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The Latest Mount Everest Tragedy Reminds Us All Too Much of the 1996 Disaster

Shanee Edwards is a screenwriter who earned her master's degree at UCLA Film School. She recently won the Next MacGyver television writing competition to create a TV show about a female engineer. Her TV pilot, Ada and the Machine, is cur...

11 facts about the tragic 1996 Everest climb not in the movie

As you may have heard, four climbers lost their lives over the weekend near the top of Mount Everest. The tragic accident of course reminds us of the 1996 events that inspired the 2015 movie Everest — a grueling and heartbreaking look into the Mount Everest climb that claimed the lives of eight mountaineers over 20 years ago. The movie is pretty realistic — and at times hard to watch — but it didn't even capture all the details of the event.

After watching the movie, we — like so many other people who were intrigued and saddened by the Everest disaster — were curious about what else went down on that fateful trip that is still considered the worst loss of life ever to occur on a mountain on a single day.

We found 11 true events that didn't make it into the movie.

11 facts about the tragic 1996 Everest climb not in the movie
Image: Universal Pictures

1. Rob Hall climbed Everest a whopping five times

Rob Hall (Jason Clarke) actually summited Everest five times before he died on the mountain in 1996, more than any other climber (at that time) who wasn't a Nepalese Sherpa. Hall's body remains on the mountain to this day.

2. Jan Arnold, Rob Hall's wife, was supposed to be on the '96 climb

Rob Hall and his wife, Jan Arnold (Keira Knightley), climbed Everest together in 1993. She would have gone again in 1996 but instead stayed at home in New Zealand because she was pregnant. Two months after Hall tragically died, she gave birth to their daughter, Sarah.

MoreRob Hall's Wife Jan Arnold Reveals Her Feelings About the Film

3. Body nicknamed "Green Boots"

11 facts about the tragic 1996 Everest climb not in the movie
Image: via Twitter

The above body is commonly referred to as "Green Boots" and also serves as a trail marker. This corpse is believed to be that of Tsewang Paljor, who was a member of the first team of Indians to summit Everest from the northeastern passageway. He was one of the eight who died on May 10, 1996.

4. More than 250 bodies on Everest

Because conditions are so dangerous, and there is so little oxygen near the top of the mountain, if someone dies while climbing Everest, there is no safe way to bring the body down. Most deaths are due to an avalanche or falling off the mountain.

5. Beck Weathers' eye surgery

11 facts about the tragic 1996 Everest climb not in the movie
Image: Universal Pictures

In the film, climber Beck Weathers (Josh Brolin) begins to get blurred vision and can only see a couple of feet in front of him. His vision problems in real life were because of overexposure to ultraviolet radiation on his eyes that had recently undergone radial keratotomy surgery to correct his myopia or nearsightedness.

Next Up: Beck Weathers lost more than just his nose

Originally published Sept. 2015. Updated May 2017.

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