Although released last year, I knew nothing about the movie Everest until it popped up on Netflix recently. And since I was still in my fresh-from-Iceland-and-craving-exotic-locales-mindset, I decided to watch it.
Common Sense media suggests ages 12 and over for this film which was a stretch for my kids. But because I didn’t want to wait until after their bedtime (it’s so damn late these days!) I put it on while they were awake.
I figured how bad could it be? A disaster story based on the 1996 tragedy that killed 8 people by an unforeseen storm.
At first, it was fine. After the introductions of all who set out to summit, the story gets into a reenactment of what really happened.
Then it gets ugly. There’s the altitude sickness that causes people to vomit blood which was when my kids got freaked out prompting me to turn it off until they finally went to sleep.
As the story progressed, the intensity kicked in. Basically, the group gets to the top. It’s on their way down that some die. (Statistics say that most deaths occur on the descent.) Shots of them frozen from exposure, and falling to their death show some of what they went through.
I have always been attracted to disaster stories, but something about this one driven by bucketlist-like ambitions appealed to me even more. And the fact that they die on their way down… (one woman was on her 7th summit!) doesn’t this make it more tragic?
The story enthralls, so much so that after watching I went online to learn more about not only this devastating day, but about the mountain as well.
Apparently, most bodies that die on Everest stay there since it’s nearly impossible to bring them back down. Currently there are more than 200 corpses on the mountain one of which serves as a landmark based on his neon green boots. Most people die from avalanches and falls.
Another thing I discovered was that trekking to Everest base camp is a thing that people are doing right now.
Naturally, the adventurer in me thinks Hey, I should do that! But the reality is I don’t even like camping. A trek to Everest isn’t very realistic for me.
Metaphorically though… I can relate! Having this crazy ambition that becomes an obsession — I know all about that.
And the ability to persevere — to keep going no matter what gets thrown my way — is something I try to sustain. While there’s no avalanche or lack of oxygen threat, I’ve got my own set of obstacles blocking my path.
One thing they kept saying in the movie was to keep moving. To stand still meant to die.
Again, metaphorically speaking, death may not be on the table, but I’ve got to keep going towards my goals. Maybe I’ll need to rest (or realign), that’s ok. It’s about staying engaged with the vision even if the actual summit isn’t in view. (Which often it’s not.) Basically, it’s the movement towards a dream that keeps it alive.
Does the thought of climbing Everest appeal to you?
See the preview for Everest here.
(Image found on instagram)