The Mountain: My Time on Everest and over one million other books are available for Amazon Kindle. Learn more
Buy New
  • List Price: $27.00
  • Save: $8.31 (31%)
FREE Shipping on orders over $35.
In Stock.
Ships from and sold by
Gift-wrap available.
Add to Cart
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See all 2 images

The Mountain: My Time on Everest Hardcover – October 8, 2013

See all 2 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price New from Used from
"Please retry"
"Please retry"
$2.61 $2.08

Frequently Bought Together

The Mountain: My Time on Everest + K2: Life and Death on the World's Most Dangerous Mountain + No Shortcuts to the Top: Climbing the World's 14 Highest Peaks
Price for all three: $41.17

Buy the selected items together


Hero Quick Promo
Browse in Books with Buzz and explore more details on selected titles, including the current pick, "The Good Girl" by Mary Kubica.

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Touchstone; Second Edition edition (October 8, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1451694733
  • ISBN-13: 978-1451694734
  • Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 6.3 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (35 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #85,028 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews Review

Jim Whittaker Reflects on Ed Viesturs

On May 1, 1963 Jim Whittaker became the first American to stand atop Mt. Everest, the planet's highest peak. He later led expeditions to K2 resulting in the first American summit of the world's second-highest mountain--and often considered its most dangerous. In 1990, he returned to Mt. Everest with International Peace Climb, leading a group of mountaineers from the United States, China, and the Soviet Union to the summit--a team that included an up-and-coming climber named Ed Viesturs. For the publication of The Mountain: My Time on Everest, Whittaker looks back at his time with Viesturs, as well as his nearly unparalleled high-altitude abilities.

Ed and I first began jumping crevasses--and pulling people out of them--on the glaciers of Mt. Rainier in Washington State.

At 14,410 feet above sea level, Mt. Rainier is less than half as high as 29,035-foot Mt. Everest, but it has all the snow, ice, rock, storms and altitude necessary to make it a wonderful educator for those who would climb high mountains.

Although a generation apart, Ed and I both worked as guides, taking clients who had never climbed before to the summit. As guides, we learned to watch our rope mates closely, because--tied to us--they could kill us. You didn't want to climb with someone who was NOT afraid of heights. Eventually, separated by almost three decades, we each reached the top of the world.

On May 1, 1963, along with Sherpa Nawang Gombu, I was lucky enough to become the first American to summit Mt. Everest. On May 7, 1990, as a member of the Mt. Everest International Peace Climb, of which I was the leader, Ed reached the highest point on earth, without the use of bottled oxygen. Our team included climbers from the then Soviet Union, China, Tibet and America, joining together for a "summit on the summit," demonstrating what could be achieved through diplomacy and friendship. It was on this climb that I saw Ed exercise his leadership and guiding skills, along with his incredible ability to climb up and down, up and down, and up and up and up.

There are just 14 mountains on earth that stick up into the "Death Zone"--above 8,000 meters--and Mt. Everest, Qomolangma, Goddess Mother of the World is the highest. My friend, Ed Viesturs, has climbed them all without bottled oxygen, the first and only American to do so. Mt. Everest he's done more than once. Much more.

Now, imagine this: While breathing bottled oxygen, I was taking three to four breaths with every step on the upper slopes of Everest, literally panting for hours and hours to the top. Ed has climbed the 14 highest peaks on earth, taking three to four, six to eight, 10 to 12 to 15 breaths to a step as he ascended. He says, "When I get to 15 breaths a step I begin to wonder if I should turn around." Is there any wonder his climbing friends honor him by referring to Ed as "an ANIMAL?"

Yet Ed has retained his humility and is warm and friendly. He has a good sense of humor and he is just a nice person. He is unique. Read his new book (and his several others) and see if you can figure this guy out.

--Jim Whittaker, October 2013

Learn more about Jim Whittaker and the first successful ascent of Mt. Everest in A Life on the Edge, including a new forward by Ed Viesturs.


