Mount Up A True Story Based On The Reminiscences Of Major.

It was on my fourth expedition to Mount Everest that the comet Hyakutaki passed over base camp. The Sherpas warned us it was a bad omen but we didn't listen. Two and a half months later, when we were up near the summit, Everest unleashed the worst storm in its human history. Throughout two days of relentless wind and cold, I was the only doctor high up on the mountain.

When disaster struck, Scott Fisher's American team and Rob Hall's New Zealand team were on their way from Camp IV to the 29,035' summit, moving along the Southeast Ridge, the most exposed and vulnerable part of the route. My National Geographic team, carrying The Explorers Club flag, was at Camp III, 2,000 feet below them.

The ridge is a precipitous, knife-edged, sinuous path, 1,500' long, three to six feet wide, angling about thirty degrees upward. When clouds pass through, climbers have to stop and wait until they can see where to put their feet. Climbers unrope for this most dangerous part because the slopes are so sheer, a slip would be a free fall. A climber would not be able to belay a falling partner and would be jerked off the mountain with him. If you fall to the left, you drop 8,000' into Nepal; to the right, you fall 12,000' into Tibet. So, as climbers like to say, it's better to fall into Tibet because you'll live longer ... but either way, you'll be falling for the rest of your life.

Her 108-year-old farmhouse in the Seattle neighborhood of Ballard was in the middle of an area undergoing lots of commercial development. Before moving to this little house in Washington state, Edith had an interesting life. Born in Oregon in 1921, Edith lied about her age in order to join the service and support the war effort in England. Even when others discovered that she wasn't 18, Edith stayed overseas to care for orphans until her mother became ill and she returned to the States. Her only child, a son, died of meningitis at 13.

"My mother died here," she said, "on this very couch. I came back to America from England to take care of her. She made me promise I would let her die at home and not in some facility, and I kept that promise. And this is where I want to die. Right in my own home. On this couch."

Her refusal to sell made her a local folk hero and brought her national attention. "I don't want to move. I don't need the money. Money doesn't mean anything," Macefield told the Seattle P-I .

It was on my fourth expedition to Mount Everest that the comet Hyakutaki passed over base camp. The Sherpas warned us it was a bad omen but we didn't listen. Two and a half months later, when we were up near the summit, Everest unleashed the worst storm in its human history. Throughout two days of relentless wind and cold, I was the only doctor high up on the mountain.

When disaster struck, Scott Fisher's American team and Rob Hall's New Zealand team were on their way from Camp IV to the 29,035' summit, moving along the Southeast Ridge, the most exposed and vulnerable part of the route. My National Geographic team, carrying The Explorers Club flag, was at Camp III, 2,000 feet below them.

The ridge is a precipitous, knife-edged, sinuous path, 1,500' long, three to six feet wide, angling about thirty degrees upward. When clouds pass through, climbers have to stop and wait until they can see where to put their feet. Climbers unrope for this most dangerous part because the slopes are so sheer, a slip would be a free fall. A climber would not be able to belay a falling partner and would be jerked off the mountain with him. If you fall to the left, you drop 8,000' into Nepal; to the right, you fall 12,000' into Tibet. So, as climbers like to say, it's better to fall into Tibet because you'll live longer ... but either way, you'll be falling for the rest of your life.

 
 
 
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