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

Front Cover
Crown/Archetype, Oct 17, 2006 - Biography & Autobiography - 368 pages
3 Reviews
This gripping and triumphant memoir from the author of The Mountain 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.

What people are saying - Write a review

Follow Ed during his quest

User Review  - canyonjunky -

This book was a great read. Eds descriptive details help you envision climbing the crux of these extraordinary accomplishments. Ed gives his philosophy for climbing mountains. Getting to the top is ... Read full review

No shortcuts to the top: climbing the world's 14 highest peaks

User Review  - Not Available - Book Verdict

In 2005, Viesturs (No Boundaries: Spirit of Adventure ) completed Endeavor 8000, a campaign to climb the worldƒ¯‚¿‚½s 14 highest mountains without supplemental oxygen. He became the first ... Read full review



Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

About the author (2006)

ED VIESTURS is the first and only American to ascend all fourteen of the world's 8,000-meter peaks without supplemental oxygen and the author of The Mountain, K2, and The Will to Climb.

In addition to his collaborations with Ed Viestrus, DAVID ROBERTS is the author of more than twenty books, including Finding Everett Ruess.

Bibliographic information