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Die Trying: One Man's Quest to Conquer the Seven Summits Hardcover


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: AMACOM; 1 edition (February 12, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0814410847
  • ISBN-13: 978-0814410844
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6.3 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,147,208 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Book Description

In early 2003, a young Wall Street investment banker named Bo Parfet set out to accomplish something very few had done before—climbing the highest mountain on every continent. He was not a professional climber, but what began as a casual interest would soon become a lifelong passion and in just over four years, Bo would overcome the odds and conquer all of the mountains—Kilimanjaro, Aconcagua, Denali, Vinson Massif, Elbrus, Carstenz Pyramid, Kosciusko, and Everest—with courage, unbridled passion, and determination.

Combining the gripping narrative of Into Thin Air with the adrenaline-fueled drama of Vertical Limit, Die Trying is the incredible story of one man's battle against his own limitations. From dodging avalanches to crossing a ladder over a seemingly bottomless crevasse, to making his way through the Khumbu Icefall and burying a dead teammate at 27, 000 feet, we experience all of the author’s exhilarating, often terrifying climbs first-hand. We travel with him during his near-death experiences when falling into a crevasse in New Zealand and nearly-drowning in crocodile-infested rapids during a canoe race in Belize. And we share the terror of his confrontations with corrupt army officials, cannibalistic tribesmen, and local militia groups. Harrowing and uplifting, Die Trying is a riveting memoir that will inspire all of us to defy the odds and fulfill our dreams.

From the Inside Flap

At the age of 26, Bo Parfet seemed like just another ordinary guy working as an investment banker at J.P. Morgan when he arranged his first major mountain climb—of Mt.Kilimanjaro, Africa’s highest and fiercest mountain. He was no professional climber, nor was he in any kind of shape to be tackling any major peak. To the trained mountaineer, Parfet would have seemed foolhardy. But in just four years, with perseverance and unbelievable courage, he managed to successfully complete his quest to scale all Seven Summits, including Kilimanjaro, Aconcagua, Denali, Vinson Massif, Elbrus, Carstenz Pyramid, Kosciusko, and Everest—the highest peaks on the seven continents—defying all odds and cheating death at every turn.

Combining the gripping narrative of Into Thin Air with the adrenaline-fueled drama of Vertical Limit, Die Trying is the incredible story of one man’s battle against his own limitations. From dodging avalanches to crossing a ladder over a seemingly bottomless crevasse, to making his way through the Khumbu Icefall and burying a dead teammate at 27, 000 feet, we experience all of the author’s exhilarating, often terrifying climbs first-hand. We share the terror of his confrontations with corrupt army officials, cannibalistic tribesmen, and local militia groups, and we follow this ultimate everyman blessed with the opportunity to undertake an extraordinary journey of exploration and self-discovery as he survives on a diet of fried bats and rats in New Guinea and nearly dies after falling into a crevasse when the ground beneath him gave way on Mt. Cook. Recounting such life-on-the-line experiences as almost drowning in crocodile-infested rapids during a canoe race in Belize to pushing himself to the brink of starvation and complete physical exhaustion, Die Trying is a compilation of extraordinary experiences—each one a totally unique, self-contained story—that illustrate not only the complexity of Bo’s amazing vision and ability to extract the possible from the seemingly impossible, but also the all-too-human struggles that we all share. Enlightening and gripping, Die Trying is the compelling story of man’s quest to conquer nature—and his own fears.

 

Bo Parfet was a postgraduate research fellow at the Financial Accounting Standards Board, and an investment banking analyst for J.P. Morgan. He summited Kilimanjaro in 2003 and has been climbing ever since. He established the Seven Summits Awards Program as a specialized research grant for The Explorers Club’s Youth Activities Grant Program funded by both his personal contributions and various capital campaigns. This program awards students grants to perform health-care-related field research. He has also established a partnership between The Explorers Club and The Kellogg School of Management, where seasoned explorers lecture on campus about leadership lessons learned from exploration. He lives in Kalamazoo, Michigan.

 

Richard Buskin is a New York Times bestselling author whose books include the biographies Sheryl Crow: No Fool to This Game and Princess Diana. He lives in Chicago, Illinois.

 

 


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Customer Reviews

3.9 out of 5 stars
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I am getting ready to buy this book.
Li Jiang
The author vaguely hints at some sort of epiphany or spiritual discovery, but by the end of the book he doesn't seem to have changed at all.
D. Stoltz
Bo's physical,personal and spiritual struggle bring to life my own inner dreams to conquer the summits of life!
Ruth G. Langs

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

19 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Phred on November 10, 2009
Format: Hardcover
This book is a travesty of all things that make mountaineering a worthwhile pursuit.

