The next morning, after having spent the night on the mountain, Hall manages to get the oxygen to work. Hall promises that he is going to descend, but never does. Ang Dorje and another Sherpa attempt to rescue him, even though the climb will be long and grueling. They get to within 700 feet of Hall, but cannot press on due to wind and the freezing temperature. Two Sherpas also attempt to rescue Fischer, but when they find him he is unresponsive and they decide he is a lost cause. They bring Gau, the Taiwanese guide, down.

Base Camp patches through one last call from Hall's wife. Ten days later, climbers find his body, still on the South Summit.


Almost everyone on the summit after the turn-around time encounters trouble. It is not clear why so many climbers, including Hall, ignore the turn-around time—perhaps hypoxia is a factor.

Some amazing displays of loyalty take place in this chapter. Hall is unwilling to leave Hansen behind, even though Hansen cannot descend on his own. Hall might be feeling responsible for Hansen—he talks Hansen into returning to Everest to reach the summit, and he allows Hansen to summit hours after the turn-around time. Hall's refusal to leave Hansen behind eventually causes his death.

Similarly, Harris cannot bear the thought of Hall and Hansen on the South Summit without oxygen. He begs Lopsang to deliver the canisters, but when Lopsang refuses, Harris tries to do it himself, despite his failing physical state. Harris's act of loyalty ends up causing his death as well.

Lopsang, although refusing to help Harris rescue Hall and Hansen, does so largely because he is exceedingly loyal to Scott Fischer. When he does catch Fischer, Lopsang waits with him and does not leave until Fischer implores him to get Boukreev. Then and only then does Lopsang leave, negotiating the mountain during a fierce storm to save his guide.