Free eBook The Will to Climb: Obsession and Commitment and the Quest to Climb Annapurna - the World's Deadliest Peak (Audio Download): David Roberts, Fred Sanders, Ed Viesturs, Random House Audio: Audible Audiobooks By David Roberts –

The best selling author of No Shortcuts to the Top and K chronicles his three attempts to climb the world s tenth highest and statistically deadliest peak, Annapurna in the Himalaya, while exploring the dramatic and tragic history of others who have made or attempted the ascent, and what these exploits teach us about facing life s greatest challenges As a high school student in the flatlands of Rockford, Illinois, where the highest objects on the horizon were water towers, Ed Viesturs read and was captivated by the French climber Maurice Herzog s famous and grisly account of the first ascent of Annapurna inWhen he began his own campaign to climb the world shighest peaks in the late s, Viesturs looked forward with trepidation to undertaking Annapurna himself Two failures to summit inandmade Annapurna his nemesis His successfulascent was the triumphant capstone of his climbing quest In The Will To Climb, Viesturs brings 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, he 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 Of all fourteen of the world s highest mountains, which I climbed betweenand , writes Viesturs, the one that came the closest to defeating my best efforts was Annapurna Although it was the first , meter peak to be climbed, Annapurna is not as well known as the world s highest mountain, Everest, or second highest, K But as Viesturs argues, Annapurna, while not technically the most difficult of the ,ers, is the most daunting because it has no route no ridge or face on any side of the mountain that is relatively free of what climbers call objective danger the threat of avalanches, above all, but also of collapsing seracs huge ice blocks , falling rocks, and crevasses Since its first ascent in , Annapurna has been climbed by thanpeople, buthave died trying This high fatality rate makes Annapurna the most dangerous of the , meter peaks Viesturs and co author David Roberts chronicle Ed s three attempts to climb Annapurna, as well as the attempts of others, from the two French climbers who made the landmark first ascent of Annapurna on June through the daring and tragic campaigns of such world class mountaineers as Reinhold Messner and Anatoli Boukreev Viesturs accounts and analyses of these extraordinary adventures serve as a point of departure for his exploration of themes vividly illustrated by Annapurna expeditions, including obsession and commitment, fear and fulfillment, failure and triumph issues that have been neglected in the otherwise very rich literature of mountaineering, and that can inform the lives and actions of everyone

7 thoughts on “The Will to Climb: Obsession and Commitment and the Quest to Climb Annapurna - the World's Deadliest Peak (Audio Download): David Roberts, Fred Sanders, Ed Viesturs, Random House Audio: Audible Audiobooks

  1. Nick Nick says:

    Ed Viesturs books are all a good read as he always tries to make his books accessible to the non mountaineer, and look into why people are driven to risk their lives climbing, rather than getting bogged down in technical stuff ie like Touching the Void This was particularly interesting to me given that there are loads of books on Everest and to a lesser extent K2 but not so many on the other great peaks such as Annapurna A great look back at attempts to climb this dangerous mountain.

  2. Pete D Pete D says:

    This is a very easy read written by a climber who developed lasting friendships with other climbers He conveys the danger of the climbs and his relationship with Annapurna A good read for anyone with an interest in climbing narrative.

  3. Ray Ray says:

    As with all of Ed s books he makes you feel like your there with him Essential reading for any mountaineer

  4. monxton13 monxton13 says:

    Simply brilliant, EV writes the best mountaineering books you can buy.

