Scott Fischer

From Academic Kids

Scott Fischer (1956- May 10 1996) was an American climber and guide.

Fischer spent his early life in Michigan and New Jersey and took two years of climbing courses after being inspired by a show he saw on television. In 1982, he and his wife, Jeannie Price, moved west to Seattle, Washington where they raised two children.

In the 1990s, Fischer formed his own adventure company, Mountain Madness, which he setup to guarantee clients the summit of the world's highest mountains for fees in the $50,000 range. In 1992, while climbing K2 successfully, he was involved in a daring rescue of Chantal Mauduit, a French woman climber who became severely snow blind. She went to climb five more eight-thousanders but died in an avalanche on Dhaulagiri. From the 1992 season, Fischer brought a new level of commercialism to adventures from successes of climbing.

He was killed on May 11, 1996, in the worst tragedy in the climbing history of Mount Everest. On May 10, 1996, Fischer, Anatoli Boukreev and Neil Beidelman guided eight of their clients to the summit of Everest. On the descent, the team was caught in a severe snowstorm. All the climbers managed to reach camp IV on the South Col (7,900 m or 25,900 feet), except Fischer. Fischer, who had reached the summit at around 3:45pm, had severe difficulties on the descent. Fischer was accompanied by sirdar Lopsang Sherpa, but just below the south summit, Fischer was unable to continue and finally coaxed Lopsang to descend without him. Lopsang did so, with the hopes that he would be able to send someone else back up with additional supplemental oxygen and help Fischer get down. Boukreev made several attempts to reach Fischer but turned back on the first two attempts due to the weather. Finally, around 7pm on May 11, Boukreev was able to reach Fischer's position, but unfortunately it was too late. Many speculate that Fischer had been suffering from a severe form of altitude sickness, either HACE or HAPE. A memorial cairn for Scott Fischer can be found at the top of a hill near Lobuche, on the trail to Everest base camp.

Accounts of what happened in 1996 were described in the books The Climb by Anatoli Boukreev and Gary Weston DeWalt and Into Thin Air by Jon Krakauer.

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