“It’s a beautiful story, and it’s a lie,” said Jon Krakauer, mountaineer and author of “Into Thin Air,” in the CBS report.
According to Mr. Krakauer and porters who joined Mortenson on his mountain trip, Mortenson never visited Korphe on his descent and only visited the village a year later, in 1994.
In a Bozeman Chronicle story, Mortenson conceded the opening anecdote wasn’t literally true. “I stand by the story of ‘Three Cups of Tea'… The time about our final days on K2 and ongoing journey to Korphe village and Skardu is a compressed version of events that took place in the fall of 1993.”
Mortenson also claims he was captured by the Taliban and held for several days before being released, a claim CBS debunks in its report.
The CAI has “successfully established over 170 schools” and helped educate over 68,000 students, with an emphasis on girls' education,” according to the institute’s website.
However, the CBS report alleges that many of the 170 schools Mortenson’s charity built in Pakistan and Afghanistan either don't exist or were built by others.
On its report, “60 Minutes” said it visited almost 30 of the schools Mortenson alleged to have built. Roughly half were empty, built by someone else, or not receiving any support.