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The Ledge: An Adventure Story of Friendship and Survival on Mount Rainier

3.80  ·  Rating Details  ·  952 Ratings  ·  166 Reviews
“My eyes travel up the frozen walls. I figure it is eighty feet up to the sunlight. The walls above me climb up at about eighty degrees, then they go dead vertical, and then, higher up, they overhang. It is as if I am looking out from the belly of a beast, its jagged white teeth interlocking above me.”

In June 1992, best friends Jim Davidson and Mike Price stood triumphantl
Hardcover, 288 pages
Published July 26th 2011 by Ballantine Books (first published January 1st 2011)
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Jul 07, 2011 Susan rated it really liked it
“Resources in this world are not distributed evenly, especially the precious gift of time.”

When you take risks, the consequences can be horrible and deadly. If you don't take risks, the consequences will eventually be deadly anyway, it just may take longer. Jim Davidson and Mike Price, climbing buddies and friends, took the risks and Mike paid with his early death. Jim, given the situation he was in, should have died. He didn't. This story tells how the two men came to be stuck on a tiny snow le
Andy Miller
Nov 25, 2012 Andy Miller rated it really liked it
A good read about based on a 1992 climbing accident where two climbers fell through a snow bridge while descending Mt Rainier. One of the climbers is killed and the other goes through the lifesaving efforts, then the grief and then his self rescue out of the crevasse

The authors, one of whom is the surviving climber, do a great job of giving the background and life of both climbers before the accident. By the time the accident occurs you feel that you know both the climbers and their passion for
Dec 07, 2011 Mazola1 rated it really liked it
Every year, two or three people die on Mount Rainier. In 1992, Mike Price was one of those people. To the world at large, his death went mostly unnoticed, another routine climbing fatality, no doubt recorded only in his hometown paper and perhaps the Seattle media. To his climbing partner, Jim Davidson, however, Mike's death and the accident that caused it were life altering events.

Davidson's book, The Ledge, tells the story of how he survived the accident and what he learned about himself from
Jun 08, 2011 Misfit rated it really liked it
Shelves: amazon-vine
Father’s Day, June 21 1992. Jim Davidson and good friend and climbing partner Mike Price have just summited Mount Rainier via the more dangerous Liberty Ridge route and you’d think the decision to take the more heavily travelled Emmons glacier route back down would be the easiest part of the climb, but no…it wasn’t quite time to let their guard down. As careful as they are to test the glacier surface for unseen dangers, tragedy strikes when Jim missteps and tumbles into a hidden crevasse, and si ...more
Mar 10, 2015 James rated it did not like it
Shelves: literary-frauds
I think much of this story is false.

The author made many stupid choices on this trip.

1. He didn't camp at thumb rock, circa 10,000'
the normal camp because it's a safe place to spend time.

Instead they spent the night hanging from ice screws
at a ridiculous location.

2. They camped above 14,000' the next night despite
some altitude sickness problem which they couldn't know
whether would get worse during the night.

3. They glissaded down a crevassed glacier despite warnings not to.

4. Instead of plunge
Jan 28, 2013 Sara rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: first-reads
Last year, I spent 4 straight weekends on Mt. Rainier. I helped teach a class on crevasse rescue, backcountry skied on the Muir Snowfield, Climbed Little Tahoma, and on the fourth week tried to climb all the way to the top with two friends. All three of us had the experience and technical know how to make it to the top. We planned a three day trip, up the most commonly climbed route, in order to give us time to acclimatize and give us the best chance to get to the top. But on day three, freezing ...more
Jun 01, 2011 Julie rated it really liked it
Shelves: own, vine, non-fiction
Witnessing the death of a friend is never easy, but doing so at the bottom of a crevasse while in a life threatening situation is downright devastating. Jim Davidson recalls the fateful day on Mount Rainier when he tumbled 80 feet into a crevasse, pulling his climbing partner Mike Price in after him in a fall that would take Mike’s life. Remarkably, Jim survived without major injuries, but he must make the most technically difficult climb of his life if he wants to save himself and recover Mike’ ...more
Claudia Putnam
Much better than the usual stuff in this genre. Davidson is a more reflective soul. There's none of this business about "assaulting" the mountain. The ego is toned down. My only complaints are in the structure--the way the prologue wording is repeated later in the book, and other repetitions. And in the way Davidson goes out of his way to justify telling his story. That needed no justification, IMO. I was a little pissed at him for not calling Price's parents from his hotel room immediately afte ...more
Lori L (She Treads Softly)
Jul 24, 2011 Lori L (She Treads Softly) rated it really liked it
Shelves: first-reads
In The Ledge: An Adventure Story of Friendship and Survival on Mount Rainier, Jim Davidson, with the help of Kevin Vaughan, shares some of his life's experiences, especially with mountain climbing. The main focus of The Ledge is the climb of Mt. Rainer he and his friend Mike Price undertook almost 20 years ago, in June 1992. This challenging climb changed Jim Davidson's life forever and took Mike's life. During the climb, Jim and Mike broke through a snow bridge and fell 80 feet into a glacial c ...more
James Edward Mills
Mar 15, 2012 James Edward Mills rated it really liked it
As an adventure journalist I have the opportunity to meet some amazing people. And it was through the magic of social media that I became friends with climber, writer and public speaker Jim Davidson. We first got acquainted on Facebook. But last year we met in person at a café in the Canadian Rockies, a town called Banff. There he told his incredible story of friendship, adventure and survival that’s the subject of his new book, “The Ledge”. On a routine decent of Mt. Rainer Jim and his climbing ...more
Aug 27, 2012 Don rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Overall a good story of Jim's tragic account during a climb on Mount Rainier, and the circumstances he had to overcome to survive (although his friend Mike did not). I found it informative and contemplative, and wondered how I would have handled it if faced with a similar situation.

