If David Sharp's death was shocking, it was not singular: despite unusually good weather, ten others died attempting to reach the summit that year.
In this meticulous inquiry into what went wrong, Nick Heil tells the full story of the deadliest year on Everest since the infamous season of 1996. He introduces Russell Brice, the outfitter who has done more than anyone to provide access to the summit via the mountain's north side---and who some believe was partially responsible for Sharp's death. As more climbers attempt the summit each year, Heil shows how increasingly risky expeditions and unscrupulous outfitters threaten to turn Everest into a deadly circus.
Written by an experienced climber and outdoor writer, Dark Summit is both a riveting account of a notorious climbing season and a troubling investigation into whether the pursuit of the ultimate mountaineering prize has spiraled out of control.
©2008 Nick Heil; (P)2008 Tantor
"Here is humanity itself, personified in exemplary fashion by Nick Heil, addressing the Everest culture's lack of compassion and coming up with the right answers." (Bob Shacochis, author of The Immaculate Invasion)
Through rock-solid reporting and vital prose, Heil leads us up into this rarefied world, step by hypoxic step." (Hampton Sides, author of Ghost Soldiers)
The description of the book is inaccurate. It's the history of climbing Everest, not the history of the 2006 season. Additionally, the author is completely unobjective about Russell Brice and HimEx. Russell can do no wrong in the author's eyes which makes me doubt the rest of the author's writing.
The author really goes in depth throughout the history, the internal human desires to push themselves into unknown realms, and the tragedies that can and quite often do befall those who tempt to climb the highest peaks in the world.
I burned through this book in two days it was so good!
No I would not, it is to sad!
Having wintered over in Antarctica in 1990 with a military expedition for 13 months on the ice, I can relate to the cold temperatures these climbers endured and died in. However, I cannot even begin to imagine the oxygen problems of high altitude existence. This book is not a glory bound testament to those you have conquered the mountain elements but a sad story of those you failed in their attempts to achieve something that really means nothing in the end. In 2012 the graveyard expanded another 12 bodies with a total of 200 to-date and the the crowd will be waiting in 2013 to make their bid for the roof, we can only hope that no matter how far they ascend they make it to the basement in the end. "making it to the top is optional, making it back down is mandatory".
As a reader of all books Everest I felt could jump into this book with both feet but I was wrong. The author bounces from the 2006 tragedy to the 1996 tragedy and then back to the 1920s. His attempts to intertwine the history of finding Everest, measuring it, climbing it and dying on it falls flat on the listener. Anyone knows a book about Everest will contain a ton of charaters but its up to the author to make the book flow through to the end. Narration was fine but the book was lacking some "flow"
The scope of this book goes well beyond just reporting on the 2006 season, it also gives a very concise history of the most famous climbs on Mt. Everest.
An excellent book, that it is well narrated. Highly recommended.
Tense. Terrifying. True
Actually, all of the characters--there were man--were compelling.
Excellent timber in his voice.
It made me even more terrified of heights!
Well written account of the deaths during the Everest 2006 season. Shows the behavior of people in an extreme environment. To understand the human race it helps to know how people act in real situations. This factual story portrays a sadness of what occurred with some hope that someone will try to do whats right. If you want to know about what could happen study what has happened.
The frank discussion of the relative ease that humans can expire
The preserve nice of Hall when everyone else thought he was dead.
I enjoyed this book, even if I got a little lost with all of the various persons from all over the world. It was a fascinating look at tragedy on Everest (yet again). I changed my mind about how I felt and thought about certain aspects of that situation based on this book. The in-depth analysis of all the factors was excellent. (I'm trying not to reveal too much here in case people don't know the story). This book was not as well-written as "Into Thin Air", but it was still good and definitely worth the credit. It held the interest of both my husband and me. The narrator does a good job with the different accents, which helps a bit with keeping people straight.
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