“At the time, it was emotionally confusing,” she says. “As a teenager, you have very strong emotions and anger about the situation.”
You may have seen Meg featured in our September issue about her mad roller derby skills. That was before I knew of her connection to Beck Weathers — I’m guessing that’s not something you randomly slip in to conversation.
Much has been written about her father since the 1996 event that ultimately changed his life forever. There was the initial media frenzy, Jon Krakauer’s bestselling book “Into Thin Air”, this People Magazine article that revisits the Weathers family a year later, and Beck Weathers’ own memoir about the experience, “Left for Dead.”
But what’s all this mean to his teenage daughter? Meg says that back then, she and her older brother Beck II avoided the media almost completely. They were focused on their father’s difficult recovery in which had limited use of his hands.
“The hardest thing was watching him struggle with not being independent,” Meg says. “It’s hard to watch at 15, and you’re old enough to understand that your parents aren’t superheroes.”
Meg also was witness to the immense “survivor’s guilt” her father faced, having lost eight of his fellow climbers on the mountain. He refused to fully reconstruct his frostbitten nose “because he wanted to have a reminder of what he lost and what he could have lost.”
At the time, some of the media criticized Beck Weathers for being disconnected from his family because of his relentless pursuit of the world’s highest mountains. But Meg says that’s unwarranted. He simply seeks out a challenge and and completely involves himself in it – much like she has done with roller derby.
“They criticized it because they don’t have the same personality traits. There was never a moment when I doubted my father’s love.”
That rang true when he started traveling and speaking about the events that happened on Everest. It became less about the experience itself, she says. “It was about learning about the importance of family.”
Today, she lives within 15 minutes of her parents and maintains a good relationship with her dad. His new hobby is piloting mono airplanes.