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Item #: OP101-953
SEVEN SUMMITS Bass, Wells and Ridgeway 1986 Softcover Fine
By Bass, Dick, Frank Wells and Rick Ridgeway
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Detailed Product Description

New York, Warner Books, 1986. Used softcover. Fine.

336 pp, color photos. Bass was the first person to climb the seven summits. This book is clearly the starting point for the 100s of persons who have now climbed the seven summits, and the thousands who have done some of the seven summits, plus the many other lists of highpoint, such as state highpoints, county highpoints, 14,000' peaks, 13,000' peaks, country highpoints, and so many others. 

Dick Bass was a successful entrepreneur. Frank Wells was a Hollywood studio president. Together they set out to accomplish what no one else ever had: climbing the highest mountain on each of the seven continents. The fact that both men had so little climbing experience turned out to be their greatest strength: since they had no idea what they were in for, they never considered their task out of reach.

Rick Ridgeway, an accomplished climber in his own right, chronicles their journey, allowing readers to decide if these adventures are the result of midlife crisis or simply about men pursuing a dream with unshakeable resolve. Whatever the case, Ridgeway's fast-paced adventure provides gripping descriptions of the world's tallest peaks. We see the logistical nightmares of Antarctica's Mt. Vinson, the unpredictable weather of McKinley, and the extreme altitude of Everest's 8,848 meters. Ridgeway continues up Aconcagua, Elbrus, Kilimanjaro, and Kosciusko with lively accounts that capture the day-to-day operations of expedition life, and more intriguingly, the growing bond between two driven men. --Ben Tiffany

From Publishers Weekly

Their dream was to climb the hightest mountain on each of the seven continentsan exciting prospect for any world-class mountaineer. But Bass and Wells, businessmen in their early 50s, were rank amateurs. With Ridgeway, one of America's foremost climbers who accompanied the pair on some of their expeditions, they tell their story here. It is a gripping tale of adventure that embraces courage, disappointment, joy and commitment. The process of getting to Mt. Vinson in Antarctica was a marvel of logistics. For their third and final attempt on Mt. Everest, Wells had to choose between the summit try and his family; Bass completed the seventh summit to become the oldest man to stand on top of the world. The two were lucky enough to have the money to fulfill their dream; they also had guts. In mountaineering lingo, they proved themselves 'real animals.'

From Library Journal

This is a surprisingly engaging story (thanks to Ridgeway, an experienced climber and writer). Two 50-year-old American executives conceived the idea of climbing seven summits, the highest mountain on each continent. They hired guides, acquired a circle of mountaineering friends, and set out. First Aconcagua, then McKinley, Kilimanjaro, Elbrus, Kosciusko. . . . The book is of interest for descriptions of how expeditions are mounted and financed and for its picture of present-day mountaineering and adventuring. There are especially good narratives of the Vinson and Everest efforts. Despite a touch of crassness and hype, this is, notes poetry-loving Bass, a story of 'heroic hearts/ Made weak by time and fate,/ But strong in will/ To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield.'

From AudioFile

An entrepreneur and a movie executive, both in their 50s, have the same dream--to climb the highest peak on each of the world's continents. Not only has no one ever climbed all seven summits, but these two men aren't even mountaineers. Together, however, Dick Bass and Frank Wells put the project together, with the help of seasoned guides and patient teachers, to say nothing of supportive spouses. Jonathan Marosz presents the narrative in documentary fashion, with crisp elocution and little variation in tone or pace. He reads the dialogue as narrative, with no attempt at characterization, which would ruin the tone and flow of the story.

As presented, SEVEN SUMMITS captures the listener's attention and holds it firmly. The story needs no embellishment, and Marosz gives it none. R.P.L. AudioFile 2002, Portland, Maine.

Book Description

Frank Wells and Dick Bass had a dream. It was as straightforward as it was difficult: climb the highest mountain on each of the world's seven continents; a feat that had eluded the world's best mountaineers. What made it all the more extraordinary was that Frank and Dick were businessmen, not mountaineers. Both had so little climbing experience that they could hardly be ranked as amateurs, let alone world-class climbers. If that weren't enough, they were both in their fifties. What made them think they could do it? Why would two successful, middle-aged businessmen risk their lives on some of the world's most remote and treacherous slopes? Now, with veteran climber and writer Rick Ridgeway they tell their story. It's all here.

This is the account of climbs of the 'Seven Summits' by the first person to climb them all (non-Carstensz Pyramid version). About half the book is on the Mt Everest attempts and successful climb. Dick Bass was the first man to climb them all. Junko Tabei was the first woman to climb them all. Frank Wells was with Bass on most of these climbs, his partner in the ambition. Rick Ridgeway joined several of the expeditions. Breashears was Bass' ropemate on his ascent of Mt Everest. Reinhold Messner wasn't on any of these trips with Bass and Wells, but he was in the race to be first atop the Seven Summits.

These are the 'seven summits' described in this book

Mount Everest Mount Elbrus Mount McKinley aka Denali Aconcagua Kilimanjaro Vinson Massif Antarctica Kosciuszko Australia

The Everest expeditions were 1982, 1983, and 1985. The 1982 expedition was led by Lou Whittaker and included Jim Wickwire, Phil Ershler, Marty Hoey, Eric Simonson, Dave Mahre, Nawang Gombu, Frank Wells, Dick Bass, Steve Marts and others. It attempted the Great Couloir route on the N Face. Highest point reached was 8380m. Marty Hoey, one of the best female climbers of the period, was killed in a fall after incorrectly clipping into a fixed rope.

The 1983 expedition targeted the regular Khumbu-South Col route. Bass and Wells didn't reach the top, but 8 members reached the summit: Peter Jamieson, Gerry Roach, David Breashears, Gary Neptune, Jim States, Lhakpa Dorje, Ang Rita, and Larry Nielson. Both Ang Rita and Larry Nielson climbed without supplemental oxygen, Nelson being the first American to climb Everest without carried oxygen.

The 1985 expedition was again via the regular Nepalese-side route. This time Bass had to attach to a Norwegian expedition led by Arne Naess (killed in climbing accident a couple years ago, he was the nephew of the Arne Naess who in 1950 made the first ascent of Tirich Mir in the Hindu Kush) and included Chris Bonington, David Breashears, Ang Rita, Odd Eliassen, Sundare, and Pertemba. This was a very successful expedition with 17 members reaching the top. Bass became the oldest (then) man to summit at age 55, a record now held by Yuichiro Miura who summited at age 70 in 2003. Sundare summited for his 4th time. Ang Rita made his third ascent of Everest without supplemental oxygen. Both Bonington and Naess reached the summit.


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