Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Storm Over Everest ~

Last night, PBS aired Storm Over Everest which is a documentary put together by renowned climber/filmmaker Dave Breashears. Dave interviewed several survivors of the 1996 Everest tragedy (Guy Cotter, Lene Gammelgaard, Lou Kasischke, Sandy Hill, Michael Groom, Beck Weathers, Neil Beidleman). Ever since I read the book Into Thin Air I have been passionately obsessed with reading every book written about Everest ~ especially the stories of what happened that fateful night on the mountain where several climbers perished.

I admire and respect Breashears ~ he's a well seasoned climber and an excellent story teller. My heart has ached a long time for the stigma that has been placed on the climbers that were on the South side of Mount Everest in May of 1996. Assumptions were made ~ people were judged ~ based on a few accounts of what people thought happened on the mountain. Dave brings a fuller story to the surface ~ sheds light in some dark places. I was especially moved when the story gave the account of how Anatoli Boukreev went back by himself and rescued several people off the mountain.

As I watched the program I felt like I was sitting in my living room listening to stories being told with all of the familiar climbers. You see, after reading so many stories about these peoples lives, I feel in some way that they are kindred souls. They all possess within themselves a ferocious will to live ~ a love of life that kept them alive on Everest when they could have gone to sleep and died out there. If you click on this link you can watch the full 2-hour show on line.

Somehow, in hearing first hand accounts ~ hearing their voices ~ seeing the emotions on their faces ~ I feel a sense of relief. Through people sharing their life stories it gives new meaning to what it means to be alive after being stranded in the 'death zone'.

1 comment:

Lisa said...

Hey Lacie,

This sounds really great. I'm going to try to watch it when I get a free 2 hours. I've never read "Into Thin Air", but I've been looking for a good summer book, so I requested it from the library. Now that I have my new bifocals, I should be able to read without squinting! Thanks for sharing!

Hope you are well!