The new movie Everest is all Hollywood, with big movie stars meant for a big IMAX screen. But the story it tells is very real.

When images and accounts of the 1996 climb on which the movie is based were published in the book Everest: Mountain Without Mercy, TIME examined how the disaster—in which a storm resulted in eight deaths—came to pass. The story was also an opportunity to look at how a tragedy in one of the world’s most remote spots ended up so well-documented (including in Jon Krakauer’s 1997 book Into Thin Air). As it turned out, two IMAX filmmakers David Breashears and Ed Viesturs were there with cameras.

Everest, as TIME’s Jeffrey Kluger explained, had become a popular destination despite the isolated and challenging environs:

Read the full story, here in the TIME Vault: Mountain Without Mercy

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