Sherpa guides are 10 times more likely to die than commercial fishermen, the most dangerous, nonmilitary occupation in the U.S. But they're offered little financial protection by companies who charge Western climbers thousands of dollars for a trip up the mountain.
Sherpa Jamling Tensing Norgay. Author of the new book Touching My Father's Soul, Norgay was Climbing Leader for the 1996 Everest IMAX Filming Expedition and summitted the Mountain that year. He's also the son of Tenzing Norgay, one of the first men in history to summit Mt. Everest. In his book, Jamling Norgay recounts his 1996 Mt. Everest ascent: the climb and its familial meaning. He now heads Tenzing Norgay Adventures which is based in India.
Kenneth Kamler, MD is a surgeon who also climbs mountains. He was team doctor on three expeditions to the top of Mount Everest, including the disastrous 1996 trip during which 6 people died. Kamler is both storyteller and advisor in his book, “Doctor on Everest: Emergency Medicine at the Top of the World – A Personal Account including the 1996 Disaster.” (The Lyons Press) Blackened limbs due to severe frostbite were the least of his troubles. I-V fluids are frozen solid, and abrasions cannot heal at such high altitudes.
Cinematographer David Breashears. The first American to climb Mount Everest twice, he attempted last year to film from Mount Everest's summit on an IMAX camera. But Breashears had to put down his camera to help with the rescue mission of a group of climbers who were part of another expedition at the time, and who were caught on the mountain in a May blizzard. (Chronicled by John Krakauer in his book, "Into Thin Air.") Breashears' film of his own expedition is titled "Everest," and will be released in February. He has won four Emmy awards for his filmmaking.
Mountain climber and writer Jon Krakauer was with the group of climbers who were climbing Mt. Everest May 10-11 when a storm hit. Eight climbers were killed. Jon Krakauer was covering the climb for Outside Magazine. Terry Gross will talk with him about it. Krakauer is also the author of the book "Eiger Dreams: Ventures Among Men and Mountains" (1990, paperback Dell)
Travel writer and essayist Jan Morris. In her 1974 autobiography "Conundrum," Morris talked about her search for sexual identity and her sex change operation. The sequel, "Pleasures of a Tangled Life," is a collection of personal essays describing the experiences and sensations that have brought Morris pleasure over the years.