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with Stefan Nestler

Moro and Steck attacked on Everest

Simone Moro (r.), Ueli Steck

Actually, you think anything possible has already happened on Mount Everest. But it’s a sad novelty that in a high camp three climbers are beaten, kicked, pelted with stones and threatened with death by furious sherpas. The two top climbers Simone Moro from Italy and Ueli Steck from Switzerland and their British photographer Jonathan Griffith have been effected by the incident. „Something from another world“, Simone called what happened to them

Dispute on 7200 metres

On Saturday Moro, Steck and Griffith were on their way to camp 3 at 7200 meters on the normal route, when they reached a group of 17 Sherpas who were fixing ropes. The Sherpas told the trio not to climb above them while they were working. Moro said that they had climbed then 50 metres away and to the side of the sherpas. When they traversed to reach their tent, the leader of the Sherpas rushed to Ueli Steck wildly swinging his ice axe. He accused Ueli of having kicked loose chunks of ice and injured a Sherpa. Simone Moro tried to mediate. In vain. Enraged, the Sherpas finally descended to camp 2 on 6500 metres.

Death threats

When Simone, Ueli and Jonathan later reached the lower camp, the situation escalated completely. The three climbers from Europe faced a furious mob of several dozen Sherpas. The Sherpas threw stones, punched and kicked the climbers. A group of Western mountaineers acted as a buffer between both parties. They were also attacked. After about 50 minutes the situation calmed a litte bit. But Steck, Moro and Griffith were told that if they weren’t gone within one hour they all would be killed. The three climbers descended to the base camp. The Nepalese police is investigating the incident.

Night in the hospital

Ueli, slightly injured by a thrown stone, was flown by helicopter to Kathmandu and spent a night in a hospital near the airport. Meanwhile, the Swiss is reportedly back at base camp discussing with Simone Moro how to proceed. The two top climbers have told the public only a few details of their plan for this spring: They will to climb Mount Everest without supplementary oxygen and they want to try something new.


29. April 2013 | 13:02