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No Shortcuts to the Top Audiobook

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

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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

4.5 (619 )
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4.4 (394 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Prashant 02-19-13
    Prashant 02-19-13
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    7
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "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
    HELPFUL VOTES
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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
    HELPFUL VOTES
    10
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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
  •  
    Gary H 03-16-10
    Gary H 03-16-10 Member Since 2007
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "I wanted not to like him"

    I read a audio review about Ed Viesturs being real stuck up on himself. But I had just listened to Into Thin Air and I was hungry for more information about '96 on Everest and the dead zone above 26,000 ft.

    As I listened to the book, I found myself agreeing with this negative assessment - at first. But as I went along I decided this was more due to the person reading, and I decided to give Mr Viesturs the benefit of a doubt! My apologies, Ed.

    This book was a good listen. It I Introduced me to an exclusive world above 8000 meters, where only Ed and a few others have been. If I had picked up Herzog's book on Annapurna in the 70's maybe it would have been me . . . . Nah!

    Thanks.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Linda Greenville, SC, United States 07-02-09
    Linda Greenville, SC, United States 07-02-09 Member Since 2008
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Ed thinks alot of himself"

    I've read and/or listened to many climbing books. I've also seen every documentary on Everest and climbing I could get my hands on. Ed Viesturs is indeed a world class climber so I guess he's intitled to BRAG. He certainly does so in this book. The bragging wasn't as disconcerting as the narrator's mispronunciation of names and locations. That was the difference between 3 and 4 stars for me. Still, all & all if you like this sort of book it's a good listen.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Christine coquitlam, British Columbia, Canada 03-20-08
    Christine coquitlam, British Columbia, Canada 03-20-08 Member Since 2009
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    "No Shortcuts to the Top(Unabridged)"

    This is a terrific book! Well written, exciting to listen to. Puts you right there alongside the author and some of the best climbers of his day as they tackle some of the most difficult peaks on earth.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    K. S. Mader West Linn, OR USA 12-31-07
    K. S. Mader West Linn, OR USA 12-31-07 Listener Since 2006
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    REVIEWS
    11
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    "Informative enjoyable read"

    The book was quite enjoyable and informative. The book was very good at bringing you into the world of mountain climbing and explaining the motivations of the author. You felt like you could understand what was going on in his head when he was climbing. The narration is also wonderful.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    ken Wheeler 09-12-07
    ken Wheeler 09-12-07 Member Since 2006
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Gotta love Ed"

    Well written with a good combination of technical detail with driving story line.
    You have to love this kind of athlete since he is really one of the best in the wold but has a humility that comes through as real.
    Very entertaining - actually made me think of getting in shape to try a big one.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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