The thrilling result of our Mount Everest artifact auction.

Better ideas.
June 9 2003 5:36 PM

Fur Sale

Sold! The thrilling result of our Mount Everest artifact auction.

The Patch's work
The Patch's work

My eBay charity auction of two items carried to the top of Mount Everest by Jon "Into Thin Air" Krakauer is now complete, and the results were excellent.

Krakauer's Charlet Moser crampon—a toothy boot attachment that facilitates walking on snow and ice—pulled down a bid of $660. The Patch—a mangy and possibly cursed piece of rabbit fur signed by Krakauer after he completed his famous 1996 Everest ascent—earned $460. Neither bid met the reserve price of $1,000, but on further reflection I realized that was unrealistic, so I waived it and made the sales.

In the early going, the Patch was running ahead of the crampon, but that changed after New York Times media writer David Carr wrote about the auction, quoting my loudmouth remark that the crampon was probably a better investment. How did the Patch react to being sandbagged? Put it this way: Four days later I suffered a 65-mile-an-hour highway blowout near Yuma, Ariz. Granted, the Patch's best-known weapon is a high-altitude whiteout. But as the old-timers like to say: "The Patch works in whatever medium it wants." I definitely think it was messing with me.

Crampon spikes the Patch
Crampon spikes the Patch

The crampon's proud owner is a Colorado bidder named Andrew Luter, an outdoorsy type who is a big fan of Into Thin Air. The Patch is going to a group of five childhood friends and occasional camping buddies—now scattered at various locales in the East—who call their club "B'ob." They clearly have the right attitude. "From your story it was obvious that the Patch is endowed with mystical powers beyond the comprehension of normal man, and must be treated with great reverence," wrote a Pittsburgh-based B'ob named Adam. (He prefers to keep his last name private—the better to avoid Patch groupies, I guess.)

Among the spiritualizing gestures under discussion: an "oaken-glass preservation chamber," an epic poem, and a Web site (not up yet, but write to rabbitpatch4179@hotmail.com for information) devoted to the Patch's "terrible glory." Sold!

Alex Heard is the editorial director ofOutsidemagazine.

TODAY IN SLATE

Doublex

Crying Rape

False rape accusations exist, and they are a serious problem.

Scotland Is Just the Beginning. Expect More Political Earthquakes in Europe.

I Bought the Huge iPhone. I’m Already Thinking of Returning It.

The Music Industry Is Ignoring Some of the Best Black Women Singing R&B

How Will You Carry Around Your Huge New iPhone? Apple Pants!

Medical Examiner

The Most Terrifying Thing About Ebola 

The disease threatens humanity by preying on humanity.

Television

The Other Huxtable Effect

Thirty years ago, The Cosby Show gave us one of TV’s great feminists.

Lifetime Didn’t Find the Steubenville Rape Case Dramatic Enough. So They Added a Little Self-Immolation.

No, New York Times, Shonda Rhimes Is Not an “Angry Black Woman” 

Brow Beat
Sept. 19 2014 1:39 PM Shonda Rhimes Is Not an “Angry Black Woman,” New York Times. Neither Are Her Characters.
Behold
Sept. 19 2014 1:11 PM An Up-Close Look at the U.S.–Mexico Border
  News & Politics
Politics
Sept. 19 2014 6:22 PM Blacks Don’t Have a Corporal Punishment Problem Americans do. But when blacks exhibit the same behaviors as others, it becomes part of a greater black pathology. 
  Business
Moneybox
Sept. 19 2014 6:35 PM Pabst Blue Ribbon is Being Sold to the Russians, Was So Over Anyway
  Life
Inside Higher Ed
Sept. 19 2014 1:34 PM Empty Seats, Fewer Donors? College football isn’t attracting the audience it used to.
  Double X
The XX Factor
Sept. 19 2014 4:58 PM Steubenville Gets the Lifetime Treatment (And a Cheerleader Erupts Into Flames)
  Slate Plus
Slate Picks
Sept. 19 2014 12:00 PM What Happened at Slate This Week? The Slatest editor tells us to read well-informed skepticism, media criticism, and more.
  Arts
Brow Beat
Sept. 19 2014 4:48 PM You Should Be Listening to Sbtrkt
  Technology
Future Tense
Sept. 19 2014 6:31 PM The One Big Problem With the Enormous New iPhone
  Health & Science
Medical Examiner
Sept. 19 2014 5:09 PM Did America Get Fat by Drinking Diet Soda?   A high-profile study points the finger at artificial sweeteners.
  Sports
Sports Nut
Sept. 18 2014 11:42 AM Grandmaster Clash One of the most amazing feats in chess history just happened, and no one noticed.