New book about 1996 Everest tragedy by one of the survivors.

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bscott

 
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Re: New book about 1996 Everest tragedy by one of the surviv

by bscott » Mon Nov 24, 2014 8:49 pm

krakauer's version is probably the least reliable of those folks who were actually on the mountain. it's a shame, because i really like some of his other work (especially "under the banner of heaven"), but his account was biased (inaccurate?) enough that someone had to write a response to it.
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Re: New book about 1996 Everest tragedy by one of the surviv

by Ben Beckerich » Mon Nov 24, 2014 9:31 pm

martaolson wrote:Check out Lou Kasischke's new book, After the Wind


Are you Lou Kasichke?
where am i going... and why am i in this handbasket?

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Re: New book about 1996 Everest tragedy by one of the surviv

by lkav » Tue Dec 16, 2014 8:13 pm

Looks like a great read.

The one thing I agree with in Into Thin Air is Krakeur's own admission he wrote it too soon after the event.

Something so dramatic needs more fact gathering and time to piece it all together. It's only respectful, says me.

Sat next to Scott Darsney on a plane once by chance in 1997, helluva guy by the way, and he was visibly shaken a year and a half after the event when the topic came up. He was roped into the rescue while on a Lhotse photo expedition.

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Re: New book about 1996 Everest tragedy by one of the surviv

by Buz Groshong » Wed Dec 17, 2014 11:29 pm

bscott wrote:
krakauer's version is probably the least reliable of those folks who were actually on the mountain. it's a shame, because i really like some of his other work (especially "under the banner of heaven"), but his account was biased (inaccurate?) enough that someone had to write a response to it.


On what basis do you conclude that "krakauer's version is probably the least reliable"? Were you there? I read Krakauer's book and found it fairly reasonable. I wasn't there, so I can't say how reliable it is.

I also read Boukreev's book, which was primarily an attempt at a pissing match with Krakauer. Boukreev's book was about justifying his leadership style, which Krakauer criticized, and touting his actions after the crisis unfolded, which Krakauer praised. Boukreev took offense where none was intended - such as the "sneakers" thing. It seems that Boukreev couldn't handle even the least criticism, or joking feigned criticism, which tends to say "overinflated ego."

At any rate, I've read enough about it and don't need another book. It's time to move on.

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Re: New book about 1996 Everest tragedy by one of the surviv

by bscott » Mon Dec 22, 2014 3:31 am

Buz Groshong wrote:
On what basis do you conclude that "krakauer's version is probably the least reliable"? Were you there? I read Krakauer's book and found it fairly reasonable. I wasn't there, so I can't say how reliable it is.



i think there are, what, five or six books on the event now? i've read most of them. krakauer's account seems to be self-serving in some places, and poorly researched in others. an example is the forecast controversy, which was addressed in a subsequent article and then book. one article even went so far as to say that krakauer's book contained important omissions, bordering on deception. i would suggest you read a day to die for, which i think is probably the best book on the event (and is the book that brought some of these omissions to light).

Buz Groshong wrote:
At any rate...It's time to move on.


says the guy who read and commented in a thread about it.
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Re: New book about 1996 Everest tragedy by one of the surviv

by Scott » Mon Dec 22, 2014 2:14 pm

On what basis do you conclude that "krakauer's version is probably the least reliable"? Were you there? I read Krakauer's book and found it fairly reasonable. I wasn't there, so I can't say how reliable it is.


I wasn't there, but people who were there say that the book has many errors. I do know one person that was there and others have said the same things.

From what I gather, Krakauer didn't intentionally mislead anyone, but for parts of the story he (allegedly) did write rumors, his perceptions, and his speculations of what people were thinking as if they were fact, without saying that some of the events were just his speculation on things. At least that's what several people who were there say.

In any author's defense though, it seems like getting every fact straight where communication was poor and where minds were functioning at high altitude is a difficult task and it would be impossible to gather all of the facts with 100% certainty.

an example is the forecast controversy, which was addressed in a subsequent article and then book. one article even went so far as to say that krakauer's book contained important omissions, bordering on deception. i would suggest you read a day to die for, which i think is probably the best book on the event (and is the book that brought some of these omissions to light).


