May 11, 1996- “Into Thin Air”
On a sunny afternoon just over a week ago, climbers at the Everest base camp at 17,700 feet saw the sky over the summit turn an ominous deep purple, while the handful on top felt the wind pick up with the suddenness of an opened window. Clouds boiled up from the slopes below, where the nearest shelter, a cluster of Mad-whipped tents, was a 10-hour walk away in a little saddle called the South Col. Over the next 36 hours, five people would die between the summit and South Col, and three others, approaching the peak from a different direction, would disappear in the same storm. Others would survive with hands so frozen they clinked like glasses, dead black flesh peeling from their faces. And all so they could stand on that little patch of rock, where you can almost feel the wind of the planet’s rotation in your face, the place on Earth that’s closest to the stars.
Newsweek May 27, 1996
Reblogged from Newsweek Archivist
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