Jim Curran came to K2 as a climbing cameraman with an unsuccessful British expedition, but stayed on through the climbing season. This is his account of the dramatic events of that summer, a story of ambitions both achieved and thwarted on a mountain which all high-altitude climbers take the most pride in overcoming. In 1986 K2 took its toll of those ambitions.
Curran vividly describes the moments that contribute to the exhilaration of climbing on the world's most demanding mountain, and he assesses the tragedy of that summer with compassion and impartiality.
The discussion is set in the wider context of issues and problems in business research. Quantitative and especially qualitative approaches are explored and illustrated by drawing in depth on a wide range of research on the small enterprise. The result is an extensive resource book for researchers at all levels to draw upon in planning and conducting effective research.
When eleven climbers died on K2 in 2008, two Sherpas survived. Their astonishing tale became the stuff of mountaineering legend. This white-knuckle adventure follows the Sherpas from their remote villages in Nepal to the peak of the world’s most dangerous mountain, recounting one of the most dramatic disasters in alpine history from a fascinating new perspective.
Winner of the NCTE George Orwell Award and an official selection of the American Alpine Club Book Club.
Annapurna I is the name given to the 8,100-meter mountain that ranks among the most forbidding in the Himalayan chain. Dangerous not just for its extreme height but for a long and treacherous approach, its summit proved unreachable until 1950, when a group of French mountaineers made a mad dash for its peak. They became the first men to accomplish the feat, doing so without oxygen tanks or any of the modern equipment that contemporary climbers use. The adventure nearly cost them their lives.
Maurice Herzog dictated this firsthand account of the remarkable trek from a hospital bed as he recovered from injuries sustained during the climb. An instant bestseller, it remains one of the most famous mountaineering books of all time, and an enduring testament to the power of the human spirit.
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.
In June 1992, best friends Jim Davidson and Mike Price stood atop Washington’s Mount Rainier, celebrating what they hoped would be the first of many milestones in their lives as passionate mountaineers. Then their triumph turned tragic when a cave-in plunged them deep inside a glacial crevasse—the pitch-black, ice-walled hell of every climber’s nightmares.
An avid adventurer since youth, Davidson was a seasoned climber at the time of the Rainier ascent. But the harrowing free fall left him challenged by nature’s grandeur at its most unforgiving. Trapped on a narrow frozen shelf, deep below daylight, he desperately battled crumbling ice, snow that threatened to bury him alive, and crippling fear of the inescapable chasm below—all the while struggling to save his fatally injured friend. Finally, alone, with little equipment and rapidly dwindling hope, he confronted a fateful choice: the certainty of a slow, lonely death or the near impossibility of an agonizing climb for life. A story of heart-stopping adventure, heartfelt friendship, fleeting mortality, and implacable nature, The Ledge chronicles the elation and grief, dizzying heights and punishing depths, of a journey to hard-won wisdom.
“Plunges readers into a dark, icy chasm from which escape seems impossible. Then it reveals the strength it takes to look up, and to start climbing.”—Jim Sheeler, winner of the Pulitzer Prize and author of the National Book Award finalist Final Salute
“How [Davidson] rescued himself is the core of The Ledge, and its most gripping part. The physical effort and will involved are astonishing.”—The Plain Dealer
“A moving portrait of friendship and loss.”—The Wall Street Journal
From the Trade Paperback edition.
On May 15, 2006, a young British climber named David Sharp lay dying near the top of Mount Everest while forty other climbers walked past him on their way to the summit. A week later, Lincoln Hall, a seasoned Australian climber, was left for dead near the same spot. Hall's death was reported around the world, but the next day he was found alive after spending the night on the upper mountain with no food and no shelter.
