• Denali's Howl

  • The Deadliest Climbing Disaster on America's Wildest Peak
  • By: Andy Hall
  • Narrated by: Jim Manchester
  • Length: 7 hrs and 22 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • Categories: History, Americas
  • 4.3 out of 5 stars (691 ratings)
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Publisher's Summary

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

What listeners say about Denali's Howl

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

A study in human behaviour

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.

14 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars

Really bad narration.

I don't expect to get angry over a book, unless the subject matter is meant to get me there. However, when the subject is climbing and the narrator is so damn bad that I have to think about the meaning of each sentence he (Jim Manchester) reads...then I get angry. I'd like to read or listen to this book. I wonder if the narrator has any idea of what he read. I could do better...and i'm an old man.

7 people found this helpful

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Riveting

I read the book White Wind many years ago. And just finished reading this well received follow up written by a man with connections to climb. Remember reading the first book and feeling helplessness and despair leaking from the pages. Although the outcome was tragic it brings you into the mind of those who climb and those who guide. I owe my life to two quick thinking guides. One on Rainier who encouraged me to run to avoid an unseen boulder that impacted the trail. One on the Grand Teton when the entire Exum ridge route iced up defying progress and retreat. Both outcomes were dependent on people who spent time on these mountains.

4 people found this helpful

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Disappointing

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.

18 people found this helpful

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Terrible Narrator

Very good story made almost unlistenable by the worst narration I have ever heard. I had to check to make sure they hadn’t exhumed Howard Cosell for the reading, as the staggered, halting, speech was nearly identical. The “voices” he uses for the various characters are monotone and awkward. Truly pitiful. Read this one on paper instead. It got to the point where I didn’t even care that people were dying, only praying for the demise of the narrator.

2 people found this helpful

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this is a useless book

professional mountaineer here. this story was boring impossibly confusing as an audio book. if you're expecting into thin air it's more like a bunch of air

4 people found this helpful

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Solid quick read

If you’re in to mountaineering books like stuff by Krakauer or Viesturs this isnt a book written by a climber but a person remembering an incident that happened when he was a child. I enjoyed the writing style and content of this book.

1 person found this helpful

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Meh. Just ok. Narrator not good.

I’m usually not very picky when it comes to narration but this guy sounded like what I imagine a computer would sound like reading a book to me - with no sense of cadence or flow. It really bothered me. Had the story itself and the writing been more compelling it may have overridden my dislike of the narrator but it was just ok for me. I’m a big fan of the survival genre and this was a forgettable read for me.

1 person found this helpful

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Spellbinding

This book kept me in its grip from the first chapter until the very last.

1 person found this helpful

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Excellent story of disaster and survival

Amazing story of the courage and stupidity of young men don’t want to do adventure in a hostile land

1 person found this helpful