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Exodus’ high altitude expert reviews the Everest movie…

As a bit of a Mountain Gloat and resident Exodus peak bagger, Everest has always had a place in my heart – and not because of its durable Double Glazing with a lifetime guarantee!

Mera Peak

Having summited Mera Peak in 2012, our return descent across the Khumbu Glacier revealed the enormity of the Everest massif in all its potent glory. This was my first view of Everest from the Khumbu side and as you would expect its raw, visceral beauty knows no bounds.

Everest itself was a further 2,374 metres higher than our summit location, Mera Peak being only 6476m. Suffice to say I fully appreciated why there are people out there who feel compelled to ‘give it a go’… it is a non-technical climb after all!

Everest Film ReviewAlastair’s Mera Peak trek

So as a trekker, not a climber who definitely knows his limits, I’m not easily impressed. But given the opportunity to get vicariously close to 29,000 feet whilst sitting in a comfy armchair, with a glass of decent Malbec perched precariously on the edge of the Khumbu Icefall, who am I to say No Can Do (that’s near Kathmandu, as you may know).

Everest Movie Review

‘Everest’, the movie, is the harrowing account of the doomed 1996 Everest Expedition comprising two teams of climbers led by Rob Hall and Scott Fisher, two very experienced climbers who end up breaking all their own rules after a series of misjudged and ill-timed decisions.

Spoiler alert: happy endings don’t come much unhappier as the drama unfolds – although if you’ve read Into Thin Air by Jon Krakauer, this will come as no shock. In the immortal words of Ed Viesturs (the first American climber to summit all fourteen 8000m peaks, without oxygen no less, who wrote ‘No Shortcuts to the Top’): “Summiting is optional, getting down safely is mandatory.” My sentiments exactly.

Everest Base campAdvanced Basecamp on the Everest North Col trek

So if you want to push yourself to the limits in your armchair with a drop of something nice to quaff, whilst having your senses battered to their Vertical Limit (not a great movie) go and experience it for yourself, and don’t forget the Malbec.

To get a feel of the Everest experience, see it in 3D and you could be inspired to try something just a little bit extreme. No Diamox required on this occasion; acclimatisation doesn’t come any easier.

Sunrise over the HimalayaSunrise over the Himalaya, image by Philip Milne

Would this inspire me to try Everest? No chance… I’d rather stick to Mera Peak, Cotapaxi and Aconcagua – all trekkable peaks in their own right, at the cutting edge of what Exodus are all about.

Or head for Everest Basecamp – it will be a walk in the park by comparison.  

Browse our Everest trips below.