If David Sharp's death was shocking, it was hardly singular: despite unusually good weather, ten others died attempting to reach the summit that year. In this meticulous inquiry into what went wrong, Nick Heil tells the full story of the deadliest year on Everest since the infamous season of 1996. He introduces Russell Brice, the commercial operator who has done more than anyone to provide access to the summit via the mountain's north side—and who some believe was partly accountable for Sharp's death. As more climbers attempt the summit each year, Heil shows how increasingly risky expeditions and unscrupulous outfitters threaten to turn Everest into a deadly circus.
Written by an experienced climber and outdoor writer, Dark Summit is both a riveting account of a notorious climbing season and a troubling investigation into whether the pursuit of the ultimate mountaineering prize has spiraled out of control.
Breaking Trail is the story of Blum's journey from her overprotected youth in Chicago to the tops of some of the highest peaks on Earth. Chronicling a life of extraordinary personal and professional achievement, Blum's intimate and inspiring memoir explores how her childhood fueled her need to climb -- and how, in turn, her climbing liberated her from her childhood.
Each chapter in Breaking Trail begins with a poignant vignette from Blum's early life. Using these as starting points, she traces her evolution as a climber, from a hilariously incompetent beginner to an aspiring mountaineer to a successful, confident, and world-renowned expedition leader. Along the way, she takes us to some of the most extreme and exquisite places on the planet, sharing the exhilaration, toil, and danger of climbing high. Blum also relates the story of her scientific career, which, like her mountaineering, challenged gender stereotypes and was filled with singular accomplishments, including the banning of two cancer-causing chemicals and the initiation of an important area of biophysical research.
Writing with remarkable candor and introspection, Blum recounts her triumphs and tragedies, and provides a probing look at what drove her to endure extreme physical discomfort -- and even to risk her life -- attempting high, remote summits around the world. In her story, she shares intimate insights into how and why climbers persevere under the harshest circumstances, cope with the deaths of their comrades, and balance their desire for adventure with their personal lives.
Complemented with breathtaking personal photos and detailed maps, Breaking Trail is a deeply moving account of how one woman overcame adversity to become one of the world's most famous climbers, and a testament to the power of taking risks and pursuing dreams.
In May 1996 three expeditions attempted to climb Mount Everest on the Southeast Ridge route pioneered by Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay in 1953. Crowded conditions slowed their progress. Late in the day twenty-three men and women-including expedition leaders Scott Fischer and Rob Hall-were caught in a ferocious blizzard. Disoriented and out of oxygen, climbers struggled to find their way down the mountain as darkness approached. Alone and climbing blind, Anatoli Boukreev brought climbers back from the edge of certain death. This new edition includes a transcript of the Mountain Madness expedition debriefing recorded five days after the tragedy, as well as G. Weston DeWalt's response to Into Thin Air author Jon Krakauer.
Andy Hall, a journalist and son of the park superintendent at the time, was living in the park when the tragedy occurred and spent years tracking down rescuers, survivors, lost documents, and recordings of radio communications. In Denali’s Howl, Hall reveals the full story of the expedition in a powerful retelling that will mesmerize the climbing community as well as anyone interested in mega-storms and man’s sometimes deadly drive to challenge the forces of nature.
Gregory Crouch is one such pilgrim. In seven expeditions to this windswept edge of the Southern Hemisphere, he has braved weather, gravity, fear, and doubt to try himself in the alpine crucible of Patagonia. Crouch has had several notable successes, including the first winter ascent of the legendary Cerro Torre's West Face, to go along with his many spectacular failures. In language both stirring and lyrical, he evokes the perils of every handhold, perils that illustrate the crucial balance between physical danger and mental agility that allows for the most important part of any climb, which is not reaching the summit, but getting down alive.
Crouch reveals the flip side of cutting-edge alpinism: the stunning variety of menial labor one must often perform to afford the next expedition. From building sewer systems during a bitter Colorado winter to washing the plastic balls in McDonalds' playgrounds, Crouch's dedication to the alpine craft has seen him through as many low moments as high summits. He recounts, too, the riotous celebrations of successful climbs, the numbing boredom of forced encampments, and the quiet pride that comes from knowing that one has performed well and bravely, even in failure. Included are more than two dozen color photographs that capture the many moods of this land, from the sublime beauty of the mountains at sunrise to the unrelenting fury of its storms.
