The Everest Archives [Toil and Trouble]

I’m humbled, honored, and more than a little surprised that Outside Magazine has included my story about Sherpas relocating to New York City from the Himalayas on a list of its best ever stories relating to Mount Everest. On the roster are several articles by writers I admire, including the massive feat of reporting that became Into Thin Air, by Jon Krakauer, and eleven other alternately harrowing and hilarious high-altitude yarns by Mark Bryant, Nick Heil, Eric Hagerman, Brad Wetzler, and Kevin Fedarko, among others. Be sure to check out the photo galleries, too, with film and video work by the likes of Martin Schoeller, Jimmy Chin, and writer/producer Jenny Dubin

After the jump, unedited, is Outside’slist

Into Thin Air (September 1996)

Though many aspire to reach the summit of Mount Everest, few can imagine the enormity of the challenge. And therein lies the problem. A no-holds-barred account from a man who survived the deadliest day ever on the roof of the world.
By Jon Krakauer

Everest A Year Later: False Summit (May 1997)

In 1996, Jon Krakauer did what 12 others on the mountain could not: He escaped with his life. A year later, as this conversation with Krakauer revealed, the aftereffects of that episode were still being felt—both by those who were on Everest, and by the families who waited and watched from afar.
By Mark Bryant


The Good Company of the Dead (August 1999)
George Mallory’s disappearance high on Everest begat mountaineering’s greatest mystery: Did he reach the summit 29 years before Hillary? The recent discovery of his body offers up another tantalizing mystery: Who was the man behind the legend?
By Mark Jenkins

The Man Who Knocked the Bastard Off(October 1999)
On a sunny day in 1953, a tall young New Zealander named Edmund Hillary became the first human to stand atop the world’s highest mountain—and, thereafter, a paragon of grace and bonhomie for explorers who would follow.
Q&A with Sir Edmund Hillary

Ghosts of Everest (October 1999)
It took 75 years for Everest to loose its frozen grip on George Mallory, and an instant for the news to rocket around the globe. In the months since the 1999 Mallory and Irvine Research Expedition returned to sea level, the team leaders haven’t told the full story of their mission on the brutal North Face, nor have they revealed the provocative key evidence they found enshrouded there. Until now.
By Jochen Hemmleb, Larry Johnson, and Eric Simonson

Base Camp Confidential (April 2001)
An utterly unofficial oral history of Everest Base Camp, from Sir Edmund Hillary and Jim Whittaker to ShoSho the man-eating dog.
By Brad Wetzler

He Ain’t Your Sherpa (April 2001)
He’s short, fat, semiliterate—and truly phenomenal. He’s fast becoming the best Himalayan alpinist of this or any generation. He holds the mark for the quickest ascent and the longest visit to the highest point on earth. And this season, he could break the record for the most summits of Everest ever. With daring and flair, he defies the myth of Sherpas as silent types—the all-but-invisible iron men who’ve been saving Western mountaineers in the Death Zone for decades. His name is Babu Chiri Sherpa.
By Eric Hagerman

Majesty or Travesty (April 2004)
It’s climbing season again on Everest. And as hundreds of summit hopefuls converge at Base Camp, the great debate persists: Has the Big E become the Big Easy? Alpinists Greg Child and Dave Hahn take sides.

What the Pros Know (The Complete Conversation) (September 2006)
Is it possible to guide safely on Everest? Or will the mountain always demand its pound of flesh? MARK JENKINS talks to a dream team of veterans-between them, they’ve reached the summit 17 times-in a frank look at the risks, rewards, and nightmares of taking clients to the top.

The No Fall Zone (January 2007)
When freeskier Kit DesLauriers dropped in at 29,035 feet on Mount Everest in October, she became the first person to ski off the Seven Summits. Kit, her husband, Rob, and photographer JIMMY CHIN-whose exclusive images appear here-also became the first Americans to ski from the top of the world’s tallest mountain. Outside correspondent DAVE HAHN, who guided the climb, reports on the epic descent.

High Times (July 2007)
You were told that Everest base camp is an insult to the true spirit of mountaineering. But why weren’t you told about the excellent bars, the butter people, and that friendly playboy bunny from Poland? Kevin Fedarko spends a month at the world’s most exclusive party town.

Give Me Your Tired, Your Poor, Your Hale, Hearty, Tough-As-Nails, Acclimatized-At-Birth Mountain People… (November 2007)
The skyscrapers of Manhattan may not reach as high as Everest, but this is where Tsering Norbu Sherpa, a member of mountaineering’s most famous clan, is making a new life. CHRISTIAN DeBENEDETTI rides shotgun with one of New York’s unlikeliest cabbies.

King of the Hill (May 2008 )
Depending on whom you ask, commercial outfitter Russell Brice is either the best guy to call if you’re serious about summiting Everest or the most controversial man in the Death Zone. As NICK HEIL reveals in this exclusive preview of his book Dark Summit, both statements are true—and that’s where the story gets interesting.

Everest in Images
Tigers of the Snow
A Photo Gallery of Everest’s SherpasSkiing Everest
A Photo GalleryTrailing Everest’s Heros
Video of the Sherpa Photo ShootFarther Than the Eye Can See
A video preview of the Sera film that offers an intimate look inside blind climber Erik Weihenmayer’s historic ascent of Mount Everest.
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2 thoughts on “The Everest Archives [Toil and Trouble]

  1. susan

    I met Brad Wetzler at a banana bread stand on Maui when he was writing a travel article about cruise ships in Hawaii for AAA magazine and although we only spent time talking, afterwards I felt as though I had been taken for a rocket ship ride by a genie. He has very high (stratospheric) energy.

  2. I know Brad Wetzler from college and always had a special aura about him. And it doesn’t surprise me that you met him at a Banana Bread stand — that guy is a true connoisseur of banana bread. Great stuff!

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