could not walk. Somewhat later they were re-checked and left for dead.

The reason the Teabaggers are so caught up with Beck Weathers is that he then caught a second wind, pulled himself out of the snow, and walked himself a hundred yards into camp. From there he was moved down the mountain and rescued.

Teabaggers focus solely on Weathers and his "miracle" resuscitation and hearing voices and rescuing himself.

Their rewriting of history -- as always -- tosses away the whole story. This SOB contributed to the deaths of five people -- the Tea Party's Perfect Man.

What if Ayn Rand threw a Tea Party ???

This guy Weathers would show up missing his several body parts and claim the door prize.

The ghosts of Everest deserve better.

Teabaggers don't care. They are falling all over themselves for a "miracle" that their masters have pulled from recent history. Killing people carelessly doesn't matter. Facts are more for lefties and centerists.

So now you know.

When they say that someone has "pulled a beck weathers," they're referring to Mount Everest in 1996. To getting up from snow and pulling a ravaged body back into camp. How all that happened ? What about the effects of carelessness and incompetence and lying ? Killing people ? Not so much.


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Comment Preferences

  •  The stories of that expedition season got lots of (6+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bigkens, elmo, NYFM, psilocynic, gzodik, chimene


    "Into Thin Air" is the classic. Jon Krakauer, a professional writer and career climber.

    "Dark Summit: The True Story of Everest's Most Controversial Season."  Nick Heil tries hard for controversy.

    "Left For Dead." Beck Weathers is dishonest. Repeatedly. A good example of the modern all-for-selfishness sociopath. His words about his family remind me of John Edwards.

    And other classics:

    "The Crystal Horizon: Everest - The First Solo Ascent." Reinhold Messner.

    "Everest." Walt Unsworth.

    "Everest - The West Ridge." Thomas F. Hornbein.


    Death reflects the value of life. The classics of mountain climbing reflect that magic.

    Climbing Everest, for me, is best done with a pleasant drink at hand and from a comfortable chair.

    Angry White Males + Crooks + Personality Disorder psychos + KKKwannabes + "Unborn Child" church folk =EQ= The Republicans

    by vets74 on Wed Aug 10, 2011 at 11:29:53 AM PDT

    •  Likewise............................. (0+ / 0-)

      Americans do Not Like the Tea Party

      As I read each name, please say if you have a favorable or unfavorable opinion of these people -- or if you have never heard of them.

      tea party favorable 31
      tea party unfavorable 51


      Angry White Males + Crooks + Personality Disorder psychos + KKKwannabes + "Unborn Child" church folk =EQ= The Republicans

      by vets74 on Wed Aug 10, 2011 at 05:25:46 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Beck is the worst kind of tool (6+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    vets74, carolr51, elmo, NYFM, psilocynic, chimene

    It's been a long time since I read Krakauer's book but did Weathers ever apologize for being such a heavyweight, self-satisfied fool on that expedition?  Any remorse?  While his Kiwi guide put his life on the line for him (thinking of others again, like a socialist), Beck just lied, lied, lied, sucking up resources and the lives of others.

    No wonder, indeed.  

    This guy does such a disservice to Messner and all those who died up there in service of goals greater than their bucket lists.

    •  He came back and made a living, Ronald Reagan (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      psilocynic, chimene

      style, going around to companies hawking American Exceptionalism and outright greed.

      Back in 1996 not breaking in his boots ahead of time -- sure, an out and out murder would have been worse.

      That connects with me (though not stated or directly implied by Krakauer) as what ended up killing Harris and Namba directly and the other three possibly.

      But Hell, the Teabaggers are in love with Limbaugh. There's not a helluva lot of difference in 2011 between what Limbaugh and Weathers are selling.

      Angry White Males + Crooks + Personality Disorder psychos + KKKwannabes + "Unborn Child" church folk =EQ= The Republicans

      by vets74 on Wed Aug 10, 2011 at 12:07:04 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Some of the other climbers (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    NYFM, psilocynic, vets74, bigkens, chimene

    risked their lives to rescue Weathers. They had to haul him like a sack of rocks down the mountain, which was no easy task.

    If they had followed conservative, rather than liberal philosophy, they would have let the "market" take care of him, I guess. That was the attitude taked by a group of Japanese climbers on the mountain that day, as I recall from Krakauer's book.

    It's beyond irony that the Teapartiers, who have no concern for their fellow citizens, want to make a hero out of a man who needed his fellow climbers to save his sorry ass from his own stupidity.

    •  You're misreading the Tea Party. For them, (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      chimene, elmo

      this SOB is perfect.

      Their ideals run to Olympia Snow and her husband. The aim is to make millions off the government -- cuz the little people ought to take care of sure exalted Republican personages.

      In 1996 up on Everest, Beck Weathers took from others every chance he got.

      Randian perfection.

      He never gave back a damn thing. Never sacrificed so much as a sock for anybody else. And he bitched about the service.

      Richfatbastards/Murdochs/Roves who engineer the Tea Party gotta love him. He's them.

      Angry White Males + Crooks + Personality Disorder psychos + KKKwannabes + "Unborn Child" church folk =EQ= The Republicans

      by vets74 on Wed Aug 10, 2011 at 12:40:53 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Weathers was notorious for his bigoted remarks (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    and overall arrogance towards the "hired help."  Read the book Into Thin Air.

