|Into Thin Air: Death on Everest|
|Based on|| Into Thin Air |
by Jon Krakauer
|Directed by||Robert Markowitz|
|Narrated by||Christopher MacDonald|
|Country of origin||United States|
|Executive producer||Bernard Sofronski|
|Production locations||Pitztal, Tyrol, Austria|
|Running time||90 minutes|
|Production companies||Sofronski Productions|
Columbia TriStar Television
|Original release||November 9, 1997|
Into Thin Air: Death on Everest is a 1997 disaster television film based on Jon Krakauer's memoir Into Thin Air (1997). The film, directed by Robert Markowitz and written by Robert J. Avrech, tells the story of the 1996 Mount Everest disaster. It was broadcast on ABC on November 9, 1997.
Summit guides Rob Hall (Nat Parker) and Scott Fischer (Peter Horton) discuss with their clients their plans to reach the summit. Hall's group comprises Doug Hansen, a mailman from Seattle, Jon Krakauer, Yasuko Namba, and several others. Fischer's group includes New York socialite and experienced climber Sandy Pittman. At base camp, Hall talks about baby names with his wife, Jan, who is pregnant in New Zealand. The groups slowly make their way through Camps 2, 3, and 4, and begin their ascent to the summit. In Camp 2, Fischer is forced to climb the entire way back down with a sick client, Dale Cruz, for help. Fischer refuses help and returns tired and out of breath.
Both groups make steady pace to the bottom of the Hillary step, where they discover there are no fixed ropes. The Sherpa there states it's a two-person job and the other Sherpa never arrived, due to being tired and ill from dragging Pittman and all her heavy equipment up. Mountain Madness guides Anatoli Boukreev and Neil Beidelman set the fixed ropes. By then dozens of climbers have reached the step, and congestion has formed at the bottom. Krakauer continues to the summit with Boukreev. They are joined shortly afterward by Adventure Consultants guide Andy Harris. Krakauer begins his descent and finds the jam at the step has worsened. He is forced to wait.
Meanwhile, Hall tells Hansen they have to turn back. Hansen refuses, as he failed to reach the summit the previous year and won't be able to afford a third attempt. Hall and Hansen argue until Hall caves in. They continue, missing Hall's 2 p.m. turnaround time. When the step clears, Harris begins to descend. Krakauer begins to hallucinate from lack of oxygen, as Harris had increased his oxygen flow when Krakauer asked for it to be decreased earlier during the climb. Krakauer nearly falls over a precipice but manages to catch himself. He makes his way down to Harris and realizes something is wrong with Harris, as the latter thinks the full bottles at the oxygen drop are empty. Krakauer runs into Hansen and Hall and notes to Hansen that storm clouds are coming up through the valley and up the mountain. Shortly after 3 p.m., most of the members of Hall's and Fischer's groups reach the summit.
Krakauer continues his descent and runs into Fischer, who is completely exhausted and refuses to turn around. Shortly after 4, Hall and Hansen reach the summit. Hall remarks that a storm is coming. As the weather worsens, Krakauer finds Beck Weathers sitting alone in the snow. Weathers had eye surgery prior to the trip and lost his vision during the ascent. He declines leaving with Krakauer, having promised Hall he would wait for the latter. At 4:30, Fischer and Sherpa Lopsang reach the summit, and Fischer collapses. Krakauer reaches Camp 4 and goes to sleep. Beidelman, Mike Groom, and most of the clients stop to rest. They encounter Weathers, who agrees to descend with them. Storm clouds and heavy snowfall cause the guides to become lost. Higher on the mountain, Hall and Hansen drag Fischer, who is too weak to stand.
Night falls, and Krakauer is awoken in his tent by Hall's Sherpa, Angdorjee, who says Hall and most of the clients have not returned. The pair searches for them, but quickly finds conditions too treacherous. Hall tries to convince Hansen to stand and continue descending, but Hansen begs Hall to leave him. Hall refuses to leave Hansen behind, and they continue. Fischer, suffering from edema, walks off the side of the mountain. Lopsang saves him by pulling him back up with the short rope connecting them. Fischer begins to fall unconscious, and Lopsang radios for help.
Hall, struggling with the hallucinating Hansen, slips and falls. The two are separated, and Hall watches Hansen fall to his death. Harris finds Hall and tries to help him up before leaving to get help, despite Hall's pleas. Harris disappears from Hall's sight but cries out. Hall crawls over to find Harris's hat lying next to a large drop and assumes the latter has fallen to his death. Buried under snow, Hall gets directions from Krakauer to an oxygen supply, but falls down. He does not see the oxygen bottles nearby.
