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Eiger Dreams: Ventures Among Men and Mountains

3.95  ·  Rating Details  ·  12,857 Ratings  ·  427 Reviews
No one writes about mountaineering and its attendant victories and hardships more brilliantly than Jon Krakauer. In this collection of his finest essays and reporting, Krakauer writes of mountains from the memorable perspective of one who has himself struggled with solo madness to scale Alaska's notorious Devils Thumb.

In Pakistan, the fearsome K2 kills thirteen of the wor
Paperback, 186 pages
Published May 19th 1997 by Anchor (first published 1990)
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Dipti 'Eiger dreams'(first published in 1990) was written before 'Into thin air'(1997).
Into Thin Air by Jon KrakauerInto the Wild by Jon KrakauerA Walk in the Woods by Bill BrysonThe Call of the Wild by Jack LondonKon-Tiki by Thor Heyerdahl
Tales of Adventure
40th out of 315 books — 373 voters
Into Thin Air by Jon KrakauerA Walk in the Woods by Bill BrysonThe Hobbit by J.R.R. TolkienDark Summit by Nick HeilK2 by Ed Viesturs
Worshipping Mountains
6th out of 89 books — 38 voters

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Will Byrnes
Jun 04, 2014 Will Byrnes rated it really liked it
Before the recognition he received for Into the Wild and Into the Mist, Jon Krakauer was a serious outdoors type, writing about other serious outdoors types. In this collection of essays, Krakauer relates several stories of his personal adventures, one about a youthful, and maybe foolish venture to a particularly difficult climb in Alaska, another about his attempt at Eiger. And these are quite good. But I most enjoy Krakauer when he writes about the Damon-Runyon-esque characters who inhabit the ...more
Mar 16, 2015 David rated it it was amazing
Shelves: nonfiction, essays, travel
This is a wonderful collection of essays about mountain climbing. I greatly enjoyed Krakauer's book, Into Thin Air: A Personal Account of the Mount Everest Disaster, and Eiger Dreams is just as good. Each chapter is an essay on some facet of mountain climbing. The first chapter is about climbing the Eiger. Other chapters are about climbing Mount Blanc and K2. Another chapter is about bouldering, and another is about the experiences of a bush pilot in Alaska, transporting mountain climbers to a g ...more
Dec 08, 2012 lana rated it really liked it
I came to each of Krakauer's works independently- I read "Into the Wild" first on a recommendation, and years later I read "Into Thin Air" because someone told me it would be a good insight into the effects of altitude (as I prepared to climb Kilimanjaro, a mild but high peak). Finally, I found this collection of essays and realized that somehow I'd read the final essay somewhere before, once.

I can understand why some people think that Krakauer is a selfish bastard at times, because the very ac
Jul 30, 2009 Kim rated it really liked it
In a previous book I had read by Krakauer "Into Thin Air"---about mountain climbing-- there was a quote that has stuck with me. One of the Everest mountaineers who chose not to try and help a climber (who subsequently died from being left behind) said this to justify his actions:
"There is no morality above 26,000 feet".

I had one foray into mountain climbing. It was 1998 and myself and two friends, Kevin and Lacey, were going to attempt the '14er' called Longs Peak. Out of all of the 14,000 foot
Apr 02, 2009 Moe rated it liked it
Shelves: 2009
Although I enjoyed this collection immensely, the writing wasn't Krakauer's strongest -- in fact, I'd label it his weakest effort to date when compared with Into the Wild and Into Thin Air. With the exception of the last piece, "Devil's Thumb," the book was composed entirely of clipped magazine articles. And it showed.

Complaints aside, however, the book was wonderful and showed a humanity that I haven't often found in other climbing/mountaineering/alpinist books. Reading it reminded me how much
Sundeep Supertramp
Indeed, Jon Krakauer is the master of the literature of Adventure...

