"You're either cruisin' or you're bummin', so you might as well cruise."--Scott Fischer
Mountain climber Scott Fischer's mantra would lead him to scale the highest and most treacherous peaks on earth. Best known as one of the guides who perished near the summit of Mount Everest during the tragic spring of 1996, Scott Fischer became for many an iconic symbol of audacity, hubris, and the limits of human endurance. But to those who knew him well, Scott was much more than an action figure at the heart of a modern-day cautionary tale. Now in this vivid, candid biography, Robert Birkby--one of Scott's close friends--gives us a fascinating, in-depth portrait of who Scott Fischer really was and what led him to the top of the world.
As a teenage athlete growing up in New Jersey, Scott felt a restless drive to reach beyond the limits of his suburban environment. He discovered the freedom he sought during summers in the rugged mountains of Wyoming. A natural mountaineer blessed with tremendous physical strength and willpower, Scott thrived on the challenges of climbing, the beauty of the high country, and the like-minded people he found there. With the creation of a guide service he called Mountain Madness, Scott meshed his need to climb with his joy in sharing with others the lofty, rarified realms he had made his own.
In adrenaline-filled narratives that take us to the world's tallest places, Robert Birkby traces the expeditions that made Scott one of the most respected climbers of the close-knit mountaineering community. From Alaska to the Soviet Union, from the granite walls of Yosemite to the punishing storms of the Himalayas, Scott's achievements are hair-raising, inspiring, and always exhilarating--a relentless quest for new highs that builds inexorably to the rendezvous with disaster on Everest.
Scott's life was a journey filled with adventures, deep friendships, and dramatic successes and failures in the obscure reaches of some of the world's most beautiful and dangerous places. A captivating homage to a man who eagerly went where few dare to go, Mountain Madness is an extraordinary account of courage, passion, and extreme living.