Friday, January 08, 2010

Slow n Stead .. Book Review.

After watching Everest: Beyond The Limit a couple of weeks ago I became fascinated by the lure of one of the greatest mountains in the world and how these Athlete's, Yes, they are athletes endure the extreme elements and go beyond physical and mental abilities to summit and survive the decent back down to safety. After googling and surfing the web I found Jon Krakauer's book Into Thin Air and just had to read it.

It took me 4 days to read it and here is my quick recap:

As the book states on the cover #1 Best Seller and Ranks among the great adventure books of all time and they were not kidding.
Setting the stage with all the people and understanding how things work to summit Everest is the 1st half of the book and once the ascent starts most things are working like they should but soon time lines were broken and pushed beyond the cutoff times and this is where things go wrong. On May 10, 1996 a storm hits the climbers and leaves many of them fighting for there life's and some to die. The rescue attempts from the other climbers high on the mountain were really put to a challenge not only fighting for there life but the extreme coldness (-100* below Zero wind chill) the darkness at night, extreme winds and total exhaustion and fatigue that some over came to help others survive. Overall, I feel that Jon surviving the death had to tell the story from his point of view and as a journalist, of course he should. It was a story much bigger than the story he was sent to Everest to cover in the first place. There were many signs, red flags and poor judgments that got over looked and the deaths of the climbers was the result of a few not just one but it just goes to show that you have to respect the guides and why they have time lines and turn around points, No Matter What. I feel for the many people that have attempted, completed, and came so close to the summit before turning around so close to the top but yet had to end there attempt because of the time lines. In the end several climbers were died, 2 of the best known High Altitude climbers in the world and others were left to die because they were almost dead and wouldn't make the decent and yet one of those was Beck Weathers, who was found, hours later in the night of the storm and was left because they thought he was pretty much dead but he later got up and walked into camp!! The disaster claimed 8 lives.

I was completely drawn to the reading and how things were taking place and how the author wrote a new Afterword in the book. It really gave insight to the events that occurred and some rebuttals towards another climber that was on Everest, Antoli Boukreev's and wrote the book The Climb according to his memory.

My next book is the story of Beck Weathers, Left for Dead.

As for training I am still doing good, however, yesterday I was lifting weights and somehow tweaked my low back so I am taking it easy today and getting some Chiro work done on it.



Mike Russell said...

Krakauer has a unique ability to give fantastic perspective on any topic. I just finished his book on Pat Tillman and loved it.

After reading Into Thin Air I wanted to become a mountain climber. Krakauer can paint such a picture!

Stef said...

Holy Shit! I read this book several years ago and LOVED IT. Thanks for this review. It's worth picking up again.

Trishie said...

Oh I want to check out "Into Thin Air" --- maybe I'll see if it's on audiobook .. listen to it during a long run for extra motivation !

Josh said...

I totally dug that book as well. And I agree with Mike, Krakauer's new book on Pat Tillman is another one you should read.

Formulaic said...

Thanks for the book review. I like the idea of the audio book. I look to see if I can get it for this 'long run' I have this weekend!