Enduring Patagonia is a breathtaking odyssey through one of the worldís last wild places, a land that requires great sacrifice but offers great rewards to those who dare to challenge it.
As physical as climbing is, it is even more mental. Ultimately, people climb with their minds—hands and feet are merely extensions of their thoughts and will. Becoming a master climber requires that you first master your mind.
In Maximum Climbing, America’s best-selling author on climbing performance presents a climber’s guide to the software of the brain—one that will prove invaluable whether one's preference is bouldering, sport climbing, traditional climbing, alpine climbing, or mountaineering. Eric Hörst brings unprecedented clarity to the many cognitive and neurophysical aspects of climbing and dovetails this information into a complete program, setting forth three stages of mental training that correspond to beginner, intermediate, and elite levels of experience and commitment—the ideal template to build upon to personalize one's goals through years of climbing to come.
Providing critical instruction for anyone planning to travel over glacier country—from the Cascades to the Rockies to Denali—this book will guide and entertain readers through glacier anatomy, equipment, route finding, and rescue techniques.
• In full color with 52 practical training exercises designed to advance technique
• Detailed anatomical illustrations explain climbing physiology
A dynamic package of training material from a pair of expert coaches, The Self-Coached Climber offers comprehensive instruction, from the basics of gripping holds to specific guidelines for developing a customized improvement plan. Hague and Hunter base their methods on the four fundamental components of all human movement—balance, force, time, and space—and explain how to apply these principles to achieve efficient results.
The Self-Coached Climber was named a finalist in the Mountain Exposition Category at the 2007 Banff Mountain Festival. For more information go to: http://www.banffmountainfestivals.ca/festivals/2007/book/finalists.asp
A Day to Die For reveals the full, startling facts that led to the tragedy. Graham Ratcliffe, the first British climber to reach the summit of Mount Everest twice, was a first-hand witness, having spent the night on Everest's South Col at 26,000 ft, sheltering from the deadly storm. For years, he has shouldered a burden of guilt, feeling that he and his teammates could have saved lives that fateful night. His quest for answers has led to discoveries so important to an understanding of the disaster that he now questions why these facts were not made public sooner.
History is dotted with high-profile disasters that both horrify and capture the attention of the public, but very rarely is our view of them revised to such devastating effect.
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"This finely crafted adventure tale runs on adrenaline but also something else: brutal honesty." —The Wall Street Journal
"I couldn't lay it down until it was all finished (12:40 a.m.!)... A fascinating and beautifully-written story." —Bradford Washburn
* One of National Geographic Adventure's "The 100 Greatest Adventure Books of All Time"
* Spring 2013 marks the 100th anniversary of the first ascent of Mount McKinley
* New edition includes a revised preface, new prologue, and new afterword describing more recent winter attempts on McKinley
In 1967, eight men attempted North America's highest summit: Mount McKinley (now known as Denali) had been climbed before—but never in winter.
Plagued by doubts and cold, group tension and a crevasse tragedy, the expedition tackled McKinley in minimal hours of daylight and fierce storms. They were trapped at three different camps above 14,000 feet during a six-day blizzard and faced the ultimate low temperature of -148° F.
Minus 148° is Art Davidson's stunning personal narrative, supplemented by diary excerpts from team members George Wichman, John Edwards, Dave Johnston, and Greg Blomberg. Davidson retells the team's fears and frictions—and ultimate triumph—with an honesty that has made this gripping survival story a mountaineering classic for over 40 years. Minus 148° is featured among many "best of" reading lists, including National Geographic Adventure's "The 100 Greatest Adventure Books of all Time."
