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I picked up this book on our last vacation and enjoyed it immensely. It is not
really a climbing book although it shares quite a bit with the extreme
conditions of wind and cold that are experienced in the high arctic; Ellesmere
Island gets to within 400 miles of the North Pole. The book starts by
describing what makes visits to Ellesmere so extreme and gives the reader a
chance to understand the landscape through the lens of Kobalenko's treks. Then, using the
series of twenty or so sledging treks that Kobalenko has made around the island, the book
shifts gradually into a personal history of the exploration era of the early 1900s when Peary and Cook and other arctic explorers used Ellesmere as a base for their
attempts to get to the North Pole or to discover new lands.
oddly repetitive, which I suppose is because the book was formed from a
series of magazine articles, the book became more captivating for me as it got deeper into
Winner of the
Banff Mountain Book Festival Award for Adventure Travel in 2002.
From the award citation:
In the book, Kobalenko explores the past and present of this forbidding but
beautiful landscape. Julie-Ann Clyma, a 2002 jury member, comments: "Kobalenko’s
The Horizontal Everest stood out. He writes with passion, clarity and
— praise be — some humour. I found myself smiling a lot at his
to see the full list of books that we have reviewed.