Most of us will never climb to the highest elevation in the world — 29,029 feet at the peak of Mount Everest — but a drive to Oklahoma City can bring you close.
The documentary film “Everest” is currently playing at the Omnidome Theater in the Science Museum Oklahoma. Movies at the Omnidome are the ultimate movie-going experience.
Films aren’t just projected onto the massive 70-foot diameter dome screen, they reach out and pull the viewer into the film. Even the new 3-D movies can’t compare.
Everest delves into the world of those who can’t resist risking life and limb to reach the ultimate mountain-climbing goal.
The film revolves around several climbers, including Jamling Tenzing Norgay, son of Tenzing Norgay, who along with Edmund Hillary, was the first to reach the summit in 1953.
The 40-something Norgay attempts his first climb of the behemoth 10 years after his father’s death, and is teamed with the very experienced American mountain climber Ed Viesturs, who had already reached the top on four previous occasions.
Viewers can’t help but develop an understanding of why these people do what they do. Shocking facts are revealed throughout the movie. One example is that it takes well over a month to climb the mighty mountain.
Once a certain point is reached, 22,000 feet, climbers must spend at least five weeks in tents there until they become acclimated to the elevation. The dedication is incredible.
It is a place where man nor beast should ever be. The final 3,000 feet is known as the death zone. The air is so thin, cold and lacking of oxygen, climbers describe the experience as breathing in fire.
The breathing is so labored it can actually crack rib bones. More than 150 lives had ended — prior to the filming of Everest in 1996 — on the way up, and most still occupy frozen graves on the mountain.
The number of climbers who have perished on the mountain totals more than 200 today. Audiences will be on edge to see if the group of determined individuals triumph over pain and tragedy to reach the summit.
The film is brilliantly narrated by Oscar-Nominated-Actor Liam Neeson and although it only has a run time of 45 minutes, the experience will last a lifetime. The movie is educational and family friendly.
For more information about the Omnidome Theaters, visit www.sciencemuseumok.org/dome.html.