"At twenty-two I came to regard the first expedition to Mt. McKinley in the winter as a journey into an unexplored land. No one had lived on North America's highest ridges in the winter twilight. No one knew how low the temperatures would drop, or how penetrating the cold would be when the wind blew. For thousands of years McKinley's storms had raged by themselves." —Minus 148°
This title is part of our LEGENDS AND LORE series. Click here > to learn more.
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"Climbing anchors allow climbers to safely defy gravity. Solid anchors and proper rope techniques can prevent a fall from turning into a catastrophe, while bad anchors are an accident waiting to happen," says certified guide Craig Luebben, who invented his own type of climbing protection, the Big Bro. Since then, he taught rock climbing to hundreds of clients and has conducted self-rescue clinics across the United States. He distills more than twenty-five years of experience into Rock Climbing Anchors.
This entry in the Mountaineers Outdoor Expert Series, for intermediate-to-advanced climbers, presents modern anchoring ideas and techniques for top-roping, rappelling, sport climbing, traditional rock climbing, and mountaineering-all in one comprehensive guide. Luebben covers the finer points of all types of commonly used anchors: removable anchors including hexes, wired nuts, tri-cams, expanding wedges, expandable tubes, and cams; natural anchors such as trees and boulders; and fixed anchors like bolts and pitons. Photos show a variety of gear placements, accompanied by discussion of the pros and cons of each.
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.
* The best-selling backcountry medical guide of its kind
* This edition includes new chapters on avalanche injuries, drowning, eye disorders, medical evacuations, and lightning
* Provides expert information on prevention, diagnosis, and treatment, plus medications, medical kits, and legal and ethical considerations
Compiled by highly recognized medical professionals in the emergency response and trauma field, the latest edition of Medicine for Mountaineering features fully revised and expanded information to help mountaineers weather storms, animal attacks, injuries, and more. With a new foreword by Buck Tilton and updated essentials on reacting to wilderness accidents, the 6th edition includes new chapters on drowning, avalanche injuries, evacuation procedures, and more.
Yet Eiger Dreams is more about people than about rock and ice—people with that odd, sometimes maniacal obsession with mountain summits that sets them apart from other men and women. Here we meet Adrian the Romanian, determined to be the first of his countrymen to solo Denali; John Gill, climber not of great mountains but of house-sized boulders so difficult to surmount that even demanding alpine climbs seem easy; and many more compelling and colorful characters. In the most intimate piece, “The Devils Thumb,” Krakauer recounts his own near-fatal, ultimately triumphant struggle with solo-madness as he scales Alaska's Devils Thumb. Eiger Dreams is stirring, vivid writing about one of the most compelling and dangerous of all human pursuits.
All scrambles in the book are carefully graded and range from easy walk-ups for experienced hikers who want a little more challenge to more difficult, hands-on scrambles for more daring climbers. Each mountain is well illustrated with route photos and often a photo of the crux.
* Mountaineering guidelines for people going to altitude (heights above 7,000 feet) with pre-existing health conditions such as heart conditions, diabetes, and cancer
* A handy glossary and easy-to-read tables covering symptoms and signs, altitude illness, and high altitude drugs
* Case studies of real situations and a question-and-answer section help readers better understand general issues about altitude and its effects, and more
This edition of Altitude Illnessprovides the latest information on prevention and treatment of altitude illness -- from preparing for altitude to recognizing and treating the symptoms of acute mountain sickness, including high altitude pulmonary and cerebral edemas. Suited for both novice and seasoned hikers, climbers, trekkers, and skiers, Altitude Illness, 2nd Ed., also includes an updated examination of how altitude interacts with certain drugs, a new section on using the web to find more information about altitude illness, and much more.
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* Climbing self-rescue procedures for teams of two -- the most common climbing party size
* Techniques equally effective on rock, snow, and ice
* Utilizes gear climbers already carry in their rack
* Includes 40 one-page rescue scenarios and solutions for climbing accident analysis
The rope is stuck, or too short. A crucial piece of gear is MIA. You've wandered off route into dicey terrain. An injury leaves you or your partner in need of help. Climb long enough and finding yourself in a jam far from help is inevitable. In Climbing: Self Rescue, two long-time climbing instructors and guides teach how to improvise your own solutions, calling for outside help only when necessary.
