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Legendary Letter Carriers - Doug Hansen, the "Mailman" who Conquered Everest

Updated on May 07, 2016
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Although many are mystified by his mysterious moniker, Mel Carriere is a San Diego mailman who writes about the mail, among other things.

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Introducing Legendary Letter Carriers

This article is the first in a hopefully well populated series about letter carriers, or postal workers in general, who have achieved notoriety in the media for doing something positive, something beneficial or inspirational for humanity. You won't find any Postal spree killers here, if that is what you are looking for. In creating this series I will be applying the term "letter carrier" loosely, broadly, and liberally. Any postal worker who has ever, in an official capacity, carried letters to and from one point to another; including clerks, mail handlers, machine operators, postal maintenance men, or actual letter carriers, is qualified to appear here after carrying out a noteworthy deed.

Meet Doug Hansen

I picked Doug Hansen for this maiden voyage of Legendary Letter Carriers after seeing him depicted in the recent movie Everest, the story of the 1996 disaster on Mt. Everest that killed 8 climbers, one of whom was Doug. In the movie Doug Hansen is identified as a mailman, but I believe this is just a case of Hollywood rewriting the script because, among postal employees, everyone knows that mailmen are by far the most handsome, charming, and charismatic. After reading the book "Into Thin Air" by Jon Krakauer, however, I have concluded that Hansen was probably a mail handler or ran a sorting machine. It is mentioned in the book that, in order to build a nest egg to finance the Everest climb, Doug worked the night shift and did construction jobs by day. Actual letter carriers, the postal employees you would identify as your neighborhood "mailmen," do not work night shifts. Finding any specific details on the Internet about Doug's pre-Everest life has been extremely difficult, however, as he seems to have vanished into semi obscurity. He was divorced, as is made plain in the movie, he had two children and a girlfriend he was seriously involved with at the time of his death, but other than this details about his life are sketchy. Perhaps the "Everest" film will help to resurrect his memory, and I hope to also do my humble part here. At any rate, if you are a postal worker who knew or worked with Doug, please supplement this article by providing additional information in the comments below.

In his book "Into Thin Air," written about his personal experience as a part of the ill fated 1996 Adventure Consultants Everest Expedition, author Jon Krakauer describes his own impressions of Doug Hansen, who became his closest friend among the members of the group.

...I didn't have much in common with any of my teammates except Doug. A wiry, hard partying man with a prematurely weathered face that brought to mind an old football, he'd been a postal worker for more than twenty-seven years...Because I'd earned my living as a carpenter for eight years before becoming a writer-and because the tax bracket we shared set us conspicuously apart from the other clients-I already felt comfortable around Doug in a way I didn't with the others.

— Jon Krakauer - Into Thin Air

Read More About the 1996 Everest Disaster, as told by a Survivor

Kent Washington, the Seattle metro area city where Doug Hansen was employed as a postal worker.  Is it possible that mighty Mt. Rainier looming in the background could have inspired Doug's mountaineering?
Kent Washington, the Seattle metro area city where Doug Hansen was employed as a postal worker. Is it possible that mighty Mt. Rainier looming in the background could have inspired Doug's mountaineering? | Source

1996 Adventure Consultants Expedition

Doug Hansen's first attempt on Mt. Everest came in 1995, as part of an expedition led by an accomplished New Zealand climber Rob Hall, who formed a company called "Adventure Consultants" to guide clients to the summit of notable peaks around the world. Rob Hall's customers paid $65,000 apiece for the privilege, and he had an excellent track record and reputation as a guide who got people to the Everest summit and brought them down safely again. Unfortunately, during the 1995 climb Doug had been turned back just 330 feet short of the summit when Hall judged the conditions too dangerous to continue. Because Hall was fond of Doug, whose easy going personality contributed to the positive atmosphere of his excursions, he offered him a significant discount to return to climb again in 1996. Doug told Jon Krakauer that Hall had called him "a dozen times" from New Zealand to urge him to get on board for a repeat attempt. The postal worker at last accepted, hoping that he could finally get the Everest monkey off his back. His decision would prove to be a fateful one.

