The Phaselock Code: Through Time, Death and Reality: The Metaphysical Adventures of the Man Who Fell Off Everest

Overview

ONE MAN'S REMARKABLE SEARCH FOR
THE ULTIMATE TRUTHS OF OUR WORLD
For Professor Roger Hart, life truly began after he almost lost his — in a horrific fall off the slopes of Mount Everest that he miraculously survived. This near-death experience sparked a desire in him to devote his studies to the very nature of human consciousness, in order to unlock the code of reality that binds our world.
On an adventure of ...

See more details below
Available through our Marketplace sellers and in stores.

Pick Up In Store Near You

Reserve and pick up in 60 minutes at your local store

Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (20) from $1.99   
  • New (6) from $4.76   
  • Used (14) from $1.99   
Close
Sort by
Page 1 of 1
Showing All
Note: Marketplace items are not eligible for any BN.com coupons and promotions
$4.76
Seller since 2008

Feedback rating:

(113)

Condition:

New — never opened or used in original packaging.

Like New — packaging may have been opened. A "Like New" item is suitable to give as a gift.

Very Good — may have minor signs of wear on packaging but item works perfectly and has no damage.

Good — item is in good condition but packaging may have signs of shelf wear/aging or torn packaging. All specific defects should be noted in the Comments section associated with each item.

Acceptable — item is in working order but may show signs of wear such as scratches or torn packaging. All specific defects should be noted in the Comments section associated with each item.

Used — An item that has been opened and may show signs of wear. All specific defects should be noted in the Comments section associated with each item.

Refurbished — A used item that has been renewed or updated and verified to be in proper working condition. Not necessarily completed by the original manufacturer.

New
Unread publisher overstock. Overstock books are new but include a mark on the edge of the pages from the publisher. Protective packaging and delivery tracking.

Ships from: Wausau, WI

Usually ships in 1-2 business days

  • Standard, 48 States
  • Standard (AK, HI)
$8.50
Seller since 2005

Feedback rating:

(1622)

Condition: New
New

Ships from: Fort Worth, TX

Usually ships in 1-2 business days

  • Canadian
  • International
  • Standard, 48 States
  • Standard (AK, HI)
  • Express, 48 States
  • Express (AK, HI)
$13.88
Seller since 2007

Feedback rating:

(23452)

Condition: New
BRAND NEW

Ships from: Avenel, NJ

Usually ships in 1-2 business days

  • Canadian
  • International
  • Standard, 48 States
  • Standard (AK, HI)
$13.98
Seller since 2008

Feedback rating:

(281)

Condition: New
0743477251 New item in stock, may show minimal wear from storage. I ship daily and provide tracking! 100% Money Back Guarantee!

Ships from: FORT MYERS, FL

Usually ships in 1-2 business days

  • Canadian
  • International
  • Standard, 48 States
  • Standard (AK, HI)
  • Express, 48 States
  • Express (AK, HI)
$13.98
Seller since 2014

Feedback rating:

(3)

Condition: New
PAPERBACK New 0743477251 New item in stock, may show minimal wear from storage. I ship daily and provide tracking! 100% Money Back Guarantee!

Ships from: LEHIGH ACRES, FL

Usually ships in 1-2 business days

  • Canadian
  • International
  • Standard, 48 States
  • Standard (AK, HI)
  • Express, 48 States
  • Express (AK, HI)
$45.98
Seller since 2014

Feedback rating:

(2)

Condition: New
NEW. SHIPS WORLDWIDE.

Ships from: Spencerport, NY

Usually ships in 1-2 business days

  • Canadian
  • International
  • Standard, 48 States
  • Standard (AK, HI)
Page 1 of 1
Showing All
Close
Sort by
The Phaselock Code: Through Time, Death and Reality: The Metaphysical Adventures of the Man Who Fell Off Everest

Available on NOOK devices and apps  
  • NOOK Devices
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 NOOK
  • NOOK HD/HD+ Tablet
  • NOOK
  • NOOK Color
  • NOOK Tablet
  • Tablet/Phone
  • NOOK for Windows 8 Tablet
  • NOOK for iOS
  • NOOK for Android
  • NOOK Kids for iPad
  • PC/Mac
  • NOOK for Windows 8
  • NOOK for PC
  • NOOK for Mac
  • NOOK for Web

Want a NOOK? Explore Now

NOOK Book (eBook)
$10.20
BN.com price

Overview

ONE MAN'S REMARKABLE SEARCH FOR
THE ULTIMATE TRUTHS OF OUR WORLD
For Professor Roger Hart, life truly began after he almost lost his — in a horrific fall off the slopes of Mount Everest that he miraculously survived. This near-death experience sparked a desire in him to devote his studies to the very nature of human consciousness, in order to unlock the code of reality that binds our world.
On an adventure of discovery that would take him around the world, Hart would experience life-altering transcendental events in Tibet, Morocco, and Tierra del Fuego — opening the door to a true understanding of the nature of man. In this groundbreaking volume, he explores the participation of consciousness in the creation of reality, challenging the traditional scientific view of time, space, and objectivity — and describing in detail his own metaphysical journey, which has involved synchronicity, precognition, and telekinesis. It is an exploration of the very things that make us human — and a quest that touches upon the meaning of life itself.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Geophysicist Hart has learned a great deal about how the world works, and through a series of life-changing (and often life-threatening) events, he believes he's learned to change the world with his thoughts. Starting with a disastrous attempt to climb Mt. Everest, Hart's history unfolds as a series of near-death experiences and unfortunate events around the world. He has a strong science background, but the stories here quickly lead into the paranormal, in a manner reminiscent of The Celestine Prophecy, complete with meaningful coincidences. He describes hitchhiking in Morocco and being picked up by a military officer in a Mercedes. The driver menaces Hart with talk of incarceration, right-wing philosophy and bad driving. In an attempt to escape, Hart crashes an oncoming Fiat into the Mercedes with his mind. Although Hart admits being high on hash cookies at the time, he is certain he caused the crash. Once he acknowledges his mind's ability to alter reality with telekinesis and precognition, Hart seeks an explanation by talking to yogis and trying to match mysticism with quantum physics. Much of the book involves dreamy dialogue, with Hart trying to find scientific explanations for his paranormal experiences: "Is it possible that these universes expand from the singularities in the quantum foam?" Unfortunately, the answers are as clouded as Hart's hash-hazed memories (e.g., he never fully defines or explores the term "phaselock code"). The author is very clear about where he has been, but readers are never sure where he is going. (Oct. 1) Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
Library Journal
Geophysicist, marine geologist, and science author Hart (Oregon State Univ., Corvallis) frames his life as a quest to understand an out-of-body experience and the nature of consciousness. During an unauthorized expedition to Mount Everest in 1962, he watched himself fall several hundred feet and survive while experiencing a sense of euphoric calm and broadened vision. In this metaphysical autobiography, Hart projects his life story-expeditions, living in exotic lands, escaping his strict parents, and making love-against the backdrop of relativity, quantum physics, foreknowledge, and mysticism. He attempts to explain how human consciousness not only observes but also participates in the creation of reality. Hart's story is at once gripping and frustrating; the reader will be eager to see where he is going but at the same time will want to shake him from the obliviousness that leads all too frequently to danger. Hart concludes that it is possible to be outside normal space-time, within the quantum ground where all times are the present and events are synchronized across vast distances. A thought-provoking read, this is recommended for public libraries and collections on science, mysticism, and mountain climbing.-William P. Collins, Library of Congress Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Former exploration geophysicist and adventurer Hart explains how our consciousness participates in the creation of reality and the elements it draws on to fuel its vision. A number of extraordinary personal experiences—a near-death tumble off the North Face of Everest; episodes of precognition and telekinesis, each an undeniably transcendental event—set Hart to pondering one of the oldest chestnuts of all: What is reality and how do we understand it as such? Circumstances found him in distant outposts, and he was sharp enough when there to discuss with local graybeards the events that befell him, tapping into Sherpa insights about the lower and upper selves and the power of the void, or listening to a yogi in India say that we have "a second body, a mental body composed of nothing but energy." Much of what he learns rings bells in his scientific mind, and he seeks a common ground. This sends him to quantum mechanics, waves and particles, vortices of energy fields, the non-local universe, and the concept of "phaselock," in which wave functions are a source of information to guide self-organizing systems. The physics here can be as dense as dark matter, but Hart handles the subject with aplomb for such rarified theory. Gradually, he pulls the strands together: the suggestion of parallel universes from which "the observer selects one aspect of the wave function to detect," screening perceptions but sharing a commonality of experience since it is drawn from a hidden field of shared information, a single entity of phaselocked quantum waves, a quantum field of endless potentiality. This is rich stuff, with the ego, free will, the void, particle theory, neuroscience, and much morecomfortably sharing the same couch. Those with a thing for physics and an openness to Eastern philosophy will appreciate the vigor and the clarity of Hart’s ideas about how we simulate reality, create time, and shape the world with our thoughts.
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780743477253
  • Publisher: Gallery Books
  • Publication date: 10/7/2003
  • Edition description: Original
  • Pages: 368
  • Product dimensions: 5.26 (w) x 1.00 (h) x 8.32 (d)

Meet the Author

Roger Hart is a former research professor at the College of Ocean and Atmospheric Sciences at Oregon State University, and was a member of the first American expedition to Mount Everest. He has worked as an exploration geophysicist in the rain forests of Ecuador and Brazil, had a glacier named after him in Antarctica, lived and traveled in more than forty countries, and appeared on numerous radio talk shows and television programs. He has written articles for such periodicals as National Geographic, Audubon, Sunset Magazine, and Oregon Coast Magazine. Hart currently lives on the Oregon coast.

