May 21, 2009

On second thought, all of his columns were about the incompetency of the AMA

A Nepalese Sherpa guide has once again broken his own record, scaling Mount Everest for the 19th time, according to Appa, who like Madonna goes by one name, reached the 29,035-foot peak early today, guiding rich foreign clients and accompanied by several other fellow guides.

Appa, 48, first climbed Everest in 1989 and has done so almost every year since. His closest rival is fellow Sherpa guide Chhewang Nima, who has made 15 trips.

15 trips? Is that it? Some rival that is. That reminds me of the rivalry between the Beatles and the Beach Boys where after hearing the Sgt. Pepper album for the first time, Brian Wilson threw in the towel and wouldn’t leave his bedroom because he felt that his band couldn’t equal or outdo the Fab Four’s new release. Meanwhile, Sgt. Pepper summited to the US, UK, Australian, and even the hotly contested Norwegian charts. So much for that rivalry.

Or there was the editorial rivalry I had with Scott Rousseau when we both worked at Cycle News. He’d write a hard-hitting column and then I’d answer a week later with an equally as pungent or even better column. Then Rousseau would barricade himself in his office and come out with yet another one of his masterpieces. This went on for months until he wrote one that was so poignant, so dexterous, so moving that it blew my socks off. I don’t even recall what it was about – probably some tirade about the incompetency of the AMA – but in my mind it was genius and it would never be surpassed. So, I gave up and the rivalry ended and now I write for a software company and occasionally update this hack blog.

Let my story be a lesson for Chhewang Nima. He needs to strap on that oxygen mask and crampons so he can summit at least another 4 times and make this a real race. Somebody needs to be a worthy rival for that prima donna Appa and 15 times up the mountain just isn’t going to cut it. If you give up Chhewang Nima, you could very well end up giving guided tours of the Erie County Botanical Gardens in Buffalo, NY instead of guiding the rich up the South Col.

Or mabye Appa could be doping...

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