Forever on the Mountain: The Truth Behind One of Mountaineering's Most Controversial and Mysterious Disasters

Forever on the Mountain: The Truth Behind One of Mountaineering's Most Controversial and Mysterious Disasters

4.2 15
by James M. Tabor
     
 

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Winner of the 2007 Banff Mountain Festival Book Awards Grand Prize (The Phyllis & Don Munday Award): "A riveting account of a long-ago mountaineering disaster."—Time
In 1967, seven young men, members of a twelve-man expedition led by twenty-four-year-old Joe Wilcox, were stranded on Alaska's Mount McKinley in a vicious arctic storm. All seven perished on…  See more details below

Overview

Winner of the 2007 Banff Mountain Festival Book Awards Grand Prize (The Phyllis & Don Munday Award): "A riveting account of a long-ago mountaineering disaster."—Time
In 1967, seven young men, members of a twelve-man expedition led by twenty-four-year-old Joe Wilcox, were stranded on Alaska's Mount McKinley in a vicious arctic storm. All seven perished on what remains the most tragic expedition in American climbing history. Revisiting the event in the tradition of Norman Maclean's Young Men and Fire, James M. Tabor uncovers elements of controversy, finger-pointing, and cover-up that combine to make this disaster unlike any other.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780393331967
Publisher:
Norton, W. W. & Company, Inc.
Publication date:
06/28/2008
Edition description:
Reprint
Pages:
432
Sales rank:
472,453
Product dimensions:
5.50(w) x 8.20(h) x 1.20(d)

Meet the Author

James M. Tabor, a former contributing editor to Outside, attempted Mount McKinley and summitted Mount Sanford. He hosted the PBS series The Great Outdoors and cocreated the History Channel series Journey to the Center of the World. He lives in Waitsfield, Vermont.

