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
Liked the biographical approach but at times it felt as if there were some moments of conceit or megalomania throughout. The narrator has a good time but an annoying reading voice. This had the effect of slightly over dramatizing the content.
I believe it is information well worth putting out there. yes, the story of Ed is excellent, but to me is the story of his character. someone I can certainly relate to.
Story is great sadly the narrator kills it for me
SOOO boring, emphasis on things was strange. odd inflections.. something just bugged me about the way he read it.
Ed is completely perfect climber - " A complete Risk Manager for 8000mt + peaks"
I am only part way into this book, and I do understand other reviewers comments about the ego-centered nature of it, however so far I am really enjoying the story. Nonetheless, I am completely shocked, appalled and distracted by the narrator's constant mispronunciation of the names of the peaks as well as the persons and basic mountaineering terminology …there is no excuse for this!!!! Please do your research Stephen Hoye!!! Is there no editorial quality control for this in audiobooks? Surprised I have not seen any comments about this, as surely there are many other listeners who must be shuddering whenever another word gets slaughtered…again...
I really got addicted to this book. At the beginning I was afraid all the expeditions would become boring and sound redundant. However all the anecdotes kept me fascinated. This book is about the right balance between the will to climb and the acceptable risk you can take.
Captivated from the first chapter. Loved hearing all the details and thoughtful approach he used to climb the 8k's. These tips can be applied to many situations.
Heavily focused on mountaineering and his personal journey through life (which is a given) but he does a phenomenal job of emphasizing the importance of risk management / the intuitions that made him so successful on the mountain / while providing applicable analysis to business and relationships.
I loved the story, an amazing individual who did amazing things. If you like adventure, you'll love it. I completely disagree with the negative reviews that said he was self-indulgent I think everything he said sounds accurate even if it is somewhat self-serving at times ended in no way detracted from the quality of the book.
In my opinion, this book is only valuable for those who want to compile multiple accounts of the 1996 Everest accidents. It is somewhat interesting to compare Viesturs' account of this disaster with others' stories. The writing itself does not describe well the beauty, adventure, or accomplishments of climbing and being outdoors; the only thing it properly illustrates is Viesturs' self-absorption. The reader's incorrect pronunciation of commonly used words, such as "veterinarian," is also annoying.
Mr. Viesturs could have used some more writing help. His experiences and accomplishments are amazing and worth telling, but they're communicated poorly.
It is a significant account of the 1996 Everest disaster, and the author is not the least bit shy about assigning blame. This is interesting to compare to other accounts, such as John Krakauer's book Into Thin Air. Viesturs also references other climbers' books on the incident within his story. That's a good resource.
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