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Item #: OP340-969
ASCENT: THE SPIRITUAL AND PHYSICAL QUEST OF WILLI UNSOELD Lawrence Leamer 1982 1st ed Hardcover DJ Near Fine
By Leamer, Lawrence
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Detailed Product Description
New York, Simon 1982, 1st edition. 392 pp, b/w photos. Hardcover with chipped dust jacket. Book is fine. Near Fine.

A biography of Willi Unsoeld, who was on the first ascent of the Everest West Ridge in 1963 and made the first ascent of Masherbrum near K2.  “Legendary mountaineer, Willi Unsoeld, led an extraordinary life. A self styled guru of mountaineering, he was selfish, egotistical, and narcissistic. He was a modern day Peter Pan who just never grew up, with tragic consequences for some who crossed his path. His amazing ascent up the West Ridge of Everest to the summit and his subsequent traverse and descent on the South face will live on forever in the annals of mountaineering lore.”

Willi Unsoeld: Mountaineer. Guru. Guide. Environmentalist. Peace Corps director. Outward Bound leader. Lover of danger. Philosopher of risk. The man Bill Moyers calls one of the few giants he has ever met.

Willi Unsoeld. Rawboned. Bigger than life. A northwesterner who could have stepped out of the pages of a Ken Kesey novel.

Willi's life is one of the epic stories of our time. As a breathtaking drama, Ascent is as compelling as Alive. The reader goes with Willi up the West Ridge of Everest, one of the most dangerous and thrilling of ascents. The reader travels with Willi and Nanda Devi, his beautiful, beloved daughter, to climb the great Indian peak after which he named her. There, on Nanda Devi, a strange and tragic tale is played out. Finally, the reader journeys up Mount Rainier, where Willi and his students meet destiny in a winter storm.

But Ascent is not only a story of physical adventure. Like Snow Leopard, this is a book about spiritual and moral adventure. Willi had conquered Everest, conquered fear, risked and saved lives. He had touched many with hypnotic force, urging them to reach beyond this potential and explore the outermost, sometimes deadly, reaches of human aspiration.