I always hated literature. They are always boring. But Jon has his way in literature. It is completely impossible for me to write so many worlds about a mountain. A mountain is a mountain for me. But for Jon, it is more like a book of worlds. I am damn sure that make him walk a tiny hill, in the outskirts of your town and he could write a book about it. That too, very interesting one. Hats off to him.

About this book:-

The descrip
Julie Ehlers
Sep 09, 2015 Julie Ehlers rated it liked it
After Jon Krakauer's Into Thin Air made him writer-famous, his publisher started pushing this essay collection, originally published in 1990, for readers who couldn't get enough of Krakauer's tales of mountains and the people who (attempt to) climb them. However, a lot of those readers, like me, were probably somewhat let down by this early effort, which consists largely of pieces Krakauer wrote for Outside magazine. The articles describing various mountains and mountain towns were educational, ...more
Apr 15, 2011 Kenny rated it it was ok
Shelves: non-fiction
I read Eiger Dreams many years after Into Thin Air, which detailed the tragedy on Everest in 1996. Eiger Dreams is a compendium of magazine articles Krakauer wrote in the 80s. I always wondered how Krakauer could be such a selfish, cowardly, and ultimately detestable human being, as he admits being near the summit of Everest, as he cowers safely in his tent after his own successful summiting, while others freeze to death in a blizzard on the mountaintop.

Well, now I know. Krakauer has always been
What a page turner! And also the perfect book to drag along rock climbing or on a hike, which is what I did. I sat on a boulder and devoured this book until it was my turn to climb or belay.

Krakauer’s narrative style is simple and straight forward but still evocative in its description of nature because he doesn’t add anything superfluous, and that’s as it should be- K2, Eiger, Chamoix, etc., do not favor the superfluous, and they certainly don’t need anyone to dress up their reputations. He dr
A.S. Bond
Feb 23, 2015 A.S. Bond rated it it was amazing
I received this book for Xmas from my husband as I really enjoy Krakauer's work. This one didn't disappoint. It is a collection of previously published articles for American magazines such as 'Outside', but as I hadn't read those, that wasn't an issue. Most do date from the 1990's, but apart from 'recent developments in climbing' type comments this didn't detract from the book at all. As ever, his work is vivd, engaging and thoroughly readable and this collection contains several stories that we ...more
Terry Tyler
Mar 17, 2016 Terry Tyler rated it it was amazing
Eiger Dreams is a terrific collection of (mostly) previously published articles by mountaineering maestro, outdoorsman and internationally acclaimed writer Jon Krakauer.

I loved every one of these, there's not one single weak one. He writes about the summer when thirteen experienced climbers were killed on K2, about the glacier pilots of Talkeetna in Alaska who fly the climbers out to base camps under (a very risky business to be in!), and about the snobbery amongst the European mountaineering c
Aug 01, 2014 Kristine rated it liked it
Jon Krakauer’s Eiger Dreams is a love story. It may not look or sound like a love story at first blush. But it is. It’s a love story between humans and “high altitude adventures” – some of which may be best reserved for the seriously unhinged.

No book on "high altitude adventures" would be complete without a chapter on Mount Everest. Krakauer delivers, carefully chronicling the perils of trying to conquer “one of the largest landforms on the planet,” with a summit standing more than 17,000 vertic
Sara Tucker
Mar 28, 2016 Sara Tucker rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I've been a fan of Krakauer's work since I first read "Into the Wild" and "Into Thin Air," and he doesn't disappoint with "Eiger Dreams."

I was expecting stories mostly about Himalayan climbs, but was pleasantly surprised to find stories about bouldering, canyoneering, waterfall climbing, Alaskan summits, and glacier aviation.

With his usual captivating voice, Krakauer teaches the reader (from seasoned climbers to those who've never stepped foot on a mountain) incredible things about both the ph
Nov 16, 2013 HBalikov rated it really liked it
Krakauer knows mountains and he knows climbing, personally. What he gives us in this collection of articles, memoirs, and musings helps a non-climber, like me, come closer to figuring out why these guys and gals are willing to risk their lives on a rock face.

