October 17, 2012

Lessons Learned from the Book, The Climb

The past three days for me had been so action-packed and adventure-filled as I read the book, The Climb: Tragic Ambitions on Everest written by Anatoli Boukreev and G. Weston DeWalt. Anatoli Boukreev is a highly respected high-altitude mountaineer. At the time the book was released, he has climbed 11 of the world's 8,000-meter peaks without using any supplementary oxygen. He has also scaled Mt. Everest three times. While, G. Weston DeWalt is a prolific writer and filmmaker.

Photo Credit: www.wikipedia.org

This book is a true and fascinating account of the events that had happened on May 10, 1996-- the day when the "worst disaster in the history of Mount Everest" had transpired. I also love this book because it describes in a detailed manner the chronology of ascents the 1996 Mountain Madness expedition made while climbing Mt. Everest. The team was led by Scott Fischer, Anatoli Boukreev and Neal Beidleman as their guides, and Lopsang Jangbu Sherpa as the climbing sirdar.

I bought this book on sale in Cagayan de Oro City some time in 2004. I have read this book once while in college and I felt the need to read it again last Monday.

Let me share to you the things I have learned from this book.

-- Mt. Everest stands at 8,848 meters and is the highest mountain in the world. The Nepalis often call Mt. Everest-- Sagarmatha which means, "the Head in the Great Blue Sky".

-- On May 10, 1996, that tragic day, only 28 climbers descended alive from the mountain out of 33 climbers. The mountain claimed the lives of Scott Fischer-- the leader of Mountain Madness expedition, Rob Hall-- the leader of Adventure Consultants expedition, Andy Harris, Doug Hansen, and Yasuko Namba.

-- There are fourteen 8,000-meter peaks in the world.

1. Everest- 8848 m (29,029 ft)
2. K2- 8611 m (28,251 ft)
3. Kangchenjunga- 8586 m (28,169 ft)
4. Lhotse- 8516 m (27,940 ft)
5. Makalu- 8485 m (27,838 ft)
6. Cho Oyu- 8201 m (26,906 ft)
7. Dhaulagiri I- 8167 m (26,795 ft)
8. Manaslu- 8163 m (26,781 ft)
9. Nanga Parbat- 8126 m (26,660 ft)
10. Annapurna I- 8091 m (26,545 ft)
11. Gasherbrum I (Hidden Peak)- 8080 m (26,444 ft)
12. Broad Peak- 8051 m (26,414 ft)
13. Gasherbrum II- 8034 m (26,358 ft)
14. Shishapangma- 8027 m (26,335 ft)

-- In order to climb high altitude summits, you have to acclimatize. Acclimatization is a process of letting your body adjust gradually and properly to the lower levels of oxygen on high elevations. That's why, expeditions to Mt. Everest can take from weeks to months.

-- I support the concept held by Boukreev of descending to a lower elevation even below Base Camp, around 3,800 meters in the forest zone and there rest for a few days before the summit assault. Lower altitude means higher levels of oxygen which can help recuperate your body.

-- I became familiar with these Everest terms: Base Camp, Khumbu Icefall, Camp I, Camp II, Camp III, Camp IV, Western Cwm, The Yellow Band, South Col, Kangshung Face, Lhotse Face, the Death Zone, Balcony, South Summit, Hillary Step.

-- The most common and popular route to the summit of Mt. Everest is the Southeast Ridge route.

-- The aluminum tripod of flags and poles mark the true summit of Mt. Everest.

-- As a nurse, I am taking note of the common symptoms of Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS) like headache, nausea, sleep disturbance, fatigue, shortness of breath, dizziness, malaise, and loss of appetite. High-altitude cerebral edema and high-altitude pulmonary edema are serious conditions that should be reported and treated immediately.

-- Mountaineers should be willing to say, just like what Boukreev has written, "I accept that I may die in the mountains."

To those mountaineers who are considering high-altitude ascents, I recommend this book to you.

Next book to review: Into Thin Air by Jon Krakauer.

Read my dream of Everest here-- A Dream to See Mt. Everest and the Himalayas.

30 comments:

  1. I think ive read a few articles on Everest that interested me too, and that k2 movie was sad and i saw it during grade school.