The 1996 Adventure Consultants expedition was populated mostly by wealthy lawyers, doctors, and executives, as the healthy price per head of 65K would indicate. Outside of the eight paying clients there were also three guides, two of whom perished in a blinding blizzard that struck the summit on the evening of May 10th. The Adventure Consultants casualty list included guide Rob Hall, guide Andy Harris, Japanese female climber Yasuko Namba, and Doug Hansen. Expedition member Beck Weathers was also left for dead in the blizzard but later made a miraculous return to camp, although his right arm, all the fingers on his left hand, his nose and parts of his feet were later amputated because of frostbite damage. Four other climbers from other expeditions also perished the same day.

The ill-fated 1996 Adventure Consultants expedition.
The ill-fated 1996 Adventure Consultants expedition. | Source

Discouragement and Decision

Since oxygen at the summit of Mt. Everest is approximately one third of what it is at sea level, climbing the peak requires a month long acclimatization period at lower elevations of the mountain. As is typical for Everest climbers, during this acclimatization Doug complained of respiratory difficulties, which he reported to team leader Rob Hall. When Jon Krakauer attempted to rouse Doug out of his sleeping bag at Camp Two (21,300 feet) on April 26th, two weeks before the final ascent, Doug complained, "I feel like shit. I think something's wrong with my throat. Man, I'm gettin' too old for this stuff." On that same day Doug also discovered some budding frostbite on his toes, parts of which he had lost during the 1995 trip.

A few weeks before departing for Nepal to start his second Everest attempt, the Kent postal worker had undergone minor throat surgery, and was feeling severe aftereffects from it. Per Krakauer, shortly before the final push Doug told Rob Hall, "I'm fucked!...I can't even talk. The climb is over for me." In response, Hall advised Doug to wait it out a couple of days, telling him he was a "tough bastard" who would bounce back. Doug became extremely discouraged, but eventually agreed to continue. A few days later he told Jon, "I've put too much of myself into the mountain to quit now, without giving it everything I've got." He was probably also inspired by the schoolchildren of Kent, Washington, who had given him a small flag to plant on the mountain's summit.

Doug at the base of the Hillary Step on Mt. Everest.  He is the second climber in line from the bottom, shown turning around.
Doug at the base of the Hillary Step on Mt. Everest. He is the second climber in line from the bottom, shown turning around. | Source

The Summit and the Tragic Descent

On May 10th, 1996, the day of the final ascent, Doug Hansen did not appear to be in good physical condition. He mentioned to his fellow team members that he had not eaten or slept for a few days, after which he finally told guide Rob Hall that he had decided to head back down. As Krakauer reports "...a brief conversation ensued. Nobody overheard the dialogue, so there is no way of knowing what was said, but the upshot was that Doug got back in line and continued his ascent."

Rob Hall had supposedly set a drop dead deadline of 2 PM, after which all climbers who had not arrived at the summit were to be turned back, out of concerns for severe weather and poor visibility that occur at the upper reaches of the mountain. But because of high climber traffic at the base of the Hillary step, where a delay occurred because fixed ropes had to be installed after Sherpas assisting the expedition failed to put them up, by 2 PM very few climbers had reached the top. Rob Hall then extended the deadline, possibly out of a sense of competition with American guide Scott Fischer's team, who had successfully summited all of his clients. The long and short is that at 2 PM, instead of turning Doug back, Hall put his arm around the struggling climber and assisted him up the slope. They didn't reach the peak until around 4 PM, two hours after the deadline.

Doug Hansen finally achieved his dream of climbing Mt. Everest, but at the cost of his life. After a brief celebratory stay at the top he headed back down with Rob. Because the pair then apparently ran out of supplemental oxygen, Doug became physically and mentally impaired and could not be coaxed onward by Hall. The guide found it impossible to get his client down the face of the steep Hillary step, and refused to leave him there alone. Sometime before 6 PM Rob Hall finally descended alone to a place known as the South Summit, but at this point neither Doug Hansen or Andy Harris, a guide who had risked his life to go to their rescue, were with him anymore. No one is certain what happened to Doug that evening, but it has been conjectured that he lost his footing as Rob struggled to coax him down the mountain, and fell 7,000 feet to his death. His ice axe was later found jammed into the ridge, above the sheer face down which he is speculated to have fallen.

