Location: The southeastern Nepalese border of Tibet
Elevation start: 17,384′
Summit elevation: 29,028′
Elevation gain: 11,644′
Difficulty: The hardest one on the planet
May 10, 1996, was the deadliest single recorded day on Everest. There were several different expedition teams making summit bids for Everest that day when a freak storm hit in the late afternoon. The storm brought extreme weather covering the area from the Hillary Step through at least high camp 4…the exact path through which the hikers had to descend. Five people died on Everest that day. The storm claimed the lives of the following: Yasuko Namba – an accomplished women climber from Japan, though she had no previous ice-climbing experience, Andy Harris – a guide for Adventure Consultants, Doug Hansen – a paying client member of the Adventure Consultants, Rob Hall – the safety conscious leader of the Adventure Consultants from New Zealand and Scott Fisher – the highly experienced leader of the Mountain Madness team, from western Seattle.
In this article I want to give a little background on Everest, a little on what it requires from climbers and a brief account of three books written by surviving climbers of the May 1996 trek. For the full details and complete stories, I really suggest reading the books.
Mount Everest is located on the southeastern border of Nepal and Tibet. Both are third world countries where top-notch hospitals and medical facilities are not readily available. Arranging for emergency evacuation isn