Jump to content

The Dark Side Of Climbing Mount Everest


Recommended Posts

I've read a few book about Everest. It's certainly a fascinatingly morbid place. once of the most amazing stories I've heard is about the survival and rescue of Aussie climber Lincoln Hall.

Psh Lincoln Hall

Snake once rescued a troop of Billy goats stranded two hundred feet above the summit using only the removed fuzz from a pipe cleaner and the ends of a loaf of bread.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Wait.. Duiesel left in shame, yachtman was banned and the guy who wants to anger bang Obamas underage daughters is still here? And wfw just happens to drop into a thread to say he admires this new posters sig. Seems legit.

there is no doubt these clowns are all the same people.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I just watched "into thin air". I read the book about 10 years ago. Watching made me wonder what Beck Weathers it's up to these days. I came across this poignant piece written two years after his ordeal:

This week I had an amazing experience. I met Dr. Beck Weathers.

Weathers is a survivor of an ill-fated 1996 attempt to reach the summit of Mt. Everest, in which nine climbers perished. Driven in both his professional medical career and his private life, Weathers said he scaled its the world's heights in search of an inner peace that eluded him. After surviving Everest against all odds, he saw for the first time that peace had been a companion he refused to recognize.

Weathers painted word pictures of Everest, saying that the peak of mountain is as high as most airliners fly and that the winds blow at 150 to 200 miles per hour, except for twice a year "when you can run up and tag the top, then leave." There are blocks of ice the size of multistory buildings that teeter and fall, wiping out anything below them, and the air is so thin that if a person was instantaneously transported there, he or she would immediately die. Climbers ease into Everest, he explained, first climbing up and down in short stints, higher and higher, to get used to the lack of oxygen. Climbers eventually reach heights where the lack of air is so great that they cannot eat, cannot drink, and cannot sleep. The only thing that keeps them alive is the internal furnace of their bodies.

Weathers described the people he was with on the climb--some with affection, some with distaste but without condemnation. The group, he said, had climbed to Camp 4, the last resting place before the summit push, where they planned to rest three hours, then climb all night and morning to make the top of Everest by 2 pm. He explained that if a climber doesn't turn around by that time, it is unlikely that he or she will make it back alive to Camp 4.

According to Weathers, some of the climbers were not in good shape and should never have attempted to reach the summit. He himself realized that he could not attain the goal when partial blindness set in, caused by the high-altitude lack of air pressure. He told group leader Rob Hall that he couldn't go on. Hall made Weathers promise that he would wait for the group to return from the summit before trying to make it to Camp 4. But Hall never returned, dying in the unfolding tragedy on the mountain.

Eventually, much later in the day, realizing that something had gone terribly wrong, Weathers began his descent with other straggling climbers. Tied by a rope to one of the men, Weathers--still blind-- struggled on, but within a short distance of Camp 4, a sudden storm struck. The returning climbers became lost in the whiteout.

When the storm broke, a decision was made for the strongest members of the party to find the camp and get help. The weakest, including Weathers, were left behind to lie down next to each other in the snow. They yelled at each other; they shook and kicked each other--did anything they could to keep each other awake and alive.

During the night, some of those left behind were rescued, but Weathers and another female climber, who appeared the closest to death, were left behind. The next day, they were stumbled across climber Stewart Hutchison and native tribal Sherpas. Both were barely alive--in hypothermic comas--and out of necessity, left behind again to die. Sometime afterward, Weathers said, a miracle happened. He opened his eyes, "and as plainly as I see you here before me today, I saw my family. " He was filled with a "sense of melancholy that I had not said good-bye and I love you. " His voice broke as he added, "It was just not acceptable."

Weathers said he got up and started to walk. He eventually stumbled into the camp. His face was eaten away by frostbite and both of his hands were frozen. He was too weak to make the trek down the mountain, and again, he believed he was a dead man.

However, Weathers' wife, Peach, had other ideas. First told her husband was dead, a second call informed her that he "wasn't quite as dead as they'd thought." Peach Weathers organized a extraordinary rescue. She enlisted the commitment of a Nepalese army pilot to fly a helicopter at a higher altitude than any had flown before. It was a close to a suicide mission, Weathers said, as any pilot could choose.

It was also a "one-off." The helicopter could try to land once and carry down a single passenger. Just before the chopper reached Weathers, Sherpas literally dragged down another climber whose feet had frozen. Weathers gave up his place on the chopper to the other climber. He said he sat in the silence after it had gone, realizing he had lost his last chance at life. Then he heard the sound of the helicopter returning. To him, the pilot became the greatest of all heroes. "We were separated by language, culture, religion, and the entire breadth of the world, but bound together by humanity."

Weathers made it home alive. Both his hands and nose were amputated, replaced with a prosthetic or reconstructed, but Weathers rediscovered the joy of living with a family he had almost lost. Before the Everest tragedy, Peach Weathers had been on the verge of divorcing her husband. "The relentless pursuit of success and goals and ambition had dragged out of life what was most precious," he explained. "I traded my hands and my face for my family and I accept that bargain. In the end, all that matters is the people you hold in your heart and those who hold you in theirs."

I have to admit, if Beck Weathers had been proselytizing for his own religion, I would have converted right then. I have never been in a room so full of Grace. A man wept on his shoulder while Weathers patted his back. I found myself reaching out to take the split stump of his amputated hand. His skin was soft, warm, alive--with no trace of the cold that had consumed it.

"I'm a slow learner," Beck Weathers said to me, unexpectedly, with tears in his eyes.

"That's all right." I heard myself reply, hoping I was mumbling the right thing. "We're all slow learners. We'll will never forget what you said. It doesn't matter how long it took for you to say it." I knew that for the rest of my life, when I am faced with difficult choices, I will think about holding his mangled hand. I hope the memory will pull me in my best direction.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 6 months later...
  • 9 months later...

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


  • Create New...