After being exposed in the harsh and freezing blizzard, Weathers suffered terrible frostbite. He lost the bottom half of his right arm and all of the fingers on his left hand. He also lost parts of both his feet. His nose had to be amputated but was later reconstructed from tissue from his ear and forehead.
In the film, Jon Krakauer (played by Michael Kelly) is a journalist invited to climb Everest so he can write an article for Outside magazine. In a 2015 interview, Krakauer said this to The Huffington Post: "Climbing Mount Everest was the biggest mistake I've ever made in my life. I wish I'd never gone. I suffered for years of PTSD and still suffer from what happened. I'm glad I wrote a book about it. But, you know, if I could go back and relive my life, I would never have climbed Everest."
Less than two weeks after the deaths of the eight explorers on Everest, a team of filmmakers from Imax discovered Rob Hall's body on their way to the summit. They were there to shoot the 1998 documentary, also called Everest.
Because of the lack of oxygen, helicopters cannot fly safely up to the top of Everest. The situation was so desperate, however, Nepalese Lt. Col. Madan Khatri Chhetri took the risk and managed to evacuate a climber named Makulu Gau ahead of Weathers. The helicopter was able to take only one passenger at a time and successfully returned to rescue Weathers.
Buddhists believe the Goddess of Inexhaustible Giving, Miyolangsangma, lives at the top of Mount Everest. Some climbers pray to her for a safe trip up and down the mountain.
On April 18, 2014, an avalanche killed 16 people on Everest, twice as many as the 1996 disaster that took eight lives. The filming of Everest had to be put on hold until conditions were safe.
A version of this article was originally published in Sept. 2015 and updated in Mar. 2018.
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