The movie Everest is riveting with displays of market risk. Without spoiling the summit, the history of Everest passes from 1953, when Edmund Hillary became the first up, to the present as four groups daily attempt the top.

Everest is the archetype on thousands of similar, though smaller, expeditions that set out daily around the world to reach natural wonders. I've been on a hundred of these: to waterfalls, peaks, wildlife fields, and elephant boneyards. Everywhere capitalism has invaded the guide business.

In the first hour of the movie it's difficult to hold still in the seat and not crawl into the plot to boost someone up a ladder, across a crevice, or hold the breath as oxygen dwindles near the summit. The competing agencies recruit, outbid, and sabotage each other to get clients up there first.

And then there's the celebration of cashing in at the top, and saying, I did it. Everest has brought market risk to the silver screen.


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