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A Day to Die For: 1996: Everest's Worst Disaster - One Survivor's Personal Journey to Uncover the Truth
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A Day to Die For: 1996: Everest's Worst Disaster - One Survivor's Personal Journey to Uncover the Truth

3.65  ·  Rating details ·  390 ratings  ·  37 reviews
The truth about the 1996 Everest disaster by one of its survivors.
On the night of May 10-11, 1996, eight climbers perished in what remains the worst disaster in Everest's history. Following the tragedy, numerous accounts were published, with Jon Krakauer's Into Thin Air becoming an international bestseller. But has the whole story been told?
A Day to Die For reveals for t
Paperback, 336 pages
Published September 3rd 2012 by Mainstream Publishing (first published February 3rd 2011)
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If you leave this book learning nothing more than that there is more than one kind if courage you will have been rewarded for your read .

If I hadn't recently read Looking for Mr Smith I think I would feel quite differently about Graham Ratcliffe's investigative memoir (which is the only genre label I can think of to describe what is presented here).

I wish Ratcliffe had bothered to personally conduct or arrange for 3rd parties to conduct personal interviews with his 'unfriendly' witnesses instea
Aug 14, 2013 rated it it was ok
There's a serious gap in the logic of the author's argument. It boils down to something like this: reliable weather forecasts predicted a severe storm, therefore Fischer and Hall gambled with their clients' lives. Well, if the weather forecasts were indeed reliable - and they were - then Scott and Hall didn't gamble with their clients' lives but rather calculated a window of opportunity and took advantage of it. What ultimately did them in was their decision not to abide by the previously agreed ...more
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Feb 04, 2011 rated it liked it
This is another account of the 1996 Everest disaster, but one that questions the received wisdom that the storm was a rogue storm that nobody expected and that took even the most experienced climbers by surprise. Well, it turns out that weather forecasts were actually available, only nobody has mentioned them so far.

Graham Ratcliffe is certainly not as good a writer as Jon Krakauer, but he seems to be a much better researcher of facts and 14 years later he proves that the death toll could have
Susan Liston
Torn a bit about this, written by a British climber who was on Everest during the 1996 disaster. The first section is mostly the author's bio. During most of this I was mainly wondering why his wife hadn't divorced and/or killed him. Then comes a fairly standard recounting of what went on in 96 from his point of view. I have read several of these accounts now and they are always interesting for the details they add. The rest, at least half, is about a years and years long investigation he undert ...more
Lindsay Anne
Mar 29, 2015 rated it really liked it
Having first read both Krakauer's and Viesturs' respective books on the 1996 tragedy, I found Ratcliffe's account to be very eye-opening. The number of accounts/books published wherein the authors have chosen to hide the full story (I say "hide" because any writer with the ability to perform the most basic of research he would have, at the very least, unearthed the fact that the Danes and the IMAX team were receiving weather forecasts, and, let's face it, hiding that information from the other t ...more
AJ Armstrong
Apr 28, 2016 rated it it was ok
A useful example of how far astray confirmation bias can take you. The author, possibly to expiate uneccesasry feelings of guilt, hypothesizes that the 1996 Everest tragedy was the result of a sinister conspiracy and cover up about weather reports. Any evidence that contradicts that is discarded, any that supports it assumed to be true without analysis. Unfortunately, his 'investigation' taken at face value makes events even more confusing. The result is a work that only further muddies the wate ...more
Feb 19, 2014 rated it it was amazing
An exciting story of the disaster on Everest that has been told by many who experienced it.
In this book Graham does not only tell the tale but researches what caused the team leaders to head up to the peak when the weather was not safe in spite of possibly having a recent weather report.
Interesting read that puts you half way up a mountain from the very first page.
Why did no one wake Graham up and could he have saved some of the people that perished if he had known of their plight?
The fact tha
Tzynya Pinchback
Jul 23, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Love! But I love all things Mt. Everest related. This story, as told from the perspective of another survivor of that tragic date on Everest, is at odds with other historical narratives on the topic. Most of us recall Into Thin Air by Krakauer -especially since a movie was made of that book. This book sheds a different light on that event, the climbers, and also other books written by others who were on the mountain for that expedition.
Rachel Jaffe
Aug 20, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: kindle, memoir, mountains
I love stories of Everest. This was another take on the 1996 Everest disaster most famously immortalized in Jon Krakauer's "Into Thin Air." "A Day to Die For" was not as well written, and did not give the same emotional account of climbing, but it did provide an interesting view on a part of the 1996 tragedy (the weather). Whether his interpretation of the information he uncovered is correct or not, I can't tell. But he does provide a new angle.
Janette Fleming
Dec 12, 2013 rated it really liked it
On the night of 10-11 May 1996, eight climbers perished in what remains the worst disaster in Everest's history. Following the tragedy, numerous accounts were published, with Jon Krakauer's Into Thin Air becoming an international bestseller. But has the whole story been told?

A Day to Die For reveals for the first time the full, startling facts that led to the tragedy. Graham Ratcliffe, the first British climber to reach the summit of Mount Everest twice, was a first-hand witness, having spent th
Susan Perry
Feb 20, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
the truth shall set us free!

I was drawn to this book after reading at least a dozen memoirs written by other esteemed and astute Top Mountaineers.

