No Shortcuts to the Top: Climbing the World's 14 Highest Peaks: Viesturs, Ed & David Roberts
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No Shortcuts to the Top: Climbing the World's 14 Highest Peaks

Author(s): Viesturs, Ed & David Roberts

Copyright: 2006, US
Specifications: 1st, 8vo, pp.358, 16 bw photos, map eps, blue cloth
Condition: dj unclipped, very fine, cloth tight, very fine

This is Ed Viesturs’ long-awaited memoir. In May, 2005, as he reached the summit of Annapurna on his third try, Viesturs became the first American to climb the world’s fourteen 8,000m peaks, all without the aid of bottled oxygen. His quest spanned 18 years and 30 expeditions - a quest made all the more difficult by his adamant refusal to take undue risks or to jeopardize the lives of teammates. But this is as much about the man who would become the first American to achieve that goal as it is about his stunning quest. As Viesturs recounts the stories of his most harrowing climbs, he reveals a man torn between the flat, safe world he and his loved ones share and the majestic and deadly places where only he can go. A preternaturally cautious climber who once turned back 300 feet from the top of Everest but who would not shrink from a peak (Annapurna) known to claim the life of one climber for every two who reached its summit, Viesturs lives by an unyielding motto, “Reaching the summit is optional. Getting down is mandatory.” It is with this philosophy that he vividly describes fatal errors in judgment made by his fellow climbers as well as a few of his own close calls and gallant rescues. And, for the first time, he details his own pivotal and heroic role in the 1996 Everest disaster. In addition to the raw excitement of Viesturs’ odyssey, the book is leavened with many funny moments revealing the camaraderie between climbers.

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