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4.4 out of 5 stars
4.4 out of 5 stars
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on 22 August 2008
Really enjoyed this - honestly is the best book I've read in a long time. Very well written, fascinating book, mixture between the history of the mountain and the events of 2006. I read it twice in one week. Highly recommended.
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on 30 August 2010
For those that have watched the Discovery Everest Series 1 DVDs, this book brings to light a lot events that occured and not shown by the documentary. However, more importantly, it adds context to the 2006 North East Ridge Everest year and some of the accounts are quite grim if not extremely worrying. I have to admit that the opening chapter really does bring home the realities of Everest but as soon as it turned to Russell Brice's Himex organisation I thought the book was going to turn into yet another "blame it on someone else" story. I was very wrong.

The book attempts to explain why rescuing someone from above 8000m is virtually impossible and certainly impossible if the person is unconscious but it also provides a different light onto Himex and how as the largest and most capable team on the ground Russell feels responsible to other climbers on the mountain. There are countless events that requires Himex to intervene and help that, without it, the guy would have simply been another statistic. If Russell does ever get fed up of performing Everest expeditions he would be invaluable as the guy to actually create what has been discussed as an "Everest Mountain Rescue Team"! How that would work I've actually no idea because as the book clearly explains a climber whose body has closed down is not going anywhere.

Russell is obviously a very rich man now after the Discovery series 1 and 2 but so what? He has come from a humble upbringing, actually worked himself to the bone building a career as a highly successful mountaineer (no mean feat in itself) and has proved himself as a highly capable businessman. The guy actually deserves to be rich and happy - and I for one hope he is. Certainly not planning on doing Everest but if I win the Lotto there is only one team I would go with.

For those of you that are sick to death of hearing the media account of Everest disasters and want to know a little more about the massive infrastructure involved in a successful (and unsuccessful) expedition - buy the book and judge for yourself.
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on 10 June 2009
Being keen on mountain literature and having read quite a few of the recent slew of Everest books, I'd hesitate to enthusiastically recommend this one. The Brice story held my interest, though I'd say the writing style is a little contrived. However, what I found disturbing about the book was a surprising factual error. After describing Boardman and Tasker's disappearance on Everest's Northeast ridge in 1982, the author states on page 42 that whilst Brice was climbing the pinnacles, he'd have passed close to Joe Tasker's corpse lying in the snow. I am no expert on mountain history but this is a well known story, and it's Boardman's body that was found there - Tasker is still missing. This error makes me wonder how reliable the rest of the content might be; I took it all with a pinch of salt after reading that. Not one for those who like their Everest history, maybe?
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on 2 May 2008
This is an extremely well written book, that doesn't simplify the story into 'heroes and villains' as the mainstream media do. Unlike 'into thin air' or 'the climb', this isn't a first person account, which enables a more rounded and objective view of the circumstances and benefits from Heil's journalistic approach.
Those who have seen the Discovery 'Everest' series featuring Russell Brice will also find it an interesting companion piece, as it gives behind the scenes details regarding the expedition featured in the programme.
Highly recommended.
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on 28 December 2010
I really enjoyed this book as it really takes you onto the mountain and conveys the risks, challenges and madness of an Everest quest.
The book makes you want to take the challenge on while at the same time making you to dismiss any thoughts of climbing Everest as a risk too far.
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on 24 May 2011
Don't get me wrong- this is a good read and actually quite a page turner. (I read it comfortably in a weekend). If like me you are fascinated by all things 'Everest' you won't be too disappointed but like some of the other reviewers I rather lost faith when I realised the author wasn't even there on the mountain! No matter how good the story - it rather loses credibility after that. Also some key facts are just plain wrong (Messner's ascent for one). This is basically a sharp account written by a journalist capitalising on a tragic year. If you want first hand accounts turn to Lincoln Hall's 'Dead Lucky' or 'The Longest Climb' by Dominic Faulkner, both of which were written by climbers there in the 2006 season. The latter led the most successful expedition there that year and apart from being a brilliant read puts everything into sharp perspective.
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on 18 March 2011
I was gripped to the book, reading through the various stories on Everest and how people deal with things was really interesting. I am not a climber but wanted to read a non fiction adventure story (already read 127hours). If anyone has any others they could recommend then feel free! I recommend this one to anyone climber or non climber, it has lots of contributions from peoples experiences and references as well as kind of making you want to have an adventure!
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on 28 September 2008
This is a well written account of an amazing year on Everest but climbing the highest peak on the planet is only half of it. This book opens the door into the darkest recesses of the human mind and shows the extraordinary determination, mental strength and overriding will to survive that we as humans are capable of. Perhaps strange but it made me want to climb a mountain!
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on 6 August 2011
This is a very clear, fair-minded account of the multiple deaths on Everest in 2006. It's presented as if it sets out to be sensational and shocking, but that isn't at all the case. Heil describes what happened simply and precisely. His book makes it very easy to understand how disasters of this kind can happen even to skilled mountaineers, but without trying to blame or judge. One very pleasant surprise is that Heil is an exceptionally good, literate writer - the book is far better written than many academic publications it's my misfortune to read. All in all, a book to recommend both to climbers and to those who, like me, would never set foot on a mountain but are interested in how humans behave in extreme situations.
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on 13 March 2016
Whilst this isn't written by someone who was there in the moment, i found this book a really good read. Some books written by those who were there are not actually that easy to follow, where as this is a real page turner.
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