Denali's Howl is the white-knuckle account of one of themost deadly climbing disasters of all time.
In 1967, 12 young men attempted to climb Alaska's MountMcKinley - known to the locals as Denali - one of the most popular and deadly mountaineering destinations in the world. Only five survived.
Journalist Andy Hall, son of the park superintendent at the time, investigates the tragedy. He spent years tracking down survivors, lost documents, and recordings of radio communications. In Denali's Howl, Hall reveals the full story of an expedition facing conditions conclusively established here for the first time: at an elevation of nearly 20,000 feet, these young men endured an "arctic superblizzard", with howling winds of up to 300 miles an hour and wind chill that freezes flesh solid in minutes. All this was without the high-tech gear and equipment climbers use today.
As well as the story of the men caught inside the storm, Denali'sHowl is the story of those caught outside it trying to save them - Hall's father among them. The book gives listeners a detailed look at the culture of climbing then and now and raises uncomfortable questions about each player in this tragedy. Was enough done to rescue the climbers, or were their fates sealed when they ascended into the path of this unprecedented storm?
©2014 Andy Hall (P)2014 Blackstone Audiobooks
If you've never read any other works of the mountain climbing genre, this work would be a good introduction. As with many of the works, much of the story revolves around the personalities and interpersonal relationships within the teams attempting these extreme challenges.
What makes this work interesting is the historical nature of the climb and makes for a good comparison of how far technology has come regarding forecasts, equipment, and communications. Much of what occurred in this story could likely be avoided or mitigated by todays technology.
Technology hasn't, however, changed human behaviour and group dynamics. What is described in this story would apply today from this perspective, and anyone considering an extreme challenge, from long distance ocean passages to mountaineering, would do well to read and study as many of these cases as possible.
I also liked the follow up work concerning the reactions of the relatives of those lost to the mountain. It makes a good reflection point, specifically about how families have a burning desire to blame others for the decisions and bad luck that killed their loved ones. I guess that's how we've ended up with the litigious society we have today.
The narrator did a great job with this story. His cadence and inflection was pleasing and enhanced the work.
Much has been written about Everest, K2, etc. but Denali is often overlooked. This book fills in this void quite nicely and gives the reader a lot to think upon.
I loved the fact that the author was the son of the ranger. I just loved that point of view. The story started really strong. I was really interested to see where it was going to go.
The character development for the first half of the book was really interesting. Then the action and details around the key part of the story just never unfolded.
It was disappointing. I listen to a lot of non-fiction and the key seems to be how much information the author can get their hands on. It's seems like Hall didn't get as much information as he needed to tell a comprehensive story.
It just really fizzled.
The narrator was just ok too. He stumbled over words, he mispronounced words, and several times it was obvious he was just reading from a script. There was no flow or naturalness to his narration.
I listened to the Audible version after having read the hard copy. Given the density of the subject matter and research, I benefitted from the second time through. The reader was ok, but his syntax was often clumsy, giving odd emphasis to words or phrases that made sentences sometimes hard to understand. Still, it's an amazing way to "live" an amazing story.
Not much for mountain climbing, but I loved every minute of this read. I was unfamiliar with the story since it occurred 10 years before my birth. I stuck with every minute. Thanks for taking the time to do the work author Andy Hall.
Engaging,insightful and informative.
Detailing the account of a Denali climb 30 years after the main events described in the book. The last Chapter in the book describes the conditions faced by a Denali expedition 30 years later. In riveting detail, the author, through the recollections of one of the climbers, describes events that must have been similar to those experienced by the 1967 climbers. The afterword, based on the author's own experience at the time of the 1967 event, added to my enjoyment of the book.
I have not listened to other readings by Mr. Manchester, but his reading of this book was flawless and, I think, caught the tone that the author wanted to convey.
Certainly the description of what the rescue climbers encountered and the experiences of the 1997 climbers were very powerful.
An excellent book in conveying what mountain climbers may experience if the weather turns against them.
As a alumni of Denali's frozen hell this book strikes home knowing how lucky one is to simply survive a Denali climb. The book does a good job describing the places and locations as well as capturing the intense situation. However unless you've been through a Denali storm you can't appreciate the books portrayal of the pure madness that sets in when things go wrong at altitude. Climbing Denali prior to reading this book is clearly a unrealistic requirement of the books readers but if you have or ever plan to climb, read the book. It will make you appreciate your trip even more.
Great book. Rest in peace to those who lost their life.
Eight out of ten
So many things, learning about all the climbers and the ancient equipment they used.
He told the story like it was his
Several, searching for climbers, finding them, etc.
This is a very interesting, incredible book. Whether you're a climber or not, you will enjoy this.
I would recommend it on a limited level. There are better adventure stories
There were many characters in this book, so at times I lost track of who was who.
The narration was awful. In too many sections he PAUSED . . . with emphasis on the last word of the PHRASE . . . for every PHRASE . . . over what must have been several PAGES. Sentences within the same paragraph were disjointed from each other because of these pauses, but then the topic/paragraph would completely change without an appropriately longer pause to distinguish this change. This made even the dramatic parts of the story choppy and hard to follow.
I would have preferred to read the print copy.
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