Celebrated Climber Tells Of Peak Experiences



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