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Ultimate High: My Everest Odyssey by Göran…

Ultimate High: My Everest Odyssey

by Göran Kropp

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A great book for fans of Everest. ( )
  aob | Apr 9, 2007 |
This memoir was written by the adventurer who, in 1995-96, rode his bike from his front door in Sweden all the way to Mount Everest, then reached the summit without oxygen. He died rock-climbing in eastern Washington in 2002.
  benjfrank | Jan 13, 2007 |
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 156331830X, Hardcover)

Why just climb Everest when you can climb it without supplemental oxygen? Why just climb it without oxygen when you can climb it alone? And why fly to Nepal to climb Everest when you can bicycle all the way there? Apparently, questions such as these occurred to Göran Kropp, a Swede with a taste for adventure and a desire for the Ultimate High. In October 1995, Kropp set out from Sweden with a bicycle, a trailer, and over 200 pounds of equipment. Over the next four months, he cycled some 7,000 miles across Eastern Europe, Turkey, Iran, Pakistan, India, and Nepal. By the time he arrived in Kathmandu, Kropp had been shot at, pelted with rocks, and offered the madam's daughter--free of charge--in a Hungarian brothel.

After carrying his own equipment up to Everest Base Camp, Kropp found himself surrounded by other climbers, all waiting for a break in the weather so they could attempt the summit. Many books have been written about that disastrous season on Everest, notably Jon Krakauer's Into Thin Air and Anatoli Boukreev's The Climb. Kroop adds little of substance to the story, engaging mainly in camp gossip about who was sleeping with whom and "outing" climbers who lied about reaching summits. Even Kropp's account of his own climb is somewhat suspenseless--though some readers will be relieved that he doesn't go into too much detail about his physical breakdown. More tiresome is Kropp's clear disdain for climbers who use supplemental oxygen. ("Mount Everest is not 29,028 feet tall if the mountain is scaled by a climber wearing an oxygen mask.") He also despises climbers who "see Everest and other high peaks reduced to trophies kept in a china cabinet"--though his "Ultimate Mountain List" (he's already climbed 16 of the 22) seems a bit like a trophy room itself.

After he finally reached the summit--on his third attempt in under a month--Kropp spent a few weeks recuperating in Kathmandu and then hopped on his bike for the long and rugged ride home. Not satisfied, Kropp is already planning and training for his next adventure, to take place in 2004: sailing from Sweden to Antarctica, skiing to the South Pole, and returning--all solo. That he is only just learning to sail doesn't dissuade him--"I like to jump headfirst into new projects." Ultimate High is proof that he's determined--and crazy--enough to complete them. --Sunny Delaney

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:15:22 -0400)

Goran Kropp, a Swedish adventurer, set out from Stockholm, Sweden on a Crescent Ultima bicycle and traveled 5 months and 8,000 miles carrying 240 lbs. of gear with him. He ascended Mt. Everest in May 1996, unassisted and without the use of supplemental oxygen, days after the tragedy that claimed 8 climbers. He then returned to Stockholm on his bicycle. The entire trip took one year. This is his account of his training, preparation, and accomplishment of the most self-sufficient combined approach and climb of Mt. Everest ever. Kropp has a tremendous zest for life and has been mountain climbing since he was a child. His philosophy is to approach the mountains on their own terms.… (more)

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