Monday, April 8, 2013

Book Review: No Shortcuts to the Top by Ed Viesturs

I have a little obsession with books, movies, and TV shows about mountain climbing, and specifically Everest. I have literally watched every documentary on Netflix about the mountain, and wish there was more. When I heard about this book, which is Ed Viesturs retelling of his treks to Mount Everest, as well as the other 13 8000'ers (ie. mountains higher than 8,000 meters), it sounded right up my ally.

One thing I found really interesting about this book, is that it deals with one person's journey from never having set foot on a mountain, to becoming a world class mountain climber. The highs and lows of finding love and losing close friends resonate with all of us, but his ease and success at mountain climbing set him apart physically from most of us. Since climbing mountains that are so high it can cause liquid to build up in your lungs, create avalanches that can kill you in a split second, can be dangerous, it adds up to a lot of danger and excitement. And even though we know the outcome (no surprise, he does reach the summit of the 14 highest peaks), each times he heads up, we the reader, doesn't know if he will be successful.

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