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[ Free ePUB ] Eiger Dreams: Ventures Among Men and MountainsAuthor Jon Krakauer –

No One Writes About Mountaineering And Its Attendant Victories And Hardships Brilliantly Than Jon Krakauer In This Collection Of His Finest Essays And Reporting, Krakauer Writes Of Mountains From The Memorable Perspective Of One Who Has Himself Struggled With Solo Madness To Scale Alaska S Notorious Devils Thumb In Pakistan, The Fearsome K Kills Thirteen Of The World S Most Experienced Mountain Climbers In One Horrific Summer In Valdez, Alaska, Two Men Scale A Frozen Waterfall Over A Four Hundred Foot Drop In France, A Hip International Crowd Of Rock Climbers, Bungee Jumpers, And Paragliders Figure Out New Ways To Risk Their Lives On The Towering Peaks Of Mont Blanc Why Do They Do It How Do They Do It In This Extraordinary Book, Krakauer Presents An Unusual Fraternity Of Daredevils, Athletes, And Misfits Stretching The Limits Of The PossibleFrom The Paranoid Confines Of A Snowbound Tent, To The Thunderous, Suffocating Terror Of A White Out On Mount McKinley, Eiger Dreams Spins Tales Of Driven Lives, Sudden Deaths, And Incredible Victories This Is A Stirring, Vivid Book About One Of The Most Compelling And Dangerous Of All Human Pursuits

10 thoughts on “Eiger Dreams: Ventures Among Men and Mountains

  1. says:

    Before the recognition he received for Into the Wild and Into Thin Air, Jon Krakauer was a serious outdoors type, writing about other serious outdoors types In this collection of essays, Krakauer relates several stories of his personal adventures, one about a youthful, and maybe foolish venture to a particularly difficult climb in Alaska, another about his attempt at Eiger And these are quite good But I most enjoy Krakauer when he writes about the Damon Runyon esque characters who inhabit the world of extreme adventuring For example, in Gill, he writes of John Gill, the world s foremost practitioner of bouldering think fly on ceiling as someone who might really levitate Two drunken brothers manage to have a crack at a surprising number of major climbs despite their disinclination to organization and sobriety in The Burgess Boys Chamonix is a town in France Krakauer calls the death sport capital of the world The story features a bar in which large screens entertain the crowd with diverse scenes of death and near death It is laugh out loud funny when Krakauer illuminates the sundry ethnic conflicts, with particular attention paid to the creative insults each enjoy using on the other It called to mind Python like Frenchmen launching diseased animals at their English foes while calling out come back here so we can taunt you some While most of us are not likely to have a go at Eiger s north face, work as bush pilots, try surviving hurricane force winds with temperatures so cold as to defy imagination while huddled in a torn tent or dubious ice cave at twenty something thousand feet, it is a wonderful thing to have some crazy person who lives in that world to report to the rest of us what goes on there Eiger Dreams is a fast, entertaining and informative read.

  2. says:

    This is a wonderful collection of essays about mountain climbing I greatly enjoyed Krakauer s book, Into Thin Air A Personal Account of the Mount Everest Disaster, and Eiger Dreams is just as good Each chapter is an essay on some facet of mountain climbing The first chapter is about climbing the Eiger Other chapters are about climbing Mount Blanc and K2 Another chapter is about bouldering, and another is about the experiences of a bush pilot in Alaska, transporting mountain climbers to a glacier at the base of Mount McKinley One chapter is about ice climbing, while another describes the experience of living in a tent for days on end, while a storm makes it impossible to get out.A small stream of dry humor runs throughout the book You have to have a sense of humor to engage in some of these dangerous, sometimes mind numbing activities One chapter describes how a team of doctors spend their summers on the slopes of Mt McKinley They study the effects of altitude sickness, and has saved numerous lives All on their own dime Krakauer asked one of the doctors why they volunteered to spend their summers toiling in such a godforsaken place Well, he explained as he stood shivering in a blizzard, reeling from nausea and a blinding headache while attempting to repair a broken radio antenna It s sort of like having fun, only different While describing the heavy human toll among climbers of K2, a troubling question gets asked Should a civilized society continue to condone, much less celebrate, an activity in which there appears to be a growing acceptance of death as a likely outcome During one summer, one out of five climbers who attempted the mountain did not come back alive.When Krakauer told Coloradans that he intended to climb the Devil s Thumb in Alaska solo, they thought he had been smoking too much pot they thought it was a monumentally bad idea But when he told Alaskans, they hardly reacted at all They just wondered how much money there was in climbing such a mountain.I am not a climber, but I find that Krakauer s writing style is ridiculously engaging He puts you, the reader, right there on the mountain and lets you know how it feels For a collection of non fiction essays, this book is a real page turner Highly recommended.

