It seems periodically there are to me movies out at the theaters that don’t require one to be 16 to enjoy them – and the latest spate for me has been The Martian, Everest, and a documentary produced by Colin Hanks on Tower Records.

Enjoyed the Martian, although people who have read the book have complained that the movie ending isn’t as satisfying as the book. Haven’t seen the Tower Records documentary yet.

Anyway, some years ago I read Into Thin Air, about the 1996 climbing disaster that claimed numerous lives, including expert guide Rob Hall.

I can say that the movie followed climber and author Jon Krakauer’s account as detailed in his book.

Like most accidents there wasn’t just one thing that caused the deaths but a chain of events, such as having the discipline to turn back if you haven’t reached the “death zone” of the mountain by a certain time in the day.  Even if you haven’t read the book, the movie is so accurate that you could consider it to be a documentary.

And the cinematography is superb – much of it filled in Nepal and Everest. What gets me about climbing Everest are crossing on the rickety ladders over crevices that are 100s of feet deep.

Like this scene from the movie. (starts at 1:31)

It’s worth seeing.



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2 responses to “Everest

  1. Yes, the Into Thin Air disaster was well covered, by numerous authors.

    For another tale, Lincoln Hall’s book White Limbo (1985), is an excellent adventure book about the first Australian team climb of Everest. Makes your toes tingle to read it.

    No relation that I know about to Robb Hall, but Lincoln Hall did survive a night after being left for dead on Everest at 28,800 feet in 2006. He lived on, injured, to die in 2012.

    • Bill Brandt

      Thanks! In the movie they stated that Robb Hall was one of the pioneers who started taking well-heeled tourists up Everest. One of the things that stayed with me was learning about the Death Zone – a section of the mountain towards the peak in which psychologically your body is dying; you just have to get up and down before that happens.

      Hall died because he broke one of his own commandants about surviving that – if you aren’t at a certain point by a certain time, you need the discipline to turn back.

      A client who had to do that the year before pleaded with him to let him go past the time, and it cost both their lives.

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