From Kirkus Reviews
Whittaker, the first American to summit Everest, tells here the story of his life thus farhe has managed to reach 70which has been lived with the kind of intensity that only his adrenal glands can truly appreciate. Whittaker never actively courted peril; indeed, as he tells it, though luck has been his friend, its also ``something you make happenby extending yourself into situations of risk but also by preparing yourself to succeed under those risky conditions.'' He didn't just climb Everest in 1963 (he deadpans his way through the tribulations of that feat), but had been unknowingly preparing for it as a mountain guide and rescue team member in the Pacific Northwest. Hed been in enough precarious situations to know the difference between objective dangers (avalanches, rock falls) and subjective gamble, when risky business becomes flagrant exposure. Though Whittaker gained wide recognition for his climb of Everest and his expedition to K2, the mountaineering community will also remember him as the force behind REI, the funky climbing-supplies cooperative that did so much to give climbing its antiestablishment, bohemian tone. His personal life has had just the same rugged topography as his preferred landscapes, and he reveals it to his readers in a lean, patient voice. There was divorce and separation from his children, financial ruin, the loss of friends to climbing accidents. And there was remarriage and connecting with his children, both young and old, and so much time outdoors doing what he loved, embracing not just the high peaks but all of nature transient: ``It was just after midnight. The temperature was twenty degrees below zero, a soft quilt of powder snow covered everything, and ice-dust sparkled in the moonlight. I sat in a small aspen grove . . . in awe of the beauty around me.'' Whittaker has a knack for finding such silent, sublime places. Now he's off sailing around the world with his family, trusting again to that angel who has watched over his shoulder. (24 pages color photos, 50 b&w photos, not seen) (Author tour) -- Copyright ©1999, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
"...For the majority who will never set foot on the Himalayan peak, this book offers one of the best vistas of that experience." -- Los Angeles Daily News
A great upbeat autobiography. [Whittaker] has a winning style, an easy approach, and reading his story is an act of joy. -- Carolyn Spector, KLCC, Eugene, OR