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Addicted to Danger: A Memoir About Affirming Life in the Face of Death
by Jim Wickwire
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0671019910, Paperback)In 1978 Jim Wickwire became the first American to top 28,250-foot K2, the second highest peak after Mt. Everest (for some, his solo bivouac near the summit the same night is an even greater feat). But it is a previous expedition to K2 three years earlier--and the author's unflinching assessment of that trip--which sets the tone for the book. "K2, the mountain that would one day represent my greatest success," he writes, "was in 1975 the scene of my greatest failure. It was a failure not because someone died or suffered a serious injury, but because my obsession to reach the summit helped doom our expedition to disappointment, discord, and, for a time, disgrace." Wickwire's memoir of a climbing life is riveting when he sticks to the mountains--including attempts on Everest, Denali, and Aconcagua--and particularly fascinating for its candid look at the internal machinations of big-time climbing expeditions: the planning, logistics, and training as well as the egos and rivalries that can derail an expedition. The lugubrious details are also here. More than one climbing partner doesn't escape from a crevasse, but it is a price exacted by the mountains, and Wickwire treats both his lost friends and the terrain with due respect.
(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:57:48 -0400)
Among the world's most intrepid and fearless climbers, Jim Wickwire has traveled the globe, from Alaska to the Alps, from the Andes to the Himalayas, in search of fresh challenges and new heights to conquer. Along the way he accumulated an extraordinary roster of historic achievements. He was one of the first two Americans to reach the summit of the 28,250-foot K2, the world's second highest peak, acknowledged as the toughest and most dangerous to climb. But with the triumphs came harrowing incidents of suffering and loss that haunt him still. On one climb, his shoulder broken by a fall, he watched helplessly as a friend slowly froze to death, trapped in an ice crevasse. Buffeted by storms, Wickwire spent two weeks utterly alone on a remote glacier before his rescue. After more than three decades of uncommon challenges, Wickwire faced a crisis of heart - a turning point that threatened his faith in himself and his hope in the future. How he reassessed his priorities and rededicated his life - to his family and to his community - completes a unique and moving portrait of one man's courage, commitment, and grace under pressure. Addicted to Danger is a tale of adventure in its truest sense.
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