SI Vault
August 16, 1965
BIG BEAT (CONT.)Sirs:I think Dan Jenkins' article, O.K., Everybody: Beat America! (July 26), is one of the most specious pieces of journalism I've read in a long time. But what is worse is the fact that inherent in the "philosophy" of the article is that maddening, superegotistic American idea that we are some kind of a superpeople who just naturally are entitled to win everything.
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August 16, 1965

19th Hole: The Readers Take Over

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As for the Fenniman incident at the top of the glacier—I heard Fenniman shout, "I'm going to kill you devils," which Lipscomb reported. I then heard Pete Lev shout, "What the hell are you trying to do? Kill us?" I did not hear Lev shout, "He's trying to kill me." I went down as fast as I could to Lev and Fenniman and got the rope around Fenniman from behind. When Fenniman became distracted as I tied the rope around him, Lev regained control of the ice ax. I then returned to the ledge above. Lev did not follow. Fenniman then "started up toward the rest of the party on the ledge." Also, the loop that I had tied around Fenniman did not loosen. When a mountaineer ties a knot it is guaranteed. Climbers just don't tie sloppy knots.

I would like to add that I think the story, these faults aside, was reported with a great deal of skill by Lipscomb.
Jackson, Wyo.

It is apparent that Mr. Lipscomb had an infinite number of details to assemble, and it is perhaps inevitable that his article should contain some error. There are a number of misstatements, the most important being that Pete Lev concluded that "trying to save them (the Appies) seemed hopeless and, considering the dangers to the rescuers, idiotic."

This statement is unequivocally denied by him. His colleagues say it doesn't sound like him and that his performance was second to none. It is true, however, that the entire rescue party had doubts about getting them all down alive.
Fullerton, Calif.

?The Teton rescue described by Author James Lipscomb is one of the great climbing rescues, perhaps the greatest, in American climbing history. As we believe readers would agree, all members of the rescue team are entitled to unqualified admiration—none more so than those who most clearly sensed the almost inhuman hazards of their mission.—ED.

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