Beidelman and Groom's group becomes hopelessly lost. The guides take only the clients who can keep up with them, leaving behind Namba, Weathers, Pittman, and Charlotte Fox. Fischer drifts in and out of consciousness, during which time he mutters the words "I am invincible" to Lopsang. Boukreev helps Fox and Pittman descend but is unable to get a third client. Hall hallucinates about seeing Jan, then snaps outs of it. His hands and legs are frostbitten and he has trouble moving. He blacks out again.
Hall awakens the next morning, barely alive. He radios the camp and is able to speak with Jan. The couple decides to name their daughter Sarah. Hall says goodbye to his wife and dies from hypothermia. Weathers awakes, having survived being buried under snow without oxygen. Still blinded, he stumbles back to camp and receives help. Boukreev climbs up and finds Fischer's frozen body. He says goodbye, covers Fischer's face, and leaves. Back at base camp, the survivors reminisce about the friends they have lost.
Mount Everest is Earth's highest mountain above sea level, located in the Mahalangur Himal sub-range of the Himalayas. The China–Nepal border runs across its summit point. Its elevation of 8,848.86 m (29,031.7 ft) was most recently established in 2020 by the Chinese and Nepali authorities.
Jon Krakauer is an American writer and mountaineer. He is the author of bestselling non-fiction books—Into the Wild; Into Thin Air; Under the Banner of Heaven; and Where Men Win Glory: The Odyssey of Pat Tillman—as well as numerous magazine articles. He was a member of an ill-fated expedition to summit Mount Everest in 1996, one of the deadliest disasters in the history of climbing Everest.
Anatoli Nikolaevich Boukreev was a Soviet and Kazakhstani mountaineer who made ascents of 10 of the 14 eight-thousander peaks—those above 8,000 m (26,247 ft)—without supplemental oxygen. From 1989 through 1997, he made 18 successful ascents of peaks above 8000 m.
Scott Eugene Fischer was an American mountaineer and mountain guide. He was renowned for his ascents of the world's highest mountains made without the use of supplemental oxygen. Fischer and Wally Berg were the first Americans to summit Lhotse, the world's fourth highest peak. Fischer, Charley Mace, and Ed Viesturs summitted K2 without supplemental oxygen. Fischer first climbed Mount Everest in 1994 and later died during the 1996 blizzard on Everest while descending from the peak.
Into Thin Air: A Personal Account of the Mt. Everest Disaster is a 1997 bestselling nonfiction book written by Jon Krakauer. It details Krakauer's experience in the 1996 Mount Everest disaster, in which eight climbers were killed and several others were stranded by a storm. Krakauer's expedition was led by guide Rob Hall. Other groups were trying to summit on the same day, including one led by Scott Fischer, whose guiding agency, Mountain Madness, was perceived as a competitor to Hall's agency, Adventure Consultants.
Yasuko Namba was the second Japanese woman to reach all of the Seven Summits. Namba worked as a businesswoman for Federal Express in Japan, but her hobby of mountaineering took her all over the world. She first summited Kilimanjaro on New Year's Day in 1982, and summited Aconcagua exactly two years later. She reached the summit of Denali on July 1, 1985, and the summit of Mount Elbrus on August 1, 1992. After summiting the Vinson Massif on December 29, 1993, and the Carstensz Pyramid on November 12, 1994, Namba's final summit to reach was Mount Everest. She signed on with Rob Hall's guiding company, Adventure Consultants, and reached the summit in May 1996, but died during her descent in the 1996 Mount Everest disaster.
Robert Edwin Hall was a New Zealand mountaineer. He was the head guide of a 1996 Mount Everest expedition during which he, a fellow guide, and two clients died. A best-selling account of the expedition was given in Jon Krakauer's Into Thin Air, and the expedition has been dramatised in the 2015 film Everest. At the time of his death, Hall had just completed his fifth ascent to the summit of Everest, more at that time than any other non-Sherpa mountaineer.
Lincoln Ross Hall OAM was a veteran Australian mountain climber, adventurer, author and philanthropist. Lincoln was part of the first Australian expedition to climb Mount Everest in 1984, which successfully forged a new route. He reached the summit of the mountain on his second attempt in 2006, miraculously surviving the night at 8,700 m (28,543 ft) on descent, after his family was told he had died.