“Mr. Viesturs has crafted a breezy tour through his many Everest ascents. . . . Armchair adventurers will rip through this addition to the Everest canon, and for anyone not intimate with Everest’s adventurous history, The Mountain marks a fine beginning.” (The Wall Street Journal)

"Viesturs peppers the narrative with commonsense wisdom, . . . but the book's best moments come when he focuses on the unsung Everest achievements that inspire him. The tale of the Polish expedition that made the first winter ascent and the badass exploits of little-known Swiss climber Erhard Loretan are a welcome distraction from all the dead bodies." (Men's Journal)

"Fans of adventure, mountaineering, extreme sports, and Everest history will thoroughly enjoy Viesturs's latest book." (Library Journal)

“In this amiable history/memoir hybrid . . . Viesturs is a fountain of firsthand knowledge and straightforward narration, and the book makes for a good read. As the only American who has summited the world’s 14 highest peaks without bottled oxygen, Viesturs has a different ruler than the rest of us by which to measure risk.” (Publishers Weekly)

"[Viesturs] . . . unearths some interesting tidbits that may be well-known to his community but new to laymen. The author, who has been lauded for his compassion and assistance to other climbers, also brings an unexpected attribute: attitude." (Kirkus Reviews)

"This book is Ed’s love letter and farewell to Everest. . . . It is written in an engaging, approachable manner that will have you turning the pages just to find out what happens next. Whether you routinely visit the Himalaya on your own adventures or find yourself out of wind simply going up a flight of stairs, we wholeheartedly recommend this book." (Kraig Becker Wegner Adventure Blog)

"A detailed, nicely told account of a man’s endurance and perseverance in achieving a singular goal." (Publishers Weekly)

“Viesturs and Roberts have written an exhaustively researched and wonderfully compelling history of the most fascinating and dangerous of the Himalayan giants.” (David Breashears)

The Will to Climb captures the essence and spirit of the great sport of mountaineering… For anyone who loves the outdoors and for those who admire the will of mankind, this book is a must-read." (Tod Leiweke, CEO of Tampa Bay Lightning)

"An American master of the climb…Viesturs's you-are-there narration communicates effortlessly the enormous effort, and high adventure, of scaling K2." (Publishers Weekly (starred review))

"Magic...[An] outstanding piece of nonfiction." (Christopher Reich for

“A compelling story of dedication, desperation, danger, derring-do, and devotion (physical and spiritual). Fans of extreme-sport books, especially tales of high adventure, will want to add this one to their collections." (Booklist)

“Ed Viesturs was an inspiration to me personally and to the Seahawks team in 2005. I highly recommend reading this account of one of America’s heroes.” (Mike Holmgren, coach of the Seattle Seahawks)

"From the drama of the peaks, to the struggle of making a living as a professional climber, to the basic how-tos of life at 26,000 feet, No Shortcuts to the Top is fascinating reading." (Aron Ralston, author of Between a Rock and a Hard Place)

"Ed Viesturs—the first American to climb all fourteen 8,000 meter peaks without bottled oxygen—is an animal. A human animal blessed with enormous strength balanced by intelligence, honesty, and a heart of gold. And besides, HE IS A NICE GUY. This is a great read for those of us who climb, those who want to learn to climb and live to tell about it, and those who like great adventures." (Jim Whittaker, first American to climb Mount Everest,)

“From his earliest climbs on the peaks of the Pacific Northwest to his final climb up the Himalayan mountain of Annapurna, Viesturs offers testimony to the sacrifices (personal and professional) in giving your life over to a dream, as well as the thrill of seeing it through.” (Publishers Weekly)

"Ed Viesturs is not merely one of our strongest mountaineers; he’s also one of the most remarkable. He’s demonstrated that it’s possible to climb the world’s highest peaks without taking reckless chances, and without sacrificing one’s honor or integrity. He has never hesitated to help other climbers in need, even when it meant putting himself in danger or sacrificing his own opportunity to achieve a summit. Ed, simply put, is a genuine American hero.” (Jon Krakauer, author of Into Thin Air)

More About the Authors

Discover books, learn about writers, read author blogs, and more.

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
5 star
4 star
3 star
2 star
1 star
See all 35 customer reviews
It moves well, and it kept my attention.
Matthew Morine
Enjoyed the inside thoughts Ed Viesturs presented in his endeavours of summiting all 14 8000 peaks.
James V. Bove III
Everest, or is just interested in Everest climbing history, will want to read this book.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Katherine Scott Jones on October 18, 2013
Format: Hardcover
There’s something about the highest point on earth that beckons the romantic in all of us–even though there’s nothing at all romantic about this peak. Summiting Mt. Everest requires absolute fortitude, determination and courage–which is underscored by the chilling truth that not every one who attempts to climb Mt. Everest makes it back.