The memorial on Mt. Everest for Doug Hansen, Rob Hall, Andy Harris and Yasuko Namba
The memorial on Mt. Everest for Doug Hansen, Rob Hall, Andy Harris and Yasuko Namba | Source

The Movie and the Controversy

The recently released movie "Everest" draws from sources other than Krakauer's pro-Doug Hansen perspective, and doesn't take as favorable a view in depicting the postal worker's role in the 1996 tragedy. A moviegoer is likely to leave the theater believing that if that stubborn mailman would have just turned around when told to, the disaster could have been avoided. Rob Hall's own collusion in hauling Doug's worn out carcass to the top of the peak is glossed over, and the Kiwi climber comes across looking like the heroic guide that stayed and died with his clients despite their belligerence and stupidity.

It seems to me that any finger pointing at all, at anyone, is pointless and counterproductive. Although human decisions certainly played a role, the fickle, unpredictable blizzards on the summit of Everest were ultimately responsible for the deaths of the climbers. The decision of climbing to the "roof of the world" can be a fatal one in itself. Everest is an extremely dangerous enterprise; the massive mountain claiming the lives of more than 250 mountaineers since it was first attempted. Those who summit the peak, both guides and clients, are well aware of the risks in advance and accept them as part of the allure of being able to chalk up Everest as part of their climbing trophy case.

A movie review is beyond the scope of this article, but having read Jon Krakauer's book after the film, I believe "Everest" is an accurate depiction of what went on at and beneath the summit of Mt. Everest on May 10, 1996. As expected, Hollywood takes some liberties, but it is a good entry level lesson for those wishing to learn more about this ill-fated ascent. There don't seem to be any live videos of Doug Hansen available on the Internet for comparison, but in my opinion John Hawkes, the actor who portrays Doug, sets the right tone of good-natured humility that a postal worker lost among the wealthy doctors, lawyers, and business executives on a costly Everest expedition probably would have conducted himself with.

As Jon Krakauer's book "Into Thin Air" and the movie "Everest" both indicate, "Mailman" Doug Hansen also achieved favorable reviews among his teammates in the 1996 Adventure Consultants expedition. He will be remembered as a solid, supportive, friendly companion who didn't back down from one of the most daunting challenges that face mankind - to summit the world's highest mountain while braving blizzards, ice avalanches, and potential death from plunging down deadly, dizzying rock faces; all while under the physical duress brought about by scanty oxygen above 25,000 feet.. Because Doug may be the first and only Postal Worker to achieve this, he deserves a spot in the Legendary Letter Carriers Hall of Fame, as the first to be inducted here into this elite fraternity.

The Everest shaped memorial to Doug Hansen on the property of the Kent, Washington Post Office.
The Everest shaped memorial to Doug Hansen on the property of the Kent, Washington Post Office. | Source
The South face of Everest, the side climbed by Doug Hansen as a member of Rob Hall's Adventure Consultants team.
The South face of Everest, the side climbed by Doug Hansen as a member of Rob Hall's Adventure Consultants team. | Source

Finger Pointing Time

Who was responsible for the 1996 Everest disaster?

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Doug Hansen Featurette from The Movie "Everest"

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    • Reynold Jay profile image

      Reynold Jay 17 months ago from Saginaw, Michigan

      I think he was a sub mail carrier one day during a blizzard. He was a few minutes behind schedule, but I forgave him. Kidding just a bit. This is quite a story and I already look forward to the next installment.

    • Old Poolman profile image

      Mike 17 months ago from Rural Arizona

      Great piece of writing Mel. I have seen several documentaries about climbing Everest but never heard this story. I can't imagine why people get this urge to climb a mountain but I guess they just have to do it.

      I can already tell this is going to be a good series and I look forward to the next one.

    • Jodah profile image

      John Hansen 17 months ago from Queensland Australia

      A wonderful but tragic story, Mel. One reason I had to read this was the guy's name "Doug Hansen". I had an uncle named Doug Hansen, who worked as a technician and linesman for our phone company (then called the PMG "Post Master General's Department"..now Telstra) The phone and mail companies were run by the same government department.

      The 10th of May was another co-incidence as that was the birthdate of my Doug Hansen's son Tom (my cousin).

      Anyway if this hub is any indication this series will prove quite a success. Thanks for sharing.

