Desire & Ice: A Search for Perspective Atop Denali

Desire & Ice: A Search for Perspective Atop Denali


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Desire & Ice: A Search for Perspective Atop Denali by David Brill

Denali (Mt. McKinley) is accessible to climbers with limited alpine experience—provided they are in top condition and able to contend with the worst weather on Earth. In Desire & Ice, novice climber David Brill tells how he rose to a challenge that subjected him to physical and psychological extremes. Brill was way out of his comfort zone on Denali, and in this lighthearted take on his achievement, he tells us all about it.

Denali presents the greatest vertical gain—from just above sea level to 20,320 feet—of any mountain on the planet. Sited 2,400 miles north of Everest, it is notorious for 100-mile-per-hour winds and temperatures of 60 to 100 degrees below zero. Denali's thin air and 21 hours of sun per summer day create a near-Himalayan climbing environment.

Then there's the specter of death on the mountain. Since a group of miners (the Sourdough Expedition) defied all odds and reach the North Peak in 1910, Denali has claimed the lives of nearly 100 climbers.

These extreme conditions and storied history are woven throughout Brill's account of his own attempt to scale Denali. Trained by expert guides, the 45-year-old fledgling mountaineer mastered the skills to propel him from sofa to summit. His account overflows with vivid personalities and events: As Brill and his rope-mates cross glaciers and crevasses, claw their way up walls of ice, and wait out a killer storm, the author probes the motivation of his guides and fellow climbers—including two women whose quest for the summit ends in a flesh-freezing bathroom break.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780792269359
Publisher: National Geographic Society
Publication date: 11/01/2002
Pages: 320
Product dimensions: 6.03(w) x 9.02(h) x 0.71(d)

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