    Interesting review of a book that i wouldn't mind reading as well :) Turn this into a series, it's quite interesting :D

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks! Books like these thrills me, that is why I love reading them. Sure! The next book that I will review is Into Thin Air. This will definitely be a series, thanks to your encouragement! :)

      Delete
  2. :-) Very informative post Epz. I would like to visit Himalayas too! I heard it's very beautiful there!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Paula! Regin and I are planning to go to the Himalayas some time next year. Sama ka? :)

      Delete
    2. No schedule yet, just a plan especially if all will be well! :)

      Delete
  3. hey... you made me wanna put the books ive read on my blog and write a review abou it =)

    nice post brod!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yeah, this is also my first time to post a book review, and it is great! Thanks!

      Delete
  4. This one is an inspiring book as scaling about 30,000 feet of Mt. Everest is a mean feat. I'm sure it felt like conquering the world for those who took the climb.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yeah, this book is my favorite of all my adventure books! I have learned a lot about Everest by reading this book. And it is my dream to have a glimpse of Everest from the Base Camp.

      Delete
    2. I think it would be good to read this book whenever you are down or up for a big task to be inspired to succeed.

      Delete
    3. That is right, Franc! This book is really inspiring and informative!

      Delete
    4. Mountain climbing is risky as they go higher but the feeling to be on top is really satisfying.

      Delete
    5. Yeah, you're correct Franc! And when you get higher, you will get to see astounding views and the fulfillment of reaching the peak will satisfy you. :)

      Delete
  5. Mountain climbing will always be a little beyond me - then again I'm not very physical in general. Still there's a lot of insight to be gained from the experiences of others.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for your comment Rocky! Yeah, their experiences will help us as we go through life because of the lessons learned. I love mountaineering that is why I love reading adventure books.

      Delete
  6. This story is very sad. Try reading Jon Krakauer's Into Thin Air, it also tells the same account. It's also made into a movie with the same title.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yeah, this is really a tragic story. I will be reading and reviewing Into Thin Air soon. Thanks for dropping by, Buge! :)

      Delete
  7. Interesting facts from the book!

    Mukhang masarap mamundok,pero dko pa nasusubukan.. Marami akong kaibigan na nawiwiling umakyat ng bundok.

    Isa sa pinapangarap ko eh makapag-mountain climbing ako before man lang ako mamatay.. :D

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for your comment Grasyah! Yes, I have also learned these things right after reading the book, and it inspires me to continue climbing mountains. I encourage you to try mountaineering too. It will be a fascinating experience you will never forget! :)

      Delete
  8. "I accept that I may die in the mountains." --> The attitude of surrender. =)Scaling a mountain like Everest is indeed an act of surrender. I imagine mountains like that can be very humbling.

    Sounds like a good book. Maybe I should check it out sometime. =)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Claire, thanks for dropping by! Yeah, you are right. It's a sign that at some point in time especially high on a mountain, we become so powerless. And that was the case on the spring of the 1996 Mt. Everest season. You can check this book for yourself! :)

      Delete
  9. What a inspiring book! Hindi ko pa kasi natry mamundok.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi! Thanks for dropping by! Yeah, try mountain climbing, it's fun! :)

      Delete
  10. I'm not a fan of mountain climbing because I don't see the point of tiring yourself to reach the peak, shout out some heavy emotions, go sightseeing, take some photos and then leave (spend another set of time and effort). Haha. Anyway, this book must be an interesting read just for knowledge sharing.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hello Rochkirstin! I can sense that you're not really a fan of mountaineering. Yet I would still recommend this book to you or your adventurer friends. :)

      Delete
  11. Acclimatization and AMS... im glad to know new terms on your review. And the "worst disaster in the history of Mount Everest" got me so curious i had to ask Google. And it's tragic to know nine people died on Mount Everest during 1996 summit attempts. Anyway, thanks for sharing! :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi, thanks for dropping by! Yeah, I'm happy you learned new words from this post. The incident was indeed the worst disaster in the Everest history and it is well written in this book. :)

      Delete
  12. Though I am not a mountaineer and only dream of seeing Mt Everest, I really enjoyed reading this book.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Wow! So you've read this book too! This is one of my favorite adventure / mountaineering books. I have known a lot of things about climbing Mt. Everest because of this book.

      Delete

Facebook

Instagram