Those who have read his later works, including Into the Wild and Into Thin Air, will find some of this territory familiar. I, too, came to Eiger Dreams well after having other Krakauer works under my belt. Yet, his early storytelling techniq
Apr 23, 2012 Laurent rated it liked it
Shelves: 2012-books
An interesting set of mountaineering tales

Eiger Dreams is a collated set of articles and tales written by the author. The stories explore a wide-range of mountaineering-related disciplines from climbs in the Himalayan high-mountains to complex low-height bouldering.

This is an enjoyable book that has some real standout tales that most non-climbers would never hear about; just a few of the stories I'd recommend are 'Gill', The Flyboys, Club Denali, Chamonix and The Devil's Thumb.

Krakauer's writing
Jul 28, 2012 Danielle rated it really liked it
More adventures on the mountain from Mr. Krakauer. This book was a series of short stories about various climbs. I think the Snow Country review on the back cover sums it up pretty well, "Krakauer's rarest and most enviable skill is his ability to make himself unseen, so the stories unwind as though the reader were front-pointing up a Himalayan serac or hanging by a nubbin in an Arizona canyon."

There were a couple of quotes I liked as people tried to explain the allure of mountain climbing. I th
Mar 14, 2015 Dan rated it liked it
3.5 stars. I've read (in order) Into the Wild, Into Thin Air, Under the Banner of Heaven, Where Men Win Glory, and I'm looking forward to reading Missoula as soon as it comes out. I'd held off on Eiger Dreams, knowing that it was just a compilation or articles, but it's certainly a great book to tide yourself over. I don't have any particular interest in ice climbing, and others might not have much interest in some of the particular 'sports' talked about, but IMO, it was all worth reading and qu ...more
I haven't climbed any mountains. I have hiked the Grand Canyon, but that was climbing down, not up. I don't like heights. In fact, one time, my family and I went up some mountain on one of those cable car things. My hands were sweating so badly that the cover of the book I was reading came off the book. And it was the first time I was reading the book.

So I'm not a mountain climber.

Yet, I like reading Jon Krakauer. He makes you cold when he talks about the mountians. He really does. This book is
Robert Stribley
May 21, 2015 Robert Stribley rated it it was amazing
I've read most of what Krakaeur has written and he never disappoints. In this case, his early writing (mostly from the 80s, magazines like Outside, where he made his name and Smithsonian) focuses primarily on mountain climbing, as well as rock climbing and canyoneering. The first book I ever read of his was Into Thin Air, where his writing of real life events read almost like horror, not due to any sensationalism on his part, but due to his crisp, searingly honest portrayal of what went down the ...more
Mar 05, 2013 Marialyce rated it liked it
I enjoyed this book and its many harrowing tales of mountain climbing. While I can't see what these men and women find so alluring in this sport, I certainly can admire them for putting their lives on the line making these climbs. Mr Krakauer makes the telling of this story of the legends of mountain climbing very interesting and frightening for both these people and the mountains he himself has climbed. This is certainly more than a sport for most. It is more like an addiction and as in most ad ...more
Tom Ostberg
Dec 19, 2014 Tom Ostberg rated it it was amazing
This type of book is very enjoyable, different from others that often go over the deaths on mountains, but this introduces you to the people that climb, that live and breath to climb. And almost the best chapter, maybe why he wrote the book, is the last. It covers his personal challenge subsequent growth of the Devils thumb climb. But what I like best is hist alliteration, it illuminates and personalizes the joys that climbs have upon the soul, Example:
"I really do have to start down... but ther
Lukasz Pruski
Jul 16, 2014 Lukasz Pruski rated it really liked it
Genetic lottery gifted me with an extreme lack of motor coordination and a case of vertigo, thus I have not become a mountain climber. Yet I love hiking in the mountains and reading about extreme climbing. I have just finished Jon Krakauer's "Eiger Dreams" (1990), and one of the stories in this book is particularly moving. In late 1970s and early 1980s I used to be friends with Dobroslawa "Mrowka" Wolf (I worked in the same room of a research institute with her husband, Jan Wolf, also a world-cl ...more
Mar 30, 2015 Lucy rated it really liked it
There are some authors you just click with, Jon Krakauer is one of those authors for me. This is a wonderful collection of essays centering around mountain climbing. I will never climb any of these mountains but through Krakauer's stories I can experience the thrills and dangers of mountaineering. My favorite essay in this book was essay 11 titled A Bad Summer on K2.

