On May 10, 1996, nine climbers perished in the “death zone” on Mount Everest. The following day, one was given a second chance at life. His name was Beck Weathers. The circumstances of Weathers’ miraculous survival were widely reported in the press and in Jon Krakauer’s mammoth bestseller Into Thin Air. Less well known are the circumstances that led him there, and the long recovery that only began with his dramatic rescue.
Lanky and gregarious, pathologist Weathers began mountain climbing in his mid-thirties to ward off the black dogs of depression. It was a self-prescribed therapy with a severe cost: an increasing remove from his devoted wife, Peach, and their two children. By the time he embarked on the Everest expedition, his marriage and family life had all but disintegrated. When he was reported dead, it was Peach who orchestrated the daring rescue that brought him home. And it was only then that Beck began to face himself, his family, his past, and his future.
Bold, candid, and uncompromising, Beck Weathers’ story is a deeply compelling one of loss and regeneration, of midlife crisis and chance, and of the abiding power of love and family.
Weathers’ story is featured in the major 2015 motion picture Everest, from Working Title/NBCUniversal, starring Oscar nominees Josh Brolin and Jake Gyllenhaal and Golden Globe Award winners Robin Wright and Keira Knightley.
An accomplished pathologist, Dr. Beck Weathers’ expedition on Mount Everest caused him to lose his nose, left hand, and part of his right hand to frostbite. In addition to his noteworthy medical career, Weathers has been for many years a sought-after motivational public speaker, inspiriting audiences with his harrowing tale of survival and the value of getting a second chance at life.