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No Shortcuts to the Top: Climbing the World's 14 Highest Peaks | [Ed Viesturs, David Roberts]

No Shortcuts to the Top: Climbing the World's 14 Highest Peaks

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.
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Publisher's Summary

This gripping and triumphant memoir follows a living legend of extreme mountaineering as he makes his assault on history, one 8,000-meter summit at a time.

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

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.3 (330 )
5 star
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4.4 (133 )
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4.2 (130 )
5 star
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4 star
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3 star
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2 star
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1 star
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Performance
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  •  
    Alix 06-18-15
    Alix 06-18-15 Member Since 2014
    ratings
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    2
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    Story
    "Amazing achievement"

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Momof2 Seattle, WA 05-02-15
    Momof2 Seattle, WA 05-02-15 Member Since 2014
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    3
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    "Amazing story"

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Marcus Ritsema 03-14-15 Member Since 2014
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    "Phenomenal book, stories and lessons."

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    mminto 03-01-15
    mminto 03-01-15 Member Since 2014
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    32
    4
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    Story
    "A thrilling Life"

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kacy Philadelphia 08-30-13
    Kacy Philadelphia 08-30-13

    KW

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Poorly written and read"
    This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

    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.


    What could Ed Viesturs and David Roberts have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

    Mr. Viesturs could have used some more writing help. His experiences and accomplishments are amazing and worth telling, but they're communicated poorly.


    Would you be willing to try another one of Stephen Hoye’s performances?

    Probably not.


    You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

    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.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Prashant 02-19-13
    Prashant 02-19-13
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    4
    1
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    "Good insight into what it takes"
    What did you love best about No Shortcuts to the Top?

    Before I read it I wondered how the author was going to tie together all of his adventures into an interesting story.

    But he does it really well, mixing his life story well with the main topics of the book.


    What did you like best about this story?

    Viesturs gives good insights into the psychology of mountain climbers (himself included). I got a lot out of this given that I am not a climber myself.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    No.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Patrick 08-07-12
    Patrick 08-07-12
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    "Amazing human achievement, great book!"
    Would you listen to No Shortcuts to the Top again? Why?

    Yes, but mainly to cover details about certain mountains.


    What other book might you compare No Shortcuts to the Top to and why?

    Annapurna, Maurice Herzog.


    Did the narration match the pace of the story?

    It may have been a tad slow. But fair.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    Nothing extreme, but I did appreciate the details about other mountaineer's current and historic.


    Any additional comments?

    With audio books like these I would like to hear the subject's own voice for narration if the delivery is decent.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Gary Calgary, AB, Canada 05-14-12
    Gary Calgary, AB, Canada 05-14-12 Member Since 2014
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    "Narrator needs to learn pronunciation."
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    No. The book itself is good, audiobook notsomuch.


    How could the performance have been better?

    Narrator pronounced mountain names and climbers names incorrectly.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    sarah east balmain, Australia 01-10-12
    sarah east balmain, Australia 01-10-12 Member Since 2010
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    "Good Narration."
    Any additional comments?

    A bunch of people have been writing about how arrogant Ed is, but he's a professional sportsman who has had to publicise his activities and get sponsorship, etc. I think it's pretty normal for such people to become hubristic. I'd like to read a Michael Jordan memoir when we don't get a sense that the man believes in himself.

    So I think that's just par for the course and it's an interesting insight into the kind of self belief that these people have. He mentions so many friends who do similar sorts of climbing and they're all, well, dead.

    I thought the narrator was excellent, he's got this really interesting voice, super dramatic but it works.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Dave Maddock Bellevue, WA United States 10-28-11
    Dave Maddock Bellevue, WA United States 10-28-11 Listener Since 2010
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    "Awesome Book"

    I am new to climbing. This is a great one. I didn't want to stop listening. Lots of interesting history, riviting sub-stories, and a cool overall story. Very entertaining, but you learn a lot as well.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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