High Crimes Paperback – 11 Jun 2009
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Top Customer Reviews
In 2004 Kodas and his wife decided to taste first hand the exhilaration associated with climbing Mount Everest, but instead of camaraderie and new friendships he found intimidation,deceit and death. He joined a team that used him for financial gain and abandoned him on the mountain during a crisis, but this was only the beginning.
Kodas exposes the trickery employed by uncertified guides to use wealthy clients to fund their own personal summit ambitions. We see first hand the utter disregard for human life on the mountain with climbers literally stepping over injured and dying people in an attempt to ease their own summit fever. We get an in depth account of Nils Antezana who died on the mountain after being abandoned by his guide and Sherpas and the disgusting behaviour of these individuals who sought " tips " from the dead mans family afterwards. Kodas paints a pretty dim picture of violence, corruption and intimidation among the Himalayas where theft of vital equipment and black market resale is an everyday and almost accepted behaviour. The farcical mountain cleanups and the much maligned charity climbs are mentioned here too with some particularly distressing evidence for the latter, where a climber announces an Everest climb for charity and then uses the money raised to fund the expedition !
This book although factual reads like a novel, it's well written and I had difficulty putting it down. Anyone with a romantic view of mountaineering should read this book , it will not disappoint and may even educate. I certainly learned a lot from it.
Whilst I do not doubt the truth in what is being written it is clearer that his own experience on Everest was not a good one having joined a small expedition, although he himself states that the smaller cheaper expeditions are not well supported and those climbers that do sign on better know what they are doing. No surprise there, buy a cheap car and you better know something about car mechanics!
So whilst all this has no doubt happened it must represent a small volume of normal activity in the mountains. Importantly common sense would suggest that any professional would know what to look for ahead of time and not rely on chance and any amateurs (who are clearly taking a big chance but with big rewards) should sign up with the big and expensive boys such as the Russell Brice unit which will protect them as best as possible. We get thieves, rogues, bullies everywhere, why not climbing (ref at Don Whillans from the 50's).
The book is too long, the subject too one-sides, repetitive and ultimately depressing. Problem with Everest is that since the first climb it has become a byword for success although it is not a technical climb at all. Unfortunately the best days are over and the great mountain may just attract the wrong people compared K2, Annapurna etc.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Full of bile and hate but almost certainly an accurate picture of Everest today. Verbose, Sunday paper style but in spite of all negatives worth readingPublished 6 months ago by EA Williams
well written, but somewhat delusioned about the state of Everest,do wish that I hadnt read it but one of those books that one was unable to put downPublished 13 months ago by MARILYN
These stories should be told but this book was poorly written. It could hsve been so much better.Published 13 months ago by Simone Meddle
There is good and bad in every walk of life. This pageturner exposes the shady dealings of sherpas and high altitude guiding companies.Published 18 months ago by Skipdale Shaun
If summiting Everest is on your list of "100 Things to do Before I Die" you should read this compelling, if somewhat disheartening, look at the dark side of climbing the... Read morePublished on 4 April 2014 by Ruby
Did not receive this book..did send you email but nothing happened. ..could you,either credit my account
Or send me out the book.
I couldn't put this book down once I started. I have read a lot of books about trips on everest and this was certainly a different view of it. Read morePublished on 5 Sept. 2012 by Nicola
If you're a little obsessed about the mountain then this is a great read to add. A lot of different subjects but the author drags on a bit too much about the old guy. Read morePublished on 1 Jun. 2012 by crazyf_er