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Climbing Rum Doodle

Have you read W. E. Bowman' The Ascent of Rum Doodle. First published in 1956, a new edition was released in 2001.

In this book, the narrator, "Binder" describes his efforts to lead an expedition to climb "Rum Doodle," the highest mountain in the world. It has an elevation of 40,000.5 feet, and is located in the remote country of Yogistan.

Consider this passage from the book...


"The equipment for this camp had to be carried from the railhead at Chaikhosi, a distance of 500 miles. Five porters would be needed for this. Two porters would be needed to carry the food for these five, and another would carry the food for these two. His food would be carried by a boy. The boy would carry his own food. The first supporting party would be established at 38,000 feet, also with a fortnight's supplies which necessitated another eight porters and a boy. In all, to transport tents and equipment, food, radio, scientific and photographic gear, personal effects, and so on, 3,000 porters and 375 boys would be required."

Your Task: Does this math make sense? How many miles and/or feet must be traveled in the transporting of the necessary goods?

Note 1: In case you are getting suspicious, The Ascent of Rum Doodle is a parody of the non-fictional chronicles of mountaineering expeditions that became extremely popular during the 1950s. Neither the mountain Rum Doodle or the county Yogistan exist. Nonetheless, the paragraph also illustrates how easy it is to use mathematics (i.e. statistics) to make everything seem real.

Note 2: Kathmandu now has a bar and restaurant called Rum Doodle, that has become a popular staging point for expeditions to Mt. Everest. Consider this ad for the resturant Rum Doodle, but then it may be a parody as well?