There are certain books that I don’t read at night — novels by Stephen King are an example. Graphic novels (not the genre of graphic novels) about wars. Why? It is to spare my husband of night terrors. Somehow my imagination takes over and well…I end up screaming, hitting and kicking.
The Climb: Tragic Ambitions on Everest by Anatoli Boukreev and G. Weston DeWalt , like Into Thin Air by Jon Krakauer, belong in the same category. The only problem was, unlike Stephen King novels, I could not put The Climb down. I cannot say the same for Into Thin Air. The quality is far different. In the Climb, I felt like I was there. If I had been there, Anatoli Boukreev would have been rescuing me.
In response to Into Thin Air, The Climb retells the account of the deadly May 1996 expedition to Mount Everest. Two highly respected professional climbers lost their lives along with a guide, two clients, and a Sherpa. That does not count the injuries that resulted. It is a story of ambition out of bounds, self-interest too narrowly tailored, and leadership sorely lacking. Anatoli Boukreev’s actions in rescuing five people single handed and attempting to rescue his leader, Scott Fischer, demonstrated that there was good still left in the world, even in the frozen wasteland of Everest’s death zone.
The Climb should be read by anyone who is not a professional mountaineer with extensive experience in climbing mountains with heights of 8,000 meters or more.