The Flight of the Arctic Tern

Epicenter Press
Free sample

In June of 1947, Alaskan adventurers, Constance and Bud Helmericks, returned to the arctic wilderness in their first airplane. Originally published in 1952, Connie’s fifth book, The Flight of the Arctic Tern, chronicles their lives from constructing a log cabin in the Brooks Range to flying the Arctic coast in search of their Inuit friends. Life is often precarious as the couple wander northeast over polar islands, filming the nomadic peoples of this uncharted land for their first two documentaries. Connie’s earlier books recount the couple’s years spent trekking this unforgiving country by foot, dogsled and canoe. This complete edition of The Flight of the Arctic Tern includes a foreword by their daughter, Alaskan author Jean Aspen.
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About the author

Connie Helmericks, arctic adventurer and author, was a wild spirit who yearned for adventure in an era of obedient women. In 1941, when she was twenty-three, she persuaded her husband to leave Arizona for the Alaskan wilds. Her successful books and their documentaries came later. She passed away in 1987.
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Additional Information

Publisher
Epicenter Press
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Published on
Mar 1, 2018
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Pages
342
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ISBN
9781935347903
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Language
English
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Genres
Biography & Autobiography / Adventurers & Explorers
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Read Aloud
Available on Android devices
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Eligible for Family Library

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CLICK HERE to download a sample from Crossing Denali



• A gripping adventure set on North America's highest mountain
• Inspirational story of a transformative experience
• A tale that any reader can connect with

Since slowly transforming himself from an overweight and overworked chain-smoker into a two-time marathon runner, Michael Fenner had climbed one glaciated peak—Mount Rainier in Washington State. Nonetheless, he embarks on a journey to the wilds of Alaska and the unknowns of North America’s highest and most dangerous peak for what he hopes will be the adventure of a lifetime: a traverse of Mount McKinley (Denali), ascending up the West Buttress route to the summit, and then down the more ominous and treacherous Karstens Ridge and Muldrow Glacier.

In Crossing Denali, Michael describes in gripping detail how he and five other mountaineers, with their three guides, lug hundreds of pounds of gear from camp to camp, living an exhausting if simple life of climbing, digging, eating, sleeping. The well-traveled route along the West Buttress lulls him and his fellow teammates into a false sense of confidence. But once they cross Denali Pass and begin the descent down the northern side of the mountain, Denali unleashes its famed worst. The harrowing journey that follows nearly breaks Michael's spirit and body, and forever changes him.

Crossing Denali is a novice mountaineer’s tale that will inspire dreamers and other aspiring mountaineers to seek adventure and transform their lives.

National Bestseller 

A bank of clouds was assembling on the not-so-distant horizon, but journalist-mountaineer Jon Krakauer, standing on the summit of Mt. Everest, saw nothing that "suggested that a murderous storm was bearing down." He was wrong. The storm, which claimed five lives and left countless more--including Krakauer's--in guilt-ridden disarray, would also provide the impetus for Into Thin Air, Krakauer's epic account of the May 1996 disaster.

By writing Into Thin Air, Krakauer may have hoped to exorcise some of his own demons and lay to rest some of the painful questions that still surround the event. He takes great pains to provide a balanced picture of the people and events he witnessed and gives due credit to the tireless and dedicated Sherpas. He also avoids blasting easy targets such as Sandy Pittman, the wealthy socialite who brought an espresso maker along on the expedition. Krakauer's highly personal inquiry into the catastrophe provides a great deal of insight into what went wrong. But for Krakauer himself, further interviews and investigations only lead him to the conclusion that his perceived failures were directly responsible for a fellow climber's death. Clearly, Krakauer remains haunted by the disaster, and although he relates a number of incidents in which he acted selflessly and even heroically, he seems unable to view those instances objectively. In the end, despite his evenhanded and even generous assessment of others' actions, he reserves a full measure of vitriol for himself.

This updated edition of Into Thin Air includes an extensive new postscript that sheds fascinating light on the acrimonious debate that flared between Krakauer and Everest guide Anatoli Boukreev in the wake of the tragedy.  "I have no doubt that Boukreev's intentions were good on summit day," writes Krakauer in the postscript, dated August 1999. "What disturbs me, though, was Boukreev's refusal to acknowledge the possibility that he made even a single poor decision. Never did he indicate that perhaps it wasn't the best choice to climb without gas or go down ahead of his clients." As usual, Krakauer supports his points with dogged research and a good dose of humility. But rather than continue the heated discourse that has raged since Into Thin Air's denouncement of guide Boukreev, Krakauer's tone is conciliatory; he points most of his criticism at G. Weston De Walt, who coauthored The Climb, Boukreev's version of events. And in a touching conclusion, Krakauer recounts his last conversation with the late Boukreev, in which the two weathered climbers agreed to disagree about certain points. Krakauer had great hopes to patch things up with Boukreev, but the Russian later died in an avalanche on another Himalayan peak, Annapurna I.

In 1999, Krakauer received an Academy Award in Literature from the American Academy of Arts and Letters--a prestigious prize intended "to honor writers of exceptional accomplishment."  According to the Academy's citation, "Krakauer combines the tenacity and courage of the finest tradition of investigative journalism with the stylish subtlety and profound insight of the born writer.  His account of an ascent of Mount Everest has led to a general reevaluation of climbing and of the commercialization of what was once a romantic, solitary sport; while his account of the life and death of Christopher McCandless, who died of starvation after challenging the Alaskan wilderness, delves even more deeply and disturbingly into the fascination of nature and the devastating effects of its lure on a young and curious mind."
In April 1992 a young man from a well-to-do family hitchhiked to Alaska and walked alone into the wilderness north of Mt. McKinley. His name was Christopher Johnson McCandless. He had given $25,000 in savings to charity, abandoned his car and most of his possessions, burned all the cash in his wallet, and invented a new life for himself. Four months later, his decomposed body was found by a moose hunter.  How McCandless came to die is the unforgettable story of Into the Wild.

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When McCandless's innocent mistakes turn out to be irreversible and fatal, he becomes the stuff of tabloid headlines and is dismissed for his naiveté, pretensions, and hubris.  He is said  to have had a death wish but wanting to die is a very different thing from being compelled to look over the edge. Krakauer brings McCandless's uncompromising pilgrimage out of the shadows, and the peril, adversity , and renunciation sought by this enigmatic young man are illuminated with a rare understanding--and not an ounce of sentimentality. Mesmerizing, heartbreaking, Into the Wild is a tour de force. The power and luminosity of Jon Krakauer's stoytelling blaze through every page.
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