In May 1996 a number of expeditions attempted to climb Mount Everest on the Southeast Ridge route. Crowded conditions slowed their progress and late in the day 23 men and women, including the expedition leaders, were caught in a ferocious blizzard. Disorientated and out of oxygen, climbers struggled to find their way to safety. Alone and climbing ...
In May 1996 a number of expeditions attempted to climb Mount Everest on the Southeast Ridge route. Crowded conditions slowed their progress and late in the day 23 men and women, including the expedition leaders, were caught in a ferocious blizzard. Disorientated and out of oxygen, climbers struggled to find their way to safety. Alone and climbing blind, Anatoli Boukreev rescued a number of climbers from certain death. This honest and gripping account includes the transcript of the Mountain Madness debriefing, recorded five days after the tragedy, as well as G. Weston de Walt's response to Jon Krakauer. 'Powerful ...a breath of brisk, sometimes bitter clarity ...Boukreev did the one thing that denies the void. He took action. He chose danger, and he saved lives.' New York Times Book Review 'The best book I've read this year ...The Climb has a story that will grip and haunt you.' Alex Garland, author of The Beach and The Tesseract
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It gives events from Boukreev's perspective. If you enjoyed Into Thin Air immensley, you'll find The Climb worthwhile.
Mar 4, 2008
This is a book for the adventuresome. While the writing is not as polished as the effort by Krakauer, it does indeed convey what it needs to, adequately enough that an interesting story unfolds. At the very heart of the book are interesting questions about the commercialization of high altitude climbing (nowhere more obscenely displayed than on Everest) and the commitment level of those that choose to undertake such a climb. Everest attracts thrill-seekers, as well as those who want to engage a challenge. Anatoli Boukreev, lead climber on the Mountain Madness team, definitely falls into the latter camp (as do most mountain guides). As someone that worked up to big mountain climbs over many years of climbing, continuously pushing his self-reliance in a measured manner, he is the epitome of what is to be a climber. The clients he led on Everest, however, came from various backgrounds, with varied levels of conditioning, mountain proficiency, etc. As much as Everest clients may believe that they have an understanding of the danger and hardship that such a climb proposes, it is difficult to do so without the context that comes from years of experience.
This book was written as a rebuttal to claims made by Krakauer in his book but its true rewards to the reader lie elsewhere. The sad truth of the matter is that only the individuals on the mountain will ever really know what was running through their own heads at the time that critical decisions were made. Having a coherent thought above 8,000 meters is enough of a challenge without having the lives of clients in your hands.
I love any and all Mountainteering books, so if you love climbing, hiking, or mountainteering this is the book for you!!!
Publishers Weekly, 1997-10-13 Boukreev was the lead guide for the expedition to Mt. Everest in spring 1996 led by the American Scott Fischer, owner of Mountain Madness, an outdoor adventure company based in Seattle. Like Into Thin Air, Jon Krakauer's bestselling chronicle of the same expedition, this account is a gripping account of the Mountain Madness group's bid to reach the top of the world's highest peak, one that combines Boukreev's firsthand recollections and DeWalt's interviews with team members. But Boukreev and DeWalt, a freelance journalist, also offer a look at the mundane tasks associated with climbing, such as obtaining the necessary permits and equipment, and taking the reader through the complex preparations required to scale the mountain, including the establishment of various camps and the acclimatization process required for climbers to adjust to higher altitudes. After steadily moving up the mountain for several days and beginning its final ascent to the summit, the Mountain Madness team encountered an expedition led by Rob Hall, which delayed their ascent. While most of the Mountain Madness clients reached the summit, many did so at a late hour; as they began their descent, they were hit by a fierce snowstorm and darkness fell. Fischer, Hall and three other climbers lost their lives. Boukreev, who claims to have helped save the Mountain Madness climbers who survived, convincingly refutes suggestions made by Krakauer that Boukreev was partly responsible for the deaths that occurred on the mountain that night. This powerful tale will make climbers who are interested in scaling Everest think twice about donning their boots. Photos not seen by PW (Dec.) FYI: Broughton Coburn's October book from National Geographic, Everest: Mountain Without Mercy (Forecasts, Sept. 29, 1997), also offers new insight into the Fischer/Hall climb.
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