  5. John Atkinson John Atkinson says:

    Fantastic read, what an incredible climber

  6. Jerome Ryan Jerome Ryan says:

    America s first mountaineer to climb all 14 8000m peaks and twelfth overall, all without oxygen, Viesturs describes the major events on Annapurna along with his own three attempts featuring his diary entries You should buy this book first and foremost for Viesturs account of the first ascent of the East Ridge by Swiss Erhard Loretan and Norbert Joos in 1984, second for the miraculous survival of Simone Moro and tragic death of Anatoli Bookreev on Christmas Day 1997, third for his own three attempts and eventual success, and finally as a history of the main events in Annapurna s history including the first ascent by Maurice Herzog and Louis Lachenal in 1950, the first ascent of the south face by Dougal Haston and Don Willans on a Chris Bonington British expedition in 1970, the first ascent of the northwest face by Reinhold Messner and Hans Kammerlander in 1985, the first winter ascent by Jerzy Kukuczka and Artur Hajzer in 1987, and the second ascent of the east ridge by J C Lafaille and Alberto Inurrategi in 2002 There are 8 pages of colour photos and a 2 page b w photo.The book starts with Ed describing his attempt to climb Annapurna North Face in 2000 with Veikka Gustafsson, Neil Beidleman, and Michael Kennedy After witnessing the biggest avalanche any of us had ever seen , they decided to give up their attempt because the risks are too great Ed then describes the first ascent of Annapurna in 1950 by Maurice Herzog and Louis Lachenal, chronicled by Herzog in Annapurna, the best selling mountaineering book of all time In 2000, Ed s co author for this book, David Roberts, wrote True Summit, a book fairly critical of Herzog, stating that the 1950 team was ridden with dissension, acrimony and envy, and that the book was little than a gilded fairy tale Ed disagrees with David For me, Annapurna is still an amazing book, essentially a true story, and all six of the leading climbers ability to pull together to save one another s lives far outweighs the kinds of squabbles and disagreements David dug up After searching for a route on Dhaulagiri, the French team switched their energies to Annapurna Even though the maps of the day were wrong, the team managed to find a way to the Annapurna North Face, and in just a few days were ready to tackle the summit Herzog was indulging in the kind of ecstasy and stayed on the summit while Lachenal wanted to go down As much as I admire Herzog and empathize with his rapture, I have to concede that Lachenal was using better judgment He briefly describes the horror filled descent and escape from the clutches of death,The authors then describe the first ascent in 1970 of the enormous Annapurna South Face rising in one unbroken, gargantuan sweep than 10,000 feet from the glacier at its base to the summit Dougal Haston and Don Willans, two brilliant climbers with huge egos, blazing ambition, and sharp tempers , reached the summit The British Expedition was led by Chris Bonington who despite his conservative, military background has always been a firm proponent of the tell it like it is school of adventure journalism The lead climbers were supported by five good soldiers , including Tom Frost who provides some perspective on the expedition For me, the day to day details, disputes and all, painted a complete and accurate picture of expedition life Despite the dissension within the team the ascent of the south face of Annapurna ranks today as one of the geatest deads in Himalayan history My favourite chapter is when Ed Viesturs tells the next story of the 1984 ascent of the East Ridge by Erhard Loretan and Norbert Joos After a brief review of the 1978 ascent by an all women s expedition led by Arlene Blum, Ed uses Loretan s book Les 8000 Rugissants to tell the story The two Swiss climbers left Base Camp on October 21 and climbed to Camp II, and the next day to Camp IV at 7500m, a snow cave above Roc Noir They set out on October 23 at 4 30, reached the Col below the East Summit at 8 30 and reached the East Summit at 14 00, descending in an hour to the col below the central summit at 8020m where they decided to bivouac in a snow cave In a call to base camp they announced their intention of descending by the north face after having reached the principal summit Rather than what was believed to be a desperate last resort, Loretan and Joos had pre planned to do the traverse of Annapurna On October 24 they climbed the Central Summit and then had to rappel down a 100m rock cliff that blocked any idea of retreat along the East Ridge They reached the main summit at 13 30 We fell into each other s arms A great happiness spread through me The statistician in me told me that we had succeeded today on a new route on Glacier Dome Tarke Kang , the third ascent of the Roc Noir Khangsar Kang , and the first of the east ridge of Annapurna with its three summits east, middle, and main to celebrate it would be necessary to arrive on the north side base camp alive, and that, as the one armed say, is another pair of sleeves After only 10 minutes on the summit, they started their descent of the north face which neither climber had seen before and bivouacked again at around 6800m On October 25 the men spotted the top end of a fixed rope just 100m below them, but below an overhanging wall The descent of those 300 feet would turn out to be the most desperate passage of the whole traverse After reaching the fixed rope, the two climbers continued their descent and had to bivouac again before stepping off the glacier at 13 00 on October 26 Loretan The doors of hell had just closed behind us, enclosing inside them our fears, our doubts and our anguish Viesturs There is absolutely no doubt in my mind that the 1984 traverse of Annapurna was one of the greatest feats in Himalayan history In the next chapter, Ed detours to look at competition in mountaineering, specifically between Loretan and Benoit Chamoux to be the third person to climb all 14 8000ers In September 1995 Both Loretan and Chamoux were on the south side of Kangchenjunga Loretan arrived a little earlier and was acclimitized and stronger than Chamoux Loretan I understood that Benoit Chamoux was absolutely determined to beat me to the top Both climbers left Camp IV 7800m on October 5 with Loretan s team breaking trail, and Chamoux lagging behind Loretan reached the summit at 14 35 and passed Chamoux still heading up as he climbed down Chamoux was never seen again.J.C Lafaille and his mentor Pierre Beghin s attempted the south face of Annapurna in 1992, where Beghin fell to his death The ordeal he endured during the next several days would eventually become one of the most amazing self rescues in mountaineering history After attempts in 1995 and 1998, J.C teamed up with Ed Viesturs and Veikka Gustafsson to try the East Ridge in 2002 In Jean Christophe Lafaille, I would discover one of the best partners of my mountaineering career Alberto Inurrategi joined the climbing team In May a pattern began to form, with J C doing most of the leading on our route In part that was because he was so fast and so technically gifted As J C and Alberto pushed on the East Ridge, Ed started getting the heebie jeebies Deep snow on the face not good Veikka and Ed both agonized but finally after hours of silence knew we would go down J C and Alberto completed the East Ridge and reached the summit of Annapurna on May 16 J C There, at an altitude of 8,091 meters, a deep cry of joy, of liberation, came from the bottom of my lungs We held each other in our arms I started crying, my emotions were so strong Alberto clasped Felix s ice ax to his heart They returned along the east ridge to safety, with J C s obsesssion with Annapurna finished, but with Ed still needing to climb Annapurna for his quest to climb all 14 8000ers.Ed then describes the competition between Reinhold Messner and Jerzy Kukuczka to become the first person to climb all 14 8000m mountains Messner and Hans Kammerlander climbed a new route with delicate friction moves on rock slabs interspersed with steep snowfields up the northwest face of Annapurna in 1985 Kukuczka and Artur Hajzer climbed the north face, reaching the summit in winter on February 23, 1987 Kukuczka it is impossible for a moment to get away from that bitter, penetrating frost, that takes away one s will and hope We climbed on ice so hard that even the tips of our crampons could hardly penetrate it After briefly commenting on Anatoli Bookreev and his involvement in the 1996 Everest tragedy, Ed takes excerpts from Simone Moro s book Comet on Annapurna to describe Simone, Anatoli, and Dimitri Sobolev s attempt in December 1997 of a line attacking the fiercely glaciated southwest flank of Annapurna, well to the left of all the south face routes After making slow progress in the terrible conditions, sinking in snow up to their waists, they went down the valley for some R R before heading back up the mountain Moro Above my head there was a terrifying, gigantic cornice of snow and ice stretching out like an ocean wave Death was hanging right over our heads A fraction of a second later, a deafening roar announced the end of that gigantic cornice, and with it our lives Anatoliiiiii That desperate cry was all I could manage before the explosion of ice and rock started pouring down on me After that there followed an interminable phase of bouncing, sliding, spinning around and round It was 12 36 on Christmas Day, December 25, 1997 Miraculously Moro survived Simone shouted to Anatoli and Demitri, but there was no answer Simone himself was in a desperate situation and, with shades of J C Lafaille, had to throw caution to the wind and descend off the mountain by himself.Ed closes the book with his successful ascent of Annapurna with Veikka Gustafsson on May 12, 2005, completing his Endeavor 8000 project and becoming the 12 person to climb all 14 8000m peaks They first acclimitized on Cho Oyu to reduce their time spent on Annapurna to an absolute minimum Ed had to forego his summit attempt to help Jimmy Chin, sick with pulmonary edema, descend from their high camp 7070m , while Veikka reached the summit solo They then turned their sights on the 1950 French route on the north face, the least of all evils With help from Silvio Mondinelli s Italian Expedition in using their fixed ropes, It would mean that we could climb alpine style, having to traverse that dangerous face only once on the ascent After waiting for the weather to clear, they left base camp on May 8 and climbed to Camp II The next day, we had to dash up and across what I called the Gauntlet, that frightfully exposed face down which in 2000 we d seen the avalanches pour to Camp III 6800m I was pretty wired the culmination of an eighteen year quest might come the next day After waiting out May 10 and 11 due to high winds, the left for the summit early on May 12 The scale of this upper north face was truly monstrous It was 2 00 P.M Veikka and I hugged each other as tightly as we could, feeling clumsy with cold My mind was racing Oh my God It s not just my fourteenth, it s Annapurna We spent almost an hour on top I wanted to savor every sweet moment of this.

