Everest: The West Ridge

Everest: The West Ridge
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Two Americans on an Alpine attempt on the North Face, how small they looked and sadly they never made the summit. It was an incredible place so wild and untouched away from the crowds and to see the West Ridge was stunning. I took lots of photos and even found a couple of campsites as this was the way the earliest Expedition in with Mallory had gone when they were trying to find a route to the North Ridge.

What would have happend if they had gone this way. As you can imagine I took so many photos as this was a unique place to be and all photos were pulled as we had a photo sponsor Peak Imiging who did us so well with our photos after the trip. Sadly in the return and all the hustle and bustle my photos were not there when we got the Team photos back and over the years I had forgotten about them.

Then the other day I was clearing out some stuff and found my diary on the trip. I recently emailed them but have little chance of finding any as it was amazingly 17 years ago but you never know. I live in hope. Yet I will never forget that trip the amazing trip, our shed, the Sherpas and my lone walk down for ABC to Base camp in a snowstorm with limited kit ahead of the Yaks and the Sherpas. It was a struggle all the way back, I lost the path at times in the snow, I felt very tired but at peace. We were all safe and well, we had experienced a lifetime of highs and lows in our 3 month trip.

Unsafe conditions force National Geographic team to change summit plans.

Everest: The West Ridge and millions of other books are available for Amazon Kindle. Everest: The West Ridge Paperback – July 1, This item:Everest: The West Ridge by Thomas F. Hornbein Paperback $ In , Jim Whittaker became the first American to summit Everest via the South Col route. Roughly two weeks after Whittaker's achievement, Tom Hornbein and Willi Unsoeld, fellow American mountaineers on the same expedition, became the first climbers ever to summit the world's.

I was glad to get back to Base Camp and the boys were worried about me. There was still plenty to do in the next two days before we cleared Base Camp at feet. You are commenting using your WordPress. You are commenting using your Google account. You are commenting using your Twitter account. You are commenting using your Facebook account. Notify me of new comments via email.

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Learn how your comment data is processed. Skip to content. The Great Mull mystery a missing aircraft and pilot Christmas ! Lost pictures of the West Ridge of Everest Many will note it is Everest Season just now and the usual media is full of the stars and the annual pilgrimage to the highest mountain in the World. Our Sherpas and cook and cook boy what great folk who looked after me and our team so well. Cleaning up Base Camp on the last day.

Take nothing but photos leave nothing but footprints? Navy blue line Zakharov Couloir. Red line Great Couloir or Norton Couloir. What a trip and even 17 years on it pulls at the heart in more ways than one. Like this: Like Loading About heavywhalley. Still an active Mountaineer and loves the wild places. View all posts by heavywhalley. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a Reply Cancel reply Enter your comment here Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:.

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Knowing that the route they chose did not allow them to turn back or retreat. Hornbein never admits it in this book, but he had to know that death was more probable than survival. And still they made the decision to go forward, a conscious decision in my mind that left only success or death as the two possible outcomes. Hornbein dances near to this issue throughout the book, but for some reason never tackles it head on. Maybe it was a decision he did not want to admit to for some reason.

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But when faced with the opportunity to do what no man had ever done before, even if it meant his death, he pushed on and grasped for the gold ring, and then spent the better part of the rest of his life trying to pretend it was no big deal. Only dumb luck and iron will saved them.

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But they succeeded, the gods smiled at their audacity and will to succeed. There are two kinds of bravery and heroism I think. The first kind occurs when you have a split second to react, to save a life or lives with little time to think or ponder. The second kind occurs when you have lots of time to think. When the only life at risk is yours. When the easiest course is to turn back and no one would think the worse of you.

But you move ahead anyway, knowing the two outcomes are success or death. That is a special kind of heroism and the subject of this book. Serendipity and luck also course through this story. How it never could have happened without the alignment of the heavens and almost mystical providence. The other key element I took from this book is how, when served up similar circumstances, men react and behave so differently. How some men, experienced mountaineers and strong climbers, never acclimated to altitude and suffered cruel defeat while supposedly lesser men soared to glory and thrived in the inhospitable environment presented to them.

How is it that the man recruited to be the radio operator, needed to provide a willing back for manual labor because of the illness of others, ends up on the North ridge of Everett at 27, feet blazing a trail to the final camp? I highly recommend this book, as well as the excellent historical recounting of the expedition The Vast Unknown, by Broughton Coburn.

Jul 24, Weysan rated it it was ok Shelves: mountaineering. All those elements combined made me have high hopes for this book, until I realized, to my disappointment, that the writing was quite stilted. I think I would have found it more engaging had he focused on fleshing out, and give context to the decision making, and oxygen tanks he was in charge of planning for the group. I have read many memoirs in the past to see the importance of good writing - it makes a huge difference in capturing how it would feel and be in their shoes.

