A veteran mountaineer recalls some of his most dangerous climbs as he pursued the goal of reaching the summit of the world's fourteen 8,000-meter peaks, discussing some of his own close calls and rescues, and errors in judgment on the part of fellow climbers.
This gripping and triumphant memoir from the author of The Mountain follows a living legend of extreme mountaineering as he makes his assault on history, one 8,000-meter summit at a time. For eighteen years Ed Viesturs pursued climbing’s holy grail: to stand atop the world’s fourteen 8,000-meter peaks, without the aid of bottled oxygen. But No Shortcuts to the Top is as much about the man who would become the first American to achieve that goal as it is about his stunning quest. As Viesturs recounts the stories of his most harrowing climbs, he reveals a man torn between the flat, safe world he and his loved ones share and the majestic and deadly places where only he can go. A preternaturally cautious climber who once turned back 300 feet from the top of Everest but who would not shrink from a peak (Annapurna) known to claim the life of one climber for every two who reached its summit, Viesturs lives by an unyielding motto, “Reaching the summit is optional. Getting down is mandatory.” It is with this philosophy that he vividly describes fatal errors in judgment made by his fellow climbers as well as a few of his own close calls and gallant rescues. And, for the first time, he details his own pivotal and heroic role in the 1996 Everest disaster made famous in Jon Krakauer's Into Thin Air. In addition to the raw excitement of Viesturs’s odyssey, No Shortcuts to the Top is leavened with many funny moments revealing the camaraderie between climbers. It is more than the first full account of one of the staggering accomplishments of our time; it is a portrait of a brave and devoted family man and his beliefs that shaped this most perilous and magnificent pursuit.
A veteran mountaineer recalls some of his most harrowing and dangerous climbs as he pursues the goal of reaching the summit of the world's fourteen 8,000-meter peaks, detailing his dedication to the philosophy that "getting to the top is optional, getting down is mandatory" while discussing some of his own close calls, rescues, and errors in judgment on the part of fellow climbers. 75,000 first printing.
A thrilling chronicle of the tragedy-ridden history of climbing the world's most difficult and unpredictable mountain, by the bestselling authors of The Mountain and No Shortcuts to the Top Ed Viesturs, one of the world's premier high-altitude mountaineers, explores the remarkable history of K2 and of those who have attempted to conquer it. At the same time, he probes the mountain's most memorable sagas in order to illustrate lessons about the fundamental questions mountaineering raises—questions of risk, ambition, loyalty to one's teammates, self-sacrifice, and the price of glory. Viesturs knows the mountain firsthand. He and renowned alpinist Scott Fischer climbed it in 1992 and got caught in an avalanche that sent them sliding to almost certain death before Ed managed to get into a self-arrest position with his ice ax and stop both his fall and Scott's. Focusing on seven of the mountain's most dramatic campaigns, from his own troubled ascent to the 2008 tragedy, Viesturs crafts an edge-of-your-seat narrative that climbers and armchair travelers alike will find unforgettably compelling. With photographs from Viesturs's personal collection and from historical sources, this is the definitive account of the world's ultimate mountain, and of the lessons that can be gleaned from struggling toward its elusive summit.
"The bestselling author of No Shortcuts to the Top and K2chronicles his three attempts to climb the world's tenth-highest and statistically deadliest peak, Annapurna in the Himalaya, while exploring the dramatic and tragic history of others who have made -- or attempted the ascent, and what these exploits teach us about facing life's greatest challenges. As a high school student in the flatlands of Rockford, Illinois, where the highest objects on the horizon were water towers, Ed Viesturs read and was captivated by the French climber Maurice Herzog's famous and grisly account of the first ascent of Annapurna in 1950. When he began his own campaign to climb the world's 14 highest peaks in the late 1980s, Viesturs looked forward with trepidation to undertaking Annapurna himself. Two failures to summit in 2000 and 2002 made Annapurna his nemesis. His successful 2005 ascent was the triumphant capstone of his climbing quest. In The Will To ClimbViesturs brings the extraordinary challenges of Annapurna to vivid life through edge-of-your-seat accounts of the greatest climbs in the mountain s history, and of his own failed attempts and eventual success.
