In diesem Buch wird die Entwicklung von Steve House von den ersten alpinen Erfahrungen bis hin zu seinen extremsten Besteigungen beschrieben. Zum Teil sind die Beschreibungen sehr detailiert und emotional, sodass man richtig mitfiebern kann und die Gedanken bzw. Entscheidungen in Extremsituationen nachvollziehen kann. Weiter verstehe ich nun gut, warum er und wahrscheinlich auch viele andere Alpinisten immer wieder ans Limit gehen. Er scheint ein sehr bescheidener Mensch zu sein, was ihn umso mehr von extrovertierten Alpinisten wie Reinhold Messner auf positive Weise abhebt. Für mich bisher das beste Buch zum alpinen Bergsteigen.
Winner of the 2009 Boardman Tasker Prize for Mountain Literature. Nanga Parbat book ends Steve House's climbing career with his early attempt on Nanga Parbat in 1990, and his successful ascent in 2005 with Vince Anderson of a new route on the extremely difficult Nanga Parbat Rupal Face Central Pillar, done in five days plus two down, in alpine style, making them winners of the famous Piolet d`Or that year.
In between, Steve chronicles his climbs, including the unclimbed Denali Father and Son Wall in 1995, a new route solo on Denali Washburn Wall in 1996, the second ascent of the Barely Legal ice pillar in 1995, his harrowing escape from a crevasse on the Nant Blanc Glacier near Petit Dru in 1996, an attempt on the Emperor Face of Mount Robson in 1997, ascent of Howse Peak in 1999, attending Alex Lowe's funeral in October 1999, a 60 hour alpine push on the Denali Slovak Direct route in June 2000, a fast 25 hour ascent of the Mount Foraker Infinite Spur in 2001, an attempt on the Nuptse South Face in 2002, an attempt on Masherbrum and K7 in 2003, the third ascent of the Twin Tower in 2004, the second ascent of K7 in one single 42 hour push on his seventh attempt in 2004, a failed attempt on Nanga Parbat in 2004, and the North Face of Mount Alberta with Vince Anderson in 2008. There are 20 pages of colour photos, 60 pages of bw photos, and 3 maps.
After climbing in Slovenia, House participated in his first attempt on Nanga Parbat on a Slovene expedition. trying the Schell Route. On July 31, 1990 Marija Frantar and Joze Rozman reached the summit via the Schell Route. After a failed attempt in 2004, House was back with Vince Anderson to attempt a new route on the extremely difficult 4100m Rupal Face in 2005. House switches back in forth in time from the ascent to the dangerous descent to the ascent as he highlights the challenge and success.
Steve House and Vince Anderson reached the summit of Nanga Parbat via the 4100m Rupal Face on September 6, 2005. "Just before the top, I kneel in the snow, overwhelmed by emotion. Years of physical and psychological journey - to make myself strong enough, to discover whether I am brave enough all fold into this one moment. It seems sacrilegious to step onto the summit. ... frozen tears fall to the snow at my feet, becoming part of Nanga Parbat, as it became part of me so many years ago. ... In that moment, I understand that on the outer edge of infinity lies nothingness, that in the instant I achieve my objective, and discover my true self, both are lost." Steve and Vince became the first North Americans to win the Piolet d'Or for the first rapid alpine-style ascent of the Rupal Face of Nanga Parbat.
House's writing is intelligent, honest, illuminating his progress as a climber and his innermost thoughts on the dangers of climbing. The stories are short and to the point, keeping them taught and interesting. The photos are very good and plentiful enough to help visualize the stories.
This is one of the most inspiring mountaineering books I've ever read. It actually took me some days after finishing it, to realize I was not a superhuman climber, and that I had to go to the office every morning.
This book is a nice change to all the other mountaineering / climbing books (Reinhold Messner, Jon Krakauer) I have read so far. This book is not about a crazy ascent, where the protagonist barely makes it back to the base camp, with a broken leg and frozen fingers.
This book is about Steve House one of the best alpinists I have ever heart of. He is a strong believer in alpine style climbing (you do not leave any gear at the mountain, compared to the expedition style where you work with fixed ropes and leave a lot of trash behind). That makes his climbs more dangerous, but also much more faster and flexibel. Steve House is famous for doing extremely long and remote ascents.
In the book he writes about his experiences in the world of mountains, the detailed descriptions of his ascents and descents and the really nice pictures give you the feeling you are on the mountain with him. He leaves out any artificial drama but describes the situations how he remembers it. He describes also how important partnership and trust is while doing such extreme routes.
But what I like most about this book, is that he also talks about the down side of this passion, death of friends, extrem situations where it can go either way. This book gives you also a deep insight in his motives and thoughts. What drives a man to climb on ice and rock for 60 h, what is he looking for? If you want to know the answer to this question you should definitely read Beyond the Mountain, if you rather want to read an adventure book, you should choose another one.
I only gave the book four stars because I think for people without mountaineering experience it will be difficult to understand all the technical terms.