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The Light and Fast Organisation by Patrick Hollingworth

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CHAPTER 6 All that is wrong with expedition style

In May 1996, the world's most infamous mountaineering disaster occurred on Mount Everest. While it was not the world's greatest mountaineering disaster (there have been numerous events on Everest and other mountains in the Himalaya with much greater loss of life, most recently in 2014 and 2015), the 1996 events on Everest were definitely the most publicised of any disaster or accident in the history of mountaineering.

But you could be forgiven for thinking it was the greatest mountaineering disaster to have happened — the entire understanding of mountaineering for most laypeople is derived purely from what they have read, seen or heard about these events.

At last count, literally hundreds of newspaper and magazine articles, in addition to 11 books, one genuinely excellent IMAX documentary, one (surprisingly) very good 3D Hollywood blockbuster, a truly terrible made-for-TV movie, two TV documentaries and a pop song (‘The Climber', by Kiwi songwriter Neil Finn) have focused on, or, in the ...

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