There were some parts of the book which I thought were far longer than they needed to be. His account of climbing out of the crevasse seemed to take a long, long time to describe. Also the end of the book (after bein
Tina Hamilton
Aug 27, 2011 Tina Hamilton rated it liked it
A quick read. I have read many, many books about mountaineering, so if one had to compare this to any of those, it is not the most exciting or memorable. In addition, I sometimes do not trust "the story" when the author uses a co-author. In any case, the story is heartfelt. In addition, it gave me a new admiration (and fear) of Mt. Rainier, one of those mountains I thought I could knock off during a long vacation. I would still like to climb Mt. Rainier, but it is not the simple climb some peopl ...more
Sep 12, 2014 Diane rated it liked it
I listened to this on audio disc, read by the author. He is not a terrific reader, but the personal aspect of the story made his voice a good one.

This is story of Jim Harrison’s survival of a fall into a crevasse on Mt. Rainier. I think part of the appeal was that Mt Rainier is “my” mountain – I see it often when I hike, I know a number of people who have climbed it. It made the book more immediate and personal.

I liked that Harrison tells about his life growing up. His father was a painter and J
Kristi Schlax
Mar 01, 2015 Kristi Schlax rated it it was amazing
A very tragic story about two friends climbing Mt. Rainier...however it is so much more than a tragic story. It is truly inspiring to anyone facing any kind of adversity...A quote from the book..."Life if full of scary crevasses. Illness, accidents and financial disasters can appear without warning...crawling out of these crevasses, overcoming life's challenges, is something each of us must face. Finding resilience for surviving and thriving through adversity is part of everyone's climb." If you ...more
Barbara Ell
Aug 24, 2014 Barbara Ell rated it it was amazing
I received this Advance Reader Copy free as a Good Reads First Read.

I am not athletic, although I love being in the outdoors, I choose the easy trails, and my only camping occurs in an RV at a campground. That being said, I admire those who push themselves to truly enjoy the real outdoors. I never understood why people rock climb or mountain climb, however this book gives me a glimpse of what goes through their mind. And it's not the trite expression "because it's there."

This book starts with Mi
Jul 10, 2011 Erica rated it really liked it
Won an advanced copy of this book on the Goodreads "First Reads" giveaway!

This is a wonderful book with a story reminiscent of Touching the Void - although not quite as unbelievable as that.
Every time I watch Touching the Void, I think, this can't all be true...I still have my doubts about all the details. Although, I have never read the book, which might give a more accurate story, the movie makes me feel like some of the story is made up just to market it. With this book though (The Ledge) yo
Linda Bollinger
Jul 11, 2011 Linda Bollinger rated it really liked it
Shelves: reviewed-books
I received this Advance Reader Copy free as a Good Reads First Read. And I’m glad I did.

This stirring true story is; to use a cliché, problematic-to-put-down. The harrowing parts are interspersed with flashbacks to earlier times in the author’s life explaining – to me at least partially, why this climber had the drive to test himself against nature. His summer jobs with his father and the risks they took gave him the taste for danger and the impetus to climb mountains. The book also shows you hi
Jun 16, 2013 Barbara rated it really liked it
Shelves: biography-memoir
In June 1992, Jim Davidson and his friend, Mike Price, set out to reach the summit of Mount Rainier. It was after the successful achievement of their goal, as they began their descent, that disaster struck; the climbers, tethered together, plunged through a snow bridge softened by the sun and into a huge crevasse, landing on a 14 square foot ledge some eighty feet below the surface. Price was injured fatally during the fall; Davidson, the less seasoned of the two, was left to struggle alone for ...more
Nov 10, 2011 Jennifer rated it really liked it
Shelves: memoir, survival
Book Description

The Ledge tells the story of Jim Davidson and Mike Price’s ascent of Mt. Rainier and the accident that left them trapped 80 feet down a crevasse after a snow bridge collapsed (Price did not survive). The first part of the book sets the stage for the fall into the crevasse and provides background on Davidson and Price. We then move to the heart of the book, which is the ascent of Mt. Rainier (in which Davidson and Price tried a risky new ascent route) and the accident that takes p
Charles Miske
Jul 28, 2013 Charles Miske rated it really liked it
I have met and talked to Jim many times at an ice climbing festival in Colorado. He's a great guy and speaks from his gut. The book is quite a bit like him in that regard. The rawness of the emotions was particularly stirring to me, having had my own near-death experience on Liberty Ridge - the route featured in this book.

