The other day a friend asked me what I was working on, and when I explained that I was writing an article listing 10 mountain climbing accidents deadlier than the one in the movie Everest she laughed and teased, “Wow, you go to dark places.”
It all started when I noticed that at the end of every trailer for Everest there is a quick bit of text in which the studio and filmmakers pledge support for the continuing Nepal earthquake relief efforts and direct viewers to donate at Oxfam America. I was aware of the devastating earthquake which struck Nepal earlier this year, but I was unaware that anything had happened on Mount Everest, the tallest mountain in the world above sea result. Then I visited HistoryVsHollywood’s deep dive into Everest, which dramatizes a 1996 disaster where 6 climbers died in a single day thus making it the deadliest day on record in Everest history. As HistoryVsHollywood discovered, the real life story is so rich with drama that the filmmakers didn’t actually have to exaggerate all that often while adapting the tale to the screen. However, the HistoryVsHollywood article also contained a footnote that, sadly, the terrible day in 1996 is no longer the Everest record holder. The record’s actually been supplanted two times in the past two years, which is why Everest wants us to donate to Oxfam America. In fact, a second unit film crew for the movie was on Mount Everest when the 2014 disaster happened.
Trying to put all of that into context, I started researching the history of mountain climbing accidents and discovered multiple tragedies with higher body counts than six (not that a higher body count necessarily makes one more tragic than the other; they are all examples of regrettalbe losses of human life). A bunch of Nazi-funded Germans died while attempting to climb something appropriately known as “The Killer Mountain” in 1937, a Nepal mountain claimed the lives of two Korean brothers but spared the third in 1959, a class hike turned deadly in Oregon in 1986 and so on and so on. Looking to expand outside of WeMinoredInFilm a little more, I went to WhatCulture.com and pitched them the idea of doing a list called “10 Mountain Climbing Disasters Deadlier Than The Everest Movie,” and they were cool with it. I cannot re-publish the list here on my site, but I can give you a link to it if you’d like to read it:
Everest is playing exclusively in IMAX theaters now and will expand wide this weekend. Here’s the trailer: