PBS’ Storm Over Everest explores “the worst climbing tragedy in Mount Everest’s history”

Tonight, PBS’ Frontline airs Storm Over Everest, a documentary that explores “the worst climbing tragedy in Mount Everest’s history,” according to the network. The two-hour show, shot in HD, debuts at 9 or 10 p.m., or whenever your local PBS station decides to air it.

Director David Breashears, who was on the mountain 12 years ago during the May 1996 storm, “returns to summit Everest and to reflect on that fateful storm that resulted in the deaths of five climbers on the south side of the mountain,” according to PBS. The documentary includes “dramatic recreations of the storm conditions of May 1996,” but also “intimate interviews with the climbers and Sherpas who survived the storm.”

While the film is about the same material covered in other mediums, such as Jon Krakauer’s Into Thin Air, the New York Times reports that the director made “an attempt to free his film from the controversy of that day — mostly manufactured by the media, he says.” So, he “largely avoids second-guessing, instead piecing together a straightforward story of the climb, told by the participants and focused around the storm itself — what it was like to be in it and survive.”

Here’s a preview:

Storm Over Everest [PBS]
A Deadly Day on the Top of the World [New York Times]

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about the writer

Andy Dehnart is a journalist who has covered reality television for more than 15 years and created reality blurred in 2000. A member of the Television Critics Association, his writing and criticism about television, culture, and media has appeared on NPR and in Playboy, Buzzfeed, and many other publications. Andy, 36, also directs the journalism program at Stetson University in Florida, where he teaches creative nonfiction and journalism. He has an M.F.A. in nonfiction writing and literature from Bennington College. More about reality blurred and Andy.