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A Day to Die For: 1996: Everest's Worst Disaster

Overview

 On the night of May 10-11, 1996, eight climbers perished in what remains the worst disaster in Everest's history. Following the tragedy, numerous accounts were published, with Jon Krakauer's Into Thin Air becoming an international bestseller. But has the whole story been told?

A Day to Die For reveals the full, startling facts that led to the tragedy. Graham Ratcliffe, the first British climber to reach the summit of Mount Everest twice, was a first-hand witness, having ...

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A Day to Die For: 1996: Everest's Worst Disaster - One Survivor's Personal Journey to Uncover the Truth

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Overview

 On the night of May 10-11, 1996, eight climbers perished in what remains the worst disaster in Everest's history. Following the tragedy, numerous accounts were published, with Jon Krakauer's Into Thin Air becoming an international bestseller. But has the whole story been told?

A Day to Die For reveals the full, startling facts that led to the tragedy. Graham Ratcliffe, the first British climber to reach the summit of Mount Everest twice, was a first-hand witness, having spent the night on Everest's South Col at 26,000 ft, sheltering from the deadly storm. For years, he has shouldered a burden of guilt, feeling that he and his teammates could have saved lives that fateful night. His quest for answers has led to discoveries so important to an understanding of the disaster that he now questions why these facts were not made public sooner.

History is dotted with high-profile disasters that both horrify and capture the attention of the public, but very rarely is our view of them revised to such devastating effect.

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What People Are Saying

From the Publisher
"A blow-by-blow account that puts the reader at the heart of the drama."  —News of the World

"[An] incredible story of high-adventure and of a very moving personal journey."  —Outdoor Enthusiast

"We were, however, particularly impressed by two books, which though not shortlisted, we believe have made a welcome additions to the history of mountaineering. . . . A Day To Die For . . . though this is a book that will undoubtedly cause controversy in some quarters, we believe that Everest historians, as well as those on the mountain in 1996, will find it an absorbing read."  —Boardman Tasker Prize

"The book reads like a detective thriller in places, as he delves deeper and deeper into the quagmire of what some may see as lies and deceit, to eventually unravel the mysteries of that season and shed a very different light on what many thought was an unfortunate bit of bad luck. A book that pulls no punches and tells it how it was."  —SA Mountain Sport

"Discovers important omissions, bordering on deception, in a number of authoritative accounts such as Krakauer’s Into Thin Air and Breashears’ High Exposure. . . . provides greater understanding of the key factors behind the decisions made that led to the tragic events."  —Wild Magazine

"I was completely engrossed . . . this is pretty serious stuff . . . the writing is forthright and precise and the book gallops along at a riveting pace . . it's a must read" —The Climber, New Zealand Alpine Club

"Graham Ratcliffe has experienced triumph but also tragedy . . . and for the very first time tells of his remarkable journey" —Daily Express

"Throws a whole new light on the disaster." —Weekly News

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781780576411
  • Publisher: Mainstream Publishing Company, Limited
  • Publication date: 9/1/2013
  • Pages: 368
  • Sales rank: 774,135
  • Product dimensions: 4.90 (w) x 7.80 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

Married with two daughters, GRAHAM RATCLIFFE now divides his time between his homes in North Shields and the south-east of France. In 1998, he was awarded an MBE in the Queen's Birthday Honours list.
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Table of Contents

Introduction: Ascending into Turmoil 13

The Meaning of Life 15

Tibet 18

Summit Day 25

Never a Dull Moment 38

The Paths We Choose 47

Tyneside to Argentina 58

High Rollers 64

Kathmandu 71

The Mountain Airstrip at Lukla 77

Everest Base Camp 94

Through the Khumbu Icefall 102

Into the Western Cwm 109

The Upward Move 119

Stepping Beyond the Line of Better Judgement 126

Picking Up the Pieces 132

Evacuation 148

Homeward Bound 151

One Sentence, Two Lines of Print 160

Twice to the Summit of Everest 163

An Escape into History 183

The Turning Point 195

The Search Begins 201

A Lifeline 208

Walls of Silence 218

An All Too Brief Contact 223

The Widening Search 226

Lhotse, 2006 229

The Meteorologist in His Garden 242

A Need for a Greater Understanding 246

The UK Meteorological Office 257

Time to Go Fishing 260

Confirmation from Within 266

Assistance from Denmark 268

Southward Bound 277

May 1996: Sequence of Events 281

The Wind of Change 287

Omission is the Greatest Lie 293

The Final Analysis 316

Bibliography 323

Index 325

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