On May 10, 1996, four groups of climbers set out to summit Mount Everest – one group led by Rob Hall of Adventure Consultants, another led by Scott Fischer of Mountain Madness, an expedition organized by the Indo-Tibetan Border Police and a Taiwanese expedition. The day would turn out to be the single most disastrous event in the mountain’s history, killing 8 and injuring others after an unexpected blizzard ravaged the climbers, trapping them high on the mountain. This analysis recounts the official accounts of occurrences between May 10, 1996 – May 12, 1996 and the telling of the events from two sides of the same tragedy written into two books: “Into Thin Air” by Jon Krakauer and “The Climb” by Anatoli Boukreev – accounts that have remained controversial and conflicting in their beliefs of what and who was to blame for the tragedy.
Sherpas, quite simply put, are the “people of the mountains,” a native Nepalese race of remote village people who have, over time, moved their settlements to elevated locations near the base of the Himalayan Mountains. They serve as guides on Himalayan expeditions and as porters, transporting the equipment of climbers and expedition groups up to the mountains from nearer villages like Lobuche.
Everest, the highest peak in the world and a hugely commercialized climbing destination; standing at 29, 029 ft. tall, the mountain has seen over 8,000 climbers reach it’s summit since the first successful attempt by Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay Sherpa in 1953, however, in 2015 no one summited Mount Everest, and the entire climbing season was canceled. Here’s why:
The 1996 Everest Disaster unfolded on May 10; after the events, Anatoli Bookreev wrote The Climb: Tragic Ambitions on Mount Everest. This analysis covers the events as written in Bookreev’s book. Another analysis of Into Thin Air: A Personal Account of the Mt. Everest Disaster” by Jon Krakauer, which is a rival to Bookreev’s version of events was of the same tragedy also written.