The painful truth of the 1996 Mount Everest trek was somewhat accurately descripted in the movie Everest. The movie came out in theaters for the USA on Sept. 18th.
The trek was also depicted in the book Into Thin Air, which is taught to sophomores at AHS taking English Honors.
The movie starts out with the guides of the different climbing expeditions, Adventure Consultants, and Mountain Madness, at the airport, ready to depart to Nepal. The main character, Rob Hall (Jason Clarke), bids farewell to his pregnant wife, Jan Hall (Keira Knightley) while the others do the same with their families. Alongside Rob are journalist Jon Kraukauer (Michael Kelly), fellow climber Doug Hansen (John Hawkes), guide Andy Harris (Martin Henderson) and client Beck Weathers (Josh Brolin).
The group boarded the plane to Nepal and after their arrival they met up with climbing manager Helen Wilton (Emily Watson), Dr. Caroline Mackenzie (Elizabeth Debicki), mountain advisor Guy Cotter (Sam Worthington), and guide of opposing expedition, Mountain Madness, Scott Fischer (Jake Gyllenhaal).
The group discussed appropriate safety measures and planned out the overall trek throughout the night. In the morning, they headed out for Everest, carrying backpacks full of food, water, oxygen, clothes, and other supplies. Once they reached base camp, they met up with other expedition groups that were just as eager to summit.
Each guide met up later that night to discuss their plans of travel; not surprisingly, a lot of them clashed as they discovered that they all had the same summit date, May 10th. After much debate, no group was willing to change the date. They then decided that they would be working together, not against each other.
The weeks to follow were focused on preparing the clients for the summit and getting their bodies used to the bone-chilling climate. These parts were a bit inaccurate because they showed two clients struggling, in contrast with the book that depicted several clients struggling.
Over the course of about three weeks, the groups would travel to Camp One, Camp Two and Camp Three, then return to base camp at nightfall. Hall was very big on staying together, so whenever one of his clients couldn’t make another step, the whole group would go back to Base Camp.
Beck was struggling to adapt to the harsh climate while the more experienced clients, like Hansen and Yasuko Namba (Naoko Mori), were having little to no trouble at all. Namba, one of the most experienced climbers in the group, has climbed six of the seven summits in the world, and wanted to make Everest her seventh. All of the clients, including Namba, did not work together as much as they should have; it was every man for themselves.
The summit date approached quickly, but bad weather coming their way sparked debate over pushing the date back to let the storm pass. Yet again, no one was willing to be flexible; the summit date would remain the same. As May 10 finally came, the group would set out to summit Everest from Camp Three.
A lot of time between the summit and training was skipped over, which made some parts fuzzy. The groups set out to climb the dangerous Hillary Step. The last test before reaching the summit, the Step has prevented so many before them from summiting Everest, and the bad weather approaching quickly made that test even harder.
A lot of action was missing from this part as well, as it went straight from the beginning of the step to the summit, showing small instances of struggling clients.
Weathers and Hansen struggled the most to summit, Weathers due to an eye surgery he got one year prior. Hall stayed back with Hansen while he ordered Weathers to stay where he was. Everyone else got to the top of the mountain, but the story would take a fatal turn as four others, Hansen, Hall, Namba and Harris, didn’t make it back.
Overall, I would wait till the movie comes out on Netflix. I don’t think it captured the essence of what happened on the mountain during those dreadful week. The book definitely portrays the story much better than the movie. I am giving this movie a 6/10.