Thank you Graham for, in my estimation, the most logically researched and excellent reports of the facts of this monumental tragedy that happened over 14 years ago.

I respect you for not turning this unfortunate event of the 1996 Everest Disaster into a cash cow rush to publish like Jon Krakower did with his account of the way things unfolded in his me
Peter Franklin
Oct 30, 2011 rated it liked it
This is both a book about mountaineering and investigative writing. In part it deals with Graham Ratcliffe's alpine climbing, but it generally does so to show how it related to the events of May 1996 when a number of climbers died on Mount Everest. He doesn't go into too much detail about his climbs which is good from my perspective. Graham was high on the mountain when the tragedy arose and was left wondering what would have happened if his team new had been called upon to help with the rescue. ...more
John Charles
Jan 25, 2014 rated it really liked it
I very much enjoyed reading about the research that the author conducted in order to create a timeline of events pertaining to the weather conditions during the 1996 Everest disaster. People familiar with other novels and articles about this incident should appreciate Ratcliffe's determination to find what is believed to be true, rather than reading just another account of what it was like to summit Everest.
Feb 06, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: 50books-in-2013
Interesting investigation of disaster on Everest combined with author's discussion of his own climbing adventures. Couldn't really warm to the author though, his incredible selfishness to wife and family put me right off him -someone whose personal ambition came before everything and everyone else,
May 11, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Everest '96 - A fresh perspective

Don't take Job Krakauer's "into thin air" as the definitive account of the '96 tragedy. There are many discrepancies in that account that warrants deeper scrutiny. With Ratcliffe you have a narrative that is factually correct and well researched. With no financial gain at stake I would take Ratcliffe over Krakauer any day!
Wes F
Jan 04, 2015 rated it really liked it
A very satisfying and fascinating read, as well as yet another angle/perspective/lens through which to understand the tragic 1996 climbing season on Everest, which cost so many climbers' lives. Some real different insights in this book from the other ones I've read--not that any one book has the whole truth, but it helped fill in a bigger picture.
Tina Otten
Oct 01, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Good, informative read

At times a bit too much detail in his own reminiscing of unrelated topics, but overall very informative and thoughtfully written. Seemingly good research as well from someone who lived through this tragedy.
Caroline Brown
May 14, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Journey with the authour as he recounts his experience of the 1996 disaster, his response to surviving and his search to piece together what happened.

Sep 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I have seen many movies and documentaries based on Everest and the infamous 1996 tragedy where many climbers lost their precious lives. This book had been on my reading list for a pretty long time and hence the choice of the book. I did have with me Into Thin Air which is the first account of the tragedy but my instincts told me to pick this book. It turned out to be the best decision.

The book is divided in 4 parts viz, 1. Authors Everest summit from South side, 2. The 1996 Everest summit attemp
Oct 30, 2017 rated it it was ok
Questions, questions…

The May 1996 Everest disaster claimed the lives of eight climbers from three different expeditions. Two of the victims were the leaders of their particular expedition. Many of the survivors have since written about their experience.

There was controversy over the deaths, some claiming that it was totally avoidable. Some also questioned an Everest climbing decision that has been like an unwritten law: Those above the Death Zone on Everest who cannot move are left to die. Peopl
Jul 18, 2017 rated it liked it
I've read a lot of books about the tragedy on Mt. Everest during May of 1996. This is the most recent and perhaps the oddest. Graham Ratcliffe was on the mountain that day, but he was oblivious to the drama that was unfolding (though no fault of his own). This apparently left him with a lot of unresolved survivor's guilt. The first half of the book was a really interesting chronicle of Ratcliffe's Himalayan climbs, including the 1996 aborted climb. The climbing part of the book is over with his ...more
Jan 10, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: non-fiction
I really enjoyed the memoir part of the book, however once after 60% mark the author started to present what he passes for "research", the quality plumetted. Confirmation bias & tunnel vision & questionable sources. The whole in-between-the-lines accusation, that Rob Hall set up Graham's group to venture into the storm (and die) is just bizzare. The actual weather forecasts and how the author got them would make for interesting two three chapters of the book at most, NOT 40%!
Feb 22, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A Day to Die For

Well written and very informative. As an avid reader of books about Everest and K2, I found the book very interesting. Although the book was a bit tedious in a few spots, the author’s investigation and persistence were certainly worth the read.
Denise King
Jan 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Finally! The Whole Story!

This is the second book I’ve read that came to the same conclusion, that blind ambition was responsible for these deaths on Everest!
This book leave no stone unturned! Very well written and carefully researched. Truly an American tragedy!
Rasoul Emadi
May 25, 2018 rated it it was ok
Dec 28, 2017 rated it liked it
Interesting account, but flawed. Appreciated the story of Herzog's participation in trying to save climbers.
Ann Beej
Oct 27, 2018 rated it did not like it
Absolutely pointless. This man has no clue what "research" entails.
Clayton Kolar
Feb 20, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I read this book because my Dad recommended it to me and together we have watched a movie on the disaster that takes place in the movie and I wanted to learn more. I backpacked for two weeks this summer and it was one of the best experiences I've ever had. It's like playing basketball and then watching Lebron James play on tv it's cool your doing the same activity they are just doing it at a amazing extreme. The whole story is about this one man and the rest of the people in his group who climb ...more
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asics onitsuka tiger pas cher 1 1 Aug 21, 2013 12:07AM  
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