Read More Show Less

Read an Excerpt

Chapter One: The Route Tracker

At last the meaning of these events is clear. I set out eager — yes, brash — in youth to explore polar ice caps, tangled jungles, and snow-clad mountains. I had visited every continent save one by the age of nineteen; I had a glacier in Antarctica named after me by the age of twenty. Then strange events in Tibet, Tierra del Fuego, Morocco, India, turned my course from explorer to scientist. I sought after the ultimate understanding of how our consciousness participates in the creation of reality. This is the adventure I share with you now — an adventure that changed my view of the world.

My story begins, when I was twenty-one, on an expedition to Mount Everest. Tibetan legend says Buddhist monks from the Rongbuk Monastery take the form of ravens and fly among the snowcapped Himalayas. If this is true, then they must have seen us on May 29, 1962, four black specks perched precariously in the glare of horrendous ice cliffs on the North Face.

We climbed without bottled oxygen, without porters, too exhausted to think straight. Woody Sayre, first on the rope, laboriously kicked footholds; Norman Hansen, twenty feet below, struggled under the weight of his pack; lower still, Hans Peter Duttle gasped for breath. I brought up the rear, bent over my ice ax, heaving long breaths, eight of them for each step.

I heard a sharp report on the North Peak. I twisted my body to the right and focused on massive edifices of ice that had broken free, toppled, and now were careening down the slopes below the rocky peak. They shattered into pieces on a ledge, leapt free, and floated silently in thin air. The roar arrived after the vision of impact, like thunder after lightning. The chunks of ice splashed down, picked up speed, cascaded through a network of cracks, and trickled out onto white fans at the base of the rock face.

The hood of my parka reverberated steadily in the incessant wind. Slowly, one foot after the other, I kicked into the soft snow. Kick, step, then eight breaths leaning on my ice ax. Kick, step, eight breaths. The rhythm became a monotonous dirge. Norman and Hans Peter advanced even more slowly than I, and the rope in front hung limp over the sticky snow.

Above and to my left, clouds streaming north from Nepal slipped past the colossal prow of Everest's main peak. When I leaned back to study the clouds, they seemed to stop moving and the black hull of Everest plunged away from me, throwing me off balance. I threw up my arms, plunged my ice ax up to its hilt, and grabbed hold.

Don't look up, focus on the steps, I told myself. With only ice slopes and white clouds above us, it seemed as though the North Col, the ridge between the two peaks of Everest, was just over the next rise. To my oxygen-starved brain, it seemed as if we would never get there.

As we struggled upward, the slope became steeper with a two-hundred-foot drop straight to crevasses, yawning gashes in the ice, ready to swallow whatever fell from above. Seven Tibetans of the mountain Sherpa tribe, acting as porters for the British, had died here in an avalanche in 1922. The snow is firm, unlikely to give way, I thought to myself. It was wishful thinking, since there is no way to reckon the dangers of Everest.

I lost sight of Woody over the rise of the slope. Now impatient, I unroped and, after twenty minutes of climbing, passed Hans Peter hunched sluglike in his down parka, heaving for breath, too tired to look up. A half hour later I came up behind Norman, who turned slowly to me, peered out from behind his dark goggles, caught a breath as if to speak, shook his head, and turned back to the snow slope. When I reached the front end of the rope, I found Woody was gone. My brain, functioning at the level of a reptile's, failed to understand the danger. For the three weeks since we had left base camp in Nepal, we had worked as a team. Now, in anticipation of arriving at the North Col, two of us had unroped. If one of us slipped, there was no rope anchor, no belay, to brake the plunge to the ice cliffs below.

A star burst of aluminum pitons, the spikes used for anchoring the rope, lay sprawled carelessly on the snow. Woody should have told Norman and Hans Peter that they were off belay. I continued upward.

When I stepped onto the ice saddle of the North Col, Woody greeted me with a bear hug, "We made it, Roger — the North Col!" His smile cracked through old sunburn scabs and layers of glacier cream, and the reflection of the blazing sun slid toward the black shadow of the North Peak in his goggles.

"Goddamn, we can see all the way back to Nepal. The North Col! Twenty-three thousand one hundred and thirty feet on Mount Everest!" He spun around, dancing, arms in the air like Zorba the Greek.

Wordless, I dropped my pack to the snow and flopped down on it, gasping for breath. I squirmed out of the shoulder straps and looked up at the summit of Everest, six thousand feet above us. It seemed close enough to reach out and touch — an easy day's hike in the White Mountains of New Hampshire. By tomorrow we could be at the band of yellow rock where the English mountaineer George Leigh Mallory had disappeared in 1924. On the other hand, no one had ever made it to the top from here, and the slopes above were haunted with the ghosts of dead climbers.

I had never expected to make it to the North Col. I had never shared Woody's dream of being the first to climb the North Face of Everest without artificial oxygen. I was along for the adventure of trekking in the Himalayas and to serve as a porter to set up a few high-altitude camps. But as soon as one camp had been set up, there had been another, and then another. Woody needed my help, not only as a packer, but he had come to rely on me as a route finder, so I'd kept climbing. I had told my father I would stay at base camp, which was twenty miles of glaciers and rock ridges away as the raven flies.

I stood up, stretched, and rubbed my aching shoulders. Below to the north I could see the East Rongbuk Glacier, the route the classic British expeditions and the Chinese in 1960 had used to approach Everest from Tibet. Below to the south, I could see the West Rongbuk Glacier, the route over which we had donkeyed hundreds of pounds of supplies from base camp in Nepal. Gray clouds reached through the mountain passes like the claws of an immense beast climbing the glaciers from the south. If the monsoon snows broke over the range before we returned to base camp, our route would be covered with wet snow hiding the crevasse mouths. We would have to wallow back to base camp in hip-deep snow with little chance of finding our food caches.

Yes, I felt good, but it was not in my nature to dance and spin like Woody. We were in a perilous place, with no chance of rescue. Neither our families nor the authorities knew we were on Everest. I pulled off my down-filled mitts, fished my camera out of the pack, and took Woody's picture against the summit. I ate some chocolate and tried to regain energy.

Shadows crept down the West Rongbuk Glacier and joined those advancing up the East Rongbuk. The tide of night surged into the lower valleys and drew down the warmth from the sunlit slopes around us. In an instant, the gathering shadows tipped the scales of heat and mass; the wind picked up and funneled with supernatural determination through the icy gap of the North Col. A raven flying frantically sidewise, rose up, and was gone before I realized it was there. Strange, a raven at this altitude. I reviewed the scene in my mind's eye. The raven was still there.

"Rog, are you all right?" Woody waved his ice ax in front of my eyes.

"Woody, we've got another load." I spoke for the first time, choking on the cold air.

"What? You can't be serious. Why?"

"The second tent is down there. The wind is picking up. We can't survive the night without it." I stood up and emptied my pack.

"That's no problem. Let's go get it." Woody smiled broadly and dumped the contents of his pack on the snow. He bounded down the slope and vaulted over his ice ax.

I've skied down slopes steeper than this, I told myself, and bounded off after him. As I passed above Norman, my feet slipped out from under me. I slid several meters before piling into Norman, who grunted, checked his ice ax, and squared his stance against my impact.

Dazed, I pushed myself up, faced into the slope, and kicked into the footholds with renewed caution. The snow was freezing fast. Chunks of frozen snow clinked beneath my boots, skidded down the slope, picked up speed, and bounced off the ice cliffs below. Through my legs, I saw the purple shadows creeping through hummocks on the glacier two thousand feet below. Although the snow around me was sunlit, the warmth was draining away like a thick mist. A crust of ice armored the slope and turned back the last rays of the sun.

I heard Woody yodeling wildly out of tune and pitch.

Growing anxious, I yelled after him, "Woody, stop! I need a belay!"

There was no reply, only the sound of the wind in the hood of my parka and on the ice. As I waited for an answer, the summit turned pale red and faded like a candle going out. Now that shadows shrouded the cliffs, my mind was left to its own constructions. The slope seemed steeper, more exposed, and more precarious. All my premonitions and dreams of free-falling through the night knotted in my chest. I wasn't afraid of hitting the ice below. It was the downward acceleration, that could tear me apart.

I started inching along on the two points of the crampons, the steel spikes lashed to my boots. I felt tiny in the limitless bowl of darkness, insignificant before the immensity of cold that was draining the last of my energy from me. Without food or oxygen, my metabolism could not fight off the cold. I craved the shelter of the tent, the warmth of a purring cookstove. Falling boulders, pried loose from high ridges around us, screamed like incoming artillery.

"Woody," I yelled into the night.

"What?" he replied, surprisingly close. "What's the matter?"

"The slope is slippery. We need to rope up."

"I'm at the cache. Hurry up!"

"Hold on. I'm coming." I inched down the last twenty meters to the cache and rummaged through the duffel bag. I handed the tent to Woody, stuffed food bags into my pack, heaved it onto my back, and uncoiled a length of gold nylon rope.

"Do you really think we need this?" he grumbled. "We've already been over the slope twice without it."

Unbelievable, I thought. He had taught me to use the rope that made mountain climbing a skill instead of a game of chance or the expression of a death wish, and now he didn't want to rope up. He begrudgingly tied one end of the rope around his waist.

I tied the other end around my waist. The wind on the summit had kicked up a plume of spindrift snow that glowed in the twilight like a comet.

As we started up, the rope in front of me draped in loops on the ice; Woody was out of sight over the rise of the night-bound cliff. I could barely see our old footsteps on the ice wall. I moved slowly, cautiously, kicking into each foothold. I stopped often to rest, studied the slope ahead, and watched the planet Venus bob in and out of the watery sky lapping against the mountain ranges. "You have me on belay?" I yelled.

