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روایت نویسنده از فاجعه سال 1996 در اورست که طی آن پنج نفر از اعضای دو تیم تجاری کشته شدند و مجموع تلفات اورست در آن چند روز به 12 نفر رسید

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I had no idea what shelf to put this on. So I made up a new one, lacking the number of characters needed, this shelf should be called, true stories about things I would never do or try to do. But maybe that is a lie. Like Krakauer I too have had a near death experience while engaged in climbing, like the doomed people in this book, my own life was possibly endangered by faulty decisions made by those who are being paid to know better. My own experience is pretty undramatic, and was rectified in a few moments, and possibly if my parents had been the litigious sorts I could have bankrupted the Boy Scouts, and still be suing them for the experience and blame every anxiety and problem I have on this moment. That would be a huge lie though (my own experience was at summer camp, I didnt want to rappel, but I was talked into trying it, I was tied in, and as I stepped backwards over the lip so that I was on the vertical part of the rock the knots on my harness and carabiener started coming undoing themselves. I freaked. Some teenage kid had tied me in who was assisting the guy in charge. The real guy in charge retied my harness, I for some reason decided to try it again and actually enjoyed it, not that I ever did it again after that, and probably will never try it again).

Seriously though, this book is about people doing something really dangerous and paying the price for it. Its pretty fucked up on all kinds of different levels, and anyone knowing what its like to climb into the danger zone of high altitude and then goes and does it anyway so that they can say they have stood on the top of the highest mountain of the world, you cant feel too sorry for (or I cant). Sure its a testament to the human spirit to overcome obstacles, and being able to do this is something I know I would never be able to do (or want to do), and its pretty amazing that people can do what it takes to climb these high mountains, but its also really dangerous and people die doing things like this all the time (historically up until 1996, 3% of all people who climbed just above base camp on Everest died, thats not even necessarily the people who made it all the way up to the final reaches near the summit where the events of this book took place).

What I took from this book is that accidents happen, and they can be awful. That being in really high altitudes seriously fucks with you in ways I had no idea about. I also learned that maybe man shouldnt fuck with nature so much for profit, and that maybe commercialization of things alters the perception of real risks involved. Nature and high altitude dont realize that just because you paid big bucks for the ride up to the top that they should lay off and let your trip be like Club Med. I also learned that certain South Africans are dicks, and sadly they didnt get to play as much of a role in the narrative as other groups of people, which is a bit sad because there was something absurdly funny about them.

مشاهده لینک اصلی
Jon Krakauer is a student of extreme behaviors and those who engage in them, and he happened to be on Mt. Everest during the notorious May 10-11, 1996, disaster. A series of seemingly minor mishaps, oversights, and questionable decisions kept climbers moving up the mountain hours later than any reasonable turnaround time. At 29,000 feet, that would have been bad enough given cold, hypoxia, and a finite supply of supplemental oxygen, but an unexpected storm that moved in from the south turned a problematic climb into a catastrophe. Several people died, including two widely regarded expedition leaders. Krakauer was one of the stronger climbers that day; he spent only a few minutes on the summit and was on his way to camp when the storm struck. His account of the disaster is gripping, painful, and angry. Krakauer is not shy about offering up criticism of expedition leaders and some fellow climbers, and he discusses his own feelings of guilt as to one guide who died on the mountain. I know nothing about mountain climbing, and I couldnt put this book down.

ETA--I was so fascinated by the book that I looked up dang near everything I could find online about the disaster. Im not the only one; PBS Frontline ran a special just last month about some of the survivors. Krakauers book angered a few other participants from his climb; however, their criticisms go to peripheral matters (did guide Anatoli Boudreev behave responsibly in descending before his clients? Was one of the sherpas too busy attending to a Manhattan socialite to perform his other duties properly? Did Krakauer himself collapse while descending the mountain? Could Krakauer have left his tent on the South Col and helped Boudreevs heroic rescue effort on the night of May 10?) and not to the major issues raised in the book. There appears to be broad agreement that Rob Hall and Scott Fischer allowed other concerns, personal and commercial, to take precedence over getting their clients down off the mountain safely. Also, Fischers judgment may have been seriously impaired by a high-altitude ailment. Moreover, the number of deaths on Everest suggests that there are plenty of people climbing the mountain who have no business being there in the first place.

مشاهده لینک اصلی
I live in Seattle and on a reasonably clear day Mount Rainier, at 14,000+ feet, graces the skyline with her majestic beauty and mystique. Sometimes it looks like you can reach out and touch it. It has an undeniable allure. There are lots and lots of climbers up there every year, and it is a highly desirable North American peak for people to scale that still offers challenge and excitement and danger. High altitude mountain climbing is not for the faint of heart yet it is easy to understand how people can be seduced by the idea of conquering a big feat like this. But you look at Everest and wonder why anyone in their right mind would risk their life to go up there. Arent some things and places in nature better left to just be? Apparently humans cant help themselves. “Everest has always been a magnet for kooks, publicity seekers, hopeless romantics, and others with a shaky hold on reality.”

