Herzog's account of the first ascent of a peak over 8000 metres, in June 1950, is a true adventure. No gortex and sophisticated gear for these men: sweaters, eiderdown jackets, and an ice axe that buckled when it hit rock. Those were the days... Also amazing to think they had to find the peak before they could even start the climb. In the days without GPS - or even an accurate map - the first challenge was to locate the mountain. Incidentally, Herzog is quite scathing about the locals and their way of life. (Interesting, even if a little unfair, to compare with Thubron's 'To a Mountain in Tibet' where the writer is keen to explore the mountain people's beliefs and culture. Herzog only cares about the climb.) Herzog is, I suppose, a man of his time: the European in Asia with all his cultural assumptions. But for all that, their expertise and sheer determination at these altitudes make for a thrilling read.
The Kindle edition is annoying - there is a complete mix-up of the text in Chapter 9 and an irritating tendency for typos where 'c' is often used instead of 'e'. Rather took me aback to read "he yelled in my car" when they were high up on a rock face... If these men could scale Annapurna, surely Amazon can proof-read a book???
PS Amazon now appears to be fixing the problem. Fingers crossed.