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The results of climbing this way are breathtaking, but the stakes are ultimate: if you fall, you die. In Alone on the Wall, Honnold recounts the seven most astonishing climbing achievements so far in his meteoric and still-evolving career.
About this book
The life and death-defying feats of Alex Honnold, a visionary climber of the sort that comes along only once in a generation. Only a few years ago, Alex Honnold was little known beyond a small circle of hardcore climbers. Today, at the age of thirty, he is probably the most famous adventure athlete in the world. In that short time, he has proven his expertise in many styles of climbing and has shattered speed records, pioneered routes, and won awards within each discipline. More spectacularly still, he has pushed the most extreme and dangerous form of climbing far beyond the limits of what anyone thought was possible. Free soloing, Honnold’s specialty, is a type of climbing performed without a rope, a partner, or hardware—such as pitons, nuts, or cams—for aid or protection. The results of climbing this way are breathtaking, but the stakes are ultimate: if you fall, you die. In Alone on the Wall, Honnold recounts the seven most astonishing climbing achievements so far in his meteoric and still-evolving career. He narrates the drama of each climb, along with reflective passages that illuminate the inner workings of his highly perceptive and discerning mind. We share in the jitters and excitements he feels waking in his van (where he lives full time) before a climb; we see him self-criticize in his climbing journal (a veritable bible for students of the sport); and we learn his secrets to managing fear—his most enviable talent. Veteran climber and award-winning author David Roberts writes part of each chapter in his own voice, and he calls on other climbers and the sport’s storied past to put Alex's tremendous accomplishments in perspective. Whenever Honnold speaks in public, he is asked the same two questions: "Aren't you afraid you're going to die?" and "Why do you do this?" Alone on the Wall takes us around the world and through the highs and lows in the life of a climbing superstar to answer those fascinating questions. Honnold's extraordinary life, and his idiosyncratic worldview, have much to teach us about risk, reward, and the ability to maintain a singular focus, even in the face of extreme danger.
With prose at once stark and lyrical, Salter elucidates the spirit of those who abandon material pursuits in search of an unspoiled honesty. He tells of one man's quest to rise above the mundane in search of peace and self-fulfillment.
About this book
This novel exposes the obsession that draws climbers away from civilization to test themselves against the most intimidating and inaccessible mountains in the world. James Salter captures the adventure of Gary, a roofer of churches, who feels restrained by conventions and flat ground. Unable to find happiness in his life, he travels to southern France to climb to the summits of the Alps. He finds peace and happiness within himself soon after. But when fellow climbers are trapped on the mountain, he makes a daring one-man rescue during a storm that brings him the notice he has always shunned. But the glory quickly dissapates and he returns to the anonymity he prefers, having thoroughly satisfied himself.
In this collection of his finest work from such magazines as Outside and Smithsonian, he explores the subject from the unique and memorable perspective of one who has battled peaks like K2, Denali, Everest, and, of course, the Eiger.
About this book
No one writes about mountaineering and its attendant hardships and victories more brilliantly than critically acclaimed author Jon Krakauer. In this collection of his finest work from such magazines as Outside and Smithsonian, he explores the subject from the unique and memorable perspective of one who has battled peaks like K2, Denali, Everest, and, of course, the Eiger. Always with a keen eye, an open heart, and a hunger for the ultimate experience, he gives us unerring portraits of the mountaineering experience. Yet Eiger Dreams is more about people than about rock and ice—people with that odd, sometimes maniacal obsession with mountain summits that sets them apart from other men and women. Here we meet Adrian the Romanian, determined to be the first of his countrymen to solo Denali; John Gill, climber not of great mountains but of house-sized boulders so difficult to surmount that even demanding alpine climbs seem easy; and many more compelling and colorful characters. In the most intimate piece, “The Devils Thumb,” Krakauer recounts his own near-fatal, ultimately triumphant struggle with solo-madness as he scales Alaska’s Devils Thumb. Eiger Dreams is stirring, vivid writing about one of the most compelling and dangerous of all human pursuits.