f all the brave men and women who set out to scale Mount Everest in 2006, the most heroic never reached the top—as the events of May 25 demonstrated.
Everest is, perhaps, the ultimate challenge to mind and body. Every year a few hundred of the fittest, toughest adventurers on earth attempt the climb. Every year some die trying. The path to the summit has become littered with corpses.
The extreme conditions—the rarified air, the bitter cold, and the storms that sweep down with little warning—expose human nature in sharp relief. Everest brings out the best and the worst, the bravest and the basest, in all of us.
On May 10 a British climber named David Sharp lay dying on Everest. Forty climbers passed him by on their way to the summit. ... »