‘Everest: Mountain Without Mercy’
— Broughton Coburn
Everest remains the ultimate siren for mountaineers across the world, calling to them in their dreams, beckoning them to dare to reach the world's highest summit.
Filmmaker David Breshiers took an IMAX camera and crew up Mount Everest in 1996 to film super-climber Ed Viesters attempting to summit. Coincidentally, they were on the mountain at the same time that Jon Krakauer's group were stranded in the death zone by a sudden storm (see Into Thin Air).
Everest: Mountain Without Mercy
The resulting IMAX film makes for gripping viewing, melding the otherworldly grandeur of the Himalayas and Everest with the human tragedy unfolding on that day.
Everest: Mountain Without Mercy is the companion piece to the film, including numerous National Geographic-quality color photos of the mountain.
Among those photos are shots of human debris—frozen partial torsos, legs, etc.—the remains of climbers past which emerge, from time to time, from their icy tombs, only to vanish again with the passing seasons.
Mountain without mercy indeed!
Yet such dire harbingers do little to dissuade men and women from returning, every year, to seek Everest's summit. If Into Thin Air questions the wisdom of humans scaling mountains like Everest, this book is the immutable answer, echoing Mallory's famous words: "Because it is there."