Bo is a soiled rich kid from a blue blood family. He goes on committing climbs without the most rudimentary understanding of the gear needed, how to properly use it, and the risks involved, relying on the guides to save his behind. (E.g., going to Denali without even learning beforehand about crevasse rescue, climbing Carsten's Pyramid and carrying ascenders without knowing how to correctly use them, etc.)

Bo dashes into an area, tries to tick the "name" summits, then dashes out, never trying to gain a more in depth understanding of the people and culture. Them he boasts about his tick list for the year.

Bo sets up token scholarships to help some local students in the areas where he climbs. A nice thing to do on the surface, but he pretty much admits it was a scam to help him get approval to go and more time off work from his slimy Wall Street firm.

Bo, climbing is not about "conquering" a peak. It's about letting the peak teach you something, a level of understanding I highly doubt you will ever achieve as you are too busy burnishing your own ego.

Looking for a real book about climbing? Try Reinhold Messner, Steve House, or Joe Tasker / Peter Boardman.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Hoofkick on July 16, 2011
Format: Hardcover
Obnoxious rich kid decides climbing the seven summits is his goal in life. As a climber myself, I understand the appeal of big mountains. But this guy seems to have no respect for the dangers that he is dealing with and needs a big slice of humble pie. Even with all his talk of wanting to become a more independent climber (mostly because he insists on always walking faster than the rest of his group), he doesn't make any effort to build his technical skills (his first experience of glacier travel is upon arrival at Denali) and just zooms from one mountain to the next with zero thought of each challenge before arrival. This is one man's quest to conquer a monster check list in as short a period as possible. I would not want to be on his climbing team and certainly not on the same rope.

Give this book a miss. Try Jon Krakauer, Ed Viesturs, Maurice Herzog, Joe Simpson instead.
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Porter Draper on October 6, 2010
Format: Hardcover
When I first saw this book I thought Bo and I might have a lot in common. He is from Chicago, he is climbing the Seven Summits, and he even started his "climbing career" on Longs Peak. The more I read, the more I realized that Bo Parfet is everything I hate about people climbing the Seven Summits.

The fact that Bo comes from an affluent background really doesn't bother me. In fact if I had the resources he has, I wouldn't hesitate to pack up and start climbing. What bothers me is his sudden realization that this was his life's dream, that he was meant to climb, and that this was the learning experience that he needed to change his life.

If you notice on his website he started climbing Kilimanjaro in 2003 and four years later he is an "explorer". Sure, some of his other adventures are cool, but he shows no appreciation for climbers who have come before him, for those who have experience, for the mountains, or for the dangers of climbing at all. After reading the chapter on his first attempt on Everest I am surprise he isn't dead.

If you want a real book on climbing read one from someone who is a "Michael Jordan of Mountaineering"....any one of Ed Veisturs books.
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By Lucy K. on December 23, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Bo Parfet is full of ego, and you will enjoy walking the path with him towards humility. Here is a tale of strong will and determination.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Although I have respect for and interest in hearing the story of anyone who succeeds in attaining the Seven Summits (by any accepted definition) Parfet's book is basically a thinly disguised promo for his scholarship funding proposals and follow-up visits to distant climbing spots.

Yes, it's interesting at times especially his misadventures in the beginning and the Carstenz Pyramid section but it's the same three themes over and over: 1) work for awhile/go to grad school and 2) propose grants which allow travel/climbing and 3) get credit for more travel/climbing.

Even with his dyslexia, he was doing well in grad school yet he couldn't spend any time using the internet to research for 1 hour on how to prepare for hiking at altitude? How to dress in layers? What fluids to drink?

All I will give him an A+ for is choosing his co-writer and publicist whatever because if you read the whole dust-jacket including the parts I left out above, you would think Bo Parfet is practically the next Mallory. This book is a quick read, and for the 'non-mountaineer oriented' it may be very enjoyable. For me, "Die Trying" was almost fiction.

Excerpts from the dust-jacket:

“At the age of 26, Bo Parfet seemed like just another ordinary guy working as an investment banker at J.P. Morgan when he arranged his first major mountain climb—of Mt.Kilimanjaro. He was no professional climber, nor was he in any kind of shape to be tackling any major peak. To the trained mountaineer, Parfet would have seemed foolhardy. But in just four years, he managed to successfully complete his quest to scale all Seven Summits, including Kilimanjaro, Aconcagua, Denali, Vinson Massif, Elbrus, Carstenz Pyramid, Kosciusko, and Everest.
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