Because few climbers carry fancy (and expensive) search and rescue gear, all skills taught in this book use the items typically found on a climbing rack: rope, carabiners, slings, and cord. Text, illustrations, and photos explain knots, belaying and hauling systems, rappelling, ascension, passing knots, how to safely assist and rig an injured climber, and more. Roughly half of the book is devoted to real-life climbing scenarios and solutions ranging from moderate to severe. Because real-life situations rarely unfold as they do in practice, Climbing Self-Rescue teaches how to analyze and improvise your way out of a crisis.
Includes information on:
The right way to apply climbing, caving, and whitewater skills to technical canyoneering An explanation of technical canyon ratings Simple, effective ways to negotiate hazardous terrain Twelve classic canyons in North America and their ratings ACA-certified instructors, guides, and guide service
Veteran climber, performance coach, and renowned author Eric J. Hörst gives you all the information you need to get started and have fun. From what to expect on your first visit to a climbing gym to in-depth instruction on climbing techniques, tactics, strategy, and taking your indoor climbing skills outside, this guide will take you through your first few days—and years—as a climber.
Hörst covers basic gear, fundamental safety techniques, and the importance of personal one-on-one instruction at the gym. Chapters on mental control, physical conditioning, and self-assessment round out the training. And as you progress, advice on advanced techniques and tactics will help you conquer the steepest walls. This revised and fully updated edition includes a new section on youth climbing as well as more information on taking your indoor-climbing skills outside onto real rock. Full color photos round out the package to make Learning to Climb Indoors an indispensable resource for new climbers.
Supplementing Kor's narrative are twenty-three accounts written by other leading climbers of the 1960s and 1970s, describing ascents they did with Kor: Royal Robbins, Fred Beckey, Pat Ament, Chris Bonington, Steve Roper, Huntley Ingalls, and many more share their perspectives.
Kor's climbs have become some of the most famous routes in the world—the Naked Edge in Eldorado Canyon, the Diamond on Longs Peak, the Salathe Wall on El Capitan in Yosemite, the North Face of the Eiger in the Alps…the list goes on. Written in a straighforward and engaging style, and accompanied by stunning, historical color photographs, Beyond the Vertical is a must-have for all rock climbers and armchair mountaineers alike.
On June 8, 1924, George Leigh Mallory and Andrew "Sandy" Irvine were last seen climbing toward the summit of Mount Everest. Clouds soon closed around them, and they vanished into history. Ever since, mountaineers have wondered whether they reached the summit twenty-nine years before Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay.
On May 1, 1999, Conrad Anker, one of the world's strongest mountaineers, discovered Mallory's body lying facedown, frozen into the scree and naturally mummified at 27,000 feet on Everest's north face. The condition of the body, as well as the artifacts found with Mallory, including goggles, an altimeter, and a carefully wrapped bundle of personal letters, are important clues in determining his fate. Seventeen days later, Anker free-climbed the Second Step, a 90-foot sheer cliff that is the single hardest obstacle on the north ridge. The first expedition known to have conquered the Second Step, a Chinese team in 1975, had tied a ladder to the cliff, leaving unanswered the question of whether Mallory could have climbed it in 1924. Anker's climb was the first test since Mallory's of the cliff's true difficulty. In treacherous conditions, Anker led teammate Dave Hahn from the Second Step to the summit.
Reflecting on the climb, Anker explains why he thinks Mallory and Irvine failed to make the summit, but at the same time, he expresses his awe at Mallory's achievement with the primitive equipment of the time. Stunningly handsome and charismatic, Mallory charmed everyone who met him during his lifetime and continues to fascinate mountaineers today. He was an able writer, a favorite of the Bloomsbury circle, and a climber of legendary gracefulness. The Lost Explorer is the remarkable story of this extraordinarily talented man and of the equally talented modern climber who spearheaded a discovery that may ultimately help solve the mystery of Mallory's disappearance.
