AFTERSHOCK: One Man’s Quest and the Quake on Everest

AFTERSHOCK: One Man’s Quest and the Quake on Everest
08 May
2017
Jules Mountain was working as guide in the Alps until, over a few drinks at a pub in Chamonix, the prospect of conquering Everest presented itself

He had battled serious illness so was eager to suck out all the marrow of life. Up to page 120 or so, this is a fairly conventional account of preparing for the adventure and veering between excitement and trepidation on the lower slopes. The highlight in these early stages comes when a guide tells Mountain and his party to ‘shut up’ when the singing of Beatles’ songs becomes too irritating.

Then everything changes. Mountain provides a candid, harrowing account of the devastating events of April 2015, when an earthquake provoked avalanches on the world’s most famous mountain. In the thick of all the fear and panic, Mountain behaved with admirable fortitude: taking a lead in caring for the injured, ploughing on for hours through the sweat, smells and screams. What comes next is harder to assess. Mountain and many of his colleagues were keen to complete their expedition and some exploratory missions suggested that at least the first stages of their ascent were still possible. Those with the final say were having none of it, and Mountain makes no secret of his annoyance. You might emerge from these later pages with a profound sense of ambivalence. The hopeful climbers worked hard to behave responsibly: promising not to cajole any Sherpas into making the trip and making clear that they expected no rescue to be launched should things go awry. But could continuing with the climb ever have been a good idea at that moment? There was always a chance to return, which is precisely what Mountain did, triumphantly reaching the roof of the world on May 13, 2016.    

Click here to purchase Aftershock: One Man's Quest and the Quake on Everest by Jules Mountain

Share this story...

Submit to FacebookSubmit to Google PlusSubmit to Twitter

Geographical Week

Get the best of Geographical delivered straight to your inbox every Friday.

Subscribe Today

EDUCATION PARTNERS

Aberystwyth UniversityUniversity of GreenwichThe University of Winchester

TRAVEL PARTNERS

Ponant

Silversea

Travel the Unknown

DOSSIERS

Like longer reads? Try our in-depth dossiers that provide a comprehensive view of each topic

  • REDD+ or Dead?
    The UN-backed REDD+ (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation) scheme, under which developing nations would be paid not to cut dow...
    The true cost of meat
    As one of the world’s biggest methane emitters, the meat industry has a lot more to concern itself with than merely dietary issues ...
    Long live the King
    It is barely half a century since the Born Free story caused the world to re-evaluate humanity’s relationship with lions. A few brief decades later,...
    London: a walk in the park
    In the 2016 London Mayoral election, the city’s natural environment was high on the agenda. Geographical asks: does the capital have a green future,...
    The Money Trail
    Remittance payments are a fundamental, yet often overlooked, part of the global economy. But the impact on nations receiving the money isn’t just a ...

MORE DOSSIERS

NEVER MISS A STORY - follow Geographical

Want to stay up to date with breaking Geographical stories? Join the thousands following us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram and stay informed about the world.

More articles in REVIEWS...

Exhibitions

New exhibition highlights the ubiquity of plastic in the modern…

Films

Craving some non-fiction? Here are some of the best documentaries…

Exhibitions

A multimedia exhibition tackles the question of what it’s like…

Books

Jules Mountain was working as guide in the Alps until,…

Books

When making predictions about India’s future, the first step is…

Books

Many of us will be familiar with this run of…

Books

‘When the winds of change blow some people build walls,…

Books

Veteran traveller Stephen O’Shea takes the reader on a delightful…

Books

Turning each page of this sumptuous book is a constant…

Books

In her youth, Kapka Kassabova would spend family holidays on…

Books

In 2014, Eric Larsen and Ryan Waters embarked upon an…

Books

As the distinguished German historian, Jan Ruger, describes, never under-estimate…

Books

Deep in the vast rainforests of Honduras, in a region…

Books

As Ghobash points out, his eldest son is only two…

Books

There are a few strange ways to describe a group…

Books

Having everyone agree about the location of zero degrees longitude…

Books

This well-organised and beautifully produced book highlights the careers of…

Films

One of the most gripping mysteries of the 20th century…

Books

At the turn of the 17th century, the idea of…

Books

Mountain regions host a disproportionate share of the world’s conflicts:…