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 17 months ago from Olympia, WA

      I've climbed Mt. Rainier. Everest is in another universe when it comes to climbing. Great read, Mel. I guess those endless mail deliveries paid off in getting Doug in shape...better shape than I've ever been in.

    • Mel Carriere profile image
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      Mel Carriere 17 months ago from San Diego California

      Yes Reynold Jay, that was quite a distance to lug a heavy mail bag, but in the true spirit of the Postal Service he got the job done. Thanks for reading.

    • Mel Carriere profile image
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      Mel Carriere 17 months ago from San Diego California

      If you get a chance see the movie Mike. It gives a pretty fair rendition of Doug's experience. Thanks for reading!

    • Mel Carriere profile image
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      Mel Carriere 17 months ago from San Diego California

      Thank you Jodah. Who knows, maybe the Hansen bloodlines extend across the waters. I hope I can find some more famous letter carriers to keep the series going. I appreciate you dropping in.

    • Mel Carriere profile image
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      Mel Carriere 17 months ago from San Diego California

      The picture of Ranier looks daunting enough Bill, and to think it is only half the height of Everest. Boggles the mind. Thanks for reading!

    • Ericdierker profile image

      Eric Dierker 17 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Death is a part of such adventures. Well done. I think the personal aspect is really cool. Hard to write about such stuff unless you have a time that you should have died.

    • Dana Tate profile image

      Dana Tate 17 months ago from LOS ANGELES

      very interesting story with a tragic ending. However, he did accomplish what he set out to do. I look forward to more installments in this series, this was very interesting to read.

    • FatBoyThin profile image

      Colin Garrow 17 months ago from Kinneff, Scotland

      Interesting piece - I've come across the book before but haven't read it yet. Have to say, nothing on earth would get me climbing big mountains in bad weather. Courageous folk.

    • Mel Carriere profile image
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      Mel Carriere 17 months ago from San Diego California

      I think we all have had a time we should have died Eric, but that doesn't mean everybody wants to flirt with disaster. I had a motorcycle accident at age 16 and stayed away from them after that. But Doug Hansen couldn't get enough of big rocks. Thanks for reading!

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      Mel Carriere 17 months ago from San Diego California

      Dana Tate, despite the ending I think Doug Hansen is a great story. I want to see a real mailman try it though. A real mailman would always push himself to impossible limits of endurance to make it there on time, then help the stragglers up to the top. Then again, I've never carried mail at 29,028 feet so how do I know. Thanks for reading!

    • Mel Carriere profile image
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      Mel Carriere 17 months ago from San Diego California

      FatBoyThin, the bad part about Everest is that the weather turns at the drop of a hat. Then again, a balmy May afternoon on Everest can still cost you a toe or two to frostbite. You're right, I'll just stay home and watch it on TV. Thanks for reading!

    • Venkatachari M profile image

      Venkatachari M 17 months ago from Hyderabad, India

      Interesting and exciting story of Doug Hansen. But tragic ending after the successful climb is much depressing. Thanks for sharing this legendary mail carrier's story.

    • BlossomSB profile image

      Bronwen Scott-Branagan 16 months ago from Victoria, Australia

      Thank you for a very interesting story, although it had such a sad ending. It was well written and I enjoyed reading it.

    • Mel Carriere profile image
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      Mel Carriere 16 months ago from San Diego California

      Thank you Venkatachari M. It is a depressing ending, but Everest climbers seem to embrace this potential fate. I appreciate you dropping by.

    • Mel Carriere profile image
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      Mel Carriere 16 months ago from San Diego California

      Thank you Blossom SB for dropping by and reading. I'm sorry I couldn't spin it with a cheerier ending, but poetic license doesn't cover non fiction, I suppose. I appreciate you dropping in with the nice words.

    • Larry Rankin profile image

      Larry Rankin 16 months ago from Oklahoma

      I was familiar with this ill fated expedition. Wonderful perspective on this problematic climb.

    • Mel Carriere profile image
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      Mel Carriere 16 months ago from San Diego California

      There are so many people who have perished on Everest, Larry, that I lose track. It was only after I went to see the movie that I found out about Doug, and thought it was cool that a postal worker made it to the top, even though he didn't make it back down again. Seems like most of the fatalities on Everest occur on the descent. People get cocky and turn off the oxygen. Thanks for reading!

