It’s almost May, and that means it’s Mount Everest summit season. Why the month of May you ask? Just before the summer monsoon, the jet stream is pushed northward, reducing wind speeds high on the mountain up in the death zone, making May just about the most opportune time to attempt reaching the summit. National Geographic has sent a team of mountaineers that seek to repeat the historic climb of the 1963 National Geographic-sponsored American Mount Everest Expedition, almost 50 years after the first American ascended the highest point on Earth. You can follow the progress of all 2012 Everest summit expeditions here. To enhance your own armchair mountaineering experience, put on your crampons and check out the following materials. -crystal
Although he came under fire from others that were on the mountain, Jon Krakauer‘s account of the May 1996 tragedy that left twelve climbers dead is one of the most compelling books I have I have ever read, and is an essential read if you’re interested in Mount Everest.
Go back to the beginning with anthropologist, explorer, and writer Wade Davis‘s book about the first climber’s attempts to ascend Everest after the horrors experienced during World War One.
Storm Over Everest
World renowned mountain climber and filmmaker David Brashears was also on Everest in May 1996, filming an IMAX documentary. He aided the rescue efforts and tells his story in this haunting Frontline special.
If any subject deserves the coffee table book treatment, it has to be the moutain peaks of the world! This hefty text is worth the checkout. It includes facts such as the elevation and first ascent of each mountain, as well as beautiful photographs.