"Yeah, sure; stop worrying," Woody replied gruffly.

We climbed in tandem for a half hour with the rope loose between us. The black mass of Everest slid below the tail of Scorpio, balanced like a supine question mark; Antares blazed above the summit like a bonfire. I thought that by now Woody would be at the belay station. He'd have his ice ax shoved into snow up to the handle, the rope around it. He'd be taking up the slack as I climbed toward him.

Instead, the rope disappeared into the darkness below me.

"Woody?"

No answer.

"Woody," I yelled again. The darkness intensified the depth of the abyss below me. My legs trembled with the fatigue of standing on the steel points.

"What is it?" His voice was carried off by the wind.

"Belay!" I was on the section where I had slid on the way down. It seemed impossible to catch my breath. I was losing energy fast.

"Okay!" His voice seemed louder. "We're almost there."

I saw his dark silhouette hunched against the ice. I stepped out sideways onto an ice rib, dug in my crampon, and started to shift my weight. The crampon gave way, and I careened down the ice slope with terrifying speed.

I grabbed at the loop of rope accelerating past me. I rolled over and over, trying to push my ice ax into the hard ice. I scraped, kicked, and flayed with my crampons. Nothing held. The rope snapped around me and squashed my ribs. For an instant I thought that Woody had caught me.

Then everything gave way. Reflections of stars rushed by like tracer bullets. Shadows swept over me in a rage. A cry began in the base of my spine. Even though there was no sense to it, no help coming, nothing to stop the fall, I yelled and screamed. I would die when I hit the ice below. As soon as I had that thought, my guts and heart pushed upward like the floor of a falling elevator. With excruciating anxiety, like that of a child torn from its mother's womb, my soul ripped free.

Then the strangest thing happened. I shot off into starless space, floated free in zero gravity, and watched my body, as if in slow motion, tumble over the ice cliffs below. I perched on the cusp of time, where, like a water drop between watersheds, I could choose between worlds. I could see in all directions at once, not with the seeing of eyes but the seeing of dreams. I felt no fear and no cold; space seemed to shrink around me, or perhaps I expanded to it. At any rate, I was no longer afraid of the emptiness below me. A great warmth and euphoria overtook me, as if I were immersed in a tropical sea the same temperature and mood as the rest of my being. I thought, Here you are about to die and you feel wonderful — you are so weird! As soon as I had that thought, I dropped onto a snowbank, and with furious kicking and falling ice blocks, Woody landed beside me.

"What are you doing here?" I asked.

I later learned that Woody thought that my question showed I had lost my mind, that I had hit my head, suffered a concussion. What I'd really meant to say was, Why the hell didn't you have me on belay?

The historians of Mount Everest, who refer to our exploit as the Sayre Expedition, claim that it is impossible to survive a night in the sub-zero temperatures without a tent on the slopes of Everest. Not only did Woody and I survive the hundred-and-eighty-foot fall, but we survived the night huddled together, wrapped in the nylon tent shell. The ledge where we had landed was not wide enough to pitch a tent. The historians believe we were incredibly lucky. They don't know the half of it.

At the time, I was merely amazed and grateful that we had survived. The next day we climbed back up to camp on the North Col and rested. Hans Peter, who was more eager to turn back than I, refused to climb any higher, but helped Woody and Norman establish a high camp on the North Face. The following day I started up to the high camp with a load of supplies. I was trying to cover two days' worth of climbing in one, and it was getting late, I had to cache my load and start back. I had descended only a few feet when I heard a mysterious voice cry out. It might have actually been Woody's shout distorted by the wind, but it seemed like a voice from a dream. I turned and climbed back toward their camp.

The snow outside the tent was stained with blood. I yodeled and stuck my head into the tent. Woody, haggard, the sleeve of his parka torn to shreds, told me that he had fallen again and cut open his arm. It was over, we were done, time to head back. The lack of oxygen and the extreme cold had consumed our energy. We could not gain elevation at a rate fast enough to reach the summit in less than ten days. I had no thoughts of defeat or failure but rather felt relieved to be starting on the return.

Some think we were defeated by Woody's game plan to travel light. "We will climb like turtles, carrying everything on our backs," he had declared. Financing the expedition out of his own pocket for $12,411.59, he could not afford porters or high-altitude oxygen apparatus. More importantly, he had philosophical objections to the nationalistic-combative attitude that the million-dollar expeditions brought to Everest.

Now that the safest routes have been established and the fear of the unknown is reduced with each succeeding expedition, the North Face is routinely climbed without porters or bottled oxygen by solo climbers carrying everything on their own backs. Woody's plan was not so much flawed as ahead of its time.

Many of the conquerors of Everest have become CEOs of sports-clothing corporations, owners of adventure-travel firms, and famous politicians. We approached Everest with no hope for personal gain. Ironically, I gained more than I hoped for. I began a lifelong quest to understand the change of reality that I first experienced on Everest. I delved into the sciences of time and consciousness. I don't think it was an accident that we survived.

Our highest camp was established above twenty-four thousand feet; Woody climbed perhaps another one thousand feet without a pack. After turning back, on the descent to high camp, Woody made a misjudgment typical of oxygen depravation. Deciding to slide down on his butt, he accelerated out of control, tore through a boulder field, and would have shot off the ridge to the East Rongbuk Glacier below had he not grabbed the tent flap as he flew past. That was when I heard the mysterious voice calling me.

I offered to help Woody and Norman down that night, but they wanted rest, so I descended to the lower camp with an empty pack. The next day Woody and Norman, unable to carry their packs, yelled down to us for help. Hans Peter and I climbed up and packed them down to the North Col. They were in a desperate state, unable to walk, stumbling around, falling asleep in the snow. It was then that I realized we were in a fight for our lives. We would be lucky to make it back to base camp.

The next morning, Woody, barely able to walk, started down the ice cliffs below the North Col. Norman belayed him by tying lengths of rope together. The precise moment that Norman let go of the rope to tie on a new segment, Woody fell. When we heard Norman's muffled gasp, Hans Peter and I looked up in shock. The belay rope, whipping around the ice ax in front of Norman, slithered out of sight over the ice. Woody was gone. After yelling for fifteen minutes with no reply, Hans Peter started down to check on him.

Norman and I waited at the North Col for Hans Peter to return with news of Woody. It seemed unlikely that Woody had survived the fall. Finally at dusk, when Hans Peter hadn't returned, we started down ourselves. I tried to drag Hans Peter's pack behind me, but it almost pulled me off the mountain, so I was forced to leave it behind. Norman and I were soon socked in by night and forced to tie ourselves to an ice cliff. We survived another night without a tent.

The next morning, we heard Hans Peter's muffled shout from below. "Roger, we have to go to Tibet for help."

I looked down and saw Hans Peter, dwarfed, at the base of the cliffs. "Where's Woody?" I yelled back.

"I found him. He's okay. We have to go to Tibet." Hans Peter took off across the snowfield at the top of the East Rongbuk Glacier.

Norman and I spent the day working our way to the base of the cliffs. In the late afternoon we found Woody asleep on the snow. We pitched the tents and Norman helped Woody inside.

When I awoke the next morning, Hans Peter's side of the tent floor was ice cold. After cooking a breakfast of tea and oatmeal, I tried to roll up my air mattress but, without the strength to squeeze out the last of the air, I collapsed on top of it and gasped for breath. It was unusually quiet, and even the flapping of the tents had stopped.

"Woody, wake up." I heard Norman's hoarse voice in the tent next to mine. "You're knocking the stove over."

Eventually I stuffed the air mattress into the pack and stopped again to rest. I looked around at the stove, pot, and cup in the cooking alcove, and rolled them toward me with my foot.

"Sorry, Norman. Can't help it," Woody whispered in a distant voice. "Sleep, jus' let me sleep."

Stopping for breath several times, I tucked my sleeping bag into the top of the pack and fumbled to secure the straps.

"Get your boots on," said Norman.

I had slept with my boots on; the laces had been too frozen to untie the previous night. I fumbled around for my goggles and wool hat.

"Oh, God, we're not going to make it." Woody sighed deeply.

"Shut up, Woody!" Norman's voice trembled with exasperation.

I jostled the pack through the tent flaps and followed it out into the glaring whiteness. I adjusted my goggles and studied the terrain, an amphitheater surrounded on all sides by ridges and peaks. Propping myself up on my ice ax, I paused for a few deep breaths. From below the horizon, the sun was projecting an ultraviolet shadow of Mount Everest onto the ceiling of pink cirrus clouds. I went over the route in my mind: twenty miles to the Nup La, the glaciated pass at the Tibet-Nepal border, then down the Ngo Jumbo icefall to base camp, and then ten miles to the Sherpa village of Khumjung. With the fixed ropes we had already installed, we should reach safety in three days, unless the monsoon ripped through the mountains. Woody's boots emerged from the tent next to me and then they lay still. Could Woody even walk?

"Don't lie there like a bearded fetus. Out! Outside the tent!" Norman scolded.

Woody crawled out backward, dragged his pack after him, and slouched over it in front of the tent. I stood up, using the ice ax like a cane, hobbled toward him, and waved my arm above him. "Hey, Woody!"

He squinted up through glazed eyes framed by deep shadows and scars, lifting his arms as protection from the light. He's in rough shape, I told myself; thank God I don't feel as bad as he looks. In fact, I didn't have feelings. My neural net had frozen up — no thoughts of sorrow or fear. Eat! Sleep! Trudge to safety! Feel the emotions later; pack up the tent now. The barren emotional landscape of my brain was as foreign to me as the ramparts of snow and ice around us.

