Now Everest has sort of become a phenomenon in popular culture, especially from 1996. What do you think about that, good or bad, the way it has become such a recognized media event?
Obviously to me, it was surprising because anybody that's been around climbing, even for a little bit of time, with some perspective would know that people get their fannies kicked in mountains all the time and usually it's buried on page 26, and a small paragraph at the end that just sort of does a body count.
And for whatever reason, and some of it was the Internet, frankly, because they could take people to a place like this for the first time and actually have them there sort of in real time so they could participate and go into a place like Everest. And then, after that, it was such an odd congruence of things. You have the IMAX film crew there during this time. And of course millions of people have seen the rather extraordinary work that David Breashears and that group did on the mountain. And Jon Krakauer wrote a book that really brought people into that world for the first time. Most climbers can't write and most writers can't climb, and so that trying to meld those two together and come up with something that can be read by somebody who's not a climber actually took a lot of skill.
And so that really exposed this world and dusted off, if you will, an old gal whose maybe lost a little bit of her luster and because this was such a dramatic event and there were so many good stories in it; people making real choices with real consequences, a few cases of bad behavior and cowardice, but an awful lot of cases of people showing an enormous amount of courage and character. That's appealing. It is a fascinating moment and I can understand why people who will not have a chance to go to a place like that enjoy being taken there either in the visual sense or the IMAX, or in words as Jon has done.