Maybe Andy Harris could have survived the Everest Disaster of 1996 had he not gone back to find his colleagues that were in trouble on Mount Everest, on that fateful day. it was his helpful nature that caused his tragic death on 10th May of that same year.
A member of Rob Hall’s mission. During the ascent, he becomes close to Krakauer. Krakauer accepts responsibility for Harris’ death. Described as someone who rushes to the aid of anyone and everyone without hesitation, yet that same feeling of loyalty finally proves to be his undoing.
Harris’ death is one of the expedition’s single most tragic events. Harris and his fiancée had recently started building a house, but he couldn’t resist the mountain’s allure. Harris is one of Krakauer’s go-to persons when it comes to volunteering to perform work or helping customers.
The 1996 Everest Disaster
Three guides (Rob Hall, Mike Groom, and Andy Harris) and eight clients (Frank Fischbeck, Doug Hansen, Stuart Hutchison, Lou Kasischke, Jon Krakauer, Yasuko Namba, John Taske, and Beck Weathers) participated in the Adventure Consultants’ 1996 Everest trip.
Read how Beck Weathers survived the 1996 Everest Tragedy
Harris experienced repeated stomach episodes at the resort in Lobuje when the party was prepared to leave for Base Camp. Despite being encouraged to stay in Lobuje for one more night, Harris and the rest of the party arrived at Base Camp on April 8, 1996.
Harris was hit in the chest by a boulder the size of a small television on May 8, while climbing.
Harris kept climbing despite his dismay but subsequently understood that if the rock had hit his head, he would not have lived.
The Adventure Consultants expedition made a summit attempt from Camp IV, on top of the South Col, shortly after midnight on May 10.
Harris, Anatoli Boukreev, and Jon Krakauer summited Everest at around 1:12 p.m. They then began to drop. Krakauer requested that Harris cut off Krakauer’s oxygen in order to save it. Harris obliged but inadvertently increased the oxygen level.
Harris afterward checked on several oxygen canisters on the Southeast Ridge and said that they were all empty, which they were not.
Harris was thought to be suffering from hypoxia, which might explain part of his erratic behavior. However, it has never been confirmed.
When Krakauer returned to Camp IV, probably suffering from hypoxia, he thought he saw Harris on the ridge above camp. Krakauer recalled seeing him fall over the ridge to camp, rise, and stagger back. Meanwhile, Krakauer took the longer journey around back to the tents, but reported to others at camp that Harris had returned safely. Krakauer discovered the climber he encountered months later when interviewing Mountain Madness customer Martin Adams. On the morning of May 11, following a camp search.
The climbers at Camp IV discovered Harris was missing.
After the tragedy, Krakauer, who survived it, published a magazine piece and later a book about it. Krakauer said that his own “actions – or failure to act – played a direct role in Andy Harris’s death” because he failed to see that Andy Harris was weaker and behaved erratically due to altitude and lack of oxygen.
Several days later, Harris’s ice axe and jacket were discovered near Rob Hall’s body. Hall also said before he died that Harris had been with him but was now vanished. Harris most likely went to help Rob Hall and Doug Hansen, who were stuck higher up on the mountain when the storm approached.
His fate is unclear since his body was never discovered.
A memorial was created a few minutes from Gorakshep towards Everest Base Camp for the members of the Adventure Consultants’ crew who perished during the expedition: Andy Harris, Rob Hall, Doug Hansen, and Yasuko Namba.
Harris was given a peak in Victoria Land, Antarctica, by the New Zealand Geographic Board in 1998. Harris Peak is situated between Mount Hall and Ball Peak, both of which have the name, Harris.
Harris was awarded the New Zealand Bravery Star in 1999 for his bravery, and his former school paid a special homage to him.
Martin Henderson portrays Harris in the 2015 film Everest.
Also see: George Mallory and the unfortunate Mount Everest Incident.
Who was Andy Harris
Andrew Michael Harris NZBS born in September 29, 1964 was a New Zealand mountain guide who perished in the Mount Everest catastrophe in May, 10, 1996. Harris was a guide on Rob Hall’s 1996 Everest trek with Adventure Consultants. Although Harris had substantial climbing experience in New Zealand, this was his first attempt to conquer Mount Everest.
Harris was survived by his parents, Ron and Marry Harris, his older brother, David Harris, and his physician girlfriend, Fiona McPherson, at the time of his death. He was living with McPherson and working on a home in the hills outside of Queenstown with her.
Harris attended Francis Douglas Memorial College in New Plymouth when he was younger.
During the winter, Harris worked as a helicopter skiing guide. From 1987 to 1992, he served as a New Zealand Antarctic study Program (NZARP) field leader for scientists performing archaeological study in Antarctica during the summers, and accompanied climbers into New Zealand’s Southern Alps.
Harris ascended Chobutse (6690m) in 1985, a challenging summit near Everest. He assisted McPherson in a medical clinic in Pheriche in the fall of 1994. The major goal of the clinic was to treat altitude-related ailments.
Related: Who was Green Boots on Mount Everest?
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