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K2

Life and Death on the World's Most Dangerous Mountain

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Audio Download published by Random House Digital (Random House Digital)

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A thrilling chronicle of the tragedy-ridden history of climbing the world's most difficult and unpredictable mountain, by the bestselling authors of The Mountain and No Shortcuts to the Top

Ed Viesturs, one of the world's premier high-altitude mountaineers, explores the remarkable history of K2 and of those who have attempted to conquer it. At the same time, he probes the mountain's most memorable sagas in order to illustrate lessons about the fundamental questions mountaineering raisesquestions of risk, ambition, loyalty to one's teammates, self-sacrifice, and the price of glory. Viesturs knows the mountain firsthand. He and renowned alpinist Scott Fischer climbed it in 1992 and got caught in an avalanche that sent them sliding to almost certain death before Ed managed to get into a self-arrest position with his ice ax and stop both his fall and Scott's.

Focusing on seven of the mountain's most dramatic campaigns, from his own troubled ascent to the 2008 tragedy, Viesturs crafts an edge-of-your-seat narrative that climbers and armchair travelers alike will find unforgettably compelling. With photographs from Viesturs's personal collection and from historical sources, this is the definitive account of the world's ultimate mountain, and of the lessons that can be gleaned from struggling toward its elusive summit.
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A thrilling chronicle of the tragedy-ridden history of climbing the world's most difficult and unpredictable mountain, by the bestselling authors of The Mountain and No Shortcuts to the Top

Ed Viesturs, one of the world's premier high-altitude mountaineers, explores the remarkable history of K2 and of those who have attempted to conquer it. At the same time, he probes the mountain's most memorable sagas in order to illustrate lessons about the fundamental questions mountaineering raisesquestions of risk, ambition, loyalty to one's teammates, self-sacrifice, and the price of glory. Viesturs knows the mountain firsthand. He and renowned alpinist Scott Fischer climbed it in 1992 and got caught in an avalanche that sent them sliding to almost certain death before Ed managed to get into a self-arrest position with his ice ax and stop both his fall and Scott's.

Focusing on seven of the mountain's most dramatic campaigns, from his own troubled ascent to the 2008 tragedy, Viesturs crafts an edge-of-your-seat narrative that climbers and armchair travelers alike will find unforgettably compelling. With photographs from Viesturs's personal collection and from historical sources, this is the definitive account of the world's ultimate mountain, and of the lessons that can be gleaned from struggling toward its elusive summit.
Product Details
Audio Download
Published: July 15, 2012
Publisher: Random House Digital
Imprint: Random House Digital
ISBN: 9780739384718
Other books byEd Viesturs
  • The Mountain

    The Mountain
    My Time on Everest
    VETERAN WORLD-CLASS CLIMBER and bestselling author Ed Viesturs—the only Amer­ican to have climbed all fourteen of the world’s 8,000-meter peaks and the sixth person to do so without supplemental oxygen—trains his sights on Mount Everest, the highest peak on earth, in richly detailed accounts of expeditions that are by turns personal, harrowing, deadly, and inspiring. The world’s most famous mountain, Everest remains for serious high-altitude climbers the ultimate goal. Viesturs has gone on eleven expeditions to Everest, reaching the summit seven times. He’s spent more than two years of his life on the mountain. No climber today is better poised to survey Everest’s various ascents—both personal and historic. In The Mountain, Viesturs delivers just that: riveting you-are-there accounts of his own climbs as well as vivid narratives of some of the more famous and infamous climbs throughout the last century, when the honor of nations often hung in the balance, depending on which climbers summited first. In addition to his own experiences, Viesturs sheds light on the fate of Mallory and Irvine, whose 1924 disappearance just 800 feet from the top remains one of mountaineering’s greatest mysteries, and on the multiply tragic last days of Rob Hall and Scott Fischer in 1996, the stuff of which Into Thin Air was made. Informed by the experience of one who has truly been there, The Mountain affords a rare glimpse into that place on earth where Heraclitus’s maxim—char­acter is destiny—is proved time and again. Complete with gorgeous photos of Everest, many of which were taken by Viesturs himself, and shots taken on some of the legendary historic climbs, The Mountain is an immensely appealing book for active and armchair climbers alike.

