High Adventure: The True Story of the First Ascent of Everest

High Adventure: The True Story of the First Ascent of Everest

by Edmund Hillary
     
 

Fear lives among Everest's mighty ice-fluted faces and howls across its razor-sharp crags. Gnawing at reason and enslaving minds, it has killed many and defeated countless others. But in 1953, Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay stared into its dark eye and did not waver. On May 29, they pushed spent bodies and aching lungs past the achievable to pursue the

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Overview

Fear lives among Everest's mighty ice-fluted faces and howls across its razor-sharp crags. Gnawing at reason and enslaving minds, it has killed many and defeated countless others. But in 1953, Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay stared into its dark eye and did not waver. On May 29, they pushed spent bodies and aching lungs past the achievable to pursue the impossible. At a terminal altitude of 29,028 feet, they stood triumphant atop the highest peak in the world.
With nimble words and a straightforward style, New Zealand mountaineering legend Hillary recollects the bravery and frustration, the agony and glory that marked his Everest odyssey. From the 1951 expedition that led to the discovery of the Southern Route, through the grueling Himalayan training of 1952, and on to the successful 1953 expedition led by Colonel John Hunt, Hillary conveys in precise language the mountain's unforgiving conditions. In explicit detail he recalls an Everest where chaotic icefalls force costly detours, unstable snow ledges promise to avalanche at the slightest misstep, and brutal weather shifts from pulse-stopping cold to fiendish heat in mere minutes.
In defiance of these torturous conditions, Hillary remains enthusiastic and never hesitates in his quest for the summit. Despite the enormity of his and Norgay's achievement, he regards himself, Norgay, and the other members of his expedition as hardworking men, not heroes. And while he never would have reached the top without practiced skill and technical competence, his thrilling memoir speaks first to his admiration of the human drive to explore, to understand, to risk, and to conquer.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"High Adventure is a well-loved classic of 20th-century mountaineering, written in the first full flush of achievement by one of that century's truly heroic figures."—Jan Morris, author of Coronation Everest and Trieste and the Meaning of Nowhere

"A gem of a book.... At no point is there any deviation from the same honesty of purpose and simple love of mountaineering which brought him, with those famous 'few more whacks,' to the top."—Times Literary Supplement (on the 1955 edition)

"Unquestionably the best account of the lot.... I believe this to be one of the small number of mountaineering books certain to survive."—The Observer (on the 1955 edition)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780195167344
Publisher:
Oxford University Press
Publication date:
03/21/2003
Edition description:
50th Anniversary Edition
Pages:
272
Sales rank:
352,067
Product dimensions:
7.90(w) x 5.30(h) x 0.70(d)

Meet the Author

Sir Edmund Percival Hillary was born in Auckland, New Zealand, on July 20, 1919. On May 29, 1953, he and Nepalese mountaineer Tenzing Norgay reached the summit of Mount Everest, the highest mountain in the world. He lives in New Zealand.

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