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The Climb: Tragic Ambitions on Everest Paperback – July 16, 1999
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“Powerful...a breath of brisk, sometimes bitter clarity...Boukreev did the one thing that denies the void. He took action. He chose danger, and he saved lives.” ―The New York Times Book Review
“Boukreev heroically rescued several climbers from certain death...[The Climb] gives an excellent account of the May 1996 disaster.” ―Chicago Tribune
“Compelling...[The Climb] has a ring of authenticity that challenges the slickly written Into Thin Air.” ―Minneapolis Star Tribune
“Provocative...compelling reading, both as an adventure and a spiritual reckoning.” ―The New Mexican
“Boukreev acted with extraordinary heroism...[In The Climb] first-person anecdotes, plus excerpts from taped base-camp interviews, are skillfully fleshed out by coauthor G. Weston DeWalt.” ―Rock & Ice Magazine
“The Boukreev that emerges from this book is a thoughtful, articulate, even poetic man whose philosophy of life and mountaineering was uniquely his own.” ―Ed Viesters, in The Will to Climb
From the Publisher
This newest edition of the bestselling account of the 1996 Everest disaster now includes never before published transcripts of the climbers' debriefing from the Everest base camp. This new material is a must for all followers of the Everest story and includes the climbers first reactions to events.
Try the Kindle edition and experience these great reading features:
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For those who do not know this book discuses the 1996 tragedy on Everest that befell two climbing teams. Krakauer's book (into thin air [ITA]) is usually regarded by the public as the main source of what happened on the mountain. In that book Krakauer was critical to Anatoli who then released this book to defend himself and his actions (by not using supplemental oxygen and for descending the mountain rapidly before the team). I felt bad that Anatoli got a bad wrap for 1996 when he risked his own life several times to save other climbers.
This is a great read for any Everest junkies and is really the only main book that shows what happened on the Mountain Madness team (Krakauer and Lou's books are from the other teams POV). The book offers some really good insight into Scott Fischer and the other MM climbers. IMHO it also clearly explain why Anatoli did not use supplemental oxygen as well as why he did a rapid descent.
The first 60% of the book covers 1996. The next chapter details his next expedition back up Everest and how he made make-shift graves for Scott and Yasuko Namba as well as took their small effects to give back to their families. Classy move imho.
The last 30% of the book is a group transcript of the MM group discussing the tragedy shortly after it happened and is a great read.
I am not going to get into who is right or wrong and will let you decide for yourself. All I will say is that this is a great read and if you read Krakauer's book you are only getting 1 side of the story. imo all three books should be read as they are all great reads but also from three distinct POVs.
Worth The Money: Yes! (easily)
Would I Recommend It: Yes!
The book could have easily been cut shorter and made an awesome book, but after the first half it becomes so repetitive it's painful to read. Could have been 5 stats.
May 10, 1996, was the day eight climbers died on Mount Everest. Four climbers from Rob Hall’s Adventure Consultants Expedition, including Rob; Scott Fisher, leader of the Mountain Madness Expedition; and three climbers from an Indo-Tibetan Border Police Expedition that were scaling Everest from the opposite side died of falls or exposure. A member of the Taiwanese Expedition had died the day before from a fall. Against all odds and left to for dead, Beck Weathers stumbled into camp under his own steam.
As Anatoli states, he is writing this book as a rebuttal to a perceived disparaging account of his actions in Jon Krakauer's book Into Thin Air. Anatoli explains his decision to climb without supplementary oxygen, the reasoning behind his decision to leave Yasuko Namba for dead and why since Beck did survive Anatoli had not brought him into camp.
While some have hailed Anatoli as a near superhuman hero and others as a man devoted only to his own clients, I do not get that sort of feeling from his words. Anatoli felt that anyone would have done what he did if he or she were able. He mourned over Yasuko, gathered her personal item for her family, and even buried her where she fell. He has said he did not know where Beck was, as Beck had become separated from the others.
His words have the ring of truth. Only those on the mountain that day could pass judgment on any decision made by anyone else who went through the same disastrous day. Each saw things from his or her perspective. Anatoli may not have thought himself a hero, but those that he aided can and have said differently!
I give the book four stars…
Quoth the Raven…
I read it while wind bound at 5500 Meters while climbing Aconcagua. My partner read it also along with one of the Italians. Everyone really enjoyed it. It's a treasured possession..
The book is good though it lacks the addictive narrative of Krakauer, but it serves as a way to uplift Anatoli in a fair way and have a wider knowledge of that fateful day. I only wish the author didn't enter the one on one fight with Krakauer like it seems specially at the end of the book in the latest edition (after Anatoli died). But this book is a must have if you are passionate with Everest especially with the 1996 tragedy.