"Oh, Roger, it's you?" Woody mumbled, surprised. He let his arm drop. "How you doing?"

"Fine, how you doing?" I squatted down next to him.

His eyes went dead and cold. His head dropped; he was sinking into thought. Then he looked up slowly. "Roger, I saw it up there." His eyes flared with the light of remembrance. "It's up there." He waved vaguely toward the North Face. Then the spark in his eyes went out. He slouched over and pulled his scarf over his head.

"Woody, what?" I shook him by the shoulder. "What's up there?"

"Yeah." He looked up slowly. "Walls, stone walls, and vineyards; it's incredible. Go up and take a look."

I thought of Frank Smythe's mirages, the strange black floating objects he saw at 27,200 feet on the North Face in 1933. Perhaps Woody had seen something similar. On the other hand, perhaps he was hallucinating. For that matter, perhaps Smythe had been hallucinating.

"I'll go up and take a look, but let's get you back to base camp in Nepal first." I took a deep breath and stood up.

"Nepal?" He squinted into the distance, searching the horizon for memories.

"Yeah, Nepal, home! Let's get you home." I pointed to the range of mountains to the west.

"Sure, Rog, thanks," he whispered, out of breath, and curled up on his scarf and fell asleep.

There was no point to hope or despair — emotions would only waste energy — but Woody had to get better. If he couldn't walk, or if the monsoon snows blocked the way back to Nepal, we would have to seek help in Tibet.

If we ran into serious climbing, Woody was essential. I could find the route, but Woody was the climber, the one who relished the danger and thrill of leading impossible routes. I turned back to my tent and kicked at the piton that anchored the guy line.

"We're almost ready to go!" Norman pushed through the tent flaps, pounding Woody on the back.

I finally got the piton loose, collapsed the tent, folded up the poles, and, sprawling on my hands and knees, rolled up the tent.

Woody looked up. "I can't, Norman." He shook his head slowly. "Leave me. I can't carry a pack. I'll be fine...."

I shouldered my pack and leaned on my ice ax, gasping for breath. I wasn't surprised that Woody wanted to stay behind. I had had the same feelings during the night out on the North Col; somehow, Everest seemed like a good place to die.

"Don't be stupid; you'll never see Edith or the kids again if you stay here." Norman, blue eyes swollen and bloodshot, looked at me for the first time with a frown of worry. He took a deep breath. "You carry his stuff!"

Norman's officious tone brought up the first emotion I'd felt in weeks, resentment. I'd rather die than be told what to do. Even though Hans Peter and I had been recruited as packers, we had come to think of ourselves as equal members of the expedition. Besides, Norman was wrong; first we had to set up a camp at a lower elevation; then we could relay back for Woody.

I hefted my pack to dramatize its heaviness. "Can't. Hans Peter's stuff." I turned toward the Chinese camp, leaving Norman to pack up the other tent.

"Goddamn it, don't you leave Woody here!" Norman yelled after me.

I wasn't leaving Woody; but I needed to find Hans Peter. I kicked at the surface of the glacier with my toe. The wind had veneered the blue ice with hard-packed snow. There was no need to put on crampons; I'd be getting off the ice soon anyway. After trudging for thirty minutes, I turned and looked back at the cliffs of ice hanging from the North Col. Diminutive against the mass of Everest, Norman, in his blue windbreaker, was shuffling forward, head bowed under his pack. Behind him Woody, in his torn orange windbreaker, was dragging his pack on the ice by a rope. When it got stuck in a drift, he tugged at it as if it were a recalcitrant burro, then, shoulders heaving, flopped on the snow.

I continued down the glacier, staring at the snow surface as I walked. Patches of blue ice showed through a miniature landscape of windblown dunes, streamers, and drifts. I felt as if I were looking down onto a snowy landscape of mountain ranges, valleys, watersheds, and river tributaries. With giant steps I skimmed over a microcosm of continents, mountain ranges, and Arctic wastes.

A ghostly yellow shape in the ice startled me. I felt a strange compulsion to avoid stepping on it, as if it were a dead animal on a country road. Throwing my arms up for balance, I stumbled, hopped, skirted the object, stopped a few steps away, and stared at the shape embedded in the pale ice. It must have been there for years — Maurice Wilson's tent, I thought to myself. It had been frozen in the ice since the day he died, May 31, 1934. Eric Shipton, the leader of the British expedition the following year, had buried the tent in a crevasse, along with Wilson's body, but the body and tent "reincarnated" during the 1960 Chinese expedition. The Chinese had thrown Wilson back into a crevasse, but here he was, at the surface again, two years later.

I took a closer look at the tent and saw a bone sticking out from one corner. Gross, I thought. It was the first corpse I had ever seen. I had avoided death all my life, but on the slopes of Everest it surrounded me: Mallory, his companion Sandy Irvine, the seven Sherpas, Maurice Wilson, and soon, possibly, Woody. The "Mother Goddess," Mount Everest, was leading me into a lifelong study of death, a study that forced me to change my idea of what it meant to be alive.

I felt respect and empathy for Maurice Wilson. If our expedition is mentioned at all in the histories of Mount Everest, it is recounted in the same chapter as Maurice Wilson's adventure, under a title such as "Outsiders, Fanatics, and Outlaws." Often, we are left out and Wilson is given his own chapter, with a title like "The Mad Yorkshire Man." It seemed ironic to me that Maurice Wilson was considered less sane than other Everest climbers. Quite simply, in comparison to the normal range of sanity in civilized society, Everest climbers are off scale, at the far end of the spectrum. However, Maurice Wilson, searching for a rarefied, spiritual state of being, has been labeled "mad," whereas those climbers who gained fame and fortune by reaching the summit, by triumphing over, conquering, the mountain, are justified in the eyes of society. After all, fame and fortune are sane objectives.

I paused for a minute of silence, then turned and studied the route ahead. The ice field funneled into the upper reaches of the East Rongbuk Glacier. Like a snowplow, the glacier had piled up moraines, long ridges of dirt and boulders, on either side. I headed for the moraine on the south side, and when I reached it, the fresh soil seemed joyfully warm and, in comparison to the ice we had been climbing on, full of life, even though nothing but bacteria and lichens grew there.

Indeed, several inches below the surface there was a core of ice. At every step the slate fragments slid under my feet. I stumbled, recovered my balance, and stumbled again, sprawling facedown on the moraine. It felt great to be lying on dirt instead of ice. The radiant heat penetrated my windbreaker and soothed my nerves. Squirming out of my pack, I rolled over on my back and watched Everest ride the wake of clouds streaming toward Tibet. We had survived the North Face. In comparison, the route back to Nepal would be easy. I pushed myself up on my ice ax, and adjusted my pack on my shoulders. In the distance, I could make out the low stone walls of the Chinese campsite, tracing over the moraine like the ruins of a fortress.

I stumbled down the moraine late in the afternoon, and as I entered the Chinese camp, I felt — without actually seeing him — Hans Peter stir in one of the stone-walled enclosures. "Hans, there you are! I thought I'd be chasing you all the way to Lhasa."

He jumped up startled. "Oh! Roger," he replied in his Swiss-German accent. "No, no, I waited for you."

I dropped my pack and pulled out the tent. The aluminum tent poles rattled as I unrolled it on a flat patch of sand. "I brought your sleeping bag and mattress but had to leave your pack. It almost pulled me off." We were covered by shadows, but the snow-covered peaks around us still blazed in sunlight.

"Thanks. I nearly froze last night." He stood up and rubbed the cold out of his limbs. He removed his mitts, blew on his hands, and picked up the rear tent poles. Working the front of the tent, I studied him as he fit the aluminum poles together. Although his face was haggard, his blue eyes still glowed with life. It was good to be pitching the tent on earth instead of ice. He looked at me and smiled weakly.

"Hans" — I paused, searching for the right words — "I don't think we should go to Tibet."

His smile dropped, his jawline tightened, and he looked down at the tent. "Why? We don't owe these guys anything."

"Because — " I started to explain.

"Woody tried to pull me off last time he fell," he interrupted.

"Really?" I was surprised to hear this.

"Yes," he replied sternly. "And I was trying to help Woody."

"What happened?" I fed the front poles through their sleeves.

"Well, Woody slid about a hundred feet and ended up in a crevasse." Hans Peter shrugged.

"A crevasse, Christ! So you helped him out?" I looked at Hans Peter in disbelief.

"By the time I got down, he had climbed out of the crevasse by himself and traversed out onto the steep ice slope. Incredible! Tough guy." Hans Peter shook his head as he fed the rear poles through their sleeves.

"And then?"

"He kept yelling, 'Hans, help me.' "

"Did you?"

"I climbed down until I found good footing. By that time, Woody was above me but couldn't hold on, and he said, 'Okay, what's one more fall,' and let go. As he slid by me, he reached out and yelled, 'You're coming with me' "

"Perhaps he was pissed at you. Perhaps he thought you were the one who dropped the belay or that you weren't helping him."

"Ja, perhaps so, but he's also crazy. Anyway he slid another four hundred feet. I climbed down to him. We spent the night in a snowbank huddled around a stove. Scheisse!" Hans Peter fell quiet, then drove a piton into the sand, hooked the rear poles together, fastened the guy line to the piton, and pulled up the rear of the tent.

"Woody paid your way," I said after rigging up the front of the tent. I stood up, using the ice ax like a cane, hobbled toward him, and waved my arm above him. "Hey, Woody!"

