Mountain Without Mercy

WHEN DISASTER STRUCK ATOP EVEREST IN 1996, A TEAM OF IMAX FILMMAKERS WAS THERE. THIS IS THEIR STORY

It was clear to anyone listening to the Mount Everest radio traffic that Rob Hall had decided to die. For Hall, there seemed to be little drama in the decision--but for someone in his position, there rarely is. In the brutal cold and almost oxygen-free air found at Everest altitudes, a sort of woozy resignation sets in. Decisions to climb or descend, rest or trudge on, get made with a fatalistic shrug. At the moment, Hall was shrugging toward death.

David Breashears and Ed Viesturs were in radio contact with Hall as he made his decision. Filmmakers and climbers who had...

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