• No Shortcuts to the Top

  • Climbing the World's 14 Highest Peaks
  • By: Ed Viesturs, David Roberts
  • Narrated by: Ed Viesturs
  • Length: 5 hrs and 52 mins
  • Abridged
  • Release date: 10-09-06
  • Language: English
  • Publisher: Random House Audio
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars 4.4 (63 ratings)

Regular price: $23.93

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Publisher's Summary

This gripping and triumphant memoir follows a living legend of extreme mountaineering as he makes his assault on history, one 8,000-meter summit at a time. For 18 years, Ed Viesturs pursued climbing's holy grail: to stand atop the world's 14 8,000-meter peaks, without the aid of bottled oxygen. But No Shortcuts to the Top is as much about the man who would become the first American to achieve that goal as it is about his stunning quest. As Viesturs recounts the stories of his most harrowing climbs, he reveals a man torn between the flat, safe world he and his loved ones share and the majestic and deadly places where only he can go.
A preternaturally cautious climber who once turned back 300 feet from the top of Everest but who would not shrink from a peak (Annapurna) known to claim the life of one climber for every two who reached its summit, Viesturs lives by an unyielding motto: "Reaching the summit is optional. Getting down is mandatory." It is with this philosophy that he vividly describes fatal errors in judgment made by his fellow climbers, as well as a few of his own close calls and gallant rescues. And, for the first time, he details his own pivotal and heroic role in the 1996 Everest disaster made famous in Jon Krakauer's Into Thin Air.
No Shortcuts to the Top is more than the first full account of one of the staggering accomplishments of our time; it is a portrait of a brave and devoted family man and the beliefs that shaped this most perilous and magnificent pursuit.
©2006 Ed Viesturs and David Roberts (P)2006 Random House, Inc. Random House Audio, a division of Random House, Inc.
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By Lindsay on 09-08-16

Fantastic Story About Mountaineering & Challenges

If you could sum up No Shortcuts to the Top in three words, what would they be?

Gripping, engaging, motivating

What did you like best about this story?

I love that Ed Viesturs read the audiobook - the authors always do a much better job. I've read all of Krauker's books, so this was a really nice perspective on mountaineering and it was thoroughly enjoyable.

Have you listened to any of Ed Viesturs’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

No, I haven't. I will listen to more.

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

It did make me laugh at times, and there were moments when I felt like crying. It's a great book.

Any additional comments?

Great audiobook! Perfect for anyone interested in climbing, mountaineering, or fans of Krauker.

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5 out of 5 stars
By Sarah Parmer Vickers on 08-16-16


Amazing story narrated by the author. Very inspiring and actually going to now listen to the unabridged version.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By Chris Kelly on 07-03-17

Hair raising true stories

very inspirational. a great listen. not the best reader ever but that is compensated by the fact that it is Ed himself and his connection to the material makes up for what he lacks as a reader. a very inspirational listen.

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5 out of 5 stars
By carl on 05-26-16


If you're interested in biggest mountains read this. Ed admits he may have been lucky at times but overall a logical approach to getting to 8000m summits is likely why he is alive today.

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