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 enjoyed Ed's account of his climbing adventures very much. I have read several other books on this subject and found this one to be one of the more enjoyable. He does provide an account of the 1996 failed expedition popularized by "Into Thin Air" by John Krakauer, but also details how he got to that point and where he went from there. So many books today are focused only on that one event in an effort to cash in, but Ed's story of his climbs are numerous and interesting. I recommend this book to anyone who enjoys reading about high altitude mountaineering.
I love stories about mountain climbing and this one does not disappoint. I wonder if it is a series of articles because there is some repetition, but it is still great listening climbing thrills.
I enjoyed the stories. I didn’t find Ed to be arrogant but he does seam to be a little crazy. Ed is proud of his accomplishments and I think he should be. His description of the effort evolved to reach the high peaks is inspiring.
This is a GREAT follow-up to "Into Thin Air". Although I am not a climber, I thoroughly enjoyed the story, background and inspiriation that Ed shares in his passion for climbing.
Excellent memoir with great detail of Ed Viestur's excursions up the tallest mountains of the world. You are left with a strong appreciation of his accomplishments and a clear understanding of the death defying challenges he faced in meeting his personal goal to climb the world's 14 8000 meter + mountains. His direct narrative tone makes you feel as though he is sharing his inner most thoughts with you as he would a close friend. And you can't believe the circumstances he survived along the way. In the end he is an American hero. I recommend this book highly.
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