Author: Ed Viesturs
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Release Date: 2013-10-08
Genre: Sports & Recreation
In national bestseller The Mountain, world-renowned climber and bestselling author Ed Viesturs and cowriter David Roberts paint a vivid portrait of obsession, dedication, and human achievement in a true love letter to the world’s highest peak. In The Mountain, veteran world-class climber and bestselling author Ed Viesturs—the only American to have climbed all fourteen of the world’s 8,000-meter peaks—trains his sights on Mount Everest in richly detailed accounts of expeditions that are by turns personal, harrowing, deadly, and inspiring. The highest mountain on earth, Everest remains the ultimate goal for serious high-altitude climbers. Viesturs has gone on eleven expeditions to Everest, spending more than two years of his life on the mountain and reaching the summit seven times. No climber today is better poised to survey Everest’s various ascents—both personal and historic. Viesturs sheds light on the fate of Mallory and Irvine, whose 1924 disappearance just 800 feet from the summit remains one of mountaineering’s greatest mysteries, as well as the multiply tragic last days of Rob Hall and Scott Fischer in 1996, the stuff of which Into Thin Air was made. Informed by the experience of one who has truly been there, The Mountain affords a rare glimpse into that place on earth where Heraclitus’s maxim—“Character is destiny”—is proved time and again.
Year after year, Rafe Esquith’s fifth-grade students excel. They read passionately, far above their grade level; tackle algebra; and stage Shakespeare so professionally that they often wow the great Shakespearen actor himself, Sir Ian McKellen. Yet Esquith teaches at an L.A. innercity school known as the Jungle, where few of his students speak English at home, and many are from poor or troubled families. What’s his winning recipe? A diet of intensive learning mixed with a lot of kindness and fun. His kids attend class from 6:30 A.M. until well after 4:00 P.M., right through most of their vacations. They take field trips to Europe and Yosemite. They play rock and roll. Mediocrity has no place in their classroom. And the results follow them for life, as they go on to colleges such as Harvard, Princeton, and Stanford. Possessed by a fierce idealism, Esquith works even harder than his students. As an outspoken maverick of public education (his heroes include Huck Finn and Atticus Finch), he admits to significant mistakes and heated fights with administrators and colleagues. We all—teachers, parents, citizens—have much to learn from his candor and uncompromising vision. From the Trade Paperback edition.
Author: Edmund Hillary
Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
Release Date: 1955
Genre: Sports & Recreation
"With nimble words and a straightforward style, New Zealand mountaineering legend Hillary recollects the bravery and frustration, the agony and glory that marked his Everest odyssey. From the 1951 expedition that led to the discovery of the southern route, through the grueling Himalayan training of 1952, and on to the successful 1953 expedition led by Colonel John Hunt, Hillary conveys in precise language the mountain's unforgiving conditions. In explicit detail he recalls an Everest where chaotic icefalls force costly detours, unstable snow ledges promise to avalanche at the slightest misstep, and brutal weather shifts from pulse-stopping cold to fiendish heat in mere minutes.".
“No Way Down is both a gripping read and a clear-eyed investigation of the hubris, politics, and bad luck that brought on one of the worst disasters in modern mountaineering history.” — Michael Kodas, author of High Crimes: The Fate of Everest in an Age of Greed “Graham Bowley’s No Way Down does a great job of putting you on the mountain. It is a refreshingly unadorned account of the true brutality of climbing K2, where heroes emerge and egos are stripped down, and the only thing achieving immortality is the cold ruthless mountain.” — Norman Ollestad, author of Crazy for the Storm In the tradition of Into Thin Air and Touching the Void, No Way Down by New York Times reporter Graham Bowley is the harrowing account of the worst mountain climbing disaster on K2, second to Everest in height... but second to no peak in terms of danger. From tragic deaths to unbelievable stories of heroism and survival, No Way Down is an amazing feat of storytelling and adventure writing, and, in the words of explorer and author Sir Ranulph Fiennes, “the closest you can come to being on the summit of K2 on that fateful day.”