* Guidebook details 80 climbing routes throughout Alaska
* Includes photos, many with route overlays, topo route maps, climbing difficulty and time information, ratings, and more
Alaska mountain guides Mike Wood and Colby Coombs have teamed up to write this definitive climbing guidebook targeting the more experienced climber.
This is the ultimate guidebook for every climber intending to scale the mountains of one of the nation's last best wild places. Alaska: A Climbing Guide offers climbers a range of routes in the Chugach Range, the Alaska Range, the Fairweather Range, and more. Each of the routes has been climbed, documented, checked, and double-checked by the authors to ensure accuracy and safety. Interesting personal experiences are included as are accounts of first ascents from Fred Beckey, John Krakauer, and David Roberts.
Written by an expert local climber, each guide features:
- 150-200 routes of moderate difficulty, rarely rating above 5.11
- sections that each cover a different climbing area and route history
- detailed color topos
- stunning action photos
- a contemporary, exciting design
Best Climbs Moab covers Wall Street, Arches National Park, The Icecream Parlor in King Creek Canyon, Castleton Tower, and Fisher Towers.
top of Mt. Everest and became the first couple in history
to scale the fabled Seven Summits. What made
their achievement all the more remarkable was that Susan
was not a mountain climber, but a high-powered
Fortune ® 500 executive who had never hiked or climbed
until she met Phil at the age of 36. Phil, a professional
mountain guide who was the first American to summit
Everest from its treacherous north face, had climbed his
whole life with Crohn's disease, a chronic, debilitating
illness. Adding to these challenges, just before their final
summit, Phil was diagnosed with colon cancer, and the
resulting surgeries and complications were expected to
end his career. This is Susan and Phil's story: a tale of
love set in the mountains, a story of triumphal highs
and devastating lows in quest of a seemingly impossible
On the afternoon of July 26, 2003, six vacationing mountain climbers ascended the peak of the Grand Teton in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. Rain and colliding air currents blew in, and soon a massive electrical charge began to build. As the group began to retreat from its location, a colossal lightning bolt struck and pounded through the body of every climber. One of the six died instantly, one lay critically injured next to her body, and four dangled perilously into the chasm below. In riveting, page-turning prose, veteran journalist Jennifer Woodlief tells the story of the climb, the arrival of the storm, and the unprecedented rescue by the Jenny Lake Rangers, one of the most experienced climbing search-and-rescue teams in the country.
Against the dramatic landscape of the Teton Range, Woodlief brings to life the grueling task of the rangers, a band of colorful characters who tackle one of the riskiest, most physically demanding jobs in the world. By turns terrifying and exhilarating, A Bolt from the Blue is both a testament to human courage and an astonishing journey into one of history’s most dangerous mountain rescues.
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.
Designed for quick use by climbers on site, this book shows how to properly place and configure natural anchors, passive chocks, mechanical chocks, fixed gear, knots, belay anchors, toprope anchors and rappel anchors. This field guide is up to date with the essential knowledge every climber can depend on.
— Kirkus Reviews
At 28,251 ft, K2 might be almost 800 ft shorter than Everest, but it’s a far harder climb. In this definitive account, Mick Conefrey grippingly describes the early attempts to reach the summit and provides a fascinating exploration of the first ascent’s complex legacy. From the drug-addicted occultist Aleister Crowley to Achille Compagnoni and Lindo Lacedelli, the Italian duo who finally made it to the summit, The Ghosts of K2 charts how a slew of great men became fixated on this legendary mountain.
Through exclusive interviews with surviving team members and their families, and unrivalled access to diaries and letters that have been archived around the world, Conefrey evokes the true atmosphere of the Savage Mountain and explores why it remains the ‘mountaineer’s mountain’, despite a history steeped in controversy and death. Wrought with tension, and populated by tragic heroes and eccentric dreamers, The Ghosts of K2 is a masterpiece of mountaineering literature.
