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Author Topic: 3G network brings internet to Mount Everest climbers  (Read 1263 times)
bill t.
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« on: August 26, 2012, 11:04:42 AM »
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A milestone in the long march of humanity.

You can't hide from the internet anymore, except maybe on the south side of my house.  Who will be the first person to send an Instagram from Everest?  I think I'll trademark that.

Working on my Hillary-Gram app, makes everybody look like they have icicles coming out their nose.
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francois
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« Reply #1 on: August 26, 2012, 11:53:15 AM »
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NCell probably upgraded the Gorak Shep communication tower... From Alan Arnette's 2012 report:

Many climbers are reporting success at EBC with their 3G phone calls using NCELL but not getting a good data signal. This was expected and the same experience from 2011. Ncell acknowledges that their tower at Gorak Shep needs upgrading to support Everest Base Camp and above for data.

Now, return to work on your Hillary-Gram app! How about a Mallory-Gram as next challenge?

 Cheesy
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Francois
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« Reply #2 on: August 26, 2012, 11:24:12 PM »
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I had to use an iridium phone to call home from the BC a few years back... I am not sure I like this part of progress in fact... it removes some of the feel of remoteness.

On the other hand, it is most probably going to save lives.

Cheers,
Bernard
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A few images online here!
mac_paolo
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« Reply #3 on: August 27, 2012, 01:17:35 AM »
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On the other hand, it is most probably going to save lives.
Exactly, it's not about nostalgia and evil technology progress. It's about downloading weather forecast, calling for help or call for help for somebody else. I spoke with people who climbed there.
It's definitely about saving lives!
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Petrus
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« Reply #4 on: August 27, 2012, 02:00:42 AM »
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While new technology like this will save lives, it will also bring in more people who's life needs saving. I was at the EBC in spring -85 when there were just 2 expeditions and no communication except runners to the nearest radio in Namche. During our 7 month trip to Nepal, Burma, Thailand, China and Tibet we made ONE phone call, and that was to our bank to sort out some money transfer problems. No blogs, no tweets, just 270 rolls of KC64Pro and poste restante to Kathmandu... Call me an old fart, but hiking the old 300 km Annapurna Circuit without seeing a phone or a wheel or power lines or hearing a combustion engine for 25 days was a joy that can not repeated anymore.

I have visited EBC a couple of times since -85, -09 was the last time, and there certainly is no real sense of adventure there anymore. I was even able to climb to camp I on Lho La pass on the west ridge route and live with the Denver expedition for a few days as a visitor. Just try to do that now!
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mac_paolo
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« Reply #5 on: August 27, 2012, 04:32:22 AM »
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While new technology like this will save lives, it will also bring in more people who's life needs saving. I was at the EBC in spring -85 when there were just 2 expeditions and no communication except runners to the nearest radio in Namche. During our 7 month trip to Nepal, Burma, Thailand, China and Tibet we made ONE phone call, and that was to our bank to sort out some money transfer problems. No blogs, no tweets, just 270 rolls of KC64Pro and poste restante to Kathmandu... Call me an old fart, but hiking the old 300 km Annapurna Circuit without seeing a phone or a wheel or power lines or hearing a combustion engine for 25 days was a joy that can not repeated anymore.

I have visited EBC a couple of times since -85, -09 was the last time, and there certainly is no real sense of adventure there anymore. I was even able to climb to camp I on Lho La pass on the west ridge route and live with the Denver expedition for a few days as a visitor. Just try to do that now!
Petrus, I really don't think that somebody could decide to climb those heights just because of 3G connection. Come on.
The base camp is always full of people, of food and communication. It's a base camp.
Climbing without detailed weather forecast over 8000 meters (base camp is """just""" 5500 mt) could be a suicide even for experienced ones. I won't call you old fart, ever, but don't be "against" for the sake of it. Smiley
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Petrus
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« Reply #6 on: August 27, 2012, 07:40:57 AM »
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Petrus, I really don't think that somebody could decide to climb those heights just because of 3G connection. Come on.

Not the 3G especially, but all the modern comforts including Internet making communication easier is certainly a BIG factor why the number of Everest climbers has exploded during the last decades. There is more media exposure which brings more people and as it is possible to communicate from the mountain in real time there are loads of people who would not go there if they would have to sit in a communication void for two months. The whole idea is to publish your achievements immediately. Climbing or any kind of spirituality is not as important, really...
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mac_paolo
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« Reply #7 on: August 27, 2012, 08:13:11 AM »
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Not the 3G especially, but all the modern comforts including Internet making communication easier is certainly a BIG factor why the number of Everest climbers has exploded during the last decades. There is more media exposure which brings more people and as it is possible to communicate from the mountain in real time there are loads of people who would not go there if they would have to sit in a communication void for two months. The whole idea is to publish your achievements immediately. Climbing or any kind of spirituality is not as important, really...
I never met anybody who even just mentioned the 3G within the top 20 reasons to get there.
Beside that I respect your thought and agree for the better part of it. Just my 2 cents.
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Justan
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« Reply #8 on: August 28, 2012, 09:17:57 AM »
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Havenít they used satellite phones for several years in the area?

Given the significant wealth of many climbers, I predict that either several people who like the area are extremely well connected or this is done as an advertising ploy by one or more cell service providers.

My house is in a remote area where we have been trying for several years to get cell coverage. By the estimates of both the local DOT and also the NPS there are about 2 million visitors per year that transit the 1 primary roadway in the area. Lots of people go to the national park and the ski resort just up the road. Some experience horrific accidents; about half a dozen a year die in accidents in the area, with many more injured. And yet the major cell service providers here (AT&T and Verizon) stated that is not enough traffic to justify them installing cell service.

Members in this area have lobbied the County, State, the legislature, the local Fire Departments, as well as the major cell providers; have gotten local TV stations and news papers to do reports on the issue and much more.
And despite all of this, the cell providers absolutely drag their feet.

So why cell service on Everest but not a corner of Mt Rainier? Because itís easy to promote how cool your cell service is when you have a showy place to promote the service. Even though very few actually ever visit the area, service in the area sounds and is impressive. Meanwhile in much less remote places where millions of paying cell phone users visit, cell service providers do not GAS about anything but their profits. Iím not surprised at any of this, but just wanted to take the opportunity to vent a little.
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Patricia Sheley
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« Reply #9 on: August 28, 2012, 10:25:29 AM »
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And yet the major cell service providers here (AT&T and Verizon) stated that is not enough traffic to justify them installing cell service.
So why cell service on Everest but not a corner of Mt Rainier? Because itís easy to promote how cool your cell service is when you have a showy place to promote the service. Even though very few actually ever visit the area, service in the area sounds and is impressive. Meanwhile in much less remote places where millions of paying cell phone users visit, cell service providers do not GAS about anything but their profits. Iím not surprised at any of this, but just wanted to take the opportunity to vent a little.

Brings to mind the equisitely painful writing of an extraordinary visionary, David Foster Wallace , before he self extinguished at our great loss too young...he had seen what for him were the intolerable truths of our "culture"
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A common woman...

www.patriciasheley.com
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