Research Blog Antarctica #9

Non-fiction: Anatoli Boukreev & G. Weston DeWalt: the Climb (St.Martin’s Press, 1997)

This is one of those book-deal books, the ones where somebody makes the news and hires a journalist to help him write a book about it as fast as possible, to make some money. It’s hack work. Nevertheless, the book is engaging and interesting, especially since I knew practically nothing about high-altitude mountaineering before.

The book is about an expedition to Mount Everest, one that ended in tragedy, with the death of the leader Scott Fischer, and a couple of other climbers from another party. Boukreev was a guide working for Fischer, and managed to save three stranded clients by going alone into a raging blizzard without supplementary oxygen.

The story is made even more dramatic by the fact that a year later, Boukreev died in an avalanche on another mountain in Nepal, soon enough to make it into the afterword of the book.

So, it’s a true story drama combining extreme emotions, tragedy, heroism and mountaineering. Its what it is.

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