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High: Stories of Survival from Everest and K2
by Clint Willis
In this pioneering anthology, Clint Willis presents 75 years of great writing -- from Neil O'Dell to Jon Krakauer -- on the fabled peaks. Here are stories of two British expeditions to Everest in the 1920s; a piece on the 1939 K2 attempt that claimed four climbers' lives; a firsthand account by the Sherpa who reached the summit of Everest in 1953 with Edmund Hillary; the ...more
Paperback, 360 pages
Published December 23rd 1998 by Da Capo Press
(first published December 22nd 1998)
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Thoroughly enjoyable for anyone with a climbing bent reading wise. These are a good collection of stories about K2 and Everest over a number of eras. I found some of the earlier stories particularly interesting. In particular F S Smythe narrative of his climb on the 1933 Everest expedition was remarkable - the level of climbing with primitive equipment on an almost completely unknown route was very impressive. The other chapter I found really interesting was the one on the Wiessner controversy ...more
don't bother ... it's excerpts from other writings ... assemebled together in aparently random order ... and some of the excerpts just jump in (not so bad) but then jump back out at a point that leaves you hanging (or thinking maybe you fell asleep so you rewind and listen again ... but no ... his partner has fallen behind, may be dead in the snow bank, and he is fairly close to the summit because the tibetan prayer flags give him a sense of scale ... end of excerpt ... )
Fascinating selection of short stories about historical climbs of Everest and K2. The stories were written by the climbers themselves and so you get an honest, first person perspective which makes it especially powerful. The reader knows what each climber was thinking about at the time and the painful decisions that had to be made. I had never read stories about early attempts on either mountain before it had been first summitted and I thought it was so interesting. I'm used to reading books ...more
I listened to "High" while enduring the monotonous training for my Mt. Rainier climb. "High" is not so much a book as selections from different mountaineering books and articles. One of stories I had read before in "K2: the Savage Mountain", and another one, about the Fritz Wiessner's 1939 K2 effort, was familiar since Dave Roberts, who wrote the article for this work, retold the story with Ed Viesturs in "K2: Life and Death on the World's Second Highest Mountain". The other five stories were ...more
Sixteen stories of survival from Everest and K2. Quite incredible stories. The thing that kept going through my mind was "why would anyone do this?" There are many accounts of people dying, being victims of altitude sickness, falling off the mountain,and yet the rest of the team just go on...most times helpless to do anything other. One account tells how wonderful it was to have a ciggarrette at one of the camps! What??? Who smokes and does alpine climbing? They sacrifice all just to try to ...more
None of the stories included gives you the whole story, leaving you asking for more info. Maybe that was the editor's point, but frustrating nonetheless, as you're, in effect, directed to read a dozen other books to find out. Great true, adventurous semi-stories nonetheless if the dangers of losing your mind and literally freezing your fingers and toes off way above the rest of the world is your bag, so to speak. (Does one still have a 'bag' these days?
I like this kind of adventure story. And I've recently discovered how much I like anthologies from B.'s post-apocalyptic phase. Nice kind of adventure where I'm never going to try it either--doesn't make me quite as nervous. One bad thing though: many were excerpts from other books, which I'm not necessarily going to read, and they didn't tell me how it "ended"!! I mean, did they die or not? Please just add a note at the end to sum up the rest of the trip!
This is one of the books that my husband brought home and I stole. I have been notorious for this lately. The book was a collection of stories, or I should say, excerpts of stories. I didn't like the excerpt idea....just as you're getting into a story of ascent or disaster, etc, the piece ends and you have no idea how the story completely unravels. Then off to another story. I hated this disjointed collection of stories that didn't have enough information to leave me satisfied.
I love survival stories. The only problem with this series is that they are only short-stories, so they leave you yearning for more. They don't explain what happens to the hikers in the end or even give much context. A bit frustrating. That is the only reason it didn't get 5 stars.
This is a collection of stories from various K2 and Everest books. Some of the excerpts where pretty good, but some felt incomplete. I think I'd much rather read the original books themselves. So I guess this is a good way to get a sampler and see which books you'd want to read in full.