He squinted up through glazed eyes framed by deep shadows and scars, lifting his arms as protection from the light. He's in rough shape, I told myself; thank God I don't feel as bad as he looks. In fact, I didn't have feelings. My neural net had frozen up — no thoughts of sorrow or fear. Eat! Sleep! Trudge to safety! Feel the emotions later; pack up the tent now. The barren emotional landscape of my brain was as foreign to me as the ramparts of snow and ice around us.

"Oh, Roger, it's you?" Woody mumbled, surprised. He let his arm drop. "How you doing?"

"Fine, how you doing?" I squatted down next to him.

His eyes went dead and cold. His head dropped; he was sinking into thought. Then he looked up slowly. "Roger, I saw it up there." His eyes flared with the light of remembrance. "It's up there." He waved vaguely toward the North Face. Then the spark in his eyes went out. He slouched over and pulled his scarf over his head.

"Woody, what?" I shook him by the shoulder. "What's up there?"

"Yeah." He looked up slowly. "Walls, stone walls, and vineyards; it's incredible. Go up and take a look."

I thought of Frank Smythe's mirages, the strange black floating objects he saw at 27,200 feet on the North Face in 1933. Perhaps Woody had seen something similar. On the other hand, perhaps he was hallucinating. For that matter, perhaps Smythe had been hallucinating.

"I'll go up and take a look, but let's get you back to base camp in Nepal first." I took a deep breath and stood up.

"Nepal?" He squinted into the distance, searching the horizon for memories.

"Yeah, Nepal, home! Let's get you home." I pointed to the range of mountains to the west.

"Sure, Rog, thanks," he whispered, out of breath, and curled up on his scarf and fell asleep.

There was no point to hope or despair — emotions would only waste energy — but Woody had to get better. If he couldn't walk, or if the monsoon snows blocked the way back to Nepal, we would have to seek help in Tibet.

If we ran into serious climbing, Woody was essential. I could find the route, but Woody was the climber, the one who relished the danger and thrill of leading impossible routes. I turned back to my tent and kicked at the piton that anchored the guy line.

"We're almost ready to go!" Norman pushed through the tent flaps, pounding Woody on the back.

I finally got the piton loose, collapsed the tent, folded up the poles, and, sprawling on my hands and knees, rolled up the tent.

Woody looked up. "I can't, Norman." He shook his head slowly. "Leave me. I can't carry a pack. I'll be fine...."

I shouldered my pack and leaned on my ice ax, gasping for breath. I wasn't surprised that Woody wanted to stay behind. I had had the same feelings during the night out on the North Col; somehow, Everest seemed like a good place to die.

"Don't be stupid; you'll never see Edith or the kids again if you stay here." Norman, blue eyes swollen and bloodshot, looked at me for the first time with a frown of worry. He took a deep breath. "You carry his stuff!"

Norman's officious tone brought up the first emotion I'd felt in weeks, resentment. I'd rather die than be told what to do. Even though Hans Peter and I had been recruited as packers, we had come to think of ourselves as equal members of the expedition. Besides, Norman was wrong; first we had to set up a camp at a lower elevation; then we could relay back for Woody.

I hefted my pack to dramatize its heaviness. "Can't. Hans Peter's stuff." I turned toward the Chinese camp, leaving Norman to pack up the other tent.

"Goddamn it, don't you leave Woody here!" Norman yelled after me.

I wasn't leaving Woody; but I needed to find Hans Peter. I kicked at the surface of the glacier with my toe. The wind had veneered the blue ice with hard-packed snow. There was no need to put on crampons; I'd be getting off the ice soon anyway. After trudging for thirty minutes, I turned and looked back at the cliffs of ice hanging from the North Col. Diminutive against the mass of Everest, Norman, in his blue windbreaker, was shuffling forward, head bowed under his pack. Behind him Woody, in his torn orange windbreaker, was dragging his pack on the ice by a rope. When it got stuck in a drift, he tugged at it as if it were a recalcitrant burro, then, shoulders heaving, flopped on the snow.

I continued down the glacier, staring at the snow surface as I walked. Patches of blue ice showed through a miniature landscape of windblown dunes, streamers, and drifts. I felt as if I were looking down onto a snowy landscape of mountain ranges, valleys, watersheds, and river tributaries. With giant steps I skimmed over a microcosm of continents, mountain ranges, and Arctic wastes.

A ghostly yellow shape in the ice startled me. I felt a strange compulsion to avoid stepping on it, as if it were a dead animal on a country road. Throwing my arms up for balance, I stumbled, hopped, skirted the object, stopped a few steps away, and stared at the shape embedded in the pale ice. It must have been there for years — Maurice Wilson's tent, I thought to myself. It had been frozen in the ice since the day he died, May 31, 1934. Eric Shipton, the leader of the British expedition the following year, had buried the tent in a crevasse, along with Wilson's body, but the body and tent "reincarnated" during the 1960 Chinese expedition. The Chinese had thrown Wilson back into a crevasse, but here he was, at the surface again, two years later.

I took a closer look at the tent and saw a bone sticking out from one corner. Gross, I thought. It was the first corpse I had ever seen. I had avoided death all my life, but on the slopes of Everest it surrounded me: Mallory, his companion Sandy Irvine, the seven Sherpas, Maurice Wilson, and soon, possibly, Woody. The "Mother Goddess," Mount Everest, was leading me into a lifelong study of death, a study that forced me to change my idea of what it meant to be alive.

I felt respect and empathy for Maurice Wilson. If our expedition is mentioned at all in the histories of Mount Everest, it is recounted in the same chapter as Maurice Wilson's adventure, under a title such as "Outsiders, Fanatics, and Outlaws." Often, we are left out and Wilson is given his own chapter, with a title like "The Mad Yorkshire Man." It seemed ironic to me that Maurice Wilson was considered less sane than other Everest climbers. Quite simply, in comparison to the normal range of sanity in civilized society, Everest climbers are off scale, at the far end of the spectrum. However, Maurice Wilson, searching for a rarefied, spiritual state of being, has been labeled "mad," whereas those climbers who gained fame and fortune by reaching the summit, by triumphing over, conquering, the mountain, are justified in the eyes of society. After all, fame and fortune are sane objectives.

I paused for a minute of silence, then turned and studied the route ahead. The ice field funneled into the upper reaches of the East Rongbuk Glacier. Like a snowplow, the glacier had piled up moraines, long ridges of dirt and boulders, on either side. I headed for the moraine on the south side, and when I reached it, the fresh soil seemed joyfully warm and, in comparison to the ice we had been climbing on, full of life, even though nothing but bacteria and lichens grew there.

Indeed, several inches below the surface there was a core of ice. At every step the slate fragments slid under my feet. I stumbled, recovered my balance, and stumbled again, sprawling facedown on the moraine. It felt great to be lying on dirt instead of ice. The radiant heat penetrated my windbreaker and soothed my nerves. Squirming out of my pack, I rolled over on my back and watched Everest ride the wake of clouds streaming toward Tibet. We had survived the North Face. In comparison, the route back to Nepal would be easy. I pushed myself up on my ice ax, and adjusted my pack on my shoulders. In the distance, I could make out the low stone walls of the Chinese campsite, tracing over the moraine like the ruins of a fortress.

I stumbled down the moraine late in the afternoon, and as I entered the Chinese camp, I felt — without actually seeing him — Hans Peter stir in one of the stone-walled enclosures. "Hans, there you are! I thought I'd be chasing you all the way to Lhasa."

He jumped up startled. "Oh! Roger," he replied in his Swiss-German accent. "No, no, I waited for you."

I dropped my pack and pulled out the tent. The aluminum tent poles rattled as I unrolled it on a flat patch of sand. "I brought your sleeping bag and mattress but had to leave your pack. It almost pulled me off." We were covered by shadows, but the snow-covered peaks around us still blazed in sunlight.

"Thanks. I nearly froze last night." He stood up and rubbed the cold out of his limbs. He removed his mitts, blew on his hands, and picked up the rear tent poles. Working the front of the tent, I studied him as he fit the aluminum poles together. Although his face was haggard, his blue eyes still glowed with life. It was good to be pitching the tent on earth instead of ice. He looked at me and smiled weakly.

"Hans" — I paused, searching for the right words — "I don't think we should go to Tibet."

His smile dropped, his jawline tightened, and he looked down at the tent. "Why? We don't owe these guys anything."

"Because — " I started to explain.

"Woody tried to pull me off last time he fell," he interrupted.

"Really?" I was surprised to hear this.

"Yes," he replied sternly. "And I was trying to help Woody."

"What happened?" I fed the front poles through their sleeves.

"Well, Woody slid about a hundred feet and ended up in a crevasse." Hans Peter shrugged.

"A crevasse, Christ! So you helped him out?" I looked at Hans Peter in disbelief.

"By the time I got down, he had climbed out of the crevasse by himself and traversed out onto the steep ice slope. Incredible! Tough guy." Hans Peter shook his head as he fed the rear poles through their sleeves.

"And then?"

"He kept yelling, 'Hans, help me.' "

"Did you?"

"I climbed down until I found good footing. By that time, Woody was above me but couldn't hold on, and he said, 'Okay, what's one more fall,' and let go. As he slid by me, he reached out and yelled, 'You're coming with me' "

"Perhaps he was pissed at you. Perhaps he thought you were the one who dropped the belay or that you weren't helping him."

"Ja, perhaps so, but he's also crazy. Anyway he slid another four hundred feet. I climbed down to him. We spent the night in a snowbank huddled around a stove. Scheisse!" Hans Peter fell quiet, then drove a piton into the sand, hooked the rear poles together, fastened the guy line to the piton, and pulled up the rear of the tent.

"Woody paid your way," I said after rigging up the front of the tent. "You owe him."

