Mountain climber Beck Weathers died on May 11, 1996. That’s what everyone thought had happened, at least. It was even stranger when I told the truth.
For eighteen terrifying hours, Everest would do everything it could to eat Beck Weathers and the other climbers. As storms k*illed most of his team, including the leader, Weathers became more and more crazy from being tired, exposed, and sick from the high altitude. At one point, he threw up his hands and yelled, “I’ve got it all figured out!” He then fell into a snowbank and was thought to have died.
As rescue teams worked hard to get up the face of Everest to save the others, Weathers lay in the snow and became more and more hypothermic. There were two rescuers who looked at Weathers and decided he was too badly hurt to be saved. He was another one of Everest’s many victims.
But after being left for de*ad twice, Beck Weathers did something amazing: she woke up. He had black frostbite all over his face and body that looked like scales, but he was still strong enough to get out of the snowbank and make it down the mountain.
Beck Weathers Decides To Take On Mount Everest
A pathologist from Texas named Beck Weathers joined a group of eight ambitious climbers in the spring of 1996. They all wanted to reach the top of Mount Everest.
As a mountain climber, Weathers had been a big fan for years and was now on a mission to reach the “Seven Summits,” which means reaching the top of the tallest mountain on each continent. He had already climbed a number of the Summits. But Mount Everest was the most difficult thing that ever interested him.
He was ready to give this climb everything he had and push himself as far as he could. Weathers had lost his marriage because he spent more time with the mountains than with his family, so he had nothing to lose. Weathers didn’t know it yet, but his wife had already decided to divorce him when he got back.
Weathers didn’t care about his family, though. He didn’t care about safety because he was so eager to climb Everest.
That being said, this wind was blowing at up to 157 miles per hour and had an average temperature of -21 degrees Fahrenheit. He was ready to go when he got to the base of Mount Everest on May 10, 1996.
Rob Hall, an experienced mountain climber, led Beck’s dangerous expedition. He was from New Zealand and had been climbing for a long time. After reaching the top of all seven peaks, Hall started an adventure climbing company. He had already climbed to the top of Everest five times, so no one else should be worried about the trek.
Eight climbers in all set out on that May morning. The weather was clear and the team was upbeat. It was cold, but at the beginning, the 12-14 hour climb to the summit seemed like a breeze. Before long, however, Beck Weathers and his crew would realize just how brutal the mountain could be.
Disaster Strikes On The World’s Most Dangerous Slopes
Beck Weathers had a normal surgery to fix his nearsightedness not long before he went to Nepal. The radial keratotomy, which was a procedure that came before LASIK, changed the shape of his corneas by making tiny cuts in them. The high altitude hurt his corneas even more while they were still healing, so he was almost completely blind when it got dark.
The moment Hall saw that Weathers could no longer see, he told him not to go any further up the mountain and told him to stay on the side of the trail while he led the others to the top. They would pick him up on their way when they went back down the circle.
Weathers agreed, but only reluctantly. He stayed put while his seven teammates walked up to the top. Several other groups passed him on the way down and offered him a spot in their caravans, but he turned them down because he had promised to wait for Hall.
Hall would never come back, though.
When they got to the top, one of the team members got too weak to keep going. Hall didn’t want to leave him, so he chose to wait. In the end, the cold ki*lled him on the slopes. His body has been frozen for a long time just below the South Summit.
After being alone on the side of the trail for almost 10 hours, Beck Weathers finally realised something was wrong. He had to wait until someone walked by him again. A climber came down just after 5 p.m. and told Weathers that Hall was stuck. Although he knew he should go down with the climber, he chose to wait for a teammate who he had been told was already on his way down.
Mike Groom was another team leader with Hall. He was a guide who had climbed Everest before and knew his way around. Taking Weathers with him, he and the tired survivors who used to be his brave team went to their tents to get ready for the long, cold night.
On top of the mountain, a storm had started to form, which covered the whole area in snow and made it almost impossible to see before they got to their camp. One climber said it felt like being lost in a milk bottle while white snow fell everywhere in a sheet that was almost impossible to see through. The group was so close that they almost fell off the mountain as they looked for their tents.
Weathers lost a glove in the process and had begun to feel the effects of the high altitude and freezing temperatures.
While his teammates huddled together to keep warm, he stood up in the wind with his arms raised above him and his right hand frozen so solid that it couldn’t be felt. He started yelling and screaming and said he knew what to do. After a short time, a gust of wind blew him backwards into the snow.
During the night, a Russian guide found and saved the rest of his group, but Weathers was too sick to be saved after just one look. Mountain people who die there are left there, as is the custom, and Weathers was destined to become one of them.
As soon as the storm was over the next morning, a Canadian doctor was sent up to get Weathers and Yasuko Namba, a Japanese member of his team who had also been left behind. The doctor decided that Namba could not be saved after taking off a sheet of ice from her body. He was likely to say the same thing when he saw Weathers.
He had ice on his face, his jacket was open to the waist, and many of his limbs were stiff from the cold. Frozen skin was close by. As time went on, the doctor said of him, “being as close to de*ath and still breathing” as any patient he had ever seen. A second time, Weathers was left for de*ad.
How Beck Weathers Came Back To Life
Even so, Beck Weathers wasn’t really de*ad. And even though he was close, every minute his body got farther away from de*ath. Weathers finally woke up around 4 p.m. after being in a hypothermic coma.
“I was so disconnected from where I was,” he remembered. While I was in bed, I felt nice, warm, and at ease. It wasn’t really bad.”
When he checked his limbs, he quickly saw how wrong he was. If you hit his right arm on the ground, he said it would sound like wood. As he came to terms with what was happening, a rush of adrenaline ran through his body.
“That wasn’t bed. He said, “This wasn’t a dream.” “This is real, and I’m beginning to think that I’m on a mountain, but I don’t know where it is.” This will end very quickly if I don’t get up, stand up, and start thinking about where I am and how to get out of there.
Even though his feet felt like porcelain and didn’t have much feeling, he got himself together and made it down the mountain. The climbers in a low-level camp were shocked when he walked in. Beck Weathers was still able to walk and talk, even though his face was black from frostbite and his limbs probably would never be the same again. When word of his amazing story of survival got back to base camp, it caused even more shock.
Beck Weathers could walk and talk again, and it looked like he had come back from the de*ad.
It was his wife who learned that her husband had died on his trek after the Canadian doctor had left him. He was broken but still very much alive when they saw him. Within hours, technicians at the base camp told Kathmandu about him and were flying him to the hospital in a helicopter. It was the highest rescue mission that had ever been done.
Some of his feet, his right arm, and some fingers on his left hand had to be cut off. His nose also had to be cut off. Doctors miraculously made him a new nose out of skin from his neck and ear. Even stranger, they grew it on Weathers’ own forehead. They put it where it belonged after it had grown blood vessels.
As they helped him down, he joked, “They told me this trip was going to cost me an arm and a leg.” “I think I got a better deal so far.”
Beck Weathers Today, Decades After His Near-Death Experience
The mountain climber Beck Weathers has stopped doing it today. He still feels like he won even though he didn’t reach all Seven Summits. He was angry that she had left him, but she agreed not to divorce him and instead stayed with him to care for him.
His close call with death saved his marriage in the end, and he wrote about it in Left for Dead: My Journey Home from Everest. He says that spiritually, he’s never been more together, even though he came back a little less whole than he went in.