'I Solemnly swear not to throw rocks and stab people on Mount Everest...'

Everest Base Camp is a strange place. I know, I lived there for a few days in 2010. But there’s an all-time weirdness high on Mount Everest this week. Check out the latest news from the planet’s highest peak:

This handwritten “armistice” document is the first page of a peace treaty of sorts between the embattled Sherpa guides and the Western climbers who made them mad. (Indeed, mad enough to make the Sherpas punch, kick, hurl stones, and even stab one of the world’s most followed alpinists last weekend at around 7,200 meters high on the mountain face!)

everest armistice document.jpg

Ad hoc peace treaty assembled and signed in a tent at 17,500 feet at base camp on Mount Everest

Ueli Steck and Simone Moro (two of the world’s most famous alpinists) as well as their photographer Jonathan Griffith were assaulted on the peak last weekend. The calamity can be read about here, “Fist Fight on Mount Everest? Bizarre story out of Nepal.”

This story is making international headlines. Ueli Steck today announced he is not going back to Everest. “Who can assure me that the angry mob [will] not cut my rope or burn my tent” if I go back,” he’s quoted in an interview on SwissInfo.ch.

As if bottled oxygen, performance-enhancing drugs, dead bodies left on the side of the route, and rich men paying tens of thousands of dollars to wait in line on fixed ropes weren’t making Mount Everest strange enough…. well, now we have death threats, rock hurling, and a weird document that looks to have been written on a rutted table at a tea house and rushed to Base Camp last night.

Jeez, you can blame the thin air and lack of oxygen with a lot. But this is too much, too weird.

—Stephen Regenold

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