Inside the 1996 Everest Disaster – Ken Kamler
Dr. Kenneth Kamler recalls his harrowing experience on a climb towards the summit of Mt. Everest in 1996 when a lethal 2-day storm kicked up. The event, documented by writer Jon Krakauer in his bestselling book Into Thin Air, would lead to the deaths of eight climbers and leave several others — including Kamler — stranded and fighting for their lives.
In this presentation, Kamler explores the effects of the disaster, the rescue, and the relentless drive of human survival.
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Kenneth “Ken” Kamler is a microsurgeon and mountain climber. Kamler was chosen by New York Magazine as one of New York City’s best doctors in 2002. He is a microsurgeon trained at Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center who also practices extreme medicine in the most remote corners of the world. He has served as chief high altitude physician for the NASA-sponsored research in human physiological responses to extreme altitude.
As covered in the book Into Thin Air by Jon Krakauer, in May 1996, Kamler was at Camp III on Mount Everest preparing for a summit attempt when a ferocious storm engulfed three teams of climbers returning from the peak. As the only doctor on the mountain when the storm hit, he treated the survivors as they descended from Camp IV.
A climber and doctor on many Everest expeditions, he has worked with National Geographic to carry out geological research and precision mapping using laser telescopes and global positioning satellite beacons. He appeared on ABC’s Nightline in the first-ever live interview from Everest base camp. and has appeared many times on national television. Kamler lives in the New York City area.