Instead, I felt like I was just getting talked at endlessly, or made to sit and listen to someone rant excitedly about what happened to them. Feb 24, Radu Neagoe rated it really liked it. An impressive tale about some of the first bravesmen to mount the Everest through a never before taken route, in the s, back when there was not much advanced technology, and people had to carry extremely heavy oxygen tanks with them, this book teaches you a bit about bravery, recklessness, endurance, and the mental battle with yourself, when faced with a seemingly impossible challenge, that somehow becomes possible.

Written by one of the participants, it might be the closest sensation will g An impressive tale about some of the first bravesmen to mount the Everest through a never before taken route, in the s, back when there was not much advanced technology, and people had to carry extremely heavy oxygen tanks with them, this book teaches you a bit about bravery, recklessness, endurance, and the mental battle with yourself, when faced with a seemingly impossible challenge, that somehow becomes possible. Written by one of the participants, it might be the closest sensation will get to actually climbing this giant.

Mar 01, Wandering Wizard rated it it was amazing. A good account of the American Everest expedition. Lots of good photos to accompany the main text. The only slight downside - little has been described about the final summit day as well as the descent.

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It gets over in a jiffy esp. But may be it is just me trying to nitpick things. The climb itself was a great achievement and still is by any standards. So a recommended read for all mountaineering fans. Jun 09, Erika rated it liked it. From the blurb I read about this book in a previous Everest book, I expected a lot of facts about the emotional states and inner workings of Hornbein's Everest team. There was a little information about some of the differences of opinion and conflicts, but it was a pretty superficial look at the expedition. The photos were wonderful.

Nov 17, Brendan rated it it was amazing. A fantastic summit account. Nowhere near as tragic as the disaster, yet still fraught with peril. Feb 22, J. Awesome perspective on a mountainous adventure. Jan 28, Colin rated it it was amazing. A great teal of an outstanding first ascent of Everest's West Ridge. Enjoyed the adventure of the American efforts on Everest. Jun 03, Brittany rated it liked it. Way too many quotes, so I skipped a lot of those, but an interesting tale of an Everest expedition charting a new route up and over the mountain.

The West Ridge Route and Team Members

May 19, Roger rated it liked it Shelves: mountaineering. Tom Hornbein and Willi Unsoeld are written into the history of Mt. Everest, being the first team to ascend via the West Ridge in , the first to traverse the mountain, and bivouac overnight above metres. Everest : the West Ridge is Hornbein's recollection of that expedition, drawn from his diary notes and transcripts of meetings and radio conversations that took place during the expedition.

The book begins on the trek to Base Camp, with meditations on Hornbein's friend Unsoeld, on why people attempt to summit mountains, and Everest in particular, and on the beginnings of the idea to try the West Ridge. Norman Dyhrenfurth, the leader of the expedition, had gathered sponsors on the basis that the expedition's aims were to climb Everest, Nuptse and Lhotse, and do some scientific work. Some of the climbers, led by Hornbein and Unsoeld, felt that retracing the steps of others up the South Col route was not pure mountaineering, and formed a view that it would be better to try and forge a new route up the mountain.

It was agreed, on the march in to Base Camp, that while the South Col route would be the main focus of the climbers, men and equipment would be sent across to those who wished to try the West Ridge. The politics of this division of attention take up a decent portion of the book as events unfold, and the pressure to put aside enough materiel for the West Ridge attempt told on tempers and friendships. Hornbein in particular was a big advocate for attempting the Ridge, and this put him offside with many members of the expedition at times. When the West Ridge team finally got the go-ahead to try their route - after the South Col team were successful - they had a small window of opportunity to get the job done.

They had to weather a terrible storm at Camp 4, where the team was very nearly blown off the mountain, before Hornbein and Unsoeld could head to the summit. They realised, as the summit day unfolded, that it would be impossible for them to return by the route they climbed, and so the traverse became a reality. Summiting at a very late hour, near sunset, they descended on unfamiliar terrain towards the South Summit. Night fell, and they were left without light as their headtorches died.

Hornbein and Unsoeld knew that Barry Bishop and Lute Jerstad had summited the same day via the South Col route as they were following their footsteps, and they found them huddled exhausted in the snow near the South Summit. Hornbein and Unsoeld got the other two up on their feet and attempted to reach Camp Six on the South side of Everest. They failed, and spent the rest of that night huddled in the snow.

When the sun rose they found their way to Camp Six and safety. The final moving chapter of the story is when Unsoeld departs for Kathmandu via helicopter, wrenched away from Hornbein before they could really comprehend what they had achieved together. Hornbein, in the coda to the work, meditates on the meaning of the whole venture. He has never returned to the Himalaya.

This is not the best mountaineering book that I have read - I somehow feel strangely short-changed by the lack of focus on the mountaineering.

Lost pictures of the West Ridge of Everest | heavywhalley

But, given the historic nature of the events chronicled, I'd have to say this is a must-read for any armchair Everesters out there. Jan 19, Dan rated it it was amazing. I was fortunate to get a copy of the Sierra Club Exhibit Format version of this book from my public library.