    • MelRootsNWrites profile image

      Melody Lassalle 16 months ago from California

      I had hear of the book and movie, but wasn't really aware of the story. I enjoyed your insights into Doug Hansen's life and the ill fated climb. In the end, I think this is one of those things where many factors were at play. It's easy to be a Monday morning quarterback, but up on that mountain they were making life and death decisions. Some times those decisions seem find for the immediate problem but ultimately lead to ones doom. Unfortunately, in this case there were tragic results.

      I'm looking forward to the next installment in your series!

    • bdegiulio profile image

      Bill De Giulio 16 months ago from Massachusetts

      Great read Mel. I remember vividly the 1996 Everest tragedy. Looking forward to seeing the movie and your next installment.

    • CrisSp profile image

      CrisSp 16 months ago from Sky Is The Limit Adventure

      I was supposed to watch the Everest today. (Hey, it's my day off!) :) Unfortunately, we didn't catch it. No one to blame but Popeye's Chicken...long line up! So, we ended up watching some scattershot humour and spooks - Goosebumps!

      It was a good one 'though and I really enjoyed it just like I enjoyed reading this hub. The only difference is, this hub ended quite sadly. However, I still look forward to watching the movie and see Doug Hansen's character specially after your interesting introduction of him.

    • kalinin1158 profile image

      Lana Zakinov 16 months ago from California

      Great article Mel. So well-researched and captivating. I say - this is book material! Question: would you consider fictional (Henry Chinaski) mail carriers for your series? ;)

    • AliciaC profile image

      Linda Crampton 16 months ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Thanks for sharing the information about a person that I've never heard of before. The story is very interesting and sad at the same time. I'm looking forward to the next hub in the series.

    • DDE profile image

      Devika Primić 16 months ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      A very interesting hub! You had me reading on here. Always a thoughtful hub from you.

    • Mel Carriere profile image
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      Mel Carriere 16 months ago from San Diego California

      Thank you Mel for your thoughtful and well articulated reply. It is hard to place the blame on anyone in particular. Everybody had a hand in the tragedy, but it was mostly the fickle whims of nature.

    • Mel Carriere profile image
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      Mel Carriere 16 months ago from San Diego California

      Thank you bedegiulio. I am busy trying to dig up more legendary letter carriers. I appreciate you stopping by.

    • Mel Carriere profile image
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      Mel Carriere 16 months ago from San Diego California

      Thank you Cris Sp, I can certainly appreciated getting delayed because of Popeye's chicken. It is one of my guilty pleasures. I hope you like the movie.

    • Mel Carriere profile image
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      Mel Carriere 16 months ago from San Diego California

      Chinaski actually worked for the post office a while I think, Svetlana. I have a few mailman short stories with a character loosely based upon myself, and this same character is the main character in a novel I am trying to write. The novel is now stuck; I have a beginning and end but no middle. I am waiting for inspiration to blow in on the breeze. Thanks for reading.

    • Mel Carriere profile image
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      Mel Carriere 16 months ago from San Diego California

      Thank you Linda. I am glad you could learn something new. Truth is I had never heard of Doug either, until I saw the movie. I appreciate you dropping by.

    • Mel Carriere profile image
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      Mel Carriere 16 months ago from San Diego California

      I can always count on a nice word from you, Davika. I'm glad you liked the story and thank you for the visit.

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      Diane Hansen 16 months ago

      He is my brother. He was a Postal Clerk. An amazing man. I miss him every day.

    • profile image

      Angie (Hansen) Taylor 16 months ago

      I am Doug's daughter. Thank you for honoring him. He was an amazing and charismatic man; light-hearted, humble, yet driven. Of course he had faults, as we all do, but he truly seemed to positively impact all those how had the priviledge to know him. Beyond climbing, he coached many of my and my brother's sports teams growing up, enjoyed playing softball, ran marathons, and even did some stock car racing at a local track his last couple years. He had a true passion for life.

      I feel John Hawkes portrayed my father well considering no contact was made with our family. I felt the movie was a decent reflection of what transpired. We must remember, we truly don't know all the details as neither my dad or Rob survived.

      I feel very strongly that you should remove this poll of pointing fingers! I find it disgraceful and disrespectful. My dad was a good man. Rob Hall was a good man. It was a succession of many details that attributed to the peril.