Author: Ken Johnson
Release Date: 2016-02-04
NO SHORT CUTS TO GLORY is a new book by Ken Johnson that begins with the story of one of the great teams in the history of the American Quarter Horse. It is the story of the legendary Poco Bueno and his trainer Pine Johnson. Pine Johnson on Poco Bueno set the standard early on for power and athletic ability in the modern cutting horse. They were the team nobody wanted to see at a show--they were the team they had to beat and that was hard to do. Pine Johnson and Poco Bueno have ridden off into the sunset and now we see the descendants of Poco Bueno that carry on the legacy of this great team. The legacy of Poco Bueno as a sire is intertwined with the life of Pine Johnson and the role Pine played in helping that legacy in the beginning.
When Jon Krakauer reached the summit of Mt. Everest in the early afternoon of May 10,1996, he hadn't slept in fifty-seven hours and was reeling from the brain-altering effects of oxygen depletion. As he turned to begin the perilous descent from 29,028 feet (roughly the cruising altitude of an Airbus jetliner), twenty other climbers were still pushing doggedly to the top, unaware that the sky had begun to roil with clouds... Into Thin Air is the definitive account of the deadliest season in the history of Everest by the acclaimed Outside journalist and author of the bestselling Into the Wild. Taking the reader step by step from Katmandu to the mountain's deadly pinnacle, Krakauer has his readers shaking on the edge of their seat. Beyond the terrors of this account, however, he also peers deeply into the myth of the world's tallest mountain. What is is about Everest that has compelled so many poeple--including himself--to throw caution to the wind, ignore the concerns of loved ones, and willingly subject themselves to such risk, hardship, and expense? Written with emotional clarity and supported by his unimpeachable reporting, Krakauer's eyewitness account of what happened on the roof of the world is a singular achievement. From the Paperback edition.
Author: Anatoli Boukreev
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin
Release Date: 2015-09-08
Genre: Sports & Recreation
When Anatoli Boukreev died on the slopes of Annapurna on Christmas day, 1997, the world lost one of the greatest adventurers of our time. In Above the Clouds, both the man and his incredible climbs on Mt. McKinley, K2, Makalu, Manaslu, and Everest-including his diary entries on the infamous 1996 disaster, written shortly after his return-are immortalized. There also are minute technical details about the skill of mountain climbing, as well as personal reflections on what life means to someone who risks it every day. Fully illustrated with gorgeous color photos, Above the Clouds is a unique and breathtaking look at the world from its most remote peaks.
Author: Karen James
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
Release Date: 2010-02-22
Genre: Biography & Autobiography
A journey of adventure, tragedy, love, and loss on the summit of Mt. Hood. In December 2006, millions of people across the world prayed and waited in anguish to learn the fate of 3 climbers trapped on Mt. Hood. The worst storm in the last decade was pounding the mountain with hurricane-force winds that would not permit the army of rescue workers to do their work. No one below could forget the last phone call Kelly James placed to his wife, telling her that he was trapped in a snow cave just below the summit. What happened next would change the lives of everyone involved and deeply touch millions of people who desperately hoped to see a Christmas miracle. For more than a week, the search dominated the news as family members huddled below, praying for the climbers' safe return. But the story did not end when Kelly James's body was airlifted off the mountain and the cameras stopped rolling. For Karen, the year after Kelly's death was spent searching for answers to what really happened on the mountain. In this journey of adventure, tragedy, love and loss, she reveals never-released information about the fateful climb and behind-the-scenes details of how the family coped with the shocking news.