  3. says:

    I came to each of Krakauer s works independently I read Into the Wild first on a recommendation, and years later I read Into Thin Air because someone told me it would be a good insight into the effects of altitude as I prepared to climb Kilimanjaro, a mild but high peak Finally, I found this collection of essays and realized that somehow I d read the final essay somewhere before, once I can understand why some people think that Krakauer is a selfish bastard at times, because the very act of climbing is often a selfish one, in the eyes of others Though Krakauer believes in the sacrosanct nature of the bond between ropemates, on Everest he notes that the nature of the beast drives many to an every man for himself mentality This is revisited in A Bad Summer on K2 during a discussion of saving those near death at great risk to the lives of everyone else Considering the effects of altitude on the human brain, I don t think any armchair philosophizing or moralizing applies here people simply cannot and do not behave normally at 26000 feet, and everyone who climbs that high knows that to do so is to put your life on the line Asking others to forsake theirs for a slim chance at saving yours can we ever truly ask that of people Every life is on the line in a storm Is it honorable to perish attempting to save someone who may and likely will die despite your efforts than it is to abandon them and hustle down to save your own skin One reviewer commented on how selfish Krakauer was to risk his own life in such a callous manner as climbing the Devil s Thumb, and yet to risk his own life on Everest to attempt to save someone else seems noble Does anyone engaging in this armchair moralizing understand what it means to carry 180lb of dead weight down an mountain without injuring the person further in bad conditions while you yourself are addled by altitude and saddled with gear, etc I suppose these people think that such mountains should not be climbed at all But there it is Some people will never understand why others are so willing to hang their entire lives on a half inch of steel kicked or picked into ice a thousand feet off the ground I think Krakauer does a good job of explaining the clarity ones life and mind take on when circumstances require such uncompromising focus on what is immediately in front of you I think other athletes and aesthetes may have an easier time grasping this mentality, and perhaps will get greater enjoyment from this book I do wonder how the sport has changed in the last thirty years many of these essays were written in the 80s and I imagine mentalities and technologies have changed things since then.

  4. says:

    Love Krakauer These essays are somewhat dated, but still interesting and delivered in his inimitable style The was the last book fo his I had not already read, and while it ranks near the bottom as far as favorites because of the datedness and form, I m glad I read it and I hope he is working on his next.

  5. says:

    This is a collection of essays written at different times and publshed in various magazines.I didn t know a lot about climbing and climbers before reading this but I have to say I was fascinated by these stories from the beginning, and this fascination continued right through to the end.I also started down the proverbial rabbit hole and eagerly found out mountaineering and the people who choose to do this highly dangerous obsessive activity.I ve read Jon Krakauer before and want to read from him soon as I really enjoy his writing.