  7. Eric Blair Eric Blair says:

    Ed Viesturs le premier alpiniste am ricain avoir boucl les quatorze, 8000m, nous raconte sa relation l Annapurna, un sommet qu il a d tenter trois reprises avant de le r ussir Un sommet qui l a hant pendant des ann es Ce faisant c est un historique des diff rentes ascensions de cette montagne 8 chapitres qu il nous convie, depuis celle d Hertzog et Lachenal, jusqu la sienne Cela nous vaut une s rie de chapitres passionnants On apprend pourquoi l Annapurna, sans tre le sommet le plus technique, ni le plus haut, a une r putation si particuli re Pour la plupart Viesturs a connu les alpinistes dont il raconte les exploits ou checs Lafaille, Boukreev, Moro, Kukucza, Messner Pour r diger son livre il s est aussi inspir d ouvrages devenus parfois inaccessibles, comme ceux de Loretan ou Boukreev.Comme dans ses autres livres Viesturs suit une d marche d passionn e et r fl chie Il s int resse aussi aux c t s des ascensions, le contexte, les rapports humains, la faiblesse humaine, la peur et la volont , l obstination, la chance Pas de forfanterie, ni d alpinisme spectacle Il ne cherche pas non plus entretenir des conflits d gos, m me s il voque les controverses qui existent dans le milieu Dans tout cela, une mention particuli re doit tre faite l attachement familial, sa femme et ses enfants ont une pr sence forte une pierre dans le jardin de Maria Coffey.A noter Viesturs a rencontr Hetzog aux Etats Unis et s est fait d dicacer Annapurna premier 8000, son livre de chevet de jeunesse qui a d cid de sa vocation Pour un am ricain, il a une connaissance vraiment fine de l alpinisme europ en Il est vraiment sympathique de voir le coup de chapeau qu il lui tire et notamment aux fran ais Un portfolio de 5 pages de photos en couleur permet de se faire une repr sentation des lieux et des personnages Les diff rentes voies suivies sont clairement figur es.NB Le livre est co crit par David Roberts, auteur notamment du livre qui a d voil les dessous de la premi re ascension de l Annapurna L anglais est tr s accessible.