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The Will to Climb: Obsession and Commitment and the Quest to Climb Annapurna--the World's Deadliest Peak

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Overview

The bestselling author of The Mountain and No Shortcuts to the Top chronicles his three attempts to climb the world's tenth-highest and statistically deadliest peak while exploring the dramatic and tragic history of others who have madeor attemptedthe ascent

As a high school student, Ed Viesturs read and was captivated by the French climber Maurice Herzog's famous and grisly account of the first ascent of Annapurna in 1950. When he began his...

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The Will to Climb: Obsession and Commitment and the Quest to Climb Annapurna--the World's Deadliest Peak

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Overview

The bestselling author of The Mountain and No Shortcuts to the Top chronicles his three attempts to climb the world's tenth-highest and statistically deadliest peak while exploring the dramatic and tragic history of others who have madeor attemptedthe ascent

As a high school student, Ed Viesturs read and was captivated by the French climber Maurice Herzog's famous and grisly account of the first ascent of Annapurna in 1950. When he began his own campaign to climb the world's 14 highest peaks in the late 1980s, Viesturs looked forward with trepidation to undertaking Annapurna himself. Two failures to summit in 2000 and 2002 made Annapurna his nemesis. His successful 2005 ascent was the triumphant capstone of his climbing quest.

In The Will to Climb Viesturs and co-author David Roberts bring the extraordinary challenges of Annapurna to vivid life through edge-of-your-seat accounts of the greatest climbs in the mountain’s history, and of his own failed attempts and eventual success.  In the process Viesturs ponders what Annapurna reveals about some of our most fundamental moral and spiritual questions—questions, he believes, that we need to answer to lead our lives well.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
Praise for The Will to Climb

 “The Will to Climb captures the essence and spirit of the great sport of mountaineering... For anyone who loves the outdoors and for those who admire the will of mankind, this book is a must-read.” Tod Leiweke, CEO of Tampa Bay Lightning

“Viesturs and Roberts have written an exhaustively researched and wonderfully compelling history of the most fascinating and dangerous of the Himalayan giants.” David Breashers, veteran mountaineer and documentary filmmaker, director of IMAX film Everest

“A detailed, nicely told account of a man’s endurance and perseverance in achieving a singular goal.” —Publishers Weekly

Publishers Weekly
Viesturs (No Shortcuts to the Top), with an assist from writer Roberts, conveys the almost manic dedication and preparation of the accomplished mountaineers mastering such dangerous peaks as the perilous Annapurna. Quoting from Soviet climber Anatoli Boukreev, Viesturs, America’s most skilled high-altitude mountaineer, lays out the problems of humans scaling unforgiving terrain in the bitter cold without a margin for error: “High-altitude mountaineering is the most dangerous kind of sport; it has the highest rate of fatal consequence.” He knew the world’s killer peak, Annapurna, could be bested, for the French climber Maurice Herzog did it in 1950. Learning techniques from veteran achievers, he still failed twice to successfully plant a flag on the crest of the mountain, but he managed a triumphant climb of it in 2005. This is a detailed, nicely told account of a man’s endurance and perseverance in achieving a singular goal. (Oct.)
Kirkus Reviews

A veteran mountaineer chronicles his colossal quest to scale the Himalayas' 14 8,000-meter peaks, including the deadliest, Annapurna.

With the assistance of Roberts(Finding Everett Ruess, 2011, etc.),Viesturs (K2, 2009, etc.)returns with another true account of cliffhanging adventure. Viesturs was inspired by mountain-climbing icon Maurice Herzog's successful ascent of Annapurna in 1950, which was the first time anyone had reached the summit of that treacherous Himalayan monolith. After conquering most of the harrowing Himalayan range, in 2000 Viesturs finally prepared to take on the intimidating Annapurna. Interspersed throughout his own combative history with the Himalayas' "8,000ers" are historical accounts of other adventurous souls who've attempted to conquer these peaks since the 19th century. The author describes his own attachment to mountain-climbing as "tread[ing] between commitment and obsession," which is believable enough, since Viesturs certainly doesn't over-romanticize this obsession. Viesturs describes the successful exploits of the most formidable characters taking part in this survival-of-the-fittest competition, but often the most miraculous accounts are rooted in failure: In particular, French climber Jean-Christophe Lafaille's incredible 8,000-foot descent from Annapurna with a broken arm and no rope, followed by fellow mountaineer Simone Moro surviving a 2,600-foot tumble down the mountain's rugged face. Reinhold Messner, often considered the greatest mountaineer ever, was the first to conquer all 14 8,000ers. Though Viesturs' battle with Annapurna ended on a triumphal note, not every successful mountaineer gains a lasting sense of fulfillment from their achievements in the so-called vertical world. Unfortunately, the author only skims the surface of the psychological aspects that drive a person to scale a 29,000-foot mountain.

Lacks overall depth and scope, but good for vicarious thrill-seeking.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780307720436
  • Publisher: Crown Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 10/23/2012
  • Pages: 304
  • Sales rank: 482,132
  • Product dimensions: 5.26 (w) x 7.90 (h) x 0.68 (d)

Meet the Author

ED VIESTURS is the first and only American to ascend all fourteen of the world’s 8,000-meter peaks without supplemental oxygen and the author of The Mountain, No Shortcuts to the Top, and K2. 

In addition to his collaborations with Ed Viesturs, DAVID ROBERTS is the author of more than twenty books, including Finding Everett Ruess.

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Table of Contents

         Foreword, by Roger Goodell, Commissioner of the National Football         League           
         Chapter One: The Brick Wall       
         Chapter Two: A New and Splendid Life      
         Chapter Three: South Face          
         Chapter Four: So Close to the Dead                
         Chapter Five: The Door to the Land of the Living        
         Chapter Six: Messner and Kukuczka              
         Chapter Seven: Comet on Annapurna             
         Chapter Eight: My Annapurna      
         Epilogue: Goddess of the Harvests         
         Acknowledgments                       
         Bibliography                                

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 7 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 7 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 12, 2012

    for climberss only

    I read this book after no shortcuts and was interested in learning more about viesturs' attempts at this dangerous mountain• it might be an ok book on its own but there is a lot of overlap which feels like you are re reading no shotcuts• the history vieturs draws n for the story is fascinating but i would not recommend this to a non climbing friend

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  • Posted February 28, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Always like Ed's stories

    An easy read that Ed gives not only his own story but those of others that climbed Annapurna

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    Posted May 10, 2012

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    Posted January 28, 2012

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    Posted March 14, 2012

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    Posted October 25, 2011

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    Posted October 16, 2012

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