  6. says:

    In a previous book I had read by Krakauer Into Thin Air about mountain climbing there was a quote that has stuck with me One of the Everest mountaineers who chose not to try and help a climber who subsequently died from being left behind said this to justify his actions There is no morality above 26,000 feet I had one foray into mountain climbing It was 1998 and myself and two friends, Kevin and Lacey, were going to attempt the 14er called Longs Peak Out of all of the 14,000 foot peaks in Colorado Longs is the most popular climb because of its easy ascent Imagine my surprise when at 2 am I was stumbling about in a rock field not understanding why my eyes would not and could not stay open I had a massive head ache and could not keep my eyes open I was not tired, I was jacked up on Diet Cokes and adrenaline, and yet could not keep my eyelids open for business I was sans head lamp and found myself stumbling over boulders the size of pumpkins That was the end of my journey About 4 hours of hiking and turning back at who knows what altitude I d like to say I made it to 12 D , my ascent to Longs was ended We faced a bear sighting ahead of us on the hike back to our car not good when one is menstruating, mind you and I was glad to make it home to my little apt at 18 J.But I digressshocking, I know Since my wee little escapade into the wilds of the Colorado Rockies, I have always been fascinated by mountain climbers And this book does not disappoint Unlike other books on self discovery blah de blah de blah blah blaaaah Eiger Dreams had some vivid moments of awareness that caused me to feel a real connection to the author More importantly, it garnered a new level of respect for those who choose to make that their shining conquest No, I will never know how it feels to summit Everest or climb, well, probably ever, over 12,000 ft, but Krakauer has a way of making the experience approachable and yet awe inspiring at the same time In one instance he describes climbing a thin spire of rock on the Devil s Thumb in Alaska He recalls the sensation of being attached to the rock by only crampons and an ice ax, and the overwhelming pulling sensation to let himself release the ax and just fallfall back into the awaiting ice that would kill him 3000 feet below He knows it will kill him, he knows the physics of the actions, yet still describes how he could not help himself Quite possibly, it was the pull of gravity he was feeling Not unlike the sensation of being on a ship in the Med on the way to Crete, and looking over the railing at midnight with the waves crashing like blocks of ice on a solid black sea I got the pull I was blissed out of my gourd with hopefulness and youth and love, and I honestly thought I could slip over the railing and survive I wanted To Feel It.This is a collection of short stories all interwoven on the foundation of mountaineering Stories on glacier pilots who could land planes in white out conditions by knowing to turn left after a minute, turn right again after another minute because they were so inured to the route they were traveling This is about the vagabonds and street fighters who climb perilous mountains in Tibet without permits and hide in the tall grasses when they hear cattle bells going by This is about a boy s desire to summit Devil s Thumb and 18 years later trying to master that picture he d traced so many times on pg 147.If you are not into the outdoors, then this book will probably not impress you If you believe that people who climb mountains are narcissistic selfish knobs who are only concerned about themselves see above then this is not for you If you are married to a man who regales you with stories of men standing in circles around campfires and then waking to bears hours later in the darkthen you might appreciate this man s experiences.If you live in Colorado and know where Pearl Street is in Boulder, and have felt the pull, than you may relate to this man s story If you have been to Europe and had to fend off a loved one s near manic obsession with parasailing, then you should read this book John Menlove Edwards wrote the following, taken from him short story Letter From A Man So, as you would imagine, I grew up exuberant in body but with a nervy, craving mind It was wanting something , something tangible It sought for reality intesnely, always if it were not there.But you see at once what I do I climb.Krakauer had a choice at the age of 8go to Seattle and visit the Space Needle or go to the South Sister in Oregon and attempt his first summit Glad he might the right choice.

  7. says:

    Although I enjoyed this collection immensely, the writing wasn t Krakauer s strongest in fact, I d label it his weakest effort to date when compared with Into the Wild and Into Thin Air With the exception of the last piece, Devil s Thumb, the book was composed entirely of clipped magazine articles And it showed Complaints aside, however, the book was wonderful and showed a humanity that I haven t often found in other climbing mountaineering alpinist books Reading it reminded me how much I enjoy these adventure fluff stories they re my equivalent of a romance novel and it has been the impetus for me to get back into the non fiction adventure genre In short, read Eiger Dreams it s a quick read, and I don t think you ll be disappointed.

