A Life on the Edge: Memoirs of Everest and Beyond [NOOK Book]


"My father's greatest living heroes were John Glenn and Jim Whittaker—a physical giant with a huge heart, a decent soul, and inspirational courage. We can all be grateful that Whittaker has finally put his extraordinary life on paper. Whittaker's story is a riveting saga of high adventure by one of history's greatest climbers." —Robert F. ...
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A Life on the Edge: Memoirs of Everest and Beyond

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"My father's greatest living heroes were John Glenn and Jim Whittaker—a physical giant with a huge heart, a decent soul, and inspirational courage. We can all be grateful that Whittaker has finally put his extraordinary life on paper. Whittaker's story is a riveting saga of high adventure by one of history's greatest climbers." —Robert F. Kennedy, Jr.

* Special anniversary edition to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the first American ascent of Mount Everest

* New foreword by Ed Viesturs and a new afterword by the author

* More than 100 photos, including several never-before-published images

In May of 1963 Seattle mountaineer Jim Whittaker stepped into world history by becoming the first American to summit Mount Everest. Fifty years later, he is still regarded as a seminal figure in North American mountaineering, as well as an astute businessman who helped create the outdoor recreation industry.

A Life on the Edge: Memoirs of Everest and Beyond is Jim's courageous, no-punches-pulled autobiography and a look at a peripatetic, sometimes difficult life. Beyond the glory of the Everest summit and his other extraordinary climbing feats, including the first American summit of K2, he openly describes his personal, "everyman" experience of social upheaval in the 1960s and 70s, an early divorce, family strife, a passionate new love later in life, near-bankruptcy, and business triumphs and losses. Jim tells it all with verve and honesty and, true to his nature, turns every setback into the stage for new adventure. This special 50th anniversary edition celebrates the story of Jim's life and features a new foreword by Ed Viesturs, as well as a new final chapter that brings readers up-to-date, including details of his trek to Everest Base Camp in 2012 and his son Leif's recent successful summits of Everest.

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Editorial Reviews

Sports Etc.
His story is as rich and inspirational as the actual events that he's experienced and written about.
Statesman Journal
Read this book even if you think you have no interest in mountain climbing. There is much more in it than any of us could guess.—Salem, OR
Idaho Falls Post Register
One doesn't have to be interested in climbing mountains to appreciate the biography of Jim Whittaker.
Outside Magazine
An old-fashioned modesty and a gift for reconciling climbers and countries_puts Whittaker in a class of his own.
Seattle Times
Whittaker shows a fine knack for retrieving from memory small outdoors sensations we all relate to in unexpectedly emotional ways.
This is one of those rare remembrances by a highly accomplished and celebrated individual in which the author's ego never eclipses his tale, and what a tale there is to tell.
Seattle Post-Intelligencer
Big Jim has written a blunt, consistently interesting book
Everett Herald
There's much, much more than one summit in Whittaker's memoirs. His life's stories mirror the changes in this country in many areas:
  • recreation
  • environment
  • presidents
  • peace efforts and nuclear bombs.

This is a book by a man who knows the importance of a well-lived life.

Hood River News
Whittaker writes engagingly about many topics_politics, business, the environment, religion while displaying keen curiosity about the world.
Klamath Falls Herald and News
Transcends the usual adventure tale because it focuses on the attachments to the outdoors and the challenges and frustrations of life.
Los Angeles Daily News
You can't ask for much more than Life on the Edge. The writing is generally good and the photos are splendid. ...a fine work. For the majority of us who will never set foot on the Himalayan peak, this book offers one of the best vistas of that experience.
Kirkus Reviews
Whittaker, the first American to summit Everest, tells here the story of his life thus far—he has managed to reach 70—which has been lived with the kind of intensity that only his adrenal glands can truly appreciate.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781594856679
  • Publisher: Mountaineers Books, The
  • Publication date: 3/5/2013
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 320
  • Sales rank: 599,881
  • File size: 41 MB
  • Note: This product may take a few minutes to download.

Table of Contents

Barbara Lloyd McMichael, Tacoma News Tribune,also ran in the Olympian and the Bremerton Sun

It is fascinating to accompany him vicariously on his treks to some of the world's most formidable peaks. His discussion on the physical, technical and emotional challenges of mountain climbing is insightful, occasionally humorous, and periodically terrifying.

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Customer Reviews

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( 2 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 22, 2003

    I have a new hero

    The feats this man accomplished are huge and I didn't know about any of them until I read this book. I was touched by the moment he described with Bobby Kennedy on top of Mount Kennedy in Canada. I was also impressed with the humility with which he told of organizing the Peace Climb.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 30, 2013

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews

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