      Again, thank you for honoring my father.

    • Mel Carriere profile image
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      Mel Carriere 16 months ago from San Diego California

      Thank you Diane. I suspected he must have been a clerk or mail handler, even though the movie portrays him as a "mailman," which is why I put it in quotes. He must have been amazing, to work two jobs and stll have energy to climb mountains. I really appreciate you dropping by and clarifying this.

    • Mel Carriere profile image
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      Mel Carriere 16 months ago from San Diego California

      Angie you honor me with your visit. As a postal employee I feel we need heroes to give us hope and pride, and your fantastic father certainly fits the bill. Too much press has been given to other members of the expedition, I am happy the movie featured your father prominently.

      I meant no disrespect with the poll. I put it up there to reinforce the notion that nobody really was to blame. So far, 88 percent of poll participants agree that nobody was to blame. One of the reasons I wrote this was to exxonerate the participants.

      Thank you for stopping by and filling in some of the gaps I couldn't find trying to research this. I was flattered and flabbergasted to see Doug's family check in!

    • profile image

      Jaime Hansen 16 months ago

      Well said Angie...much of what the movies portrayal of him is a much closer depiction of who he was considering it's a 2 hour movie (and to fully delve into who each of the characters are would take a mini series) than the awful movie made from Krakauer's Into Thin Air. To know climbers is to really experience a zest for life that many cannot relate. He was someone who worked very hard and played even harder. I was fortunate enough to play ball for my dad, coach with him for my younger sisters teams and then to take the field with him and compete. Hollywood definitely put their twist on the story in "Everest" but other than Rob calling him Doug'y they did an okay.

      As my sister Angie said, thank you for honoring our father.

    • Mel Carriere profile image
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      Mel Carriere 16 months ago from San Diego California

      Thank you Janine. I guess you can't appreciate life any better than when staring down a sheer precipice at the top of a mountain. Hollywood did indeed take some liberties, but if they were following Krakauer's book I thought they were more unfair to your father than Krakauer was. He sounds like a remarkable man. Thanks for reading!

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      Scott 16 months ago

      Doug did not concoqure what he set out to do. He did not return. "To summit is optional to return is mandatory. "

    • Mel Carriere profile image
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      Mel Carriere 16 months ago from San Diego California

      I don't agree Scott. Summitting Everest is something only a mictoscopicslly small percentage of the world's population will ever do. Thanks for reading.

    • aviannovice profile image

      Deb Hirt 16 months ago from Stillwater, OK

      This was an excellent read, but from what I can surmise, Doug was more of a "people pleaser" than logical in some cases. I would imagine that this was the end of the tour guide business due to this disaster.

    • Mel Carriere profile image
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      Mel Carriere 16 months ago from San Diego California

      As a matter of fact Deb, Adventure Consultants, the company that led Doug and others to their death on Everest, seems to be going stronger than ever. Is there really any logic involved at all when deciding to climb this deadly mountain? Thanks for reading.

    • lawrence01 profile image

      Lawrence Hebb 16 months ago from Hamilton, New Zealand

      Mel

      I enjoyed this as it's not just a tribute to Doug but to all those who aim for the impossible.

      No one really knows what happened to Doug and that's part of the mystery, he didn't just become a 'statistic' but became part of the legend that is EVEREST!

      Great hub

      Lawrence

    • Mel Carriere profile image
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      Mel Carriere 16 months ago from San Diego California

      Thank you Lawrence. I think you caught the spirit of the thing. Some people will achieve their goals and/or die trying. Thete is something to be admired in that. Sometimes I wish it was me. Safe is boring. Thanks for reading!

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      Southeast ofSeattle 13 months ago

      There is a picture of Doug on the wall at my post office where he worked. I never met him, I was hired a few years later but I have heard much about him from the senior carriers and clerks.

    • Mel Carriere profile image
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      Mel Carriere 13 months ago from San Diego California

      Thank you Southeast. That seems to be the consensus, that he was liked by everyone. I like comments like this because they make Doug a lot more real than I could.

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      Audrey Hunt 10 months ago from Nashville Tn.

