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
I don't know if non-climbers will like this or appreciate this, but I thoroughly enjoyed every word of this audiobook. Great narrator and great writing. As someone who's only recently gotten into the sport, I was thankful that Ed wrote in style that climbers of all levels could understand. Thanks for the inspiration. Now I need to climb my own Annapurna!
Ed Viesturs has a terrific life story. and this was a great telling. very inspirational for someone who wants to do anything difficult. as a casual climber, I was enraptured by the vivid descriptions of his mountain exploits. as a family man, I can relate to the personal difficulties of balancing risk and reward.
Fantastic narrative, amazing narrator... all in all, now one of my favorite books ever! I couldn't stop listening; it's sure to motivate any adventurer or really anyone looking to succeed in life.
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.
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