In May 1996, two commercial expedition groups attempted to ascend Mount Everest. Each group contained world class climbers and relative novices, some of whom had paid tens of thousands of pounds for the climb. But as the climbers neared the summit, they were overtaken by intense snow and wind, and found their crucial oxygen supplies depleted. Five of them died, including the expeditions' two charismatic leaders. Anatoli Boukreev emerged as the hero. A top climber and guide, Bourkeev led his exhausted and terrified group of six back to safety, then went back out in the blizzard to help others stranded on the mountain. Boukreev's first-person recollections are bolstered in this book by Weston DeWalt's investigative inquiry, which includes interviews with most of the surviving climbers, medical personnel, Sherpa guides, and the families of the dead.