Kristoffer Szilas

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Mountain climbing is really simple. There are only three rules you need to follow:

1) You do never leave trash behind in the mountains!
Obviously you don't leave anything in the mountain that you brought out there, but just as important if you ever find something left behind from previous climbers or trekkers, it is your responsibility to bring it out of the wilderness with you. Always leave the mountain cleaner than you found it and respect its natural state. This rule is the most important one, because the two rules below ultimately also relates to keeping the mountains as clean as possible.

2) You do never use fixed ropes!
Climbing up a fixed rope is no different than climbing up a bolted ladder and it makes anybody able to climb past naturally impossible terrain. It basically brings the mountain down to your level, and even a rookie could climb the west face of K2 using fixed ropes. Therefore it is completely disrespectful of the mountains to use fixed ropes. Besides, in every single case where fixed ropes have been used in the Himalayas, they have left a mess behind, because nobody will ever be able to remove them once they are frozen into the ice and rule number 1 applies to this problem. You should either rise to the challenge and climb in regular alpine style like everybody else, or you should simply find an easier route that you can manage by fair means.

3) You do never use supplemental oxygen!
This is plain and simple cheating. In the same way as with fixed ropes, artificial oxygen brings the mountain down to your level. If you can't climb naturally past a certain altitude you should simply turn around and wait until you are better acclimatised or you should find another mountain that you can climb by fair means. Oxygen bottles are heavy and people who use them are in over their heads anyway. Therefore they discard the bottles once they are used, so the bottles become trash on the mountain and thus, rule number 1 also applies to this problem. You simply have not climbed a mountain if you summit with supplementary oxygen, because you have brought the altitude down to your level and not respected the challenge the mountain really represents.

These three very simple rules are not up for debate.

Anybody who brakes them have nothing to do in the mountains and should find a different hobby.
However, when you think about it, there is absolutely no reason why you should ever do any of the above, if you truly respect and care about the mountains.

The mountains are a great place to see remote wilderness and learn to know yourself. By training hard and acquiring the necessary skills over the course of many years, you will gain experiences that money simply cannot buy.

Have fun, take care of the mountains and be safe out there!

 "Good style on big mountains implies not using fixed ropes, performance-enhancing drugs, or bottled oxygen." -The Tyrol Declaration, Article 8: Style



 (Jim Broomhead bypasses old fixed ropes during a 36-hour alpine style push on Ama Dablam, Nepal)


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