(Nestler) Beck Weathers: “It made my life more rewarding”

Mountain

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The Everest summit wave is rolling. Dozens, if not hundreds of summit successes are expected in the coming days, on the Nepalese south side of the highest mountain on earth as well as on the Tibetan north side.

Do the Everest aspirants still remember Beck Weathers? Possibly. After all, in 2015 the successful Hollywood movie “Everest” told his story.

20 years ago, in spring 1996, Beck also wanted to climb to the top of the world. Due to vision problems the American pathologist had to abandon his summit attempt at about 8,400 meters. Later he was caught in the storm that cost the lives of eight climbers within 24 hours.

It’s a miracle that Weathers survived. Actually, he was already as good as dead. After a night in whiteout his fellow climbers left him lying in the snow supposing he was dead.

But Beck regained consciousness and despite severe frostbite he dragged himself to Camp 4. A rescue team brought him down to Camp 2 at 6,400 meters, from where Beck was brought to safety with a spectacular helicopter flight.

Weathers’ right arm had to be amputated just below the elbow. Beck also lost all fingers of the left hand. His frostbitten nose had to be reconstructed in numerous operations.

I have contacted Beck Weathers on the occasion of the 20th anniversary of the 1996 Everest disaster. Because the 69-year-old was traveling, he has sent me his answers to my questions only a few days after the anniversary.

Read the interview

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