This is a big book - about 14" x 18" - with beautiful full-page color photographs. It's about pages, with numerous short sayings, poems, essays, excerpts, etc, interspersed with the photos and with the text of the book. It's easy to love this book. And mostly I do. I did find the first third of the book, about the logistics, and about getting CLOSE to Everest, a little slow - I did ski I was fortunate to get a copy of the Sierra Club Exhibit Format version of this book from my public library. I did find the first third of the book, about the logistics, and about getting CLOSE to Everest, a little slow - I did skim that part of the book, enjoying the photos more than the story.

Then, as they began to climb, and the photos got even better, I started to enjoy the book more. I was confused somewhat by the terminology - of the climbing gear and techniques, and the description of the geography and the climbing routes. Maybe I missed some of those explanations as I skimmed the first part - but I kept reading and was gradually swept up in the details of the climb.

And I read the last third without stopping. It is as gripping a tale as you could hope for. If you like the outdoors, find this book and read it. Most Americans that care about writing of the outdoors, have probably read Jim Whittaker's biography, in which he describes the incredible assent of Everest in , the first by Americans. While Whittaker's book is excellent, the real secondary and less known drama of that expedition was the amazing summiting of the West Ridge by two other members of the expedition.

That feat, is still considered one of the most remarkable climbs of mountaineering history. Tom Hornbein was one of the two that d Most Americans that care about writing of the outdoors, have probably read Jim Whittaker's biography, in which he describes the incredible assent of Everest in , the first by Americans. Tom Hornbein was one of the two that did that climb.

The other climber, Willie Unsoeld died in the late 70s on Mt. Hornbein's masterful book on the Everest West Ridge summit, has been reissued on the 50th anniversary of the climb. With great photos by Tom and an wonderful narration this is a book well worth the read. I consider it a must have in your library if you outdoor adventure stories. If you have read Whittaker's book, just buy this one. You won't be disappointed. Oct 02, Doug Canfield rated it it was amazing.

In , Jim Whittaker became the first American to set foot on the summit of Mt. While the summit team was pushing to the top, two young less-accomplished members of the team, sat in base camp wondering how they might make their mark. The story of their terrifying climb is something that will stay with you.

Wow--still a mountaineering classic. More humans have walked on the moon than successfully summited Everest via the West Ridgeand to read how what was really a small splinter group of alpine-style climbers split off the main American Mount Everest Expedition AMEE and not only successfully climbed to the summit but accomplished the first traverse of Everest they descended via the South Col route. Hornbein captures the tension between the "West ridgers" and the other traditional route Wow--still a mountaineering classic.

Hornbein captures the tension between the "West ridgers" and the other traditional route climbers on the expedition. If your're really into climbing literature you'll enjoy this book--but if not this might not be your best intro to the genre. Jan 31, Beth Mitchell rated it it was amazing Shelves: mountaineering , mount-everest.

50 Years on Everest

This is one of the premier books about Mount Everest. It is the personal account of the members of the American expedition to Mount Everest who made the first ascent of the West Ridge. The book was first published by the Sierra Club with extraordinary photographs of the trek through Nepal these were the early days of Everest expeditions when climbers walked from Kathmandu to the mountains and of the mountain. I first read the book in ; it was a gift from my cousin Pat "For mountains alre This is one of the premier books about Mount Everest.

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The poor climbing conditions are just the latest setback for the West Ridge team. From here the route leads via steep cliffs to the saddle of Lho La at metres. Chronograph with 24 hour working range. Show 25 25 50 All. Outdoor Designs.

I first read the book in ; it was a gift from my cousin Pat "For mountains already climbed". Jul 31, Michael Fenner rated it it was amazing. Articulate and inspiring, Dr Hornbein's written account of his and Willi Unsoeld's legendary climb is among the finest in mountaineering literature. Everest: The West Ridge continues to impact current-day readers as an entertaining story about what it is like to do very serious mountain climbing.

It also continues to grow in importance from an historical perspective. The Khumbu has cell phone service now!! Hornbein's thoughtfully selected quotes and sayings are worth spending extra time to conte Articulate and inspiring, Dr Hornbein's written account of his and Willi Unsoeld's legendary climb is among the finest in mountaineering literature. Hornbein's thoughtfully selected quotes and sayings are worth spending extra time to contemplate.

Dec 24, Julia rated it it was amazing. In chapter 13, when Barry Corbet said "This is my first expedition. I'll be coming back again someday. He never came back. In he was permanantly paralyzed from below waist in a helicopter crash. In the preface to the new edition, Hornbein wrote "8 of the 20 members of the expedition are gone. Feb 01, Kusumbar Changmai rated it it was amazing.

But to those men who are born for mountains, the struggle can never end, until their lives end. To them, it holds the very quintessence of living — the fiery core, after the lesser parts have burned away….