"Well, then. We will get help in Tibet." Hans Peter, loved mountains and the people who lived in them. Ever since reading Heinrich Harrier's Seven Years in Tibet, he had fantasized about trekking through Tibet to Lhasa.

"That might work for you, you're Swiss, but Woody's afraid we'll be arrested, that they'll lock him up forever, even execute him." No Americans had been in Tibet since the Chinese occupation of 1950.

Hans Peter's ears flushed red with anger, and he stomped the guy-line piton and shouted, "I want some hot tea, all right!"

He got the stove going in a corner of a stone wall, melted down some snow, and threw in the tea bags. We leaned over the steaming cups like Mongolian herdsmen. It hadn't occurred to me that Woody had been crazy all along.

"How is Woody?" Hans Peter asked at last. "When I left him, he couldn't walk."

"He keeps falling asleep and hallucinating. Did he hit his head?" I asked.

"I don't think so, but look at how many times he's fallen. What is it? Four times...thousands of feet? At this altitude, without oxygen. Must be a record, might be brain damage from lack of oxygen. Not that he didn't have brain damage before the climb." He winced and took a sip of tea.

"Well, we're lucky." I put down my cup and looked directly at Hans Peter. "We're off the mountain; dozens of climbers have died here."

"Ja, Woody's lucky, all right. But he's also crazy." Hans Peter stared directly at me, unflinching.

I considered it our duty to wait for Woody. When, two years earlier at the age of nineteen, I was in Antarctica with Professor Robert L. Nichols, he posed the following question: "You and another climber are crossing a glacier roped together. The other guy falls into a crevasse and is knocked unconscious. What do you do — cut the rope and go for help, or stay with the injured man and face death?" The only acceptable answer to Professor Nichols and, I dare say, every explorer who set forth in the first half of the twentieth century was, "You stay with the downed man, no matter what." Not that anybody ever did that, but it was the attitude, the heroic sense of duty that mattered.

The world seems more cynical now; it's every man for himself. Climbers and paying clients wander all over Everest without concern for each other. I once idolized the heroes and pioneers of the American frontier and the explorers of the polar regions. Exploration was an end in itself. Norman resented my idealism, my gung-ho attitude, and claimed I was a danger to the expedition. Would I cut the rope, or stay and die with an injured partner? I'm not sure anymore; depends on the partner. But on Everest, I was sure I would stay with Woody whether Hans Peter did or not.

"Woody's old, but he's a tough old guy." I drained my tea cup. "Look, Hans, I agree with you. He's not the hero I thought he was. But if we get him to a lower elevation, he might get better. We've got to stick together."

"All right! All right!" yelled Hans Peter, throwing his arms in the air. "God looks after fools but leaves it up to us to pack them out."

I breathed a sigh of relief when he threw down his cup and stormed up the moraine, leaving me by myself.

I looked around at the ramparts of ice and rock. As the shadows at the base of the mountains thickened, a chill of loneliness went through me from the inside outward. Another cold night in the Himalayas. Night did not fall in these mountains; instead the shadows climbed upward, sliding across barren cliffs like supernatural beings. Approaching the summits, they leapt from ridge to ridge with increasing speed and agility, then devoured the last morsels of light from tips of the highest peaks, and closed the vault of endless darkness.

In the blink of an eye, the vastness of space drew the energy and hope out of me. Even the emerging stars gave no comfort. At that altitude they did not twinkle, but stared, cold, steady, and distant. I was alone in the bottom of an icy ocean of space too bleak even for ghosts. Tibetan Buddhists advise the dying to let go of earthly possessions, to focus on the white light of the afterlife. In the Himalayas, the purgatory of cold and loneliness burns away the attachments that bind ghosts to earth. Like the shadows at twilight, the souls of the dead shoot straight from the snow-clad mountaintops through the vault of the heavens without thinking twice.

I crawled into the tent, curled into my sleeping bag, struck a match, and lit the stove. The familiar smells of sulfur and butane, the sound of the blue flame purring like a cat, gave me comfort. But I couldn't shake the image in my mind that only the thin membrane of the nylon tent sheltered me from the mountains of shadows that stretched all the way back to the big bang. I dozed off but woke up when I heard voices outside.

"Oh, God, Oh, God, I never thought I'd make it." Woody's voice trembled with fatigue.

Hans Peter unzipped the door of the tent, shined his flashlight through the flaps, and stuck his head in. "I've got Woody — he just barely made it — and look what else I've got."

Two rusty number-ten cans sloshed across the floor of the tent. Liquid water! I couldn't believe my ears. As soon as Hans Peter punctured the first can with the opener, the pungent smell of dill exploded into the tent. Who would have believed it, whole cucumber pickles! The second can contained chicken in sloshing broth. God, the Chinese must have attacked the mountain with an army of coolies. Imagine carrying water up a mountain! No meat bars and dehydrated vegetables for them. We gnawed the bones clean. At last I felt warm and sociable and looked forward to a good night's sleep. Yes, we had truly escaped the sliding gales of the upper atmosphere. Good-bye, stratosphere; hello, troposphere, we're back.

The next morning I woke to the sound of Woody thrashing, and shouting, "Norman! Norman! The Chinese. I see their lights."

"Wake up, Woody!" yelled Norman. "You're having a nightmare."

Even though he had just been dreaming, Woody's paranoia was justified. With no physical obstacles between us and Tibet, a Chinese border patrol could easily make its way to our camp. Woody's fear was that the Chinese would incarcerate him, the grandson of American president Woodrow Wilson, as a spy.

As we packed up, Woody lay in a fetal position on a pavement of slate slabs.

"Front and center over here." Norman had taken command of the expedition, and even though he was truly concerned for his longtime friend, he also believed Hans Peter and I were subordinates, porters brought to help him and Woody to the summit of Mount Everest. Woody, as leader, had refused to let Norman treat us as coolies. Hans Peter and I, ignoring him, continued to strike our tent.

"'You're in the Army now!'" I sang softly to Hans Peter.

"You boys were paid to come here as logistical support," Norman lectured. "It is now time to perform the function for which you were paid. Woody needs you to carry his pack."

Hans Peter kicked the piton out so hard the guy line wrapped several times around his foot. Swearing in German, he struggled to unwind himself.

I shrugged my shoulders and pleaded my case with palms turned to heaven. "I'm loaded with food in case we miss the East Rongbuk cache."

"Dump it!" commanded Norman. "Woody's stuff is more important."

I unloaded canned Chinese crabmeat and whole chicken and substituted Woody's sixteen-millimeter movie camera, exposed reels of film, and a stove with butane cartridges. Hans Peter strapped a tent and our last climbing rope to the outside of Woody's pack and shouldered it.

I was distracted by two large ravens, known in Tibet as goraks, flying low, fighting the stiff breeze like seagulls landing on a pier in an offshore wind. One raven stuck his head inside an empty can of condensed milk, flipped it over his head, and then looked at me as if to say, "Good trick, eh?"

The other raven, hopping on one leg with the opposite wing extended for balance, focused on a lump of oatmeal on Woody's beard. The bird cocked its head, flapped its wings, and dove for the oatmeal. Woody woke up with a start. "Norman! Norman! What's going on?" The raven landed adroitly, bolted down the oatmeal all in one motion, and looked at me to see if I had noticed.

"We're going. Take this." Norman handed Woody a Chinese bamboo pole and helped him up.

I shouldered my pack and grabbed my ice ax. Woody walked stiffly a few steps, then stopped and rested.

"You guys go ahead; find the cache," said Norman.

Hans Peter and I started down the moraines. On the trek in, we had cached a duffel bag of food near the base of the East Rongbuk Glacier. We had also left a bag of sugar and tea at the main Rongbuk crossing, and a large cache of food and climbing equipment at the Nup La. On dangerous or difficult sections of the route, we had left fixed ropes secured to pitons and ice screws, especially on the Ngo Jumbo icefall above base camp. The worst was behind us, I thought; we would be in base camp in a few days. I turned north, following the edge of the glacier.

As I walked deeper into the glacially carved canyons, I enjoyed watching the shapes of the cliffs, boulders, crags, and ridges move around me and unfold into new patterns. The distant landscape, two-dimensional like a matte painting used in the movies, opened up; ridges swung by like giant doors leading from two-dimensional reality into the world of three dimensions. The act of walking created the third dimension; sometimes I imagined that was my work on Earth. Walking in the mountains enlightened my psyche and clarified my mind. I enjoyed picking my own route, making my own choices, watching the mountain faces pass by. I cherished the freedom of trekking in the wild places of Earth.

I was not alone in my enjoyment of walking in the mountains. Many ancient peoples believed in the power of ritual walking. With stone markers, they laid out courses to be walked only with the greatest intention and ceremonial respect. In Tibet, people believe walking long distances to holy places will purify their bad deeds. The more difficult the journey, the deeper the purification.

Walking west over the moraines, I felt my strength return. Hans Peter and I were soon far ahead of Norman and Woody. I turned to watch an avalanche pour down the North Face. The crashing sounds were strangely out of sync with the tumbling blocks, like a badly dubbed kung-fu movie. Over those great distances, the light arrived before the sound. I watched in fascination as the last blocks ground themselves to bits and drained through the black cracks in the cliffs above the glacier.

No living thing can survive for long in the loins of the Himalayas. The earth is moving too fast for plant or animal to gain a toehold. The awesome walls of rock and ice are covered with dust and debris, like cliffs along a newly blasted freeway. Rocks, pried loose from the crags by weathering and erosion, bounce off the ramparts with shrapnel-like explosions and collect in mile-high scree aprons at the base of the cliffs. Like conveyor belts, the glaciers pick up the fragments and carry them to the lowlands. A skittering slab of shale can set off a chain reaction of debris and dislodge house-size blocks of the mountainside.