    Sexy Sarah the Salmon-Slayin' Slag

    by mojave mike on Wed Aug 10, 2011 at 12:33:40 PM PDT

  •  I reread "Into Thin Air" at least once a year. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    vets74, chimene

    I'm the least athletic person I know but have always been interested in mountaineering, especially those who climb Everest or K-2.  In addition to being a lout (Krakauer writes about Weather's annoying bombast) he was clearly not ready for the climb. Weathers was so out of line on so many levels and his selfish adventure cost others dearly -- his family, his fellow climbers and the helicopter pilot (Nepal's military) who risked his life to fly two rescue missions to Base Camp.  It was considered impossible to rescue anyone at that altitude but the pilot did it.  At least Weathers had to wait his turn so a climber more injured than he could be brought down.

    Beck Weathers does indeed represent the TP in their selfishness and stupidity.

    "By means of shrewd lies, unremittingly repeated, it is possible to make people believe that heaven is hell -- and hell heaven. The greater the lie, the more readily it will be believed." Adolph Hitler

    by pittie70 on Wed Aug 10, 2011 at 01:59:37 PM PDT

  •  1996 was a bad year (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Unfortunately, Withers wasn't the only climber who should never have been on that mountain. Almost the entire bunch weren't fit. It amounted to two good but greedy guides pulling a string of fools behind them.

    Withers had a huge amount of luck. By all rights, he should still be up there, long dead and forgotten. He richly deserved everything the mountain gave him.

    I'll bet that if you talked to any of the others, they would be a lot like Withers.

    Climbing Everest in the 90's was the ultimate rich guy's perversion of all the extreme sports. There was a lot of that crap going on everywhere on Earth. Expeditions to the Australian outback, guided boat trips down rivers of no return, helicopter skiing, on and on, but Everest was the most popular.
    All of them were chock full of hubris and the disbelief that nothing could happen to them, because they were rich, so therefore, they were special.

    As long as there was somebody willing to haul them up & down, keep them afloat, and keep them fat and happy in places humans should not go, there was someone rich and stupid enough to think bragging rights were worth the money. None ever really thought about the danger or the environmental damage at all.

    Outback magazine perpetuated this crap- I remember when it was the hip mag to read- it was full of rich-boy toy ads and the snobbery of the peak baggers.

    By 1996, the Everest ascent really consisted of climbing past a succession of mummified bodies, stumbling over frozen plastic shit bags in the dark, climbing over mountains of empty oxygen cylinders, and viewing scenic vistas of rotting tents and piles of discarded gear and clothing and plain old garbage at all the base camps.

    The corpses had nicknames, like 'the guy in the blue parka' or 'dead Korean #2'.

    Right many are called, and damn few are chosen.

    by Idaho07 on Thu Aug 11, 2011 at 06:35:48 PM PDT

    •  "Outback magazine" ? (0+ / 0-)

      "Outside" is the one I'm familiar with. They took part of the responsibility and have run articles steadily since 1996 that examine the forces in play with guided mountaineering. "Outside" never ran their own guided climbing business -- much less sending the likes of Beck Weathers up Everest.

      Jon Krakauer has become one of our top writers -- Into the Wild, Under the Banner of Heaven, Where Men Win Glory: The Odyssey of Pat Tillman -- as well as Into Thin Air about the 1996 disaster.

      Into Thin Air has an astonishing 1,647 reviews at Amazon. Ton-a-bricks reader impact.

      Angry White Males + Crooks + Personality Disorder psychos + KKKwannabes + "Unborn Child" church folk =EQ= The Republicans

      by vets74 on Fri Aug 12, 2011 at 09:14:50 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  you're right (0+ / 0-)

        Outside magazine, not outback.

        I could have phrased that paragraph better- I never meant to imply that Outside ran (or even recommended) a guide business. The magazine did further the image of extreme sports being cool and upper crust, though. (that's a personal opinion only, gotten from the number and frequency of ads for luxury goods.)

        They didn't send Beck Withers up, of course, but they were part of what made the idea look very attractive to him. Bragging rights get more important when someone who is very rich runs with other rich guys.

        I totally agree about Krakauer. His book, I think, did a lot to remove the keep-up-with-the-Joneses fashionable aspect to mountaineering. He also portrayed what huge damage had been done to the Everest environment over the years. Up there, it's like a frozen desert- nothing ever degrades quickly, if ever. I think his book was partly responsible for the cleanup efforts that have become a part of the more recent ascents.

        I don't have a big problem with the guides, really... they were just cashing in  on the demand. A lot of pro mountaineers never make any kind of steady income.

        I know ranchers who converted their places from raising cattle in the 90's to fenced elk ranches. The elk were there simply as sitting duck targets for guys who would pay $7500 to shoot a trapped elk, rather than going through all the fuss and bother of spending the same for a guided hunt with no sure return of a stuffed head to hang on their wall. As often as not, the ranch owner actually killed the elk.

        Living in the heart of the Rockies is always tempting to those who have never made a living there- the fact is, you can't eat the scenery. Farming and ranching are very chancy businesses.

        As a person, I found it disgusting, but as a partner in a ranch at a time when a good fat steer paid about $500, about $50 over the cost of raising it, I understood. Before the elk ranches were closed by laws, those ranchers were making enough money to be profitable. They simply didn't want to lose their way of life.

        The same attitude was displayed in other ways. During the big fires of 2000, firefighters spent as much time protecting the huge million-dollar trophy cabins as fighting the fires in Idaho and Montana. As a result, some of the fires grew too huge to put out, and just burned until the first snow came.

        It's different now, and thank God it is.

        Right many are called, and damn few are chosen.

        by Idaho07 on Fri Aug 12, 2011 at 06:08:08 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Real good comment. (0+ / 0-)

          REC clicker's busted.

          Angry White Males + Crooks + Personality Disorder psychos + KKKwannabes + "Unborn Child" church folk =EQ= The Republicans

          by vets74 on Sun Aug 14, 2011 at 02:39:51 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

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