An international team of climbers ascends Mt. Everest in the spring of 1996. The film depicts their lengthy preparations for the climb, their trek to the summit, and their successful return ... Read allAn international team of climbers ascends Mt. Everest in the spring of 1996. The film depicts their lengthy preparations for the climb, their trek to the summit, and their successful return to Base Camp. It also shows many of the challenges the group faced, including avalanches, ... Read allAn international team of climbers ascends Mt. Everest in the spring of 1996. The film depicts their lengthy preparations for the climb, their trek to the summit, and their successful return to Base Camp. It also shows many of the challenges the group faced, including avalanches, lack of oxygen, treacherous ice walls, and a deadly blizzard.
People who have said they are interested in seeing the story of the Sherpas or how the movie was made should check out the special features on the DVD, Broughton Coburn's book "Everest," or Jamling Norgay's book "Touching My Father's Soul"; they are all about the climb, Norgay especially devotes time and pages to the Sherpas, considering he is also ethnically a Sherpa, who someone mistakenly said were Tibetan; in fact they are Nepalese.
This was an interesting movie in its own right. I don't understand why some reviewers did not enjoy the back stories and time devoted to the climbers' emotions and personal lives...would you rather watch a movie about people you didn't empathise with, care about, or even know? I do not think so. Developing the characters of the lead climbers was very important to the movie, I felt.
Also, insulting Ed Viesturs is just incomprehensible to me. He is the prominent North American mountaineer of our times, and since the movie was made has ascended all 14 8000 meter peaks without the use of oxygen, a climbing skill he has acquired over many years and excels at. He doesn't do so because he 'likes the challenge' as one reviewer says, but merely because he feels it is a better way of climbing. It should be noted that whenever Viesturs guides mountains he uses oxygen so he can 'be there' for his clients. Viesturs did not have to coerce his wife into coming to Base Camp; she'd been on the mountain before and I believe enjoyed the atmosphere and the climbers. She was worried, of course, about Ed, but since he really had no one to worry about but himself, and I don't think anyone can dispute that Edmund Viesturs can take care of himself, she trusted him to return safely. (There would have been a considerably lower death rate on the mountain if only experienced climbers looking after themselves had climbed that season.) Ed Viesturs WAS a hero of the movie, although he is extremely humble about it, he did considerably assist in the rescue of Makalu Gau and Beck Weathers, as well as coordinating rescue attempts from Camp II, and I have no doubts that had Viesturs been at Camp IV on May 10/11, he would have climbed up and searched for missing climbers himself (most likely using oxygen). If you are not a professional climber yourself, I do not think you have the right to insult the personal practices of a mountaineer like Viesturs, especially when his choices (such as using or not using oxygen) affect, in the long run, only himself, as he was not guiding the peak or responsible for any other climbers at the time.
I loved the movie; every time I see it I get chills at the stunning Breashears images of the mountain.
I definitely recommend seeing this movie. It represents both the darker, dangerous side of mountaineering and the light, triumphant side.
- May 19, 2006