Even though it's continuously being torn down, Mount Everest grows in elevation. The Mother Goddess of the World thrusts new crust from inside the earth toward the rarefied heights. I felt like the slow-motion version of a Marvel Comics action hero riding the mountain up as it crumbled under my feet, ice ax thrust high, lightning blazing from the iron tip.

Harm done to the beings roaming the base of the cliffs was unintentional but a serious possibility since, preoccupied with giving birth to continents, the Mother Goddess hardly noticed our presence. No longer in danger of falling off the mountain, now we had to worry about the mountain falling on us.

Hans Peter and I reached the East Rongbuk corner by the time the shadows had slanted up the valley walls. Any loose rock would be frozen in place until the sun hit the slopes on tomorrow's morning. Our immediate concern was to find the food cache we had left in a duffel bag under a boulder. The boulders all looked the same, and the fresh ones, just fallen from the cliffs above, had totally changed the scene. After an hour of searching we still hadn't found the cache. Then a movement caught the corner of my eye and I turned to see a white plastic bag roll along the moraine like tumbleweed fleeing the wind.

"Oh! Oh! Did you see that?" asked Hans Peter.

"Yeah, right. Oh! Oh!" I joined in. We traced the path of the bag back to a patch of ground strewn with white plastic bags puffing and deflating in the breeze, each with a hole ripped in it, the contents gone.

We had sealed the food in the white plastic bags inside a duffel bag and covered the whole thing with stones. The stones were now thrown aside; the duffel bag was shot through with holes. The food was gone, not one almond, raisin, or bit of chocolate.

"Ravens," said Hans Peter.

"Yeah, but look at this." I pointed to a spare camera ten feet from the cache. "Can a raven carry something that heavy?"

If they did carry the camera, they were pretty amazing ravens. And why would they even bother with a camera? Dejected by the destruction of the food cache, we sadly looked for a spot to pitch the tents. The only flat place was under a steep slope of loose scree and boulders that climbed straight to the black cliffs above.

I saw a shape moving on the other side of the East Rongbuk Glacier. "Maybe a yeti," I said, pointing out the moving shape to Hans Peter. We had seen footprints on the way to base camp.

"Ja, or maybe a mountain goat or a bear. Who knows?" Hans Peter scanned the moraines for another view of the creature, but it had disappeared behind a boulder.

In my mind's eye the creature walked upright and had a somewhat pointed head. "No, it seems more like a yeti."

When we crawled into the tent, snowflakes pelted the orange nylon, leaving wet spots that grew on the weave like alien life-forms. Our tents, designed for snow and ice, weren't waterproof.

"Monsoon," I said, feeling the cold humidity through my parka.

"Ja, it's wet; it came from India." Hans Peter pulled the stove out of his pack.

"We'll decide what to do, which way to go, at the Rongbuk crossing, if we ever make it." I was beginning to feel that as soon as things were going smoothly, they changed.

We set up the stove, boiled down snow, made our stew of meat bars and dried mashed potatoes, and crawled into our sleeping bags.

Four hours later, well after dark, we heard Norman's voice and saw the glow of his flashlight on the tent fabric. "Roger! Hans! You guys here?"

"Over here!" we shouted.

"What about the cache?" Norman's voice was tired.

"Empty; ravens, goats, yeti, or something," I said. "Hans and I will relay back to the Chinese camp for more food."

There was a moment of silence with only the chorus of faint hisses from the rain of snowflakes.

"No, we'll all go ahead. We have another cache at the main Rongbuk," Norman replied.

"Just tea and sugar," I answered.

"Tea and sugar, that's all we need," replied Norman with renewed authority.

The next morning Hans Peter and I cooked up the last of our oatmeal and hot chocolate and started to break camp. It had stopped snowing, and a light dusting of powder covered the scree slopes, now illuminated in bright sunlight. Woody was sitting on the moraine not far from Norman as he broke down their tent. I heard the faint tinkle of shale and watched a small piece of scree scurry down the slopes. We felt a deep sonic rumbling through the soles of our boots. Then a flurry of free-flying boulders whirred down like incoming artillery.

"Rock slide!" I yelled, rolling into a ball and covering my head with my pack. Hans Peter didn't need to be told; he was already under his pack. Norman groped around for his.

Woody sat up, looked around, and said, "What's going on?" Three boulders whizzed by his face like cannonballs.

Since it was impossible to know which way the boulders would bounce, it was impossible to know which way to run. It was best to hunker down in one spot. Puffs of dust appeared across the top of the slope, and the whole mass gave way. Boulders running loose in front pelted the ground around us. Then, with a consummate roar, the whole mass moved down. The sky darkened. I closed my eyes and waited, choking on the dust.

The commotion died out, a few pebbles bounced off my pack, and the air cleared up. I peered out from under my pack. Woody was sitting in the same position, like a Buddhist monk, in his orange windbreaker.

He squinted at the slopes around him like half-blind Mr. Magoo. "Wow, did you see that?"

The landslide had parted in the middle, diverted to the sides by a small ridge above camp. As Hans Peter had said, Woody was incredibly lucky, a real Magoo Buddha. How many disasters could one person survive on one expedition? The only thing we could do, and it was no great comfort, was shoulder our packs and continue the trek to the main Rongbuk Glacier.

The next day, we arrived at the termination of the main Rongbuk Glacier, where the downward flow of ice was balanced by melting from the sun. Streams poured out from under a layer of boulders and gravel. Weirdly shaped seracs, towering sculptures of ice, had melted out of the network of crevasses behind the terminal moraine.

In this field of sun-sculpted seracs at the junction of the East and main Rongbuk Glaciers, I searched for our cache. This one will be gone too, I thought to myself. My role as route finder, a chore I enjoyed, was to decipher the shapes of the landscape from different angles, to study the way the land spread apart and opened, to interpret the continuous evolution of forms around me. I found the bag of sugar and tea and, not far away, the route with the fixed rope through the seracs. Thank God, I didn't have to cut a new route.

The seracs, surrounding us like the monoliths at Stonehenge, focused the sunlight on us. We stripped off our windbreakers, shed our down parkas, and stretched out on a patch of toast-warm moraine. Hans Peter soon had a pan of water simmering on the stove, and the four of us huddled over our tea and mulled our fate. We had descended from twenty-four thousand feet to about seventeen thousand feet in six days. It was time to decide. Should we go up the West Rongbuk Glacier to Nepal or go down the main Rongbuk Glacier to Tibet? Each of us stared into our cups as if the answer lay inside. We exchanged glances, then looked back into the tea.

Every afternoon the monsoon clouds advanced into Tibet, and every night they retreated to the plains of Nepal. One of these nights they would not retreat. In warning, a low monsoon cloud passed over us, the pale sun bobbed in and out like a memory, and a sharp chill went through me. We hurried into our down parkas, pulled over our windbreakers, and donned our wool hats. As I shouldered my pack, I looked at Norman and Hans Peter, waiting for one of them to make a decision. They looked blankly back at me.

0 Woody shuffled over to the pile of equipment, picked up a tent and a climbing rope, and tied them around his neck. He managed a weak smile to me. "Lead on, route tracker, to Nepal." He pointed up the West Rongbuk Glacier with his bamboo pole.

Woody's acknowledgment made me feel great. Route Tracker, that's me. Super powers include locating lost caches, avoiding hidden crevasses, recognizing the same shapes from different angles, and avoiding objects about to crash down from above. Yes, I am Route Tracker, able to track down lost glaciers, finder of the way through the mists of time, he who turns two dimensions to three. The Magoo Buddha is my leader and mentor.

Thank God, he's getting better, I thought to myself. Perhaps he'll be able to lead the icefall. But he had difficulty navigating the loose scree of the West Rongbuk Glacier's moraines. We lost precious days.

Dangerously behind schedule, we made it to the West Rongbuk serac crossing, where we had left fixed lines. I dropped my pack. Woody sat down on a rock to catch his breath. Norman and Hans Peter leaned back against boulders and propped up their rucksacks, wrists crossed at their waists, heads drooped.

I guess it's up to me, I thought. I climbed an ice hummock, searched for the fixed lines, and studied the route. Fog shrouded the tops of the seracs; the ice walls plunged straight into melt- water ponded in the depressions. Since the water was too deep to wade through, we'd have to climb over the seracs.

"How's it look?" asked Hans Peter

"No sign of the lines," I replied. "The seracs are flooded. We've got to climb over them."

Norman dropped his pack with a gesture of disgust. Hans Peter, shaking his head, untied the pitons and crampons from his pack.

As I sat on the moraine lacing my crampons to my boots, I looked at Woody.

"Woody, crampons." I pointed to his boots.

"What? What's happening?" He sat up and looked around.

"You get started; I'll get his crampons on," said Norman.

Me? Without Woody? I thought. Do a lead without Woody? I had done a few minor leads with Woody belaying me, but he was the leader.

"Look at Woody; do you think he's going to lead?" said Norman sarcastically.

"No, I guess not."

"I'll belay you," said Hans Peter.

"Are you crazy? You don't need a belay. There's no more than a fifteen-foot drop," growled Norman.

I had already fallen hundreds of feet on the North Col, so what's another fifteen? I guess that was the attitude I was supposed to have. Who knew for sure if it was only fifteen feet? It could be fifteen or one hundred and fifty. There were no reference points against which to scale the distance. Besides, the fall on the North Col had made me all the more cautious. I shuddered at the memory. I really couldn't cope with another experience like that.

"If I do this route, I'm doing it on belay," I replied.

