Celebrated Climber Tells Of Peak Experiences
VENTURES AMOUNG Men And Mountains
Jon Krakauer, Lyons & Burford publishers.
Reviewed by B.D. Poe
Veteran mountaineer Jon Krakauer, able sherpa to the armchair adventurist,
guides the reader on climbing expeditions so dangerous that one out of five
participants sink in frozen death. Those who survive do so having lost fingers
and toes, feet and hands to frostbite.
Venturing the World’s highest peaks; Everest, K2, and McKinley where thin air,
sub zero hurricane force blizzards, altitude sickness, fatigue and euphoria bring
both acts of madness and heroics author Krakauer relays chilling accounts or men
and women engaged in the world’s most dangerous sport.
EIGER DREAMS touches on the various aspects of mountain climbing; the
spectacular incidents; the techniques employed; the various personalities
and philosophies of the climbers.
Daring glacier hopping pilots perform death defying stunts to rescue
snowbound climbers in rapidly deteriorating situations. Canyoneers
escape death at the hands of smugglers. Multiple deaths and delirium
on the face of K2. Heroics in the Himalayas. Heart stopping action
on ice climbs hanging from frozen waterfalls in Alaska.
Colorful characters teem throughout Krakauer’s narrative. One of many
expeditions on Mt.McKinley called themselves DICK DANGER AND THE
THROBBING MEMBERS. Snowed in at 17,200 ft. being without food for
days, Danger & Company kept themselves amused by singing the theme
song from Gilligan’s Island. While the 5150 GROUP failed to make it to
the top they got even higher on a legendary strain of cannabis sativa.
An entire chapter is devoted to the escapades of THE BURGESS
BROTHERS, mountaineering twins who fight, abscond beer and generally
carouse their way into alpinist lore.
Krakauer has written on diverse subjects such as fire-walking for Rolling Stone,
history for Smithsonian and design for Architectural Digest, his writing ability
shine through in Eiger Dreams. His follow up book Into Thin Air was a top ten
book and converted into a prime time movie