Since I am off hiking, I thought this book I finished recently about climbing Mount Everest would be a good choice. ENJOY!
The quest to stand at the top of the world on Mount Everest has turned ugly! This book chronicles the greed and corruption that surround the world of climbing. If you thought climbing Mount Everest was all about the sport of climbing and pure effort involved in the deadly climb into the upper atmosphere, you are in for a rude awakening. As with any endeavor that involves huge amounts of money and ego, the sport has attracted the unscrupulous, money hungry, and shamelessly self involved.
The book was written by Michael Kodas, who was part of an expedition to climb the great mountain during the 2004 climbing season. He and his wife, both reporters were financed on the expensive endeavor by the newspaper that they were employed by. They chronicle the dysfunction of their expedition and the lack of good leadership exhibited by their guide.
At the same time Mr. Kodas is following the fatal attempt by Dr. Nils to summit the mountain at the age of 69. Dr. Nils is lead by a guide whose falsified credentials are the tip of the iceberg. When reading I found it difficult to believe an intelligent man would have fallen into the trap of hiring an inexperienced ego-maniac to lead him on this dangerous and potentially fatal pursuit.
The book bounces back and forth between the two stories and at times is difficult to follow. I found the names sometimes confusing and the stories sometimes hard to discern. To add to the confusion, there were also other tales of corruption thrown in through out the chapters.
I have long been a fan of adventure books, but this sordid side of this sport leaves a bad taste in my mouth for them. I will always have a slanted view when reading any other adventure book after reading this book. A truthful depiction of what really is happening on our globe’s greatest mountain has left a bad taste in my mouth for those that would corrupt the sport. What Sir Edmund Hillary began so long ago as a pure pursuit of the seemingly impossible has become an expensive side show at the top of the world. If you enjoy your adventure books, think long and hard before reading this sad portrayal of what the sport has become.