Matt Dickinson, our Writer in Residence with Northgate High School, spoke to Year 12 and Year 13 A Level Geography students on Monday, celebrating World Book Week and the importance of wider reading. He also presented a fascinating discussion on Antarctica, climbing Mount Everest, the impact of tourism and global warming, plus possible career opportunities for those thinking of studying Geography at university.
In the photograph above, Matt can be seen holding his book, The Death Zone: It seemed like any other season on Mount Everest. Ten expeditions from around the world were preparing for their summit push, gathered together to try for mountaineering’s ultimate prize. Twenty-four hours later, eight of those climbers were dead, victims of the most devastating storm ever to hit Everest. On the North face of the mountain, a British expedition found itself in the thick of the drama. Against all odds, film-maker Matt Dickinson and professional climber Alan Hinkes managed to battle through hurricane-force winds to reach the summit. In The Death Zone Matt Dickinson describes the extraordinary event that put the disaster on the front cover of Time and Newsweek. The desperate attempts of teams on the southern side of the mountain, fatal errors that led to the deaths of three Indian climbers on the North Ridge and the moving story or Rob Hall, the New Zealand guide who stayed with his stricken client, and paid with his life. Based on interviews with the surviving climbers and the first-hand experience of having lived through the killer storm, this gripping non-fiction book tackles issues at the very heart of mountaineering. The Death Zone is an extraordinary story of human triumph, folly and disaster.