Named one of the "Five Adventure Books You Need to Read This Summer" by Backpacker Magazine.
For listeners of Into Thin Air, riveting high-altitude drama and the passion and drive that inspire outsized mountaineering achievements.
Master of Thin Air opens with a fall that the author very nearly could not stop down an almost vertical rock ramp leading to a 3,000-foot drop. The qualities that saved him then on K2 - in addition to his mountaineering know-how and sheer good luck - drove his 16-year journey to summit all of the world's 8,000ers, the 14 peaks that exceed 8,000 meters (26,000-plus feet) and take climbers into the death zone. Incredibly, he accomplished that feat without the aid of bottled oxygen for every mountain but one. By preference, he climbed solo or in small teams, without Sherpas. During 23 expeditions, he spent a total of three years clinging to the sides of dangerous mountains. He lost more than 20 climbing friends and, in April 2014, witnessed Everest's deadliest avalanche.
His book is a riveting, often thrilling account of what it takes to challenge the Earth's highest peaks and survive. It tells of death-defying ascents and even riskier descents, the gut-dropping consequences of the smallest mistakes or even just bad luck, the camaraderie and human drama of expeditions, and the exhilaration of altitude. It is also the inspiring story of what motivates a person to achieve an extraordinary dream, a story of passion, resourcefulness, self-motivation, and hope - even in the most dire moments.
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- Cody R.