By the time he was 17, rock-climber Herr had soloed on Bugaboo in western Canada and set a new record in Yosemite. In January, 1982, he and a friend set out to climb Mt. Washington. Lost for three days in a vicious storm, they were severely frostbitten when discovered by a search-and-rescue team, one of whose volunteers was killed in the effort by an avalanche. Herr's lower legs were amputated; his companion lost a foot and fingers on one hand. In her inspiring account, Osius, editor of Climbing magazine, follows Herr, now a graduate engineering student at MIT, through agonies of guilt and depression to rehabilitation and reentry into the world of climbing. Photos. (Aug.)
Rock climbing is a sport for the young, strong, and confident. Osius, a senior editor for Climbing magazine, tells the story of ``Boy Wonder'' climber Herr, who at age 17 was already one of the sport's best. Then, during the winter of 1982 Herr and a climbing buddy were lost for three days in a Mt. Washington blizzard. Frostbite necessitated the amputation of both of his legs at the knees. Unwilling to bow to the initial pain and depression, Herr completed high school and began to climb again with the help of prosthetics. Astonishingly, he repeated his most difficult climbs and eventually surpassed his best. During his senior year in college, he was granted a patent for a new type of socket for prosthetic limbs. Herr's story is written in the language of this generation's climbers and should appeal to fans of the sport as well as other young people with accident-caused disabilities.-- Paula M. Strain, Rockville, Md.
School Library Journal
YA-- A story that is engrossing and inspiring. Rock climbing was Hugh Herr's sport and passion, and at age 17 he was considered one of the best. In 1982 he and a companion became lost during a blizzard on Mount Washington and assumed they would die. After three bitterly cold days on the mountain, they were rescued, but one rescuer died trying to save them. Herr had massive frostbite that eventually resulted in his legs having to be amputated. Following a period of despondency, he resolved to try climbing again, which he learned to do with the help of prostheses. Now he is involved in making artificial limbs for others. This is an extraordinary story of survival and the growth one experiences when put to the test. Photographs emphasize the amount of strength needed for this sport. One of the best handicapped-awareness books available, and a delight to booktalk. --Dorothy Addison, Woodlawn School, Fairfax County, VA