NPR logo

Letters: Fight On Everest, Jason Collins' Coming Out

  • Download
  • <iframe src="" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript
Letters: Fight On Everest, Jason Collins' Coming Out

From Our Listeners

Letters: Fight On Everest, Jason Collins' Coming Out

Letters: Fight On Everest, Jason Collins' Coming Out

  • Download
  • <iframe src="" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

Audie Cornish and Melissa Block read emails from listeners about a fight on Mount Everest, the coming-out of NBA center Jason Collins and an app that uses ambient noises to help you sleep.


It's time now for your letters. And many of you wrote about our interview describing a fight that broke out last weekend on Mount Everest, between an elite climbing team and a large group of Nepalese sherpa guides. Climbers have worked hand-in-hand with sherpas for decades and have come to depend on them while ascending the world's highest peak. The altercation was a rare sign of tension in a usually harmonious relationship.


Yesterday, I talked to Jonathan Griffith, a photographer who was with the team involved in the confrontation.

JONATHAN GRIFFITH: We were confronted, you know, within about five minutes of getting back to our tent by a really angry mob of 100 or 150 sherpas. So they somehow to rallied together a huge amount of other sherpas who were basically, you know, out for blood.

CORNISH: Karen Kampwirth, of Galesburg, Illinois, thinks we fell short in our coverage. She writes: I have no idea who was to blame for the violent conflict between sherpas and mountain climbers on Mount Everest. After listening to a seven and a half minute interview with one of the British mountain climbers, I still have no idea what to think. If this had been a conflict between a group of Brits, journalistic standards would have required an interview with representatives of both sides.

BLOCK: On Monday, NBA center Jason Collins became the first active male professional athlete in a major American sport to publicly say he is gay. Well, we thought this was a big deal. But some listeners were less impressed.

Making news out of someone coming out is such old news, writes Liz Carter of Baltimore. You might as well be reporting on someone who wants you to know that they are brushing their teeth regularly. We are baby boomers, she writes, and knowing someone who is gay and out is as natural as the daffodils that come up every year.

CORNISH: Finally, developers have come up with an app to help restless sleepers nod off. So if your white noise of choice is a hair dryer...

BLOCK: Or frogs...

CORNISH: Or crickets or wind chimes.

BLOCK: Or even a foghorn, the makers of the Sleep Machine say they have you covered.

CORNISH: Well, Tom Ditto(ph) of Ancramdale, New York, heard our Sleep Machine app review on Monday and he confesses he doesn't need it. He writes, since 1980 or so, ALL THINGS CONSIDERED has been my nap app. I nod off regularly in the midst of the program. Thankfully, with contemporary web-based transmissions, I can wind back to the point where my memory points and continue to listen to the entire program after the nap.

BLOCK: Well, Tom, if you happen to be awake now, thanks, we think.

CORNISH: And if you're asleep...


CORNISH: You, too, can write us. Just visit and click on Contact Us.

Copyright © 2013 NPR. All rights reserved. Visit our website terms of use and permissions pages at for further information.

NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by Verb8tm, Inc., an NPR contractor, and produced using a proprietary transcription process developed with NPR. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of NPR’s programming is the audio record.



Please keep your community civil. All comments must follow the Community rules and terms of use, and will be moderated prior to posting. NPR reserves the right to use the comments we receive, in whole or in part, and to use the commenter's name and location, in any medium. See also the Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Community FAQ.