A DAY TO DIE FOR
1996: EVEREST'S WORST DISASTER, One Survivor's Personal Journey to Uncover the Truth
Blockbuster disaster movie Everest won plaudits from critics and audiences alike at its 2015 launch. It also took more than $100m within two weeks of cinematic release - evidence that nearly two decades on, the 1996 Everest disaster continues to provoke debate as well as shock.
It's a debate which is still not settled - filmmakers Working Title based their script on several books because of continuing disputes over what really took place.
A Day To Die For played a crucial role in challenging versions which had been accepted for more than a decade. It revealed for the first time startling facts mysteriously omitted from all previous books, films and TV coverage - facts central to understanding how events unfolded and decisions were made.
Author Graham Ratcliffe spent the night of 10 May 1996 on Everest's South Col sheltering from the storm which would claim eight lives. This book shares his moving personal journey: his quest for the truth that would help him come to terms with the guilt he carried.
Remarkably, that quest was intertwined with the 2015 Everest movie. He bumped into the crew at base camp, carrying out early filming back in 2004; that experience prompted him to feel he could no longer ignore his concerns and guilt. Then began five years of relentless detective work which often felt impossible for a lone mountaineer. But the sheer drive and focus which resulted in two Everest summits (the first British climber to complete both north and south routes) in the end secured cast iron evidence. In turn, Graham was able to provide that evidence to the 2015 movie producers, who became the first to share the findings with a mass media audience.
Graham's revelations in A Day To Die For have rewritten our understanding of that worst day in Everest's history.
But the debate continues!