case study - mount everest 1996.docx

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Department
Management
Course
MGM102H5
Professor
Dave Swanston
Semester
Winter

Description
Mount Everest – 1996 • 98 men and women climbed to the summit while 15 lost their lives • Failure of many to be able to climb the summit allowed for a profit making opportunity of highly skilled mountaineers to fulfill less experienced climbers dreams 1996 Expedition • 30 expediters led by Hall and Fischer. Hall charged $65,000/client  highest fee of any guide in world Adventure Consultants: • Hall hired Mike Groom andAndy Harris (never climbed Everest but had done challenging peaks) to serve as guides for his 1996 Everest expedition o Also employed Sherpas – mountain people who live in khumbu region – who are accustomed to living and working in such altitudes  hired to transport gear and supplies to mountain, to accompany during expedition • Recruited 8 clients  none of whom who had ever successfully climbed Everest or climbed any peak higher than 8000 metres (roster included 3 doctors: Weathers, Hutchison and Taske) Mountain Madness • Fisher founded company in 1984 to offer climbing and guided expeditions  over the years developed reputation for daring exploits and was recognized • Started 1996 expedition after noticing Hall’s success and thought he could achieve the same • Hired 2 guides to assist clients Anatoli Boukreev (high altitude mountain climber and experienced guide who HAD climbed Everest without use of supplemental oxygen) & Neil Beidleman (lacked stature and experience) • Recruited Sandy Pittman as client – high profile new York socialite who has made 2 failed events to clib the summit. ALSO recruited mountaineering legend Pete Schoening (several clients unexperienced and not endured high altitudes) • Trip financed by Fisher’s friend Dale Kruse – who also joined the trip.  created unease within the group as had history of getting sick @ high altitudes Journey to Base Camp Hall: most climbers met each other for first time in Nepal and began to hike for 3-4 hours per day, slept along villages w/ polluted air and unsanitary living conditions  caused many to arrive at base camp with respiratory and digestive problems Fischer: experienced logistical problems during team’s trip to base camp o Customs problem @ Russian border for delivery of team’s oxygen supply o Poor weather in Nepal – slowed progress of supplies from Kathmandu to base camp  Caused Fisher to spend more time resolving these issues than planning team’s next course of action • Base camp consisted of : shelter, fresh food and drinks regularly replenished by villagers, shower and communication facility  home for climbers for next 6 weeks • Boukreev felt people were not prepared enough for climbing • There was unease in the group, people were not comfortable with each other and strangers  climbers worried on whether they could rely on their team members during difficult times, what others thought about them, possibility of not being accepted by one another, found it uneasy to develop relationships with one another (Boukreev – language barrier) Acclimatization • Acclimatization series of increasingly difficult climbs interspersed w/ periods of rest • Climbers wanted to avoid high altitude pulmonary edema (HAPE) – condition in which fluid builds up in lungs & high altitude cerebral edema (HACE) swelling of brain  both cause death unless rapidly descend to lower altitude  acclimatization helps prevent this although does not prepare for scarcity of oxygen @ high altitudes • Enough oxygen tanks not carried • As continued climbing Krakauer found it increasingly challenging and doubted his ability to reach summit – when expressed concern to hall – leader replied with “ it worked 39 times so far pal , and a few of the blokes who submitted with me were nearly as pathetic as you”  Hall bragged about being able to get almost any person to the summit b/c his record supported this o While most climbers performed reasonably well during exercises, few e
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