Wednesday, October 2, 2019

Mount Everest Death Wish :: essays papers

Mount Everest Death Wish On May 10th 1996, 23 climbers from 5 different expeditions were surprised by a fierce storm on the South Col of Mount Everest. 24 hours later eight of them were dead. Jon Krakauer was part of a group led by experienced climbers Rob Hall, Mike Groom and Andy Harris. Fellow climbers Doug Hansen, Beck Weathers, Yasuko Namba, Frank Fishbeck, Lou Kasischke, John Taske and Stuart Hutchinson had paid up to  £42,000 each to be taken to the summit. By the morning of May 11th Harris, Hansen, Namba and Weathers were all unaccounted for. Krakauer, back at Camp Four after a terrifying night battling the elements, takes up the story on that fateful morning†¦ After a night at 26,000 feet with supplemental oxygen, I was even weaker than I’d been the previous evening after coming down from the summit. Unless we somehow acquired some more gas, I knew my team-mates and I would continue to deteriorate rapidly. Searching out the rest of our crew, I found Fishbeck and Kasischke lying in a nearby tent. Lou was delirious and snow-blind, unable to do anything for himself and muttering incoherently. Frank looked as if he was in a severe state of shock, but he was doing his best to take care of Lou. John Taske was in another tent with Mike Groom: both men appeared to be asleep or unconscious. As I went from tent to tent I tried to locate some oxygen, but all the canisters I found were empty. One thing a climber faces is hypoxia – a semi-hallucinatory state caused by lack of oxygen, which dulls the senses and any decision-making progress. This, coupled with my profound fatigue, exacerbated the sense of chaos and despair. Thanks to t he relentless din of nylon flapping in the wind, it was impossible to communicate from tent to tent. The batteries in our one remaining radio were nearly depleted. Rob and Andy were gone, and although Groom was present, the ordeal of the previous night had taken a terrible toll on him. Seriously frost-bitten he was unable even to speak. While I tried to recover after my fruitless search for Harris, Hutchinson organised a team of four Sherpas to locate the bodies of Weathers and Namba. The search party had set off before Hutchinson, who was so exhausted and befuddled he’d forgotten to put his boots on and had tried to leave camp in his smooth-soiled liners.

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