A UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Dolomites make up a vast mountain range in Northeastern Italy. They are a treasure for climbers and the scientific community.
When we think of the Dolomites, we think of the late Tom Ballard, who felt the most at home in this Italian paradise. Stretching across 350,650 acres (141,903 ha.) of rocky summits, this mountain range has been appealing to mountaineers and scientists for decades.
We’ve compiled a list of must-read books about climbing disasters everyone should check out. From the highly anticipated The Summit book of 2014, to classics like Denali’s Howl, these books are a must-have.
Climate change is affecting the global landscape of mountains. Melting glaciers and the changing geography poses potential risks to climbers and the future of mountaineering. Global landscapes are changing fast.
How much do you know about Mount Everest? We start learning about Mount Everest from the moment we can understand speech. Through random sayings, news segments in the background about a disaster… it seems to always come up. But how much do you really know about Mount Everest?
Often misinterpreted as an easy climbing mountain, Kilimanjaro offers multiple routes with difficulty fluctuating between being for the casual mountaineer and more experienced ones. With its main peak reaching 5,895 meters (19,341 feet), the climb is nothing to be taken lightly.
K2, the King of Mountains, is the most treacherous in the world of mountaineering. It has never been climbed in the winter, although many expeditions have tried including the 2018 Krzysztof Wielicki expedition that also rescued Elisabeth Revol on Nanga Parbat in the middle of their K2 expedition. Other expeditions attempted it in 1988, 2003, 2012 and 2015, and 2019.
If you’re looking to learn more about the 1996 Everest Disaster, you can watch these great documentaries. For an entire account of the 1996 Everest Disaster, references and further reading, read our article…
The 2008 K2 Disaster was a highly publicized climbing disaster that resulted in the deaths of 11 climbers on 01 August of that year. The tragedy also heightened scrutiny of safety precautions and climber responsibility during expeditions.
The 2008 K2 Disaster was brought on by a series of events, some preventable, some not. but what it had in common with many mountaineering disasters, including the 1996 Everest Disaster, was the continuation of a summit push past the safe turnaround time.
In the case of the missing Hillary Step, we still are no closer to knowing whether or not the landmark is intact. So far, we have seen that various western mountaineers, including Kenton Cool and Tim Mosedale, claim that the rocky outcrop near the summit of Mount Everest is either completely gone or altered in some way.
But officially, the Hillary Step didn’t disappear, collapse or crumble.
Let’s take a closer look at why there is so much confusion.
Everest2017 marks the 21st anniversary of the 1996 Everest Disaster that killed 8 climbers including Adventure Consultants leader Rob Hall and Mountain Madness leader Scott Fisher on May 10, 1996. This day remains with everyone in the mountaineering community as a tragic unfolding of events that began on the 10th with an epic storm and would not end until the 12th. In its path, the storm left 8 climbers dead and one clinging to life, left for dead and only being saved by a tenacious wife who would not give up on him.
The Seven Summits are the 7 highest mountain peaks within each of the 7 continents – Africa, Antarctica, Asia, Australia, Europe, North America and South Americ. The variations have to do with disagreements about the placement of mountains on continents and continental shelves.
Everest may be on every mountaineer’s bucket list, but true mountaineers know the prize lies on the summit of K2, or Karakoram 2, the King of Mountains; At just 800 ft. shorter than Everest, K2 is the world’s second highest mountain; and while Everest is the tallest, it does not compare in any measure to the brutality that is an expedition on K2.
By measure of ratio, the death count on K2 is much higher than that of Everest, with well-documented mountaineering disasters in 1986, 1995 and the most recent in 2008; the 2008 disaster has been known as the most controversial of all.
For every 100 mountaineers that attempt a summit on K2, 29 will die. Only 306 climbers have succeeded, 80+ have perished. Compared to Everest’s 5600+ summits and around 300 deaths, K2’s reputation is accurately captured by something as simple as numbers.
K2 was dubbed Karakoram 2 in 1856 by T.G. Montgomerie, the name stuck.
The Seven Summits are the 7 highest mountain peaks on each of the 7 continents – Africa, Antarctica, Asia, Australia, Europe, North America and South America. The Seven Summits were first completed in 1986 by Patrick Morrow. However, the definition of the Seven Summits differs on how you view the borders of the world map, particularly with the difference being held within Europe and Australia since some don’t view the location of mount Elbrus in Russia as part of Europe or view Indonesia as part of Australia. This difference results in 4 possibilities for the Seven Summits:
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.
In 2015 no one summited Mount Everest. The quake and the strike contributed to the cancellation of the 2015 spring Everest climbing season. The unstable nature of the mountain after the quake also contributed.
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.