The Climb (1997), republished as The Climb: Tragic Ambitions on Everest, is an account by Russian-Kazakhstani mountaineer Anatoli Boukreev of the 1996 Everest Disaster, during which eight climbers died on the mountain. The co-author, G. Weston DeWalt?who was not part of the expedition?provides accounts from other climbers and ties together the narrative of Boukreev’s logbook.
On May 10, 1996, two commercial expeditions headed by expert leaders attempted to scale the world’s largest peak. But things went terribly wrong. Crowded conditions, bad judgement, and a bitter storm stopped many climbers in their tracks. Others were left for dead, or stranded on the frigid mountain. Anatoli Boukreev, head climbing guide for the Mountain Madness expedition, stepped into the heart of the storm and brought three of his clients down alive. Here is his amazing story-of an expedition fated for disaster, of the blind ambition that drives people to attempt such dangerous ventures, and of a modern-day hero, who risked his own life to save others.
The book is also partially a response to Jon Krakauer’s account of the same 1996 Everest climb in his book Into Thin Air (1997), which appeared to criticize some of Boukreev’s actions during the climb.
After The Climb was published, DeWalt leveled many public criticisms at Krakauer concerning the accuracy of each man’s account of what happened on the mountain during the 1996 climbs. Krakauer details the disagreements, and his rapprochement with Boukreev, in the postscript to the 1999 edition of Into Thin Air.
Boukreev was killed in 1997 in an avalanche during a winter ascent of Annapurna in Nepal.