A while ago, I watched and re-watched “Everest” (2015), the cinematic depiction of the 1996 Everest disaster, which I had read about in great detail way back when. That fateful day has been recounted time and again, most famously in John Krakauer’s, Anatoli Boukreev’s and Beck Weathers’ published recollections of what actually transpired. If there is one thing I took away from those books, it is that in such extreme conditions and under life-threatening circumstances, remembering all the details is nigh impossible. Hence the controversy surrounding the event(s) has always been beyond my comprehension.
If not in many other areas, for me the film accomplishes one single task well. It shows what it is probably like to attempt such a tremendous feat of climbing the highest peak in (unexpected) adverse conditions. Knowing that most of it is the usual green screen magic, the cinematography is nevertheless often stunning and especially haunting if you have any interest in this type of material.
This story has always fascinated me and I don’t really care if people have labelled books such as the ones mentioned above “disaster porn”. The books themselves prove that things can go wrong and will go wrong, especially if you are stretching life to the limit as the members of these two ascending groups did. No amount of careful planning can prepare you for the harshness and relatively indiscriminate behavior of nature.