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Part 1: Plot Summary
This book is about the tragic disaster that occurred in the spring of 1996 on the earth’s highest mountain: Jomolungma (goddess, mother of the world), this more mellifluous name for the great mountain, was named this by the Northern Tibetan people. Another one of her names is Sagarmatha (goddess of the sky), which the southern Nepalese prefer to call her. And last but not least, her most commonly recognized name, Mt. Everest. This name was given to the mountain by Sir Andrew Waugh, India’s surveyor general who named her after his predecessor, Sir George Everest.
Jon Krakauer is the talented author and journalist who had to experience the horrible disaster first hand. And as if experiencing it and remembering it every day of his life was not enough he also had to write an article for “ Outside “ magazine, and wrote this book about the expedition. Jon Krakauer lives in Seattle, Washington and is married. He is a great climbing fan, and he is pretty experienced too.
The story begins when Jon Krakaur is offered by “Outside” magazine to join an expedition to Mt. Everest. The expedition was leaving five days hence he was told. His job on the expedition was to write an article about the mushrooming commercialization of the mountain and the attendant controversies. The offer aroused a powerful, long-burried desire to climb the mountain since he was a child, so he excepted.
On March 31, Jon met all the members of the expedition in Katmandu. They were Rob Hall, and Andy Haris, who were both guides; Lou Kasischke, a gentlemanly lawyer; Yasuko Namba, a 47 year old taciturn personnel director who worked for the Tokyo branch of Federal Express; Beck Weathers, a 49 year old garrulous pathologist from Dallas; Stuart Hutchison, a 34 year old cerebral cardiologist from Canada; John Taske, the oldest member of the group, a 56 year old anesthesiologist from Brisbane who took up climbing after retiring from the Australian army; Frank Fischbeck, a 53 year old publisher from Hong Kong; and finally Doug Hansen, a 46 year old American postal worker from Seattle, Washington.
The first part of the climbers’ ascent is the acclimatization. In this process the climbers must slowly ascent the mountain in order to get used to the high altitude. The climbers begin at base camp. Then they ascend to first camp. Then to second camp. Then to fourth camp where the air is excruciatingly thin. And finally the climbers ascend to the highest camp, camp four.
There were an unfortunate few who could not ascend to the summit for many reasons. Not all of the climbers ascended all the way to the summit. Some could not go any higher due to tiredness, weakness, lack of oxygen, and many other setbacks. And others did not even get to second camp because they were either injured or sick.
Finally on May 10, the expedition had made it to the summit. The climbers had a turn around time of two o’clock. The climbers who had not yet reached the summit yet by that time had to turn around.
It was getting past turnaround time and there were still a few climbers who hadn't made it to the summit yet. Rob Hall, the main guide told the climbers who had already made it to the summit, and were waiting for the others, to return to camp four and that he and Andy Harris would wait for the others while the rest descended to camp four.
It was taking an awfully long time for the remaining climbers to reach the summit. They were taking a long time and moving slowly because their brains were not getting enough oxygen, which makes your body function slower, and makes the person more tired. Finally the lagging climbers reached the summit.
When the last of the climbers that Rob Hall was waiting for arrived at the summit it was already hours after the designated turn around time. What they did not know was that there was a bad storm developing, and there was no way for base camp to tell them this because they did not have a radio, only walki talkie's.
At about five the storm was well developed and the climbers could not go any further because the storm
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Mount Everest, Himalayas, Andy Harris, Yasuko Namba, Beck Weathers, Rob Hall, Mount Everest disaster, Jon Krakauer, Everest
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