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Seven Summits Paperback – Bargain Price, November, 1988


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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Dick Bass was a successful entrepreneur. Frank Wells was a Hollywood studio president. Together they set out to accomplish what no one else ever had: climbing the highest mountain on each of the seven continents. The fact that both men had so little climbing experience turned out to be their greatest strength: since they had no idea what they were in for, they never considered their task out of reach.

Rick Ridgeway, an accomplished climber in his own right, chronicles their journey, allowing readers to decide if these adventures are the result of midlife crisis or simply about men pursuing a dream with unshakeable resolve. Whatever the case, Ridgeway's fast-paced adventure provides gripping descriptions of the world's tallest peaks. We see the logistical nightmares of Antarctica's Mt. Vinson, the unpredictable weather of McKinley, and the extreme altitude of Everest's 8,848 meters. Ridgeway continues up Aconcagua, Elbrus, Kilimanjaro, and Kosciusko with lively accounts that capture the day-to-day operations of expedition life, and more intriguingly, the growing bond between two driven men. --Ben Tiffany

From Publishers Weekly

Their dream was to climb the hightest mountain on each of the seven continentsan exciting prospect for any world-class mountaineer. But Bass and Wells, businessmen in their early 50s, were rank amateurs. With Ridgeway, one of America's foremost climbers who accompanied the pair on some of their expeditions, they tell their story here. It is a gripping tale of adventure that embraces courage, disappointment, joy and commitment. The process of getting to Mt. Vinson in Antarctica was a marvel of logistics. For their third and final attempt on Mt. Everest, Wells had to choose between the summit try and his family; Bass completed the seventh summit to become the oldest man to stand on top of the world. The two were lucky enough to have the money to fulfill their dream; they also had guts. In mountaineering lingo, they proved themselves "real animals." Photos not seen by PW.
Copyright 1986 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Warner Books; 1st edition (November 1988)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0446385166
  • ASIN: B001Q3M6X4
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.1 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (45 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,345,724 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Climbing enthusiasts will enjoy this book, as will as those who love a good adventure story.
Lawyeraau
People, who have no money work whatever labor they can get paid for, climbing as much as they could, much like Krakauer and Marty Hoey, mentioned in this book.
Brooser Bear
Well written and a trememdous adventure with some very interesting side lights (from Chariots of fire to Mickey Mouse).
JOHN HOLLADAY

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

15 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Brooser Bear on October 1, 2002
Format: Paperback
I came across an interesting description reading while Jon Krakauer's Into Thin Air: It mentioned a certain socialite mountaineer who threw a party before climbing Mt. Everest to which she showed up in her climbing gear. Krakauer also mentioned in passing that she was on a coveted Seven Summits quest to climb the tallest mountain on each continent. Later on I came across a memoir by one of the guides on the 1996 Mt. Everest disaster, titled My Seven Summits. Having seen this quest mentioned on several occasions, my curiosity was piqued when I saw this book about Wells' and Bass' exploits.
This book is straightforward and simply written. Positive in tone, it portrays two classic type-A entrepreneurs, in a style with which Donald Trump was once lionized, before he had to let the bankers take over his holdings, before the S&L crises and the Enron debacle. The two men are portrayed with all of the bravado and the flair of Kipling-toting prep school boys that the two men once might have been, reliving their youth in the adventure. The book does not dwell on the technicalities or insights of the Inner Game of Mountain Conquest, and self-serving though it may be, it is basically honest and it illustrates several truths, perhaps unintentionally. The theme of danger, of climbers dying or coming close to it is prevalent throughout the book, with several fatal accidents taking place during the course of the book. There is no dwelling on why or if the deaths were preventable, but along with the book about sailing called the Proving Ground, this book underscores a point that most money buys the best expertise, best sailboat, and avoids the disaster that befalls other climbing parties, with less technical expertise.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Lawyeraau HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on November 12, 2000
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
What happens when two wealthy, middle aged men with commanding, type A personalities get together? Why they decide to climb the seven summits, the highest mountain on each of the seven continents! Their attempts to snare their trophy mountains makes for a rip rollicking good read. What is most remarkable is that one of them actually manages to summit each and every one of the seven mountains in question.
The account of their adventure runs the gamut of the human experience: humor, pathos, joy, and ultimate success. Their achievement is incredible, considering that they were middle aged, novice climbers. Yet their grit and determination, coupled with a seemingly endless cash flow, allowed them to hob nob with the mountaineering elite and, ultimately, enables one of them to achieve their collective dream.
These are two men who, when looking back on their lives, will never find themselves in the position of saying "would've, could've, should've". They dared to live their dreams. Would that we were all so inclined. In any case, their adventures during their remarkable quest make for some very absorbing reading. Climbing enthusiasts will enjoy this book, as will as those who love a good adventure story.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on March 23, 1999
Format: Paperback
After reading "Into Thin Air" by Jon Krakauer, I was eager to read more about the people who climb the tallest mountains. While I admire Frank and Dick's success, particulary considering their age, I couldn't help get the impression that this book was one long accolade to the men rather than the accomplishment. It felt like two very ego-driven, very successful men had manipulated a two-bit author into writing about how wonderful they were. I never once got the sense of loneliness and fear of being above 26,000 feet (the "Death Zone") that Krakauer wrote about so well.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By M. Swinney on August 9, 2001
Format: Paperback
Frank Wells, the Walt Disney exec, and Dick Bass, a top entrepreneur set out to climb the continent's seven highest summits in a logistical challenge of peak bagging. The writing doesn't really capture the magic of the mountains and envelop you in the high altitude mystique.
The book does have it's moments, like the challenging endurance journey of climbing Aconcagua, and the suspense of if they even climbed the right summit for Mt Vinson in Antarctica. Since it is a book about climbing mountains, it's a worthwhile read, but there are far better mountain climbing books out there..."Into Thin Air" by Krakauer...anything by Heinrich Harrer. Frank Wells died shortly after the book came out from a helicopter accident while heli-skiing. The movie "The Lion King" is a far better and moving tribute to a great man than this book. Skip this book and resist the urge to climb mountains above your head for the sake of peak bagging and go out and get "Into Thin Air" and be caught up in the altitude.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Ms. C. A. Robinson on November 16, 2006
Format: Paperback
I really enjoyed this book, and despite it not being as descriptive as other Mountaineering books. If you take this as a story of two men who have little climbing experience achieve a goal of climbing the highest Mountains in each Continent, 7 summits in total. I found it an amazing book of self determination, motivation and true friendship.

Yes it is true, they couldn't have otherwise succeeded at this unless they had the money to do so, but the book never denies the reader that insight.

This booked had me routing for them from their first Everest adventure, I just wanted them to achieve their goals.

For those who are wanting a descriptive mountain climbing book this isn't for you, but those who want to read about a great challenging adventure over coming multiple diffculties this is an excellant read.
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