“I can tell you that some force within me rejected death at the last moment and then guided me, blind and stumbling—quite literally a dead man walking—into camp and the shaky start of my return to life.”
In 1996 Beck Weathers and a climbing team pushed toward the summit of Mount Everest. Then a storm exploded on the mountain, ripping the team to shreds, forcing brave men to scratch and crawl for their lives. Rescuers who reached Weathers saw that he was dying, and left him. Twelve hours later, the inexplicable occurred. Weathers appeared, blinded, gloveless, and caked with ice—walking down the mountain. In this powerful memoir, now featuring a new Preface, Weathers describes not only his escape from hypothermia and the murderous storm that killed eight climbers, but the journey of his life. This is the story of a man’s route to a dangerous sport and a fateful expedition, as well as the road of recovery he has traveled since; of survival in the face of certain death, the reclaiming of a family and a life; and of the most extraordinary adventure of all: finding the courage to say yes when life offers us a second chance.
Praise for Left for Dead
“Riveting . . . [a] remarkable survival story . . . Left for Dead takes a long, critical look at climbing: Weathers is particularly candid about how the demanding sport altered and strained his relationships.”—USA Today
“Ultimately, this engrossing tale depicts the difficulty of a man’s struggle to reform his life.”—Publishers Weekly
From the Trade Paperback edition.
Classmates and fellow members of the Harvard Mountaineering Club, Brad Washburn and Bob Bates were two talented young men -- handsome, intelligent, and filled with a zest for exploring. Both were ambitious climbers, part of a small group whose first ascents in the great mountain ranges during the 1930s and 1940s changed the face of American mountaineering. Setting their sights on summitting Lucania in the summer of 1937, Washburn and Bates put together a team of four climbers for the expedition. But when Bates and Washburn flew to the Walsh Glacier at the foot of Lucania, they discovered that freakish weather conditions had turned the ice to slush. Their pilot was barely able to take off again alone, and there was no question of returning with the other two climbers or more supplies. Washburn and Bates found themselves marooned on the glacier, more than a hundred miles from help, in forbidding and desolate territory. Eschewing a trek out to the nearest mining town -- eighty miles away by air -- they decided to press ahead with their expedition.
Escape from Lucania recounts Washburn and Bates's determined drive toward Lucania's 17,150-foot summit under constant threat of avalanches, blinding snowstorms, and hidden crevasses. Against awesome odds they became the first to set foot on Lucania's peak, not realizing that their greatest challenge still lay beyond. Nearly a month after being stranded on the glacier and with their supplies running dangerously low, they would have to navigate their way out through uncharted Yukon territory, racing against time as the summer warmth caused rivers to swell and flood to unfordable depths. But even as their situation grew more and more desperate, they refused to give up.
Escape from Lucania tells this amazing story in thrilling and vivid detail, from the climbers' exultation at reaching the summit to their darkest moments confronting seemingly insurmountable obstacles. It is a tale of awesome adventure and harrowing danger. But above all it is the story of two men of extraordinary spirit, inspiring comradeship, and great courage.
Today Washburn and Bates, now in their nineties, are legends in climbing circles. Bates co-led 1938 and 1953 expeditions to K2, the world's second-highest mountain. Washburn, whose record of Alaskan first ascents is unmatched, became founding director of Boston's Museum of Science and is one of the premier mountain photographers in the world. Some of his remarkable images from the 1937 Lucania expedition are included in this book.
In June 1950, a team of mountaineers was the first to conquer an 8,000-meter peak. Maurice Herzog, the leader of the expedition, became a national hero in France, and Annapurna, his account of the historic ascent, has long been regarded as the ultimate tale of courage and cooperation under the harshest of conditions.
