The Mountain: My Time on Everest
Having read and enjoyed Ed Viesturs’ account of his experiences climbing the world’s fourteen highest peaks (ones taller than 8,000 meters) in No Shortcuts to the Top, I was eager to read this look back at his relationship with Mt. Everest. Teaming up again with David Roberts, Viesturs shares some details about his fifteen expeditions spanning the course of twenty-three years to the mountain that has fascinated millions but, though it has now been climbed by many, can never be considered “conquered.”
It’s difficult for anyone who has read Jon Krakauer’s Into Thin Air not to compare any mountaineering book to that nail-biting account of the 1996 Everest disaster. It was that book that got me reading more about Everest and other 8,000ers. It was why I enjoyed Shortcuts so much: it gave a different point of view about what happened there. This newest book, though, isn’t gripping; it’s more informative and reflective. Viesturs is looking back on what is likely a completed climbing career, one “bookended” by trips to Everest, and he mixes in his various stories with accounts of some particularly audacious or history-making climbs by other “hard men” over the years. It’s interesting but not a book that most will likely devour whole. Either way, it’s a fine addition to the collection.
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