Everest - the highest mountain in the world and the ultimate climbing challenge.
In 2006, 11 people died attempting to reach the summit, the most fatalities since 1996. But unlike 1996, 2006 saw no surprise blizzard, only the constant dangers posed by unstable ice, merciless cold, thin air - and human nature.
Nick Heil tells the shocking true stories of David Sharp, a young British solo climber, who was passed by 40 mountaineers as he lay dying on the slopes of the mountain, and Lincoln Hall who was left for dead yet miraculously survived, and asks: what does climbing the world's highest peak really mean for those who take on the challenge? And how far will they go in their single-minded pursuit of the ultimate mountaineering prize?
In this mountain-climbing narrative, Heil examines the 2006 climbing season on Mount Everest that resulted in 11 deaths. Heil focuses on the fate of two climbers: Lincoln Hall and David Sharp, whose attempt at a solo ascent was his third try at conquering Everest. Heil, a former editor at Outside, analyzes Sharp's climb and subsequent death as he tries to deduce if the young Brit could have survived given the fact he was still alive when 40 climbers passed him on the way to the summit. Lincoln Hall, meanwhile, was left for dead below the mountain's Second Step, but thanks to perseverance and good fortune he made it home alive. Heil seamlessly intertwines these amazing storylines with well-thought out reflections on the ethics of high-altitude climbing and the problems that come with the commercialization of climbing the world's largest peak. Furthermore, Heil, an experienced climber, proves adroit at explaining such climbing perils as freezing death and acclimatization. Enthralling from start to finish, Heil has created a timely, thought-provoking story that will thrill adrenaline junkies and armchair adventurers.
Absolutely fantastic! Could not put it down.