The “Truth” about this tragedy has never changed: A unprecedented eight day windstorm hit the mountain at the worst possible time for the second Wilcox summit attempt. Independent meteorologists analyzed weather records for 105 months between 1952 and 1976. They determined the storm of July 18-26 was the most severe wind storm on the mountain since weather data had been collected. (Wilcox 1981) The park service and the local resources that supported their efforts to mount a rescue did what they believed, with good reason was, the best way to get real help to the missing climbers.
In spite of their efforts, seven young men – Jerry Clark, Hank Janes, Dennis Luchterhand, Mark McLaughlin, John Russell, Steve Taylor and Walt Taylor died.
This comes right back to the questions we've been discussing about why truth is important, what do we as readers expect from an author, and how much truth is really necessary for a book's success. However, us readers are not directly linked to any member of the 'cast of characters.' Reactions to Tabor's book from family members like this one from Hall's son are upsetting, because they show how his book created more distress for people already incredibly affected by this tragedy. One reason why rescue missions were not sent out earlier and were not successful is because no one wanted to create more victims in an already disastrous tragedy due to treacherous weather conditions. However, by assigning blame after the incident, Tabor is in a way victimizing other people. I realize this is a pretty bold statement, but I found Tabor's account, while captivating, to be fairly biased and dramatic. I suppose I still have a problem with him writing a 'blame game' account as an outsider--just as Hall's family does. In my opinion, the long quote above is a satisfactory 'truth' to the tragedy, and further blame unnecessarily complicates the incident.