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The Last Step: The American Ascent of K2
Rick Ridgeway

Ridgeway describes the epic story of the first successful American climb of K2 in 1978. Two aspects to this climb are explored in great detail. The first subplot tells the story of the organizational and personal issues that emerged within the expedition. The schism that developed between the four aggressive climbers (Ridgeway, Reichardt, Wickwire, and Roskelley) and some of the slower, less driven climbers demonstrates the forces when subjected to the pressure for progress and the debilitating effects of waiting out the inevitable storms. The second sub-plot describes the route selection process at the top of the mountain which culminates in the decision by three of the four climbers complete the climb without supplemental oxygen. The almost hallucinatory description of Wickwire's emergency bivouac at 28,000 feet is a compelling story of his determination to survive.

This book is a compelling read for those interested in the history of mountain climbing.



Related Books

bullet K2: Triumph and Tragedy by Jim Curran  Read Review
bullet Shisha Pangma: The Alpine Style First Ascent of the Southwest Face by Doug Scott and Alex MacIntyre Read Review
bullet Nanda Devi: The Tragic Expedition by John Roskelley  Read Review
bullet K2: Challenging the Sky by Roberto Mantovani and Kurt Diemberger

The Other Side of Everest: Climbing the North Face Through the Killer Storm by Matt Dickinson and Philip Turner  Read Review

bullet The Middle-Aged Mountaineer by Jim Curran
bullet Everest: The West Ridge by Thomas F. Hornbein  Read Review

Click here to see the full list of books that we have reviewed.


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