Because of that I had a really hard time with the book and had to put it down frequently. Not because of any fault of the book mind you, but because it was intense enough to gi
Edward H. Busse, III
Feb 19, 2013 Edward H. Busse, III rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-owned
This was an excellent book right from page 1. Mr. Davidson and Mr. Vaughan did an excellent job of laying out everything in a way that put you in these people's lives throughout the entire drama. They did an especially nice job of describing the humanity involved in the whole drama - not just what happened that day on June 21, 1992 but what kind of people both he and Mike Price were. In addition, the authors provided incredible insight in to the emotions of families, friends, boyfriends, wives a ...more
Apr 30, 2016 Erika rated it really liked it
The reader gets a look right into Jim Davidson's brain as he is encountering extremely risky situations - his elation, pride, fear, and doubt. That was different from other mountain adventures I have read. I also really enjoyed the section describing Jim's jobs with his father, painting roofs and electricity poles; this was as suspenseful as the climbing part. It was hard to put this book down. I feel like Jim is very insightful and honest with himself, which made the book emotionally moving.
Paul Binder
Feb 02, 2014 Paul Binder rated it it was amazing
Great read and account of an awesome mountain, two friends, and an unfortunate outcome. This story means a lot to me as I attempted to summit it with a group of friends but the mountain won when we were forced to abandon our attempt due to unstable conditions 2/3's up the mountain. The sights, sounds, and humbling experience of nature and man. This read brought back memories of our trek which pail to his and his lose of his great friend Mike. Jim has learned and continued to appreciate life and ...more
Mar 25, 2012 Corry rated it really liked it
I read this book because I have seen Mount Rainier in 2010 and was awed by its grandeur and vastness.I also know nothing about mountainclimbing . This book gives a real insight in the world of mountaineering and describes the efforts, difficulties and true hardships on a mountainclimb.It is so well written that you feel you are climbing with them , at least until they fall in a crevasse. You have to be a special person to be a climber, and in the first half of the book you can see the developmen ...more
May 27, 2015 Wendi rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jan 21, 2016 Beth rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This story detailing a friendship built on a mutual passion for the outdoors and shared climbing experiences and the triumph and tragedy of one fateful climb on Mt. Rainier touched me deeply. Tears flowed freely while reading at least half of the book because of how emotionally connected I felt to each of the men in it. This book did an incredible job honoring the memory of Mike Price while explaining the impact his loss had in shaping the man Jim Davidson had to become in order to escape from t ...more
Jul 12, 2012 Michele rated it it was amazing
At first, not having any knowledge about the tools used in climbing, this book was a bit difficult to start. However, after asking questions and learning about the items individually, I was able to form a pretty good picture of the climbing experience.

What Jim Davidson experienced and how he handled the situation is a spellbinding reminder of the responsibilities of true friendship and being a partner, especially in the face of unbelievable adversity.

I truly hope that the book was cathartic for
Kim Hull
Aug 06, 2011 Kim Hull rated it it was amazing
On the descent following the summit of Mt Rainier in 1992, seasoned climbers, Jim Davidson & Mike Price, plunged into an 80 ft crevasse, miraculously landing on a small ledge. Mike Price did not survive the fall; Jim Davidson was hurt & very much alone.

The Ledge is a well-written account of what led both men to that moment in time, the extraordinary will to overcome a situation that most would not survive and the post-survival issues and emotions following such a tragic catastrophe.

Karenbike Patterson
Nov 23, 2015 Karenbike Patterson rated it really liked it
After lots of training and 10 years of mountain climbing experience, Jim Davidson and his long time friend Mike, climb Mt Rainier and summit on father's day 1992. On their descent they fall through an snow bridge and get stuck 80' straight down. This is the story of survival and rescue and life after that horrible time. Exciting because it is true.
Ginni Cook
Jun 04, 2012 Ginni Cook rated it it was amazing
I really liked this book. What an amazing story of friendship and gutsy-ness in the face of mortal peril.
This is a story of a climbing accident and the friendship between two climbers. The first part of the book was a little slow, but when we got to the Mt. Rainier climb, I could not put it down. The wrenching decision to stay or go had me leaning in, practically yelling "GO . . .GO", keep pressing on!!
Needless to say, Jim Davidson gets out of the cravasse, but his buddy does not survive. The bo
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A MUST READ FOR ME 1 10 Jul 18, 2011 11:53AM  
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“Allow his spirit to be peaceful, but allow it to roam free. Let him race up and down the slopes with the wind, let him trickle slowly through the canyons, let him spread completely and gracefully across the land with the setting sun. [He] deserved many things in this life he did not get, but he most assuredly deserves these things.” 0 likes
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