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 multiple 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.
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2013-08-26
- Reviewer: Staff
In this amiable history/memoir hybrid, noted high-altitude climber Viesturs discusses the joys and tribulations to be found on the world’s highest mountain and his successful quest to climb every peak over 8,000 meters. Few know more about Everest than Viesturs, who has participated in 11 expeditions there and spent over two years on its slopes. The author recounts his own experiences, as well as the struggles to conquer the mountain that began after it was first identified as the world’s highest point. While the stories of Mallory and Irving, Hillary and Norgay, have been told many times, Viesturs also addresses lesser-known attempts, and was himself present at the infamous 1996 disaster in which 15 climbers lost their lives. While he covers familiar ground here, Viesturs is a fount of firsthand knowledge and straightforward narration, and the book makes for a good read. Whether he’s discussing his own initial failure to summit Everest, or Jean-Marc Boivin’s demented paraglide down the mountain, he remains calm, measured, and informative. This can be a handicap, as readers might forget just how dangerous the mountain can be. As the only American who has summited the world’s 14 highest peaks without bottled oxygen, Viesturs has a different ruler than the rest of us by which to measure risk.. (Oct.)