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Forever on the Mountain 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 15 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Dear Jim, Bill and I surprsingly finished reading your book at about the same time--today, July 31, 2007. He received his copy a few weeks back, while it took longer for mine to arrive, up here in Alaska. Yet, since Bill is up here visiting, we got together this morning for breakfast, and...lo and behold... we discovered we have neared to end of your opus together... a fitting end... for each of us. We chatted together for close to an hour, in praise of your efforts. Let me say first, what a wonderful writer you are. Your dedication to detail, mastery of descriptive imagery, and unbelievable investigative technique is beyond comprehension. Your creative `exploration¿ describes very closely, and perhaps, in the vain of `nothing less¿ than what we climbers endured on the slopes of Denali in `67. If I didn¿t know better, it would almost seem as though you were there, with each of us during the nightmare of our lives. Daring to delve into material that others so easily chose to ignore, or perhaps not even question, I was quite moved by your ability to first encourage participants to share... then with candor and clarity, piece together the puzzle pieces that were lost somewhere in the maze of burearcratic pedagogy, inflated egos, and blurred memory. Your book tells it like it was... with no excuses, no attempts to cover-up confusion, nor expediancy to tie up the loose ends with a blame strategy that simply defies explanation. You clearly defined the human fraility and individuality of each of your story¿s participants, and along with the good, the bad, and the ugly... you helped clarify those moments of true courage which most everyone displayed in times of turmoil--an objective, honest, and no holes barred attempt to get at the truth. And lastly, you describe the sheer terror of coming face to face with death--an event that continues to challenge men from all over the world, and continues to do so, on the icy slopes of Denali... North America¿s crown jewel that still kills... with each passing year. Well done, Jim. Jeff and Bill Babcock
Guest More than 1 year ago
First off, I can't believe that the Babcock brothers commented... absolutely mind blowing. As for the book, I feel the same exact way. It was written in a manner sensitive to the members of the expedition, while still being truthful, informative, and captivating to the audience. You hold your breath while reading, sensing the impending tragedy, and watching with frustration as request after request for action goes unanswered. Its written in a way that makes it one hundred percent accessible to the reader. For anyone that likes reading non-fiction, adventurous 'nature' books, this one is at the top of my list as being well worth the time.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
What a good book. Writing style is very similar to Into Thin Air an Into the Wild. The book tells of the terrible disaster on Denali and will leave you wanting to know why more was not done to help those stuck on the mountain.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Loved this author, made you feel you were there throughout the book. Enjoyed very much.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
JCRaleigh More than 1 year ago
An excellent book and about a fateful expedition.  The book is well written and well researched but in my opinion the author tries very hard not to point  too critical a finger at  Mr. Wilcox who was only one factor among many in this disaster. A must read for adventurers and fans of the ilk of 'Into Thin Air', and 'The Climb'. Gripping stuff.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Tabor has researched this controversial climb with a genuine search for the truth, and a keen insight into the human strengths and weaknesses of all those involved. With thoughtful analysis of this tragic, historical climb, Tabor brings an investigative approach to his subject, written in a compelling narrative style, one that will hold the reader's attention all the way to conclusion.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I'm an avid fan of anything that has to do with mountaineering. I had heard of the tragedy that happened on Mckinley and Babcock's party through magazine articles and other books, so I decided to read Forever On The Mountain. I was not disappointed. It was very informative, and at the same time, very entertaining. It was also very objective and fact-based and left me to come up with my own conclusions. The NPS really bit the big one on this horrendous tragedy. Their lack of knowledge and lack of care in this ordeal were appaling and unbelievable at times. Overall this book was impressive.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
Following my reading of this book I quickly found and read copies of Howard Snyder's In the Hall of the Mountain King 'which I found to be very self serving' and Joe Wilcox's White Winds which further clarified and strengthened Joe Wilcox's position. What I found particularly appalling was the action of Brad Washburn who totally poisoned the well for the young men of the Wilcox expedition. He did so because he felt they were merely seeking publicity on 'his' mountain. This coming after his own Hollywood sponsored expedition to put his own wife on the summit in the interest of publicity and $$$. The misactions and non action of pilot Don Sheldon were also disturbing to me. Both Washburn and Sheldon have been immortalized in the climbing world in my mind their halos are forever tarnished. That having been said I feel the perfect storm of hurricane force winds combined with never before or after seen snowfall had pretty much doomed the expedition not because of any oversights or malfeasance on their part just a matter of being in the wrong place at the wrong time. Quite simply put on a mountain of the size and stature of Denali that can make its own weather there is no place to run or hide. I've experienced high winds and snow in my own mountaineering adventures but nothing of the nature and duration presented in this book. If you like reading about mountaineering adventures this is one of the best.
Guest More than 1 year ago
While browsing my local bookstore, I saw a book with a title that left no question in my mind about the subject: an event that happened 40 years ago and I could now read about the truth surrounding that tragedy on Mt. McKinley: Forever on the Mountain, by James Tabor. In the summer of 1967 I was full of dreams and anticipation as to what my second season at Mt. McKinley National Park might bring: new adventures, amazing sights, the trill of just the chance to view that magical mountain, Mt. McKinley. At the same time I was living my dreams, another group of young men were about to begin their own adventures and dreams, and attempt to summit the great mountain. As I read on, I realized sometimes in life no matter how well we plan and organize, things happen attitudes and egos do not mix politics and bureaucracy diminish the chance for success. In this book, these problems are brought forth and analyzed with a very straight forward approach, giving the public an unbiased solution of what happened and didn¿t happen in the most tragic disaster in North American climbing history. I thought it was a great read, especially having lived at McKinley during the event, and is important for anyone who has preconceived opinions about what actually took place on the mountain.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Tabor plays fast and loose with the known facts. He does so in order to impugn the reputations of good men like Hall, Washburn and Sheldon and therebye dramatize his story. By the time Wilcox made his first radio call to the Park, 48 hours after he had last spoken to the summit party, this incredible storm was raging and the seven men were almost certainly, already dead. This opinon is held by Denali's foremost experts.