For 18 years, Ed Viesturs pursued climbing's holy grail: to stand atop the world's 14 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.
No Shortcuts to the Top 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 the beliefs that shaped this most perilous and magnificent pursuit.
©2006 Ed Viesturs and David Roberts; (P)2006 Books on Tape
"Are you an 8000 m mountain nerd?"
Breathtaking achievement. If like me you are obsessed about anything to do with mountain climbing you will love this. If you're not a 'mountain nerd' you will probably find this too long and too dry. Alot about this book is repetative, after all its a collection of stories about climbing 8000 m climbs, in essence its the same story over and over. Not for everyone but i loved it.
Great book, especially for a keen climber that want to do more mountain climbing.
"A brilliantly read and written book"
I have re-listened to this book many times as its very inspiring and well read which gives you a real sense of how difficult it is and the amazing achievement on getting up the 14 most difficult mountains in the world. Love this book
"Insight into an elite world"
This book lets you see into the elite world of extreme mountaineering and the challenges faced by its top people. Not just the challenges of reaching the peaks time after time but seeing and hearing their loved friends chewed up or killed, as well as considering their spouses and children. There is a new perspective on the Everest disaster which is worth hearing if you have read books about it. The only negative
was that the narrators tone and phrasing took a little while to get used to but stick with it as you adjust after the first chapters.
"Amazing and inspiring"
This book is a brilliant and engaging account of one man and his quest to climb all the higest mountains... utterly inspiring and amazing
A good book, but overlong. Quite a lot of detail about the writer's life which was only moderately interesting, and which is not that relevant to his overall achievements.
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