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This is one funny book. One does not need to be a climber to enjoy this book
This book is not only interesting and informative (I totally get black-magic-marking, re-marking & taking multiple pictures of luggage) but also very funny as well. I like that it is non fiction and something author actually did. However, I thought Mr. Hodgson was kidding when he said the mess tent at his base camp was named the “Ernesto Hernandez” mess tent. These Argentinians must be desperate to be recognized for ANYTHING. I liked learning about Tang and the guy who created it apparently also created Hot Rocks, Cool Whip & jello. Mr. Hodgson got carried away over his research on blood/physiology and how it all changes with altitude. He lost me long before finishing his explanation of that. I perked back up when he spoke of Diamox and its magical properties. I don’t know why every mountain climber doesn’t just put themselves on a Diamox DRIP the moment they reach base camp. I love the appendix at the end-actually took notes just in case I ever decide to climb a mountain. One thing is for certain, I would deal with the extra 14 oz. just to carry with me one of those pop open mini-chairs! Also, since the big deal is the Summit and so many of those novice mountain climbers negate THAT accomplishment by dying on the way down, how come they don’t have an army of sherpas climb to the top of the death traps know as the Himalayas and construct some sort of steel-cabled ZIP lines for those poor, beleaguered, snow-blind, incoherent, helpless people who crawl to the very top and just stand around up there looking for their warm drink and tent—they could just grab those guys, snap their harness to a 1000 ft. zip line and let ‘em go. The ride would clear their senses and get them into breathable air, nice toasty tent and some warm yak milk. Geez. Anyway, Mr. Hodgson gets his readers thinking and listening with pleasure—the whole point of being a writer. Too bad everything else he has written looks like weird science fiction. But THIS gets a solid 5 Stars from me.