am 22. Juli 1999
This classic mountaineering volume was written at a time when Himalayan mountaineering was entering a new and exciting phase - a purer seduction of the mountain, where more aesthetic methods and lines of ascent override the basic urge to reach the summit (and nothing else). Tom Hornbein was definitely cast into this new mold, although at the time he was probably not aware of it. This expedition, which was on many occasions threatened with defeat, succeeded in a mountaineering tour de force. Not the ascent by the "yak route", but by pushing a route up one of the most formidable ridges anywhere in the Himalayan chain and traversing the mountain back along the south-east ridge. Without the grit and determination of Tom and Willi, this would have been just another ascent of Everest to add to the ever-growing list. Their dream was borne out in the end. Tom's open and unprepossessing prose is a refreshing change from the pithy accounts of yesteryear, giving the reader more insight into the inner workings, and tensions, of any large mountaineering expedition. A must read for any serious mountaineering scholar.
am 5. Oktober 1998
One of the better stories of an expedition to Everest. The narrative is well written although the urgency of the situation doesn't really come through. Even though some members lose toes due to frostbite, Hornbein's writing makes the expedition seem like a day hike on a bike path. Nonetheless, a interesting story to read if you are a Everest fan.