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The Mountain: My Time on Everest Paperback – 19 Jun 2014

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Product details

  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: ATRIA BOOKS; Reprint edition (19 Jun. 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1451694741
  • ISBN-13: 978-1451694741
  • Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 2.5 x 22.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 535,089 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Review

"From his earliest climbs on the peaks of the Pacific Northwest to his final climb up the Himalayan mountain of Annapurna, Viesturs offers testimony to the sacrifices (personal and professional) in giving your life over to a dream, as well as the thrill of seeing it through." --Publishers Weekly

About the Author

Ed Viesturs is widely regarded as America's foremost high-altitude mountaineer. In 1992 he was awarded the American Alpine Club's David A. Sowles Award for his participation in two rescues on K2. He is also the recipient of the Explorers Club's Lowell Thomas Award for outstanding achievement in the field of mountaineering. DAVID ROBERTS is a veteran mountaineer with extensive experience in Alaska and the author of a dozen previous books, including THE LOST EXPLORER (Constable) with Conrad Anker. He articles have also appeared in THE NATIONAL GEORAPHIC, THE ATLANTIC, etc.


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Customer Reviews

3.5 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition
Maybe it's because I actually read the Italian version, but the book felt quite flat, which is odd for something that talks about Everest.

There is no disputing the achievements of Viesturs and his climbing abilities. Its safety record is even more impressive. His determination to make it back to base camp no matter what, even when it means giving up on a summit that is tantalisingly close, might be overlooked, but the long list of even expert guides who stayed too long on the mountain shows that such self-discipline is still quite rare, even among the best.
The raw material is therefore clearly there, but the final result feels too much like a shopping list. Stories from Viesturs' expeditions are alternated with recalls of past climbs, some of them truly otherworldly, but the book never soars, one never feels truly captured by the words.
The best parts are those that deal with the epic ascents from the past, if anything because they are replete with references to other books. As such, this is a valuable resource, a veritable 'must read' list of what the author considers unmissable mountaineering books.
But when it comes to the personal stuff, Viesturs sounds too calculated, too detached, too careful with what he writes. Even specialists aspects of his career, like his fabled fitness, which could give an interesting angle to the story, are overlooked, or get little more than a little nod.
By the final page, one is left with the feeling that this book was written more as a sort of encouragement to read other books from the same author, than to add anything truly new or personal.
For someone who reads about Viesturs for the first time, this might be a good introduction, a sort of guide through his literary production and a quick resume of his stellar career that will encourage further exploration. I suspect people who already know his story and are looking for something more personal and rare, will be disappointed.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Great overview of the history of this great mountain interlaced with the experiences of someone who has spent many years on site
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By monxton13 on 26 July 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Covers some previous material from other books but still a great read. Do read the other titles!
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By Neil Murphy on 20 May 2015
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
can't review it as it never arrived!
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 54 reviews
20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
For Climbers and Armchair-Climbers Alike 18 Oct. 2013
By Katherine Scott Jones - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
There’s something about the highest point on earth that beckons the romantic in all of us–even though there’s nothing at all romantic about this peak. Summiting Mt. Everest requires absolute fortitude, determination and courage–which is underscored by the chilling truth that not every one who attempts to climb Mt. Everest makes it back.

In Viesturs’ and Roberts’ hands, The Mountain is a story that manages to be both personal and global. Viesturs offers his take on many of the historical climbs of Everest, as well as his own poignant moments–such as, when during the filming of the IMAX movie (the highest grossing IMAX movie to date), he paused to pay homage to the frozen bodies of his friends Rob Hall and Scott Fischer, who had died making the ascent a year earlier.

Another plus are the excerpts from Viesturs’ diary, which add to the “you are there” flavor of the book. So do some of the brutal details that don’t otherwise get a lot of press: the agonizing sore throats many climbers suffer, for example, as a result of breathing the cold, thin air; or their dry, hacking coughs, harsh enough to break ribs or bring up larynx lining.

The Mountain is not a romantic account but plainly reveals the darker underbelly of the legend. All in all, a fascinating read–even for non-climbers, like me. Recommended.

Thanks to Touchtone for providing me a free copy to review. All opinions are mine.
14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
A map would be nice 10 Oct. 2013
By JK - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Another great book by Ed,however he goes into detail about routes and cols and other parts of the mountain but we have no map.It was very frustrating to have to use other books to locate these places.Otherwise great book.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Fantastic Book 9 Nov. 2013
By A. Antonio - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The Mountain is one of Ed Viesturs best books to date. He does an excellent job of mixing historic and recent accounts. While some people might prefer a more conventional chronological approach, this approach seemed to make the book a little more interesting.

There was a little bit of recycling from his previous books but it was kept to a minimum and was mixed in with plenty of new material.

One thing that seemed to stand out a little more in this book than Ed's previous books was his depiction of his summit days. In this book he seemed to really focus on how truly brutal those days are. In the past he wrote about his summit days and how he pulled them off but this time it seemed like they he made an effort to explain what really goes into them.

Overall anyone who has an interest in Everest, the Himalaya, Adventure, or mountaineering will really enjoy this book. It moves at a good pace.
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
Firsthand Adventure and Inspiration at the Top of the World 16 Oct. 2013
By Peter Harris - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
Viesters's account of Mount Everest is a new addition to the canon of literature on the world's highest peak. Dedicating his life to mountaineering and spending over two years of accumulated time on Mount Everest alone, Viesters demonstrates his authority on the history and character of Mount Everest. In The Mountain, Viesters writes to "celebrate the mountain's rich history," and takes us on a journey that pushes human willpower and physicality to their limits. Accented with historical insight, this is a memoir of persistence and perseverance, and it ultimately demonstrates how one man has made one of his wildest dreams a reality - a theme I have treasured in other books, like Arctic Adventure for example.

The Mountain is a well-written memoir that is highly informed and concisely narrated with humility. I was swept away by the ups and downs encountered by this renowned high-altitude climber as he strove to reach the top of the world again and again. If you enjoy reading about high stakes climbing, you will be entertained and inspired.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Viesturs knows this mountain 18 Feb. 2014
By James Denny - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
Ed Viesturs knows Mount Everest as well as any man, living or deceased. By his own admission, he spent two-and-a-half years of his life on or near the summit of Mount Everest. Life in Everest Base Camp and the related camps is described in precise and considerable detail, along with many Everest expeditions.

Viesturs is most famous for his successful ascent of all 8,000-meter peaks without oxygen. As he notes, however, while ascending any mountain is not mandatory, returning is. Bragging rights aside, Viesturs and his collaborator, David Roberts do a good job of describing what world-class mountaineering is all about.

The names of many mountain climbers and many expeditions are mentioned in "The Mountain: My Time on Everest." The attentive reader may become overwhelmed by the number of names and expeditions mentioned, going all the way back to Mallory and Irvine. While the index is quite useful, it would have helped if the authors had put together an appendix listing selected expeditions with key leaders, climbers and sherpas who were on them.

Viesturs ranks among the top mountaineers in the world. His conditioning and technical skills have kept him alive and healthy where lesser mortals have been severely injured or died. He's also had some pretty good luck going for him. As the saying goes, "a man makes his own luck." To that end, Viesturs has shown exceptionally good judgment by on more than one occasion, turning back within a few hundred feet of reaching the summit. All too often among climbers when conditions change, "summit fever" takes over against one's better judgment. As Viesturs states in "The Mountain," "the mountain will still be there."
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