Everest: Choose Your Mountains Wisely

Everest Movie Poster         While temperatures dipped to this season’s low in 18 states last week, Everest 2Alan and I decided to watch Everest, the brutally painful account of the May 10, 1996 final ascent of Mt. Everest by teams from Adventure Consultants and Mountain Madness. Everest 2015 MovieThe movie, which came out in 2015 in a spectacular Imax 3-D format, is based loosely on journalist Jon Krakauer’s book, Into Thin Air, and sadly, most of the facts portrayed in the movie are accurate. Poster for Everest 2The 1996 tragedy was the worst in history until April 18, 2014, when an avalanche occurred while a team from the movie was filming nearby. Everest Movie 3In that tragedy, 16 sherpas were killed (none working on the Everest movie, tho).
13 were recovered but 3 are still buried under 300± ft. of ice and snow. Avalanche_on_Everest Ilan Adler. 2006 WikiJust months before the movie released on April 25, 2015, the 7.8 magnitude Gorkha earthquake in Nepal caused avalanches on the south side of Mt. Everest that killed over 8,000 people and injured more than 21,000. Everest 121 people were killed on Mt. Everest that day— the deadliest climbing day in the mountain’s history.Photo of "Green Boots", Indian climber who died on the Northeast Ridge of Mt. Everest in 1996. by Maxwelljo40 WikiMore than 150+ bodies remain frozen on Mt. Everest, almost all of them in the “death zone,” the area above 26,000 feet where there is so little oxygen in the air that the body begins to die without supplemental oxygen and people are incapable of the exertion that would be necessary to recover the frozen bodies.  Mount_Everest_as_seen_from_Drukair2.jpg licensed with Cc-by-sa-2.0 :WikiI wondered why people climb in May rather than in August (when it seems like the temperatures would be higher), but apparently at 29,029 feet, you’re up in the stratosphere where normal climate patterns aren’t quite the same…and of course the risk of avalanches is greater when it’s warmer.Everest-fromKalarPatar by Uwe Gille. Wiki There’s a 2-week window in May when temperatures are at their best. Otherwise, temperatures can fall to —76°F, and jet streams at the top of Everest have been recorded at 175 mph.Nuptse, Mt. Everest and Lhotse in the early morning by Ralf Kayser. WikiWhy do people climb mountains? Because they’re there and we want the challenge? Because they’re beautiful and we want the experience? Jon_Krakauer_speaking_in_2009 by Devon Christopher Adams WikiWhen journalist Jon Krakauer was interviewed, his response was: “I climbed for the wrong reasonsI wanted to climb Everest, because it’s Everest. I wasn’t used to being guided. To be guided, you advocate your own decision making, your own judgement, you listen to what the captain of the ship orders you to do and you have to do it. The system doesn’t work otherwise.” He also reflected sadly on the risk climbers put on the guides. In fact, two of the guides who survived the May 10 disaster, Anatoli Bourkreev and Lopsang Jangbudied within months in other avalanches. Amanecer_desde_la_cima_del_Everest_por_Carlos_Pauner. WikiJPGProbably most of us have heard the song, “Climb Every Mountain,” but in the light of Jon Krakauer’s hindsight, and after reflecting on the movie, I would like to make an amendment to this inspiring song. Sudan Shrestha Wili Gosainkunda LakeMay we choose our mountains with extreme care, and only after soberly examining our motives to decide if they are worthy. Українська. Langtang National Park.Wiki jpgI believe God does have mountains for us to climb, but may we only climb by his invitation, in his strength, and with him as our all-knowing, all-wise guide…whose advice we’re willing to take! As Krakauer observed, “The system doesn’t work otherwise.”  Poster for Everest Also, climbing simply for our own pleasure or glory isn’t worth the risk to ourselves and others. Only God is worthy of the sacrifice of our entire lives.AA44_D006_00638 JAMES BROLIN as Beck Weathers in Everest. Inspired by the incredible events surrounding an attempt to reach the summit of the world’s highest mountain, Everest documents the awe-inspiring journey of two different expeditions challenged beyond their limits by one of the fiercest snowstorms ever encountered by mankind. Credit: Jasin Boland“Go up to the mountain, and bring wood, and build the house; and I will take pleasure in it, and I will be glorified, saith the Lord(Haggai 1:8).Mount-Everest. by Joe Hastings. Wikijpg“The Lord God is my strength, and he will make my feet like hinds’ feet, and he will make me to walk upon mine high places” (Habakkuk 3:19).

(None of these stunning photographs are mine; they are entirely from Wikipedia Commons and the movie Everest. The attributions are listed on each picture if you click and drag or hover.)

One response to “Everest: Choose Your Mountains Wisely

  1. Charylene Powers

    Very sobering thoughts – our mountains do not have to be as large as Everest to still have a profound effect on our love ones – you are so right – we must be walking with the Lord whatever path (mountain) we take. Dave ordered Everest to watch soon.

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