The Climb

The Climb – Tragic Ambitions on Everest, by Anatoli Boukreev and G. Weston DeWalt ★★★★★
Having just read “Into Thin Air” by Jon Krakauer, I felt it necessary to get another viewpoint of the 1996 Everest Tragedy. Krakauer certainly had a smoother writing style, though Boukreev remains the more believable author. Both detail the facts as they saw them that led to the death of six climbers on Everest in one day, though Boukrrev gives a far more plausible explanation as to the mistakes, and errors in judgment that occurred not only among the guides but also among the clients in several expedition groups competing with each other for the summit of Everest. Errors in supply tactics, preparation of the client climbers, organization of Sherpas and other personnel, and overestimation of ones’ own energy and endurance were skillfully laid out by Boukreev but totally glossed over by Krakauer. Both books will hold you spellbound until the end–such an event needs no elaborate journalism to portray the hopes, the folly, and the extreme conditions that all faced attempting to claim the distinction of having climbed the tallest mountain in the world. As for me, I’ll stay a little lower down on terra firma. If you had to choose between the two books, this would be the preferred.