Jon Krakauer was offered an opportunity to join an Everest climb so he could write a magazine article. He ended up on a historic climb that turned tragic for several in his party as well as a couple other expeditions on the mountain at the same time. Krakauer is a very good writer and he conveys the magnitude of the operation, the challenge, the personalities, and the journey quite well. That he managed to survive could be chalked up to what turned out to be some fairly good decisions on his part despite his relative lack of experience at this level. It is tough to breath up there much less think, and although he had climbing experience this was a first for him. Seeing the journey through his eyes was fascinating. With the benefit of hindsight, he levels criticism at some of the planners, guides, and fellow climbers, that may be warranted but understandably was met with controversy by loved ones and some in the elite climbing community. Nonetheless, it is the true story of a harrowing climb that few ever attempt. Gripping story.

مشاهده لینک اصلی
This book was insane. No way in hell. These people are nuts.

مشاهده لینک اصلی

My 5 star rating reflects both the quality of the book and a lifetime passion for mountains. Ive devoured in the past all books and magazine articles I could find, following climbers from Cerro Torres to Eiger or Matterhorn, Trango Towers, Kilimanjaro or McKinley. The Jewels in the Crown have always been the Himalayan peaks, with their musical names promising adventure and fame to the bold and determined climber: Nanga Parbat, Makalu, Annapurna, Kangchenjunga, Chomolungma, Lhotse, Dhaulagiri, Gasherbrum, Nanda Devi, Nuptse - the final challenges in the attempt to eliminate the white spots from the world maps. Jon Krakauers account of the 1996 doomed attempt at climbing the highest mountain in the world as part of a commercial expedition is a worthy addition to my Mountain themed bookshelf.

I didnt pick up the book in order to find out the ultimate truth about the events that culminated in one of the deadliest climbing days at high altitude. I was already aware of the numerous controversies surrounding the publishing of his reportage, and I decided to be circumspect in accepting the facts as presented. This is an eye-witness account of somebody who has been in the thick of it, directly involved in decisions that meant life and death for members of the summit teams on that unlucky day. It probably has its share of finger pointing and self serving selective presentation of facts. A second source of interference that I detected came from the fact that the story was comissioned by Krakauer publishers with a predetermined theme, and I suspect that they had their say in the final version of the book, especially regarding the dangers of commercial guided expeditions and amateurs promised a safe climb to the top.

My reservations about the book were soon forgotten as I become immersed in the day to day grind of preparing for the crucial moments in the @death zone@ - acclimatization ascents, health hazards at base camp and above, the interplay between members of the team and between different expeditions. Krakauer puts these preparation weeks to good use, sketching detailed portraits of the main actors in the drama, getting the reader familiar with them and with the technical aspects of high altitude climbing, and letting the later chapters be focused on the unfolding events on the peak and in the aftermath of the devastating tempest that left all previous planning and training irrelevant.

Krakauer training as a journalist is visible in the clear cut prose, the depth of his research and the high emotional impact of the human interest stories behind the cold facts that left 9 people dead. One of the things that drives home to me the merciless nature of the Himalayas and the devastating effect of the lack of oxygen and the physical exhaustion of the climbers is the casual mention of climbers passing by frozen corpses on their trail to the summit, bodies that have lain there for decades in some cases, and that nobody tries to bring down to Base Camp because of the risks the rescuers are exposed to. 8000 m above sea level is called the @death zone@ for a reason : humans are not meant to live here, and the body will refuse to function, no matter how strong the will of the climber is, or how good his training.

Krakauer and his team mates are not inconsiderate of the risks, in fact they are well aware of them from past ascensions and numerous accounts of previous expeditions. The author does a good job here exploring the motivations, himself included, that drive people to put their lives at risk: fame, the call of adventure, the pride of belonging to an elite group, curiosity, self-fulfillment, commercial interests, escape from the tediousness of a life without real challenges, and so on.

He also speaks clearly about what a high altitude climb really feels like : you have no time to admire the landscape or to think deep thoughts about existence and fulfilled dreams; you are too busy dragging thin air into your lungs three times for every step forward, too exhausted after three nights without sleep, after weeks without proper food, your brain slows down for lack of oxygen and your eyes are blinded by snow and ultraviolet light. Every hour spent in the @death zone@ increases the risk of remaining there for ever. Heres what Rob Hall, the most famous guide on the mountain in 1996, had to say :

With enough determination, any bloody idiot can get up this hill. The trick is to get back down alive

Jon Krakauer may be subjective in what he included in his account, but he convinced me as a reader that he was there on top of the world, and he survived to come back with a warning about overestimating ones prowess, disrespecting the mountain and taking risks with peoples lifes. His lesson about excessive commercial interests and lack of organization between different teams has not been learned: sadly, just while I was in the middle of the book, I saw an item on the news that on 21 May 2012, 4 more people died on Everest, not in accidents, but due to exhaustion. Apparently 150 people tried to climb the summit on the same day, producing a traffic congestion on the most dangerous part of the climb.

I will end my report, with a quote from when Jon first saw the peak, on the trail to base camp :

The summit looked so cold, so high, so impossibly far away. I felt as though I might as well be on an expedition to the moon. As I turned away to continue walking up the trail, my emotions oscillated between nervous anticipation and a nearly overwhelming sense of dread.

مشاهده لینک اصلی
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