Last year I got obsessed with reading about bear attacks. I read about every fatal bear attack on record for a couple of weeks until I ran out of material and got bored. This year, my current obsession is reading about how people died on Mt. Everest. There’s the sudden and obvious like this poor chap, and the sad, long, odd and painful, like this old man from Maryland. And there are the miracles.
I also enjoyed reading this detailed story (.pdf) from a smart bloke who has had the good sense to turn around three straight times before reaching the Second Summit. It has good pictures, too, and it tells the funny story of how China politicized the slopes in 2008 because they were carrying the Olympic Torch to the summit and they didn’t want any Free Tibet signs up top when they got there.
I don’t know why Mt. Everest fascinates me so much. I have no desire to climb it or even to visit it. But it’s so insane to climb over 25,000 feet that I can’t read enough about those who try and then run into trouble.