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Shattered Air: A True Account of Catastrophe and Courage on Yosemite's Half Dome
     

Shattered Air: A True Account of Catastrophe and Courage on Yosemite's Half Dome

3.8 13
by Bob Madgic
 

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The compelling account of recklessness, tragedy, courage and rescue, a book whose sobering depiction of Nature's danger is tempered by unforgettable portraits of the triumphant human spirit.

Overview

The compelling account of recklessness, tragedy, courage and rescue, a book whose sobering depiction of Nature's danger is tempered by unforgettable portraits of the triumphant human spirit.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Madgic claims that "in the annals of hiking tragedies caused by lightning," an ill-fated climb up Yosemite's famed Half Dome mountain by five experienced hikers in 1985 was "one of the most calamitous... of all time." Two of the hikers were killed and three sustained life-altering injuries after they decided to ignore signs of an oncoming thunderstorm and continued climbing a mountain whose peak had been struck by lightning during every month of that year. Madgic, a writer on the outdoors and a Half Dome climbing vet, delivers a well-written and thoroughly investigated account, but his real subject is less the hikers and more the "raw, fearsome power" of lightning. While he provides in-depth profiles of each hiker and their shared enthusiasm for risk taking as a way of conquering "personal fear," he makes it clear from the start that none of them "really knew the capacities, behaviors and dangers of thunderstorms." Madgic provides a fascinating-if somewhat stomach-churning-account of how the walls of a cave the hikers took refuge in conducted the electrical charge that devastated them, and his contribution to the adventure category is at once a terrifying story and an urgent cautionary tale. Photos. (June) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781580805155
Publisher:
Burford Books
Publication date:
01/01/2011
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
224
Sales rank:
432,127
File size:
6 MB

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Shattered Air: A True Account of Catastrophe and Courage on Yosemite's Half Dome 3.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 13 reviews.
CMMurin More than 1 year ago
I could hardly put this book down. While the background information was a bit slow, it is necessary and leads up to build the reasons for this tragedy. Good statistical information on lighting and other various hazards, it serves to inform as well as entertain. Being an avid hiker who has many times seen those others heading out when weather threatens, it still amazes me how some believe they are invincible and take such risks. This book not only shows the will of the human spirit but the amazing good as well.
Guest More than 1 year ago
OK, here's the cliche that will keep them from printing this: couldn't put it down! I actually read a lot, and few books do this to me, but the subject matter and author's extensive research, grabbed me for a great big ride. The background was necessary, but not outstanding. What it did, was build suspense, because you knew what was coming. Heck, it was right on the cover. But starting about 1/3 of the way through, you cannot put this book down. I can't say the writing was scintillating, but the real life story was. I didn't even care much about the characters, but having been to Yosemite several times, it was all too real for me. I don't see how anyone will ever climb up those metal ropes to the top of Half Dome again, after reading this book!
Guest More than 1 year ago
From readng the book it was a story on how a bunch of guys decide to go up to Yosemity Half Dome. Where they take risks for the fun of everyting as they go up,along the way there are signs for warning them. Also the decription of the lightning on how it can happen in the middle of nowhere such as the top of the mountain. The major message form this book is just simply be careful when you take risks because the very little mistake you take could be the end of your life. The major likes I had were that the guys in their journey up to the top take risks all the way up to the top. Such as they jump from a cliff into shallow water. Also I liked the explanation of how far you are up on a cliff and if you jump the speed you would have from jumping before, you hit the water. There were not any dislikes that I had from reading this book. For the people that are the kind of people that are risk takers like the ones in the book this is for you!. For the people that just like to read a lot or a good jounery book in the wilderness I would recommend this book to you as well. Some other recommeneded works is the reading of Into Thin Air.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This page-turner in the tradition of 'Into Thin Air' describes the hubris of youth clashing with the power of thunderstorms. As a physician and former EMT/Rescue technician, I found the book accurate from a medical and EMS perspective. The limitations of providing care to seriously injured persons on the top of a mountain at night, are clearly and sympathetically described, and the emotions of providers is rarely of such interest to authors. The decriptions of lightning trauma to the human body was frighteningly accurate, & almost lurid in detail. As a hiker and sailor, the discussion regarding the behavior of lightning was informative... you don't have to be hiking in Yosemite for this section to be relevant. And as an avid book-reader, I finished this one in two late night sessions... you'll be happy with this choice!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Thoroughly researched, a fascinating account of how the hubris of risk-takers can be their undoing. Madgic has also provided a wealth of technical but easily understandable information on lightning. If you like true adventure/disaster stories, you'll like Shattered Air.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love outdoor activities so I really liked this book. There is lots of background on lightning in general and the people involved. The book has not been reviewed in quite a while so I am scratching my head over the Nook book price.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is an exciting book! Accurate in the details of what the climbers faced. Inspiring in the accounts of courage. And kinda painful...not a happy ending for all.. But if you want to share adventure, read this book!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is a good story, interrupted by meaningless facts, about the emotional and physical struggles of three groups of hikers. The book takes place on Half Dome, in Yosemite National Park, during a lighting storm. The book was published in 2007. The theme of this book focuses on the ramifications of stupid decisions made by egotistical middle aged men. The book was written by Bob Madgic. The real story does not start until page 141, anything before that is boring prologue or random anecdotes. Adrian Esteban is one of the main characters. If the author got rid of the nonsensical anecdotes and the interjecting science and/or first aid lessons the real plot might last 110 pages at most. This was one of the most difficult books for me to grind through. (If you enjoyed reading this review, with the facts and personal anecdote included, you may enjoy the book. If not I suggest starting on page 140)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago