Ian Woodall. Walt or what?

Discussion in 'The NAAFI Bar' started by Canader, Apr 14, 2011.

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  1. I've got an invite to see him speak, but I may wind up doing most of the (shouty type) speaking if I do. Anyone got any noduf gen on his British Military background?

    Ian Woodall - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    Controversy regarding the 1996 expeditionAmerican journalist Jon Krakauer, who was a member in New Zealander Rob Hall's commercial Everest expedition in 1996, was extremely critical of Woodall's personality and behavior in his best-selling book Into Thin Air. His criticisms of Woodall include:

    Woodall's dictatorial and manipulative character had caused three experienced South African climbers Edmund February, Andy de Klerk, and Andy Hackland, and the expedition doctor, Charlotte Noble, to resign from the expedition.[6]

    Woodall lied about his climbing credentials prior to the expedition and had no prior experience on 8,000 meter peaks.[7]

    Woodall falsified his military service by claiming that he had commanded the elite "Long Range Mountain Reconnaissance Unit" (which did not exist at all) of the British army, and served as an instructor at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst, none of which was true.[7]Woodall insisted that expedition member Andy de Klerk, who held dual citizenship, enter Nepal on his South African passport or he would not be allowed on the expedition. It turned out that Woodall himself did not even hold a South African passport and according to de Klerk, "He's not even a South African citizen—the guy's a Brit, and he entered Nepal on his British passport."[8]

    Facing international scandal, Woodall banished Ken Vernon and Richard Shorey, two reporters from the expedition's sponsor, The Sunday Times, whose presence and accompaniment were required as part of the sponsorship contract. [8] Woodall later had a "blood-chilling exchange" with Ken Owen, an editor from The Sunday Times, and had largely precipitated the Sunday Times' withdrawal of support.[9]

    Woodall refused to coordinate the mountain traffic and cooperate with other expeditions to avoid gridlock on the summit ridge, and declared that "The South Africans would go to the top whenever they damn well please. Probably on May 10 (Rob Hall and Scott Fischer's shared summit date) and anyone who didn't like it could bugger off." To which Hall responded "I don't want to be anywhere near the upper mountain when those punters are up there."[10]

    After the May 10 disaster, Woodall refused to lend the distressed Hall team the South African expedition's powerful radio to coordinate the rescue efforts, despite being aware that people were dying on the summit.[11]