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Annapurna: The First Conquest Of An 8,000-Meter Peak Paperback – May 18, 2010

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"Outdoor Classic" Winner of the 2010 National Outdoor Book Awards

“The most influential mountaineering book of all time.”

National Geographic Adventure

“Those who have never seen the Himalayas, those who never care to risk an assault, will know when they finish this book that they have been a companion of greatness.”
New York Times Book Review

“Before Everest, there was Annapurna. Frenchman Herzog led the first summitting of an 8,000-meter peak, dictating his story because he had lost all his fingers to frostbite.”
Sports Illustrated

“While the ascent is thrilling enough, the harrowing descent . . . truly boggles the mind.”
The Week

From the Back Cover

One of Sports Illustrated’s top 100 sports books of all time
 
In 1950, when no mountain taller than 8,000 meters had ever been climbed, Maurice Herzog led an expedition of French climbers to the summit of an 8,075-meter (26,493-foot) Himalayan peak called Annapurna. The route up Annapurna had never been charted, and Herzog and his team had to locate the mountain using crude maps, pick out a possible line of ascent, and go for the summit. Annapurna is the unforgettable account of this heroic climb and its harrowing aftermath, including a nightmare descent while suffering from frostbite and snow blindness. Herzog’s masterful narrative is one of the great mountain-adventure stories of all time.
 
This new edition—which commemorates the sixtieth anniversary of the Annapurna ascent on June 3, 1950—features a new foreword by Conrad Anker.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Lyons Press; 0002- edition (May 18, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1599218933
  • ISBN-13: 978-1599218939
  • Product Dimensions: 0.5 x 5.8 x 8.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #93,102 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Reader on September 23, 2011
Format: Paperback
This book has all the emotion and details that can only come from the person who did it. I hadn't realized how much of the adventure happens before getting to base camp, nor how much more is required of those who are the first to conquer a particular mountain.
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I love true adventure stories. Annapurna is a true adventure story of a French 1950 mountain climbing expedition. Two of their members are the first to reach the summit of a 8000M peak. Unheard of, many thought it could not be done. Annapurna is the epic book that influenced ED Vestures when he was a boy toward his mountain climbing greatness ( climbed all 13 8000M peaks with no supplemental oxygen...all his books 5 star see my reviews).

Annapurna is 278 pages of great adventure and lots of action. No boring parts. I read it in 3 days.

Here's a tidbit of the book to wet your appetite.

A group of some of the greatest mountain climbers is assembled with a great doctor/surgeon Oudot, and support people for the expedition. Local loyal helpers/guides called Sherpas and Coolies to help carry the heavy loads are hired. The leaders Sahibs have as their expedition leader Maurice Herzog. Herzog is seen as brave but sensibly cautious and uses lots of scouting of different routes. A higher mountain was originally thought OK to climb but it is found too dangerous at this time. Scouting more through glaciers around impassable ridges , a hidden valley a route to Annapurna is found. Already they are experiencing bad weather and are in a race with time as Monsoon rains are coming soon. Some routes are found to be no good. Lots of dangers, crevasses, and avalanches. Five ascending camps are set up. The expedition is rapidly breaking down due to health problems.

Herzog and Louise Lachenal make it to the top. All expedition members helped and team work was great. A lot of unselfish people. However Herzog loses his gloves and develops frostbite of the fingers and toes. Lachenal has frostbite of the toes and heal. Some of the others have snow blindness and injuries.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By G. Johnson on January 7, 2014
Format: Paperback
I went through a phase where I read a lot of mountaineering books. I often hiked myself alone, and not in teams, and on tough 10,000 plus feet mountains, but nothing technical (ice, ropes, etc) that couldn't be done alone. The books gave me ideas, or served as encouragement and inspiration in my goals. However, quite a few were written by less-than-mediocre writers.

Herzog's books make the events exciting, and are clear and it is also easy to follow technical action (how bodies and equipment are twisting and moving on the mountains. And Herzog especially is very epic.

Annapurna is a really incredible book. A good place to start if you want: a good read, to be introduced to mountain climbing, to be introduced to mountain climbing history (Herzog was an important early climber), to know more about climbing.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Psteg on January 18, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book was very interesting - not only about climbing but about the time that the Annapurna first ascent was completed. It was at the beginning of great adventures throughout the world. Today, is a different world and lacks the romanticism in comparison. But, the most important thing that this book did for me was start me off onto other books written by the other team members. From this book, I read two more and from each received a different perspective - this is what made all of it so much more rewarding.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Roald Euller on January 22, 2015
Format: Paperback
As a 14 or 15 year old I stayed up into the wee hours one summer night utterly transfixed by Maurice Herzog's Annapurna. I have no idea what compelled me to pick this book up in the first place, but that night spawned a 40+ year enthusiasm for mountaineering literature. I have learned that other climbers, notably Ed Viesturs, were similarly inspired by reading Annapurna, although in his case it led far beyond the armchair.

Herzog's reputation has become somewhat tarnished in recent years. He apparently forced all the other expedition members to sign a contract that granted him full leadership of the expedition, along with rights to publish any and all accounts of the trip for five years following their return. Moreover his iron handed leadership caused near crippling discord within the team.

Nonetheless, Annapurna remains one of the most gripping and inspiring accounts of Himalayan climbing, and is an essential addition to the library of any fan of mountaineering.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Irish Eyes on December 7, 2013
Format: Paperback
Mountaineering literature is vast, but if there would be just one book to stand in place of them all, it should be Annapurna. This is a total classic from beginning to end.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By JLLN on August 16, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Very touching story, incredible epic conquest, first they tried Dahulagiri, then switch to Annapurna. Maurice Herzog was climbing with Louis Lachenal the last part, he was like walking to heaven, in a godness divine mission, for France. Very few accounts exists from somebody touching glory for a few minutes. Then light became darkness. Mistakes would be paid later for an ultimate conquest. Real life wonder.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Zach on January 16, 2015
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This book is a very good read, it has plenty of action and the translation is also good. This was an amazing non fiction story that I highly enjoyed. I would recommend this book to any one who enjoys adventure, history, or mountaineering.
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