    No Shortcuts to the Top

    No Shortcuts to the Top
    Climbing the World's 14 Highest Peaks
    This gripping and triumphant memoir follows a living legend of extreme mountaineering as he makes his assault on history, one 8,000-meter summit at a time. For eighteen years Ed Viesturs pursued climbing’s holy grail: to stand atop the world’s fourteen 8,000-meter peaks, without the aid of bottled oxygen. But No Shortcuts to the Top is as much about the man who would become the first American to achieve that goal as it is about his stunning quest. As Viesturs recounts the stories of his most harrowing climbs, he reveals a man torn between the flat, safe world he and his loved ones share and the majestic and deadly places where only he can go. A preternaturally cautious climber who once turned back 300 feet from the top of Everest but who would not shrink from a peak (Annapurna) known to claim the life of one climber for every two who reached its summit, Viesturs lives by an unyielding motto, “Reaching the summit is optional. Getting down is mandatory.” It is with this philosophy that he vividly describes fatal errors in judgment made by his fellow climbers as well as a few of his own close calls and gallant rescues. And, for the first time, he details his own pivotal and heroic role in the 1996 Everest disaster made famous in Jon Krakauer's Into Thin Air. In addition to the raw excitement of Viesturs’s odyssey, No Shortcuts to the Top is leavened with many funny moments revealing the camaraderie between climbers. It is more than the first full account of one of the staggering accomplishments of our time; it is a portrait of a brave and devoted family man and his beliefs that shaped this most perilous and magnificent pursuit.

    The Will to Climb

    The Will to Climb
    Obsession and Commitment and the Quest to Climb...
    As a high school student, Ed Viesturs read and was captivated by the French climber Maurice Herzog's famous and grisly account of the first ascent of Annapurna in 1950. When he began his own campaign to climb the world's 14 highest peaks in the late 1980s, Viesturs looked forward with trepidation to undertaking Annapurna himself. Two failures to summit in 2000 and 2002 made Annapurna his nemesis. His successful 2005 ascent was the triumphant capstone of his climbing quest. In The Will to Climb Viesturs and co-author David Roberts bring the extraordinary challenges of Annapurna to vivid life through edge-of-your-seat accounts of the greatest climbs in the mountain’s history, and of his own failed attempts and eventual success.  In the process Viesturs ponders what Annapurna reveals about some of our most fundamental moral and spiritual questions--questions, he believes, that we need to answer to lead our lives well.

    Himalayan Quest

    Himalayan Quest
    Ed Viesturs Summits All Fourteen 8,000-Meter...
    Now updated to include the triumphant culmination of a monumental quest—to stand on the summits of all fourteen of the world’s highest mountains—Himalayan Quest offers an unforgettable glimpse into the remarkable world of Ed Viesturs, America’s best-known high altitude climber, and the breathtaking landscape in which he works. It is an unparalleled showcase of both the heartbreaking tragedy and the ineffable joy Viesturs has experienced while striving at the limits of human endurance. At the center of this extraordinary account of his mountaineering adventures are Viesturs’s own awe-inspiring photographs from the top of the world. This collection of images will show readers the deadly beauty and haunting menace of the Himalaya. A unique, inspiring, and spine-tingling glimpse into the rarified world of the extreme climber, Himalayan Quest will appeal not only to Viesturs’s significant fan base (fondly known as Edophiles or Edheads), but also to outdoor aficionados and armchair adventurers everywhere.

Favorite QuotesFROM THIS BOOK
  • The Motivator. In the wee hours of the morning on August 1, 2008, some thirty climbers from ten different expeditions set out from their high camps on the Abruzzi Ridge of K2.

    — submitted by Flag This Quote For Review
  • And then, invariably, somebody will say, "Tell us about it."

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