No Shortcuts to the Top: Climbing the World's 14 Highest Peaks

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Broadway Books, 2006 - Biography & Autobiography - 358 pages
166 Reviews

This gripping and triumphant memoir follows a living legend of extreme mountaineering as he makes his assault on history, one 8,000-meter summit at a time.

For eighteen years Ed Viesturs pursued climbing’s holy grail: to stand atop the world’s fourteen 8,000-meter peaks, without the aid of bottled oxygen. But No Shortcuts to the Top is as much about the man who would become the first American to achieve that goal as it is about his stunning quest. As Viesturs recounts the stories of his most harrowing climbs, he reveals a man torn between the flat, safe world he and his loved ones share and the majestic and deadly places where only he can go.

A preternaturally cautious climber who once turned back 300 feet from the top of Everest but who would not shrink from a peak (Annapurna) known to claim the life of one climber for every two who reached its summit, Viesturs lives by an unyielding motto, “Reaching the summit is optional. Getting down is mandatory.” It is with this philosophy that he vividly describes fatal errors in judgment made by his fellow climbers as well as a few of his own close calls and gallant rescues. And, for the first time, he details his own pivotal and heroic role in the 1996 Everest disaster made famous in Jon Krakauer's Into Thin Air.

In addition to the raw excitement of Viesturs’s odyssey, No Shortcuts to the Top is leavened with many funny moments revealing the camaraderie between climbers. It is more than the first full account of one of the staggering accomplishments of our time; it is a portrait of a brave and devoted family man and his beliefs that shaped this most perilous and magnificent pursuit.

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Decent writing about an amazing accomplishment. - Goodreads
Too bad the same can't be said for the prose. - Goodreads
total crap storytelling with great stories. - Goodreads
Not good writing, but decent story and message. - Goodreads
Unfortunately, he's not a very good writer. - Goodreads
That does not mean you need to love his writing. - Goodreads

Review: No Shortcuts to the Top: Climbing the World's 14 Highest Peaks

User Review  - Connor - Goodreads

It's quite obvious that unlike Jon Krakauer, Viesturs is a climber first and a writer second. I can easily forgive that, though, because this is a solid mountaineering read and because Ed Viesturs is a pretty cool dude. Read full review

Review: No Shortcuts to the Top: Climbing the World's 14 Highest Peaks

User Review  - Andrew - Goodreads

Interesting to hear the whole story of Ed's endeavor. Personally, I like his books on individual mountains more. Read full review

About the author (2006)

ED VIESTURS still climbs and seeks out new adventures. He lives on Bainbridge Island, Washington, with his wife and three children. DAVID ROBERTS is a veteran author of mountaineering books, including On the Ridge Between Life and Death.

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