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Die Trying: One Man's Quest to Conquer the Seven Summits Hardcover – February 12, 2009


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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: 1.2 x 6.1 x 9.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #648,299 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

3.8 out of 5 stars
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This is a great story and a very easy read.
Jim
The fact that Bo comes from an affluent background really doesn't bother me.
Porter Draper
Once you start reading, it's hard to put down!
Bonfire Girl

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

21 of 25 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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4 of 4 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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7 of 9 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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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Eveque154 on June 2, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition
Not enjoyable and educational at all. I would not recommend buying to anyone who is looking for a good read.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By D. Stoltz on May 1, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The story was lacking most of what I would look for in a mountaineering book. There was no depth or thoughtfulness that went into his "adventures" and often times the story rambled into irrelevant areas of the author's life or redundancy (you can only talk about defecating so much). The writing itself was fairly simplistic and that rich, deep description of the mountains and the revelations that climbing brings was entirely absent. 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.

As a mountaineer, I was mostly offended. The point of climbing isn't to just bag the seven summits, or just get to the top, or even to go to the top and come back. The author clearly loses the entire point of encountering a mountain, and in doing so disrespects the entire history and culture of the climbing community. It wasn't just that the author had the financial ability to pay someone to drag him to the top or to hop on a jet and take only the classics (or get TWO shots at Everest), it was that he did and that was all that he bothered to write about. Discovery, adventure, and growth occurs in your backyard, not just when you are pondering going to the bathroom in Antarctica.

The author also is very indifferent to the native communities in which the mountains are embedded. His naive and thoughtless comments about the peoples (as if he is going to the zoo), or his attempt at descriptive writing by referring to himself as a "budding Che Guevara" simply because he has on fatigues, leave the reader thinking that the protagonist is a bumbling good-ol-boy and no matter how far he climbs, he will never find enlightenment.
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