Mountain Without Mercy
By Tim Cahill
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Less than half a century ago, Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay became the first humans to stand atop Mount Everest and gaze outward from the highest point on our planet. Since their historic ascent, scores of other climbing expeditions have Continue
Less than half a century ago, Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay became the first humans to stand atop Mount Everest and gaze outward from the highest point on our planet. Since their historic ascent, scores of other climbing expeditions have attempted these forbidding heights and many have succeeded. But though she can be climbed, "the Mother Goddess of the World" cannot be conquered.
Few know this as well as David Breashears. The first American to scale Everest twice, he was a veteran of nine previous Himalayan filmmaking expeditions when he agreed to lead what became his most challenging filmmaking experience. The expedition was organized by large-format motion picture producer MacGillivray Freeman Films and was comprised of an international team of climbers. Their goal was to carry a specially modified 48-pound IMAX® motion picture camera to the summit of Everest and return from the top of the world with the first footage ever shot there in this spectacular format. Even in the best of conditions, Breashears knew, Everest is a daunting challenge -- but in May 1996, the mountain proved how deadly it can really be.
A stunningly illustrated portrait of life and death in a hostile, high-altitude environment where no human can survive for long, Everest invites you to join Breashears, his climbers, and his crew as they make photographic history. Author Broughton Coburn traces each step of the team's progress toward a rendezvous with history -- and suddenly you're on the scene of a disaster that riveted the world's attention. Everest incorporates a first-person, on-the-scene account of the most tragic event in the mountain's history: The May 10, 1996, blizzard that claimed eight lives, including two of the world's top climbing expedition leaders. It is a chronicle of the courage and cooperation that resulted in the rescue of several men and women who were trapped on the lethal, windswept slopes. Everest is also a tale of triumph. In a struggle to overcome both the physical and emotional effects of the disaster on Everest, Breashears and his team rise to the challenge of achieving their goal -- humbled by the mountain's overwhelming power, yet exhilarated by their own accomplishment.
Arresting photographs taken by members of this courageous team capture the glory and grandeur of the highest mountains in the world -- and the grim toll they often demand. Its pages present the expertise of prominent scientists, the hard-won experience of world-class adventures, and the first-person accounts of expedition climbers including Jamling Norgay, son of Tenzing Norgay, who fulfilled a dream of following in his father's footsteps, and Dr. Beck Weathers, who after miraculously surviving a night on Everest without shelter, is rescued by helicopter in one of the highest rescue efforts in history.
Illustrated with detailed maps and more than one hundred and thirty dramatic photographs, Everest encapsulates the culture, the history, and the adventure that surround this monolithic icon.