90.9 WBUR - Boston's NPR news station
Top Stories:
PLEDGE NOW
The Joy and Tragedy of Climbing
photo

The three climbers on the Tilly Jane trailhead on December 8th, beneath Oregon’s towering Mt. Hood, left behind a simple note at the warming hut at the ranger’s station: “We are a party of three attempting North Face,” they wrote. And that was it.

Up they went, to the summit it appears, never to come down. There were 100-mile-per-hour winds, intense storms, and ten feet of snow. On Sunday, the body of James Kelly, 48, was found in a snow cave on the mountain after a desperate cell phone call. A fleet of aircraft, search and rescue volunteers, the National Guard – all called out to find his mates. Yesterday, the searchers surrendered.

This hour On Point: we go to Mt. Hood and then ask great climbers, despite it all, why they climb.

Quotes from the Show:

“It was supposed to be a two-day, quick up and down climb.” Christian Foden-Vencil

“When you get to the top of the mountain …, you get to indulge your sense of ego.” Clint Willis

“The appeal of climbing is the opportunity to engage in the way life is …” Clint Willis

“The whole issue of what [gear and equipment] to bring with you lies at the heart of extreme mountaineering.” Clint Willis

“There’s something intrinsically satisfying in mounting the insurmountable.” Brian, a listener and climber

Guests:

Christian Foden-Vencil, reporter with Oregon Public Radio;
Joe Owens, climber with Portland (OR) Mountain Rescue;
Clint Willis, author of “The Boys of Everest.”;
Phil and Susan Ershler, first couple to climb the Seven Summits.

Please follow our community rules when engaging in comment discussion on this site.
ONPOINT
TODAY
Jul 22, 2014
Smoke rises after an Israeli shelling at the Shijaiyah neighborhood in Gaza City, Monday, July 21, 2014. The top Hamas leader in the Gaza Strip signaled Monday that the Islamic militant group will not agree to an unconditional cease-fire with Israel, while Israel's defense minister pledged to keep fighting "as long as necessary," raising new doubt about the highest-level mediation mission in two weeks. (AP)

The escalated Gaza offensive. We’ll get the views from both sides and the latest developments.

Jul 22, 2014
Lt. Col. James Howard Williams, aka "Elephant Bill," is the hero of Vicki Constantine Croke's new book, "Elephant Company." (Courtesy Random House)

We’ll travel to the jungles of Burma for the remarkable true story of Billy Williams—aka “the elephant whisperer”—and his World War II heroism.

RECENT
SHOWS
Jul 21, 2014
In this May 15, 2014, file photo, Senate Veterans Affairs Committee Chairman Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., speaks on Capitol Hill in Washington, during a committee hearing to examine the state of Veterans Affairs health care. (AP)

Will he run for president? We’ll ask Vermont’s Independent U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders.

 
Jul 21, 2014
Toys and flowers are placed on the charred fuselage at the crash site of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 near the village of Hrabove, eastern Ukraine, Sunday, July 20, 2014. (AP)

The United States and Russia after the downed plane. We’ll unpack the politics and latest news. Plus: the latest from Gaza.

On Point Blog
On Point Blog
Our Week In The Web: July 11, 2014
Friday, Jul 11, 2014

As we prepare for a week of rebroadcasts, we reflect on Facebook posts, misplaced comments and the magic of @ mentions. Internet, ASSEMBLE!

More »
Comment
 
Two Former Senators, One Fix For US Democracy?
Thursday, Jul 10, 2014

Former US Senators Tom Daschle and Olympia Snowe joined us today with a few fixes for American political inaction.

More »
Comment
 
Future Radio Interns Of America: On Point Wants YOU!
Thursday, Jul 10, 2014

On Point needs interns for the fall. Could YOU be one of them?

More »
2 Comments