No one I know of verifies the story by Ratcliffe about the weather forecast. Most (perhaps everyone?) who were there believe this to be the least accurate book written on the event, at least the later 1/3 of the book (the first 2/3 of the book are considered to be fairly accurate). Even Ratcliffe's own partners and the ones he claims as sources for his information have completely refuted the book. At least some of his partners who were with him aren't even on speaking terms with him (mostly because of the book). If his own partners and "sources" completely refute the story, it seems unlikely that the account is the best one to go off.

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Re: New book about 1996 Everest tragedy by one of the surviv

by bscott » Mon Dec 22, 2014 8:49 pm

Scott wrote:No one I know of verifies the story by Ratcliffe about the weather forecast. Most (perhaps everyone?) who were there believe this to be the least accurate book written on the event, at least the later 1/3 of the book (the first 2/3 of the book are considered to be fairly accurate). Even Ratcliffe's own partners and the ones he claims as sources for his information have completely refuted the book. At least some of his partners who were with him aren't even on speaking terms with him (mostly because of the book). If his own partners and "sources" completely refute the story, it seems unlikely that the account is the best one to go off.


if that is in fact true it would certainly give me pause. i do know that ratcliffe has a way of pissing people off, and as an outsider i have no idea if it's his approach or his conclusions. or maybe both. i think maybe i gave him some slack (incorrectly??) because his conclusions are his conclusions as a person, and not as a journalist. this is probably my own bias speaking, but i think krakauer had a higher burden of proof since he is a journalist.
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Re: New book about 1996 Everest tragedy by one of the surviv

by Bob Sihler » Mon Dec 22, 2014 11:38 pm

Ben Beckerich wrote:
martaolson wrote:Check out Lou Kasischke's new book


Are you Lou Kasichke?


No, but the OP (now deleted) uses an email address that interestingly matches the name of the publishing company, so this is a commercial post.
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Re: New book about 1996 Everest tragedy by one of the surviv

by Damien Gildea » Tue Dec 23, 2014 1:01 am

Scott wrote:... it would be impossible to gather all of the facts with 100% certainty.


That's about the only truly verifiable statement in this thread and the core of the issue - now, then, for everybody.

Krakauer wrote his book too soon, made mistakes, left things out, hurt many feelings. I like and respect his work and think it's a good book.

Boukreev was from a generation of Soviet alpinists who had a massive chip on their shoulder about any inferiority to Western climbers and often displayed an almost adolescent urge to prove themselves superior. They felt, justifiably, that they were more experienced, better and stronger than Western climbers, particularly Americans (which they probably were) and had not been given their due in world mountaineering at that point - which is true. This is the cultural and psychological background feeding into the '96 events. Boukreev was a much stronger and more experienced high-altitude mountaineer than Krakauer and would not have felt the latter was qualified or able to judge him - it was an insult. Eventually, Boukreev's story was written by others and promoted by fans and those emotionally involved. Hardly objective.

Boukreev's incredible strength at altitude and his rescue heroics are not to be denied, but he should not have had to do them in the first place. He should not have been 'guiding' Everest without O2, as no one would do now (hindsight) and Fischer should not have let him. They made mistakes, again, obvious in hindsight but mistakes nonetheless.

So many of the other involved people who have written of the incident afterwards were dealing with the undeniable fact they were part of a much-maligned group of people, all willing participants in a highly criticised mess - insufficiently controlled commercial guiding of inappropriate clients on Mt Everest. Anyone in such a position feels the need to justify their actions - or inaction - and put their side of the story across, to defend themselves under the scrutiny of others, and themselves. Some also just need to make money.

I read parts of Ratcliffe's book, found his argument thin, unverified and unconvincing. I just think he needed to write a book.

Writing a book nearly 20 years after the incident can offer good perspective, balance and time to get facts straight, but it can also be too long. You and others have forgotten things, re-shaped things, and you're dealing now with changed standards and the set perspectives of others who have already published, regardless of the 'truth'. There is also a tendency for people as they age to not want to be forgotten, or left out, and so they put their thoughts into words mostly for personal reasons, and this does not guarantee a good book.

Often the most important thing is not how you write a book, but why you write it.

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