Thursday: 26.February.2004

Checking In

Been neglecting the site, spending all my free time reading The Climb: Tragic Ambitions on Everest. Whereas Krakauer's account is more polished & entertaining, The Climb is more gritty & enlightening, tho I would argue with those who claim it's not written as well.

I recently purchased a new pair of US$100 hiking boots, which I wear while reading this book .. for that "life-like" effect. I even kill myself on the stairmaster at the local gym to try to simulate the leg fatigue and body aches associated with mountain climbing.

I'm currently ~halfway thru the story. The group just reached the summit and are heading back down. But that's when most tragedies strike. The problem is that they're well behind schedule and darkness is only a few hours away. Their oxygen is running dangerously low, and they're unaware that a nasty storm is brewing. Worst of all (according to the superstitious locals) is that a bad omen has appeared in the sky: a day-star. Here's an excerpt from the page I'm on:

continued

[excerpt] Lene Gammelgaard, however, saw something that disturbed her. "Before I decided to go up over the Hilary Step, I noticed a whiteout coming from the valleys, and I saw the wind pick up over the summit." Gammelgaard had witnessed the formative stages of a storm system that within a few hours would catch her and her climbing partners vulnerable and exposed, at the most dangerous part of an Everest assault: the descent. [/excerpt]

I know from reading Into Thin Air that they're headed for a world of hurt. But it's interesting to hear the same story from another perspective (like Rashomon).

What's so cool is that it's stormy here in SoCal. Rains have arrived and the weather is wonderfully miserable. The wind is howling. Makes reading seem more realistic. Well, I just wanted to check in & say 'hey'.

Everyone here is talking about Mel Gibson's new movie: The Passion of the Christ, which opened yesterday. Saw a snippet of a talk-show discussing it and panel members actually seemed *angry* at Mel, suggesting a boycott. This struck me as odd because it's not like people don't already know the story. What's more unusual is that none of the panel members were film critics. Guess I'll have to go see what all the ruckus is about.





Posted by Rad at February 26, 2004 01:37 AM

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