In True Summit, David Roberts presents a fascinating revision of this classic tale. Using newly available documents and information gleaned from a rare interview with Herzog (the only climber on the team still living), Roberts shows that the expedition was torn by dissent. As he re-creates the actual events, Roberts lays bare Herzog's self-serving determination and bestows long-delayed credit to the most accomplished and unsung heroes.
These new revelations will inspire young adventurers and change forever the way we think about this victory in the mountains and the climbers who achieved it.
His casual fearlessness and physical power established the template for extreme adventure, and his lectures as a charismatic professor inspired the generation of the sixties to test itself in acts of physical daring. Fatal Mountaineer sets Willi Unsoeld's intense life against the story of two defining adventures: the triumph on Everest and a more ill-starred expedition in 1976, when he led a group of mountaineers up a new route on Nanda Devi, the tallest peak in India. One of that gifted group of climbers was Willi's daughter, Devi -- a golden girl named for the mountain she sought to ascend with her beloved father. The intense rivalries within the expedition team, and the dangers of the route, led to an outcome darkened by tragedy, an outcome that continues to fuel one of the most tormenting debates in mountaineering history.
Blending adventure with a frank look at the cultural background, Fatal Mountaineer considers the pressures on mountaineers in a period of our history torn by conflict. It balances hunger for fame with stark tragedy, a man's ambition with a father's love. Unsoeld emerges as an American classic, a self-invented genius of adventure to rank with Mark Twain or Will Rogers for sheer attractiveness. Under the close scrutiny of this thrilling story, his heroism turns out to be deeply authentic-as does his suffering.
On 8 June 1924, George Leigh Mallory and Andrew 'Sandy' Irvine were last seen climbing towards the summit of Everest. The clouds closed around them and they were lost to history, leaving the world to wonder whether or not they actually reached the summit - some 29 years before Edmund Hillary and Tensing Norgay.
On 1 May 1999, Conrad Anker, one of the world's foremost mountaineers, made the momentous discovery - Mallory's body, lying frozen into the scree at 27,000 feet on Everest's north face. Recounting this day, the authors go on to assess the clues provided by the body, its position, and the possibility that Mallory had successfully climbed the Second Step, a 90-foot sheer cliff that is the single hardest obstacle on the north face.
A remarkable story of a charming and immensely able man, told by an equally talented modern climber.
K2, The Savage Mountain captures this sensational tale with an unmatched power that has earned this book its place as one of the classics of mountaineering literature.
CLICK HERE to download the first chapter from Psychovertical
Psychovertical is the story of what happens to a nice lower-class kid with dyslexia who gains control over his circumstances by clinging to giant stone faces, thousands of feet in the air, for days at a time. In this case, Kirkpatrick uses his 12-day solo climb of the Reticent Wall on California's El Capitan as the experience that helps him understand how growing up poor and struggling with dyslexia and low self-confidence set him on a path of extreme adventure.
Kirkpatrick's writing is gripping and highly entertaining -- even non-climbers will enjoy his raw intensity, gallows humor, and honest, self-deprecating storytelling style. This book is a Boardman-Tasker Prize winner, which is recognition given for outstanding mountaineering literature. From the judges' remarks:
“The book is very cleverly structured....The cuts from scene to scene and climb to climb work wonderfully well -- a sort of mountaineering Day of The Jackal -- as Kirkpatrick comes closer and closer to his nemesis on Reticent Wall. And it is this climb, the running narrative of the book, that grips the most: 14 pitches of aid climbing, unrelieved by conversation with a partner other than himself, should by rights be boring. But it grips the heart further and further.”
Free solo climbing is a high-stakes sport: if you fall, you die. Expert free soloist Alex Honnold isn't afraid to push the limit; one of the most famous adventure athletes in the world, he has pioneered new routes, won awards, and shattered records. Alone on the Wall recounts the seven most astonishing achievements of Honnold's extraordinary life and career, brimming with lessons on living fearlessly, taking risks, and maintaining focus even in the face of extreme danger.