“At 28,250 feet, the summit of K2 is some 800 feet lower than Mt. Everest, but its sharper, more graceful proportions make it a mo
Kyle Ohlsen
Jan 29, 2014 Kyle Ohlsen rated it it was amazing
Eiger Dreams Book Review

Eiger Dreams was written by Jon Krakauer in 1990. The book was published by Dell publishing, a division of Bantam Doubleday Dell Publishing Group, Inc. It is a non- fiction book about the “Ventures Among Men And Mountains.” (Cover). The book touches on the reasons why men go to extremes to climb mountains.

Eiger Dreams is an accumulation of stories of men climbing mountains. The book takes place in Pakistan on K2, in Valdez, Alaska, Mount Blanc in France, the Eiger in Germ
Oct 30, 2014 melydia rated it really liked it
To start with, I am not a mountain climber and have zero interest in becoming one. So when I tell you that I was enthralled by these articles on mountaineering, it's not because of any innate interest in the sport. The lifestyle is completely different from anything I'd ever experienced: people camping out in the snow for days, waiting for the weather to be right for climbing; regular trips to remote locations in Nepal and Alaska; picking one's way straight up a wall of ice. While Krakauer does ...more
Alexander Patino
Apr 17, 2015 Alexander Patino rated it it was amazing
So I approached this book thinking - I climb, I'm obsessed with mountains and Jon Krakauer is great, this should be fun. In the end I was like WHY AREN'T ALL OF THESE STORIES MOVIES!?!?!?! Seriously - every single story in here is just really fantastic. The most satisfying collection of essays I've read in quite a while.
Laura Brown
Sep 01, 2014 Laura Brown rated it really liked it
Jon Krakauer's 1990 collection of essays is a great dive into the forays and triumphs of rock climbing. After every essay, I wanted to quit my job, buy some hiking boots, and climb a mountain. Excellent read for those stuck on long public transit commutes. ;-)

I first discovered Krakauer with Under the Banner of Heaven, and have subsequently read all of his work; I particularly liked Eiger Dreams for it's autobiographical touches, though Krakauer does a great job of hiding his presence when he te
Jul 16, 2012 Brian rated it it was amazing
If you like mountain climbing or if you just like reading about people pushing their limitations, this collection of stories is for you. This is a compilation of previously published articles that is just as much philosophy as it is mountaineering.
Aug 05, 2015 Matt rated it liked it
Shelves: mountaineering
This was a fun book and an enjoyable read. Still, I gave it just three stars because, as a collection largely of magazine articles, the subjects and writing are pretty disparate. Some I definitely enjoyed more than others. Overall, however, it does give one an interesting and varied glimpse of mountaineering/climbing culture in the 70's and 80's. Perhaps my favorite chapter was "A Mountain Higher than Everest?", which recounted the fascinating history of determining which mountain is the highest ...more
Ironman Ninetytwo
Dec 30, 2013 Ironman Ninetytwo rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Nobody writes about mountaineering like Krakauer. It almost makes me want to head to Alaska and climb some beautiful hard icy terrain. But then I realize I'd hate that and probably die in the process. So only almost.
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Jon Krakauer is an American writer and mountaineer, well-known for outdoor and mountain-climbing writing.
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“Most climbers aren't in fact deranged, they're just infected with a particularly virulent strain of the Human Condition.” 29 likes
“Bouldering isn't really a sport. It's a climbing activity with metaphysical, mystical, and philosophical overtones." -John Gill-” 4 likes
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