      I must have been a mountain climber in another life or time. I watch documentaries over and over again. Mountain climbing, especially Everest, intrigues me. I love this well-written hub and especially the mystery or what happened to Doug.

      I'll be sharing this and thanks!

      Audrey

    • Mel Carriere profile image
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      Mel Carriere 10 months ago from San Diego California

      Thank you Audrey. I love those mountain climbing shows myself even though I have severe vertigo now and don't like climbing so much as a ladder. I appreciate your nice words.

    • profile image

      Monique 8 months ago

      I have watched the movie Everest on cable almost every time it has aired. I have become fascinated with wanting to know about the people who have summited Everest. I talk to the television every time...telling Doug to please turn around. I remember this tragedy when it happened, but seeing the movie depiction was really something. I so wish they had all survived. Very nice tribute to Doug Hansen.

    • Mel Carriere profile image
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      Mel Carriere 8 months ago from San Diego California

      Thank you Monique. I hope that this article and a few of the comments from people who knew him were able to add to your knowledge about Doug. He was an inspirational figure for all who knew him. Thanks for reading.

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      Russell Dee 6 months ago

      The movie made me think that Doug Hansen and Beck Weathers played a small role in the tragedies on the Mountain that day(s) but that Rob Moore was mostly to blame because Rob Moore should have rejected Doug Hansen's and Beck Weathers pleas to continue climbing and he should have turned them around and made them go down instead. If your evidence is correct that would exonerate Doug Hansen for me completely. If he was telling everyone, including Rob Moore, that he could not proceed and Rob Moore really "hauled" Doug Hansen to the summit then I think that it is solely Rob Moore's fault that Doug Hansen and Rob Moore died. Now the question is whether or not it's true that Rob Moore actually pressed Doug Hansen to continue climbing the mountain and went so far as to "haul" Doug Hansen to the top. I really don't know if I buy that.

    • Mel Carriere profile image
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      Mel Carriere 6 months ago from San Diego California

      Well, Russel, I think the only two men who could confirm that are still lying up on the mountain. The information I have mostly came from the book by the man who was on the expedition, Mr. Krakauer, but there is not 100 percent consensus among the survivors. There were witnesses to Rob Moore convincing Doug to continue the day before, however, when he was reluctant to do so. Thanks for reading.

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      Danae 5 months ago

      I saw the movie when in came out and since gave read into thin air. Doug was my favorite in the movie. Seemed like a good all around guy from the book.

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      Mel Carriere 5 months ago from San Diego California

      That was the impression I got too, Danae, that he would have been fun to hang around with. What a tragedy indeed. Thanks for reading.

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      SethWolpin 3 months ago

      I climbed Everest from the south side in 2011 and was able to summit and also get down safely. I have also walked over a 1,000 miles across the Himalaya in Nepal and I continue to work in Nepal. I say this not to brag but to point out that I have some experience at high altitude. I count myself very fortunate. I live in Seattle and was recently out for a trail run near the Cascades and was surprised to see a memorial bench for Doug. I knew a little about him from 'Into Thin Air' and also the movie but never picked up the fact that he was from near Seattle until I read the plaque on the bench. I generally avoid news about Everest because so much of it is incorrect or hyperbole. But today I stumbled across a photo of the bench so I googled him and found your blog post about Doug. It's an interesting write-up and I enjoyed learning a little more about Doug. Thank you. But I cringed when I saw the poll. I think it is thin ice to try to cast blame for anything that happens above 8,000m. It is a different world up there. I was impressed by Angie's comment (Doug's daughter) and thought her request to remove it was very eloquent. Your response dismissed her concerns out of hand. The survey is titled 'Finger Pointing Time' - placed after an article with many leading statements about things that are pure conjecture. As a researcher who works with survey methodology there is a lot more I could say. And the numbers have shifted since your response and no longer bolster your rationalization. I would encourage you to remove it. Survey science aside, it is simply wrong and distasteful to try to assign blame in something like this. Thanks otherwise for the research. Safe trails.

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      Mel Carriere 3 months ago from San Diego California

      Thank you Seth for your great comment and for sharing your experiences. I don't pretend that it is a professional poll. Ultimately this is an entertainment, not professional article. People enjoy taking polls and surveys. I respect your suggestion, however, and perhaps I will modify the title. I appreciate you taking the time to share your thoughts.

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