No Shortcuts To The Top
By AM Northwest Staff
No Shortcuts To The Top By Ed Viesturs
For eighteen years, Ed Viesturs pursued climbing's holy grail: to stand atop the world's fourteen 8,000-meter peaks without the aid of bottled oxygen. He is a preternaturally cautious climber who once turned back 300 feet from the top of Everest. Yet he would not shrink from the challenge of Annapurna, a peak down to claim the life of one climber for every two who reached its summit. His unyielding motto: "Reaching the summit is optional. Getting down is mandatory." It is with this philosophy that he vividly describes fatal errors in judgement made 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 and the beliefs that shaped this most perilous and magnificant pursuit. In a new postscript, Viesturs talks about running his first marathon as an invited guest of the New York Road Runners and his spring 2007 expedition to Canada's Baffin Island to study the effects of global warning.