  8. says:

    After Jon Krakauer s Into Thin Air made him writer famous, his publisher started pushing this essay collection, originally published in 1990, for readers who couldn t get enough of Krakauer s tales of mountains and the people who attempt to climb them However, a lot of those readers, like me, were probably somewhat let down by this early effort, which consists largely of pieces Krakauer wrote for Outside magazine The articles describing various mountains and mountain towns were educational, but not exactly riveting, and the profiles of well known climbers were not uninteresting, exactly, but left me with a distinct why am I reading this feeling The one humor piece, about how to survive in your tent for days as a blizzard rages outside, made it clear that while Krakauer might be a funny guy in person, he is no humor writer and I think the topics he s chosen to write his books on bear this out This collection only really came alive for the last two essays, which, not coincidentally, are the two most reminiscent of Into Thin Air One was an account of the horrific 1986 summer on K2, when 13 people died than had died on the peak in the past 84 years combined Reading about the nightmarish conditions the climbers faced was absolutely riveting although I felt guilty for deriving reading pleasure from their horrendous misfortunes, and at times was so disturbed I wondered if I d have to hide the book.The final essay, and the only one written especially for this book, was a memoir like rendering of the time when Krakauer, as a 23 year old, abandoned his dead end job and took off alone for Alaska with the brazen certainty that he was going to scale the Devil s Thumb via its most difficult route, and that doing so would change his life This engaging, suspenseful piece made me hope that someday Krakauer will grace us with a full length memoir of his various adventures and their sometimes serious fallout So would I recommend Eiger Dreams Well not really While I m very glad I read the final two essays, I would say that on the whole this book is probably just for climbers and Krakauer completists Everyone else would be better off reading Into the Wild and Into Thin Air instead.

  9. says:

    Indeed, Jon Krakauer is the master of the literature of AdventureI always hated literature They are always boring But Jon has his way in literature It is completely impossible for me to write so many worlds about a mountain A mountain is a mountain for me But for Jon, it is like a book of worlds I am damn sure that make him walk a tiny hill, in the outskirts of your town and he could write a book about it That too, very interesting one Hats off to him.About this book The description of the book claims to reveal answer for the most significant question, why would a normal want to do this stuff adventure stuff I, myself, several times, wondered the same Why would anyone want to do something so dangerous, so life threatening which doesn t earn a penny So that is why I picked up this book But the book doesn t give you the answer If I am not wrong if I haven t missed the story , there isn t an instance in the whole book, I felt that I found the answer Instead, the book is a collection of 12 stories 11 published by author in different magazines and newspapers, and the last one THE DEVILS THUMB is exclusive for the book.About the stories EIGER DREAMSIt is a collection of stories related to the many climbers who tried to climb the mountain The Eiger when the author, himself, tried to summit it GILLPersonally, I enjoyed this story very much It introduced me to the whole new new concept of bouldering The whole story revolves around John Gill, the person who first started Bouldering and the concept of Bouldering.To read the whole review, click the below linkhttp 20

  10. says:

    I read Eiger Dreams many years after Into Thin Air, which detailed the tragedy on Everest in 1996 Eiger Dreams is a compendium of magazine articles Krakauer wrote in the 80s I always wondered how Krakauer could be such a selfish, cowardly, and ultimately detestable human being, as he admits being near the summit of Everest, as he cowers safely in his tent after his own successful summiting, while others freeze to death in a blizzard on the mountaintop.Well, now I know Krakauer has always been obsessed with mountaineering, especially ice climbing And his particular brand thereof is the macho solo attempt, expemplified by his foolhardy ascent of the Devil s Thumb in Alaska, done without proper preparation, zero connection with the outside world, a callous indifference to the impact his death might make on those who love him he never even mentions the loss his parents will feel at his death, should it occur, even though his death is constantly on his mind as he hangs by two ice picks 750 feet above the glacier.In fine, Krakauer is a narcissist apparently incapable of empathy or true sacrificial love for a fellow human But he s a hell of a writer.When he dies in some stupid nature debacle, I, for one, will not shed a tear He is who he is and his honesty about himself it slips through in these essays and shouts full throated in Into Thin Air leaves no room for doubt he will, eventually, get what he deserves Nature, red in tooth and claw, is as honest and implacable in her truths as Krakauer is in his We shall see who wins.