In 1953, Sir Edmund Hillary & Tenzing Norgay made history as the first people to reach the top of Everest. Now, 50 years later, three sons of Everest's most celebrated climbers return to the mountain to challenge it again.... more » Join their journey as they brave the elements and face death to climb 29,000 feet of wind-blasted rock and ice. And, relive the dramatic history of Everest from great triumphs to deadly tragedies, enduring rivalries and the unsung role of the Sherpa people - as National Geographic exposes the untold stories that lurk in the mountain's epic shadow and takes you on THE ultimate Everest experience.« less
Randy Keehn | Williston, ND United States | 01/23/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Ever since I read the fascinating book "Into Thin Air" by Jon Krakauer, I have maintained an interest in Mt. Everest. I read several more books on the subject (and the tragedy that Krakauer wrote of). I also saw a few documentaries and a terrible "made-for-TV" movie on the tragedy. I saw the I-Max movie and still, I always looked forward reading or watching anything else I could find. "Everest-50 Years on the Mountain" is as good a visual presentation as any I've seen (the I-Max movie aside). It tells of the attempt by the sons of Tenzing Norgay and Sir Edmund Hillary to climb Mt. Everest together. I didn't really find their story all that compelling but it was as good an excuse as any other to put this National Geographic special together. What I did enjoy was the background information, especially about the Sherpas, and how they were able to include a lot of historical film into the story. Most of all, I enjoyed the film of the mountain and the climb that was documented. The photography was fantastic as well as instructive. It helped me retrace the steps that Krakauer and company took in "Into Thin Air" by showing what he wrote of. The climb to the Hillary Step was very instructive by showing just how much exertion and rest was required to take three or four steps. The crowds that Krakauer commented on were there as well as the bored millionaire looking for something different to do. However, we were not burdened by having to follow the millionaire, we were able to focus on a group of men who made the story all the more interesting. We saw them at their best and sometimes at their not so best.
I have looked more and more these days for the sort of National Gepgraphic specials that I used to covet seeing when I was growing up. The Society has expanded more into history these days (or so I judge from the available DVD's on Amazon.com). Maybe that's because the wilderness has been tamed too much to compell us like it used to. However, I found "Everest-50 Years on the Mountain" to be the quality of special that I was looking for. I'll be watching this one again and again."
Just misses the summit
Larry | Wenonah, NJ USA | 06/08/2003
(3 out of 5 stars)
"This film tries to do a lot by covering 50 years of Everest history by putting the sons of the mountain's pioneers in position for a summit attempt.
Because of its premise, the story line jumps around a bit, flashing back through history then moving ahead to the struggles of Peter Hillary and Brent Bishop in trying to follow their fathers' footsteps up Everest.
The concept is strained because Jamling Norgay, the third of the "sons to confront the mountain," goes no farther than base camp, having promised his family he would never try for the summit again after making the 1996 IMAX film and the disaster detailed in "Into Thin Air."
Still, "50 Years on the Mountain" provides a glimpse into the incredible logistics, danger and heartache Everest has meant since Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay first reached the top in 1953.
Through incredible photography of the mountain's icy slopes and knife-edge ridges, it becomes clear just how heroic that first climb was, considering Hillary and Norgay were completely alone on the final approach.
Today, Sherpas pave the way, fixing ropes over the Hillary Step and all the way to the summit ...
One of the most moving segments of the film involves the controversy over which of the two men actually placed his boot on the summit first, a fact Hillary, the only of the two still alive, has not even told his son.
The Sherpas interviewed throughout provide some of the most interesting views of the mountain; we get a glimpse of how their lives have changed -- for better and worse -- since the Hillary-Norgay climb.
But, again, because this film tries to do so much, the viewer gets teased by this facet of Everest, but is left wanting a little bit more.
That said, "50 Years," is still a welcome addition to the library of any armchair mountaineer."
Another one for the collection
B. Page | 01/29/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I have 7 Everest DVD's and this one is towards the top of the list. Very enjoyable and pretty well written/scripted, and the historical side of the story is educational too. Basically, a fairly solid and more than satisfactory documentary as one would expect from National Geographic. If you plan to choose an Everest DVD for family viewing then this is, in my opinion, the one to get. Some of the others are either too technical or scary for younger family members."
A Visual Delight
B. Page | 05/08/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Documentary manages to capture the history, spirit, beauty, and danger of the world's highest peak. Would have receive 5 stars were it not for the slightly haphazard story line, however the film is visually stunning and this alone is worth the purchase price."
This is truly about peoples lives on the mountain.
SaRAoRAH | New York, NY USA | 09/19/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This was less about 50 years of the mountain, than how people change during their relationship with the mountain. It was not preachy and did force conclusions on you, but let you draw your own conclusions on how living with the mountain effected peoples lives over the last 50 years. A very enjoyable video."