Years after 'Into Thin Air' deaths, survivor returns to Everest
Neil Beidleman, who survived a tragic experience on Mount Everest in 1996, is back on the mountain.
May 10th, 2011
12:14 PM ET

Years after 'Into Thin Air' deaths, survivor returns to Everest

On May 10, 1996, eight climbers on Mount Everest disappeared when a huge storm hit. Their tragic story was chronicled in Jon Krakauer's bestselling novel "Into Thin Air"

Neil Beidleman, a guide to one of the climbers who died, told the New York Times earlier this year that he planned to return to Katmandu, Nepal, and take on the world's highest peak again. The 51-year-old father of two said he hoped to retrace his steps from 1996 which would take him from Katmandu to Everest's South Side base camp.

Beidleman told the newspaper that he wants the trip to be a "closing chapter" to what happened in 1996. "The story doesn't have to be about the past," he said.

On Tuesday, Beidleman's wife Amy told that her husband's trek up Mount Everest has so far gone smoothly. Posts about his adventure can be found on the Twitter page of his co-climber Chris Davenport.

"We'd rather have him here. Mama Bear is not happy because we have two children who miss their dad," she said. "But they know they have a cool dad and this is what he wanted, so we're supporting him."

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Filed under: Environment • Mount Everest
soundoff (21 Responses)
  1. Frank

    People of the United States and the World,
    I hope Davenports Life Insurance is paid up for his families sake.
    Why these risk takers with families(Wife and Childern) do this stuff to risk their lives is beyond me,I think it has to do with proving they are better and stronger than everyone else.If he lives I am sure he will write a book on the whole experience to try and make money of how he triumped over the 1996 expedition.

    May 10, 2011 at 1:05 pm | Report abuse |
    • Sugat

      He is going just to the base camp. Its not life threatening at all. He isnt attempting the summit this time around so no risk whereas previous attempt was to the summit. Thanks

      May 11, 2011 at 4:43 pm | Report abuse |
  2. banasy

    There is NO WAY on God's green earth I would sanction my husband for doing this. The man is 15 years older than he was then...I hope he makes it, for the sake of his wife and children.

    May 10, 2011 at 2:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • marco

      your husband is not a man if he requires "permission" from you. I couldn't stop laughing when my wife "told" me I wasn't going to buy my motorcycle.

      May 10, 2011 at 4:05 pm | Report abuse |
    • Sugat

      He is going just to the base camp. Its not life threatening at all even if he is above 50 years of age its just a lengthy trek. He isnt attempting the summit this time around so no risk. He is going for personal reasons/ closing chapters ... wouldnt you let your husband to reconcile with his past and his life the events that changed his life???

      May 11, 2011 at 4:47 pm | Report abuse |
  3. fat joey

    stupid is as stupid does..........sir.

    May 10, 2011 at 2:45 pm | Report abuse |
  4. banasy

    @fat joey: yep!

    May 10, 2011 at 2:49 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Weitko

    The man has a goal... A goal which I hope he achieves. Good luck! That is one hell of a hike

    May 10, 2011 at 3:38 pm | Report abuse |

    Everything we do in life has risks. Niel wants to have closure on a very difficult period of his life. I for one applaud his attempt at that.

    We Hikers and Climbers don't think that we are better than anyone else. We enjoy getting into the outdoors and test our own ability in some of the most beautiful places in the world.

    I know people that have climbed Everest. They all have said that it is the most humbling thing they had ever done. Everyone of them would go back in a heart beat. I think if anyone of them ever does. I'm going with them.

    May 10, 2011 at 4:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • Agreed

      Well said.

      May 10, 2011 at 4:42 pm | Report abuse |
  7. MyPerspective

    Personally I think this is quite selfish. Go to therapy if you need to, but don't put your wife and children through the anguish. If they fully support him, and his children are old enough that they are independent and can cope with the potential loss, that may be a different story. But, I would still worry like crazy.

    May 10, 2011 at 5:03 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Felix

    The article has an inaccuracy - nobody the Beidleman was guiding died. Scott Fischer was on the same expedition, but because he was the leader technically Beidleman was not guiding him. And everyone else who died that day was on a different team.

    May 10, 2011 at 5:09 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Mary Jane Burns

    Ever drawing, Ever magnetic, Everest...

    May 10, 2011 at 6:30 pm | Report abuse |
  10. teresa, snOhio

    yes, its so important that we let those we love LIVE out their dreams. we only live twice, make the first time count.

    May 10, 2011 at 6:49 pm | Report abuse |
  11. banasy


    I said I wouldn't sanction it. There *is* a difference between sanctioning and permission.

    Perhaps you should rethink what the definition of a "man" is.

    My husband also has enough respect to get my opinion and not act is a rash manner when his behavior also affects his family.

    I guess you don't have any problem with your wife doing what she pleases, correct?

    May 10, 2011 at 8:06 pm | Report abuse |
  12. marco

    And she can't stop laughing at what a doofus I look like when I ride my moped I affectionately call my "Harley". The purple helmet that's lined with tin-foil really sets of the purple of my moped. I wear purple bike shorts too because I like to match.

    May 10, 2011 at 8:13 pm | Report abuse |
  13. London T

    Wonder how much you would have to pay for life insurance for a trip that has such a high likelihood of failure. What ever the cost I sure hope that he paid it. There is only one thing worse for a family than suffering the loss of a member, and that is the compounding of that suffering when financial difficulties take center stage instead of grieving. It would be wise for everyone whether involved in dangerous extreme sports or couch potato snacking to make sure of two things:
    1. You have life insurance.
    2. Your insurance properly covers your family.

    Be more afraid of the condition you will leave your family in than considering the fact that you will leave them one day.

    I guess what I'm saying is that I hope he thought of his family long enough to keep caring for them no matter what!

    May 11, 2011 at 12:37 am | Report abuse |
  14. Shanda Sherpa

    Why would you show a photo of some other mountain for an article about Everest? That's the only dumb thing here...

    May 11, 2011 at 9:00 am | Report abuse |
  15. anon

    I have just learned from this author that a best selling non-fiction account is now a best selling novel.

    May 11, 2011 at 9:17 am | Report abuse |
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