In Viesturs’ and Roberts’ hands, The Mountain is a story that manages to be both personal and global. Viesturs offers his take on many of the historical climbs of Everest, as well as his own poignant moments–such as, when during the filming of the IMAX movie (the highest grossing IMAX movie to date), he paused to pay homage to the frozen bodies of his friends Rob Hall and Scott Fischer, who had died making the ascent a year earlier.

Another plus are the excerpts from Viesturs’ diary, which add to the “you are there” flavor of the book. So do some of the brutal details that don’t otherwise get a lot of press: the agonizing sore throats many climbers suffer, for example, as a result of breathing the cold, thin air; or their dry, hacking coughs, harsh enough to break ribs or bring up larynx lining.

The Mountain is not a romantic account but plainly reveals the darker underbelly of the legend. All in all, a fascinating read–even for non-climbers, like me. Recommended.

Thanks to Touchtone for providing me a free copy to review. All opinions are mine.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Peter Harris on October 16, 2013
Format: Hardcover
Viesters's account of Mount Everest is a new addition to the canon of literature on the world's highest peak. Dedicating his life to mountaineering and spending over two years of accumulated time on Mount Everest alone, Viesters demonstrates his authority on the history and character of Mount Everest. In The Mountain, Viesters writes to "celebrate the mountain's rich history," and takes us on a journey that pushes human willpower and physicality to their limits. Accented with historical insight, this is a memoir of persistence and perseverance, and it ultimately demonstrates how one man has made one of his wildest dreams a reality - a theme I have treasured in other books, like Arctic Adventure for example.

The Mountain is a well-written memoir that is highly informed and concisely narrated with humility. I was swept away by the ups and downs encountered by this renowned high-altitude climber as he strove to reach the top of the world again and again. If you enjoy reading about high stakes climbing, you will be entertained and inspired.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
8 of 10 people found the following review helpful By JK on October 10, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Another great book by Ed,however he goes into detail about routes and cols and other parts of the mountain but we have no map.It was very frustrating to have to use other books to locate these places.Otherwise great book.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By neverstopexploring on December 26, 2013
Format: Hardcover
Ed Viesturs and David Roberts do it again. Ed probably has as much knowledge & experience on the subject of Mt. Everest as anyone on the planet. He also knows mountain climbing inside & out, having spent decades climbing the loftiest peaks in the world. Mt. Everest has a long & fascinating history with a long list of characters & events along with plenty of "high" drama. In this book the chapters alternate, with Ed telling about his own experiences on the mountain in one chapter and then telling about historical events on the mountain in the next. It was interesting to read about the adventures of George Mallory in the 1920's, for example, from the perspective of a climber with the knowledge and expertise of Ed Viesturs.

The authors continue by discussing many expeditions & climbers throughout the decades, including the British attempts on the mountain in the 1930's, the first successful climb in 1953, the first American on the summit in 1963, the first climb without oxygen in 1978, and many other climbs by various routes and under various conditions. With many of the climbs, it's amazing to read about what the climbers were able to accomplish, such as the first winter ascent, the first climb of the Kangshung Face, the first solo attempt, and so forth.

This book is so good that's it's difficult to find any drawbacks, but there were a couple minor ones. One is that no maps or diagrams are included in the book. Many different features on the mountain are mentioned repeatedly and it would help readers to visualize the climbs if there were at least a couple maps or diagrams showing the routes of the climbs.
Read more ›
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By A. Antonio on November 8, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The Mountain is one of Ed Viesturs best books to date. He does an excellent job of mixing historic and recent accounts. While some people might prefer a more conventional chronological approach, this approach seemed to make the book a little more interesting.

There was a little bit of recycling from his previous books but it was kept to a minimum and was mixed in with plenty of new material.

One thing that seemed to stand out a little more in this book than Ed's previous books was his depiction of his summit days. In this book he seemed to really focus on how truly brutal those days are. In the past he wrote about his summit days and how he pulled them off but this time it seemed like they he made an effort to explain what really goes into them.

Overall anyone who has an interest in Everest, the Himalaya, Adventure, or mountaineering will really enjoy this book. It moves at a good pace.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again

Customer Images

Most Recent Customer Reviews