starring Jason Clarke, Josh Brolin, John Hawkes, Robin Wright, Emily Watson, Sam Worthington, Keira Knightly and Jake Gyllenhaal
written by William Nicholson and Sinmon Beaufoy
directed by Baltasar Kormákur
In May 2016 Mt. Everest climbing expeditions resumed in Nepal after a temporary stay following the April 25, 2015 earthquake in that country. Very soon afterward I read I my print newspapers of three deaths among climbers there. Mt. Everest is a very dangerous place, but thrill seekers keep coming, pay a lot of money to do it, in full knowledge of the risks of high altitude climbing. Other recent crises there include the 2012 ice fall that killed several mountaineers and also forced a temporary hold on climbing expeditions, and the 1996 blizzard that killed eight. There are lethal accidents and other incidents every climbing season, but 1996 and 2012 stand out as among the worst
Based on the book Left for Dead: My Journey Home from Everest by Texas doctor, Beck Weathers (Josh Brolin), who lost his hands to frostbite in 1996, Everest is about the March 1996 blizzard incident that left eight dead. I remember reading about it at the time. You know, there is a safety protocol to follow, when to abandon an ascent, when to turn back, and when to abandon climbers bodies. The protocol ought to be ironclad. But in 1996 the protocols were ignored because of the proximity of the peak, the pressure of transporting a large number of high-paying customers to the top, and the irresistible, raw, adventurous will to conquer. It’s in disaster situations that humans demonstrate their heroics and virtue, but that is no panacea when the disaster is catalyzed by our vices to begin with - things like greed, pride, stubbornness.
Today there are more than 200 dead bodies on Mt. Everest which are landmarks on the way to the top.