The Other Side of Everest: Climbing the North Face Through the Killer Storm

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9780812931594: The Other Side of Everest: Climbing the North Face Through the Killer Storm
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May 1996 began like most other climbing seasons on Mount Everest. The arrival of spring brought the usual pre-monsoon period, with teams of hopeful mountaineers ready to reach for the roof of the world. Among the dozens of climbers were Jon Krakauer and Anatoli Boukreev (who would both later write their own accounts of what followed) and Matt Dickinson. But on May 10, with ten different expeditions strung out along the mountain, the usual turned deadly. Suddenly, the temperature dropped from merely frigid to 40 degrees below zero. A killer storm with howling winds swept in and climbers were soon blinded in white-out conditions. Before it was over, the blizzard would claim a dozen lives, the worst loss of life in the modern history of climbing on Everest.

Dickinson, an adventure filmmaker, was part of an expedition challenging the treacherous North Face of Everest, on the Tibetan side. Of the nearly 700 people who have scaled Everest since the first ascent in 1953, barely 230 have managed to ascend via the colder and technically more difficult route up the North Face. In addition to climbing through the storm, which would test him beyond his imagining, Dickinson also filmed the ascent. He and his team watched in awe as violent clouds gathered over the mountain and swept them all up in a frightening white force. Dickinson was a relative novice who had never climbed at this crushing altitude, and the storm preyed on his mind, throwing into question his entire mission. Despite this uncertainty and the treacherous conditions, Dickinson and his partner Alan Hinkes continued their climb, compelled to reach the summit.

Dickinson's first-person narrative--the only account of the killer storm written by a climber who was on the North Face--places the reader amid the swirl of the catastrophe, while providing rare insight into the very essence of mountaineering. The Other Side of Everest is a portrait of personal triumph set against the most disastrous storm to ever befall the world mountaineering community. Anyone who has ever pushed beyond familiar limits of physical and psychological endurance will cherish this book.  

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Review:

On May 10, 1996, a paralyzing storm killed 12 climbers on Mt. Everest, disfigured many others, and put the peak back on its lofty throne. While the disaster on the South Face has received nearly all of the publicity, most notably in Jon Krakauer's Into Thin Air and Anatoli Boukreev's The Climb, The Other Side of Everest details a novice's remarkable ascent through that same storm on the colder and more difficult North Face. With alarming details, author and cameraman Matt Dickinson describes the horror of the extreme altitude and crippling storm: the hunger, pain, fear, and exhaustion. At one point, the party comes face to face with failure: "As we stepped over the legs of the corpse to continue along the Ridge, we crossed an invisible line in the snow--and an invisible line of commitment in our own minds." For most of the journey, it must be said, Dickinson is uncomfortable with himself and his surroundings. But his honesty is refreshing. Through his travails, he develops a reverence for a mountain that demands respect, and as a result, the occasional moments of epiphany so central to the genre still retain a ring of truthfulness. Adventure buffs will welcome this addition to the Everest library. --Ben Tiffany

From the Back Cover:

"Gripping."--The Sunday Times (London)

"Reads like a thriller . . . exciting . . . It is a real page-turner . . . fresh and vivid."
--The Guardian

"This book is so refreshing. Here is a cameraman, who didn't expect to get up high, seeing the whole business of climbing at great altitude with new eyes. Against the odds, he weathered the storms and made the summit. His
account will join the classics of Everest literature."
--Audrey Salkeld, co-author of The Mystery of Mallory and Irvine and editor of World Mountaineering

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Other Popular Editions of the Same Title

9780812933406: The Other Side of Everest: Climbing the North Face Through the Killer Storm

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ISBN 10:  0812933400 ISBN 13:  9780812933406
Publisher: Three Rivers Press, 1999
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Thornd..., 1999
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9780606193672: The Other Side of Everest: Climbing the North Face Through the Killer Storm

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9780812931600: The Other Side of Everest: Climbing the North Face Through the Killer Storm

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