As soon as I took a few steps, fear overtook me; my adrenal glands went into aftershock and bailed out. It wasn't the prospect of death, it was that of the pain that would precede it. It was the humiliation of being out of control, the unmanly screaming. Furthermore, a fifteen-foot fall into cold water could be more than unpleasant. If I so much as sprained my ankle, it could be the end. We were so close to the Nup La at the Nepal border, why risk an injury now? Why take chances when we didn't have to?

As I cut steps, the chips from my ice ax slid down the steep face. I rested, then stepped onto the new tread, drove in an ice piton, and clipped the rope through a carabiner that would stop me from falling to the bottom of the serac. That is, if someone was manning the belay. The rope, once fixed in place, would also act as a handrail.

After two hours I had advanced about fifty feet. I was exhausted; my breath came hard. My legs started to bounce up and down uncontrollably. The seracs come forward and retreated with my heartbeat. The mist cringed with pending twilight.

"Christ, Roger," yelled Norman, "we could drive a herd of yaks across that. What's the matter?"

"I don't know. Why don't you do it, Norm?"

"That's okay. Carry on." Norman shrugged his shoulders.

Come on, get a grip, I told myself. Climbing is a mental thing. As the saying goes, "Don't look down." Christ, I had already looked down, and I couldn't shake the image in my brain of sliding to the bottom, smashing my ankle, and becoming entombed in the glacier like Maurice Wilson. Okay, trust the rope. It would catch me before I smashed my ankle. But then, I couldn't remember the last time anyone was caught on belay on this expedition. What good was the rope if no one was going to hold on to the other end? Forget the rope; focus on the steps, yes, footholds with firm treads, three inches deep. With sharp crampons, this was not much more dangerous than walking up a ladder. Yes, a ladder, that was good. I was walking on a kind of sidewise ladder. It didn't matter how far the drop below was; it didn't matter if anybody held on to the rope. Why should I fall at all? My legs stopped bouncing up and down. I took several deep breaths, stepped across, clipped a carabiner into a piton, fed the rope through, and peered ahead into the swirling mist.

Between the ice cliffs I could see a fleeting shadow of black moraine on the far side. Inspired by the sight, I cut the last dozen steps with new energy, and jumped down onto the gravel. I drove a piton into the last ice cliff and tied off the rope.

"Off belay," I yelled.

I faintly heard Hans Peter's yell swallowed in the mist. "Ooookaaay!"

The others started out one after the other. I sat down on the moraine, head between my legs, gasped for breath, and unlaced my crampons. I heard Hans Peter kicking into the steps. Soon his dark shape loomed in the mist between the seracs. He faced into the cliff, meticulously taking one step at a time and slid the carabiner on his waist harness along the fixed rope. Twenty feet behind him came Woody, carrying my pack, teetering and stopping to catch his breath at every step.

Hans Peter reached the moraine, unclipped, and climbed down. "No going to Tibet now."

"I guess not." I stood up with my crampons in my hand.

Norman was last, and by the time he appeared Woody had reached the moraine, staggered forward, and fallen backward onto the pack. He breathed heavily for a while, then looked slowly at me. "Good lead," he said, and squirmed out of the shoulder straps.

The additional approval from the Magoo Buddha cheered me a bit. It did not occur to me that he might be buttering me up so that I would lead the Ngo Jumbo icefall to base camp. We were simply too brain-dead to have such complicated thoughts.

Norman arrived. "All right, that's over with. Time to pull the rope through."

arI had doubled it through the pitons so we could pull on one end and the other end would loop back to us. I tugged on the rope, but it didn't budge. I stood up and tugged on it harder. No dice. We all pulled on it.

"A knot's stuck in a carabiner," I said.

Hans Peter put his hands on his hips and looked to the heavens. "What more could happen?"

"Great! Our last rope," said Norman with bitterness. "How are we going to get through the crevasses?"

"Well, who's going back to untangle the rope?" asked Woody, slumping to the ground.

"My crampons are off. Besides, I'm too fucking tired to climb back and untangle it." I hung my head and stared at the crampons in my hand.

"We can't leave it," said Hans Peter. "What if one of us falls into a crevasse? What'll we do, tie our clothes together to make a rope?"

"Nobody's going back. We'll take our chances with the crevasses," said Woody. "We have another rope at the Nup La cache."

"If we get in trouble we'll come back," said Hans Peter.

"Sure, we'll come back," said Norman

"Sure, why not?" I said.

It was late afternoon when we shouldered our packs and headed up the West Rongbuk Glacier like four Old Testament prophets hardened from a diet of wild honey and raw locusts, hair matted, beards ragged, faces emaciated, and, with one exception, carrying Chinese bamboo poles in place of ice axes. We had lost three ice axes, two climbing ropes, one backpack, about forty pounds of food, and, among us, that again in body weight.

Turning back for a last glimpse of Everest, I watched it fade into the pall of the afternoon monsoon. I'd never had illusions of reaching the summit. Like Hans Peter, I believed reaching the summit was irrelevant, perhaps even irreverent. Summiting, especially in the context of conquering, trivializes the mystery. The Mother Goddess grew silent but was not conquered. The clouds closed on Mount Everest. That was the last time I saw the snows of Everest, except in recurrent memories and dreams over a lifetime of trying to understand the experience.

Our trials were hardly over. We were in a whiteout — snow below, snow above. Not able to see more than twenty feet ahead, I stumbled over hummocks, dropped off small precipices, and struggled to keep my comrades in sight.

Woody led, packless, scanning the white expanse for signs: breaks, cracks, and furrows in the snow. It was like crossing a minefield without a metal detector. He would probe with his bamboo pole, then step cautiously forward. The rest of us, carrying the heavy packs, followed in his footsteps, hoping that the snow bridges would hold the extra weight. I wished I could trust to fate like Woody, but the thought of breaking through to a crevasse made me anxious.

The vague memory of food at the Nup La cache kept us plodding on, hour after hour. We had to make it to that cache. But soon the storm turned into a full-fledged blizzard, and Woody stopped, his beard and eyebrows caked with ice that made him look old and emaciated. None of us looked too good. Norman threw down his pack with a dreary look on his face. We hadn't eaten for two days, and I could not imagine an expedition in a more precarious position. Hans Peter and I plodded through the routine drudgery of setting up camp, went to bed without food, and fell into a sleep without dreams, emptied of reasons for waking up. It was a matter of pure dumb luck, or a miracle, that no one had fallen into a crevasse that day.

pard

When I did awake, I stared at the faint orange glow on top of the dark drifts that were pushing the sides of the tent in. I heard Woody unzip the door of his tent.

"Oh, wow! Beautiful," he muttered.

I pulled on my boots and crawled out. Norman was brushing the snow off his tent. The mountain walls of the Nup La pass disappeared upward into a dense gray cloud layer brushed pink by the rising sun. Golden whirlwinds of ice crystals danced across the white expanse. I brushed the snow off the tent. Hans Peter, dark hollows under his eyes, crawled out, rose into the light of dawn, and scanned for the cache flags.

"Nothing," he said. "It could be under ten feet of snow."

"What if we can't find it?" I asked.

"Perhaps the ravens." Woody shook his head.

"We'll never get down the icefall," Norman said, scanning the horizon with his hand over his eyes.

"We'll go back to the Rongbuk crossing," sighed Hans Peter. The thought of retreating was appalling, but there was no way down the Ngo Jumbo icefall without a rope.

Two whirlwinds crisscrossed the snowfield like children playing tag, traversed in front of us, collided, and burst into a cloud of shimmering ice crystals that floated across the sun like dust floating through a sunbeam and then settled around a small black sliver in the snow.

"There's something," I said. "Perhaps the lip of a crevasse."

"Ja, it's something." Hans Peter took off across the snow.

"Hans, the crevasses," I yelled after him.

Copyright © 2003 by Roger Hart

Read More Show Less

Table of Contents

Table of Contents

CHAPTER ONE| The Route Tracker

CHAPTER TWO| Dumb Luck

CHAPTER THREE| Blindsight

CHAPTER FOUR| Eye of the Blizzard

CHAPTER FIVE| Letting Go

CHAPTER SIX| Precognition

CHAPTER SEVEN| Magic Cookies

CHAPTER EIGHT| Through the Vanishing Point

CHAPTER NINE|The Prediction

CHAPTER TEN| The Phaselock Code

CHAPTER ELEVEN| Infinite Futures

CHAPTER TWELVE| Relativity's Rainbow

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(0)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 2, 2003

    Compelling and thought provoking

    Author Roger Hart nearly died falling off the North Face of Mount Everest. That and other near death experiences has led Mr. Hart to question what is reality and how does an individual know it? His adventures and misadventures have taken Mr. Hart to many remote sites where he discussed with local wise men (and women) various incidents that occurred to him. He began to catalogue a common metaphysical theme of two bodies, once corporal and one mental. Soon Mr. Hart returned to western physics, studying theories on waves and particles in quantum mechanics. This led him to phaselock quantum physics where an individual ¿chooses¿ a wave function to screen through an endless number of perceptions.<P> This is a well done tome that merges Eastern thought with Western quantum physics into an oneness, but written so the reader understands the basic concepts of both. The author¿s energy (no pun intended) grips the audience as Mr. Hart makes it easy to grasp a myriad of complex subjects whether it is free will, the nature of time, and what is reality, etc. Readers who appreciate an easy to understand without condescending look at the metaphysical realm tied to modern day physics theory will want to decipher THE PHASELOCK CODE.<P> Harriet Klausner

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

    Posted June 8, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted May 5, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews

If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
Why is this product inappropriate?
Comments (optional)