GHM Opposes Olympic Torch Relay to Everest

Posted on: April 18, 2008

Prayer flags in Leh, India. [Photo] Roberta Locatelli / Courtesy of

Editor's Note: In a press release earlier this week, the Groupe de Haute Montagne (GHM) condemned China's carrying the Olympic torch to the top of Everest, affirming that the recent worldwide reflection on human rights has permeated the climbing community, perhaps to the point at which the direct nuisances created by the relay—limitations on climbing permits and communications—seem negligible. (Read the March 19 and April 9, 2008 NewsWires for more information about the restrictions imposed by China and Nepal.) What follows is a translation of the GHM press release.

NOT Holders of the Olympic Flame to Everest

As representatives of GHM, we declare our commitment to an alpinism that carries meaning, lofty ambitions and humanist values, foremost the respect of human rights and indigenous peoples.

We are opposed resolutely to any ascent, anywhere in the world, in which the spirit, the political or commercial reasons, or the conditions of conduct are contrary to these ethical principles.



- Because of the grave political troubles that have affected Tibet since China's annexation of that land in 1959;

- Because of the popular uprisings that have recently taken place there;

- And because of the bloody suppression currently exercised by the Chinese military authorities on the demonstrators

We believe that the project of the People's Republic of China to raise the Olympic torch at the top of Everest is particularly inappropriate, especially offensive to the Tibetan people and inherently degrading to the Himalayan climbing in general and in particular Everest.

Accordingly, we call upon all our fellow amateur alpinists and guides, lovers of all countries not to participate in any way to support the realization of this project.

On behalf of a real ethics of alpinism, which cannot accommodate such compromises, we also call on the national and international mountain organizations, professional unions and the national UIAGM, as well as all national alpine clubs, to declare themselves officially opposed and not to collaborate in any way.

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see two book, Spies in the Himalayas,Secret Missions and Perilous Climbs M. S. Kohli and Kenneth Conboy The CIA's Secret War in Tibet,Kenneth Conboy and James Morrison 1965-1968,American and Indian veterans of Everests involved in secret CIA-backed attempts to place a nuclear (plutonium)-powered listening device on summit of Nanda Devi to monitor Chinese missile tests. Device lost in avalanche. Further expeditions to locate it prove unsuccessful, including 1966 solitary ascent of summit. Composition of teams remain secret and some may have succumbed to radiation poisoning. Leads to short-term closure of Nanda Devi. What's ture summit?Do your thinking?every one.

2008-04-21 14:10:03

'"meaning, lofty ambitions and humanist values" is what the Olympics are about, why shouldn't China symbolise this by climbing their country's highest mountain with a symbolic torch?'

Sure, China could climb its own highest mountain but it wouldn't be Everest, because Tibet is not a legitimate Chinese province and never will be. The GHM for all its perceived "flaws" has accurately, I think, given the opinion of people in general who a consience. China should never have been allowed to host the Olympics anyway. The only reason it happened was because rich countries like us want to panda to a market or political opportunity and this is not much more than business and brown nosing!

I won't be watching this farce in any way, its totally copntrary to the spirit of the Olympics and human morals!

2008-04-19 16:13:14
Ken Glover

Well good for the GHM. They have crossed their arms and lowered their highbrows to frown on what they see on television. My goodness, what will they scowl upon next? Most likely something SOMEONE ELSE does. Where is their indignation at their own land's degradation of the Mt Blanc massif?

"meaning, lofty ambitions and humanist values" is what the Olympics are about, why shouldn't China symbolise this by climbing their country's highest mountain with a symbolic torch? What's degrading about this? I feel degraded thinking about the lasting impression the western media portrayal of China right now is making on the coming generations of Chinese.

Yes, Tibet is the over-materialised West's idyllic fantasy world... leave it alone.

2008-04-18 22:31:58
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