Daniel Lee Mazur is a mountain climber, trekker, and expedition leader who has ascended nine of the world's highest summits, including Mount Everest and K2. In addition, he is known for several high altitude mountain rescues: the 1991 rescue of Roman Giutashvili from Mount Everest, the rescue of Gary Ball from K2 in 1992, the rescue in 2006 of Australian climber Lincoln Hall from Mount Everest, and the rescue of British mountaineer Rick Allen from Broad Peak. In 2018, Daniel Mazur was awarded the Sir Edmund Hillary Mountain Legacy Medal "for remarkable service in the conservation of culture and nature in mountainous regions."
Cathy O'Dowd is a South African rock climber, mountaineer, author and motivational speaker. She was the first woman to reach the summit of Mount Everest from both the south and the north sides on 25 May 1996 and 29 May 1999, respectively.
Seaborn Beck Weathers is an American pathologist from Texas. He survived the 1996 Mount Everest disaster, which was covered in Jon Krakauer's book Into Thin Air (1997), its film adaptation Into Thin Air: Death on Everest (1997), and the films Everest (1998) and Everest (2015). Weathers' autobiographical book, titled Left for Dead: My Journey Home from Everest (2000) includes his ordeal, but also describes his life before and afterward, as he focused on saving his damaged relationships.
The Climb (1997), republished as The Climb: Tragic Ambitions on Everest, is an account by Russian-Kazakhstani mountaineer Anatoli Boukreev of the 1996 Everest Disaster, during which eight climbers died on the mountain. The co-author, G. Weston DeWalt—who was not part of the expedition—provides accounts from other climbers and ties together the narrative of Boukreev's logbook.
The 1996 Mount Everest disaster occurred on 10–11 May 1996 when eight climbers caught in a blizzard died on Mount Everest while attempting to descend from the summit. Over the entire season, 12 people died trying to reach the summit, making it the deadliest season on Mount Everest at the time and the third deadliest after the 22 fatalities resulting from avalanches caused by the April 2015 Nepal earthquake and the 16 fatalities of the 2014 Mount Everest avalanche. The 1996 disaster received widespread publicity and raised questions about the commercialization of Everest.
Lopsang Jangbu Sherpa was a Nepalese Sherpa mountaineering guide, climber and porter, best known for his work as the climbing Sirdar for Scott Fischer's Mountain Madness expedition to Everest in Spring 1996, when a freak storm led to the deaths of eight climbers from several expeditions, considered one of the worst disasters in the history of Everest mountaineering. Notwithstanding controversy over his actions during that expedition, Lopsang was well-regarded in the mountaineering community, having summited Everest four times. Lopsang was killed in an avalanche in September 1996, while again on an expedition to climb Everest for what would have been a fifth ascent.
Sandra Hill is a socialite, mountaineer, author, and former fashion editor. She survived the 1996 Mount Everest disaster shortly after becoming the 34th woman to reach the Mount Everest summit and the second American woman to ascend all of the Seven Summits.
Everest is a 2015 biographical survival adventure film directed and produced by Baltasar Kormákur and written by William Nicholson and Simon Beaufoy. It stars an ensemble cast of Jason Clarke, Jake Gyllenhaal, Josh Brolin, John Hawkes, Robin Wright, Michael Kelly, Sam Worthington, Keira Knightley, Martin Henderson and Emily Watson. It is based on the real events of the 1996 Mount Everest disaster, and focuses on the survival attempts of two expedition groups, one led by Rob Hall (Clarke) and the other by Scott Fischer (Gyllenhaal).
Adventure Consultants, formerly Hall and Ball Adventure Consultants, is a New Zealand-based adventure company that brings trekking and climbing groups to various locations. Founded by Rob Hall and Gary Ball in 1991, it is known for its pioneering role in the commercialisation of Mount Everest and the 1996 Mount Everest climb during which eight people died, including Hall, a guide, and two Adventure Consultant clients.
Andrew Michael Harris was a New Zealand mountain guide who died in the 1996 Mount Everest disaster. Harris was one of the guides for the Adventure Consultants' 1996 Everest expedition, led by Rob Hall. It was Harris's first attempt to summit Mount Everest, though he had extensive climbing experience in New Zealand.
Gau Ming-Ho, also known as Makalu Gau after the 5th highest peak in the world, is a Taiwanese mountaineer. He was a leader of a Taiwanese expedition to Mount Everest during the 1996 Mount Everest disaster.
Everest is a one-act opera by Joby Talbot to an English-language libretto by Gene Scheer. It was composed in 2014 and premiered on January 30, 2015, at the Margot and Bill Winspear Opera House of Dallas Opera. The content deals with a real event, the 1996 Mount Everest disaster, in which several mountaineers died after a change in the weather. It is based on interviews with survivors and shows in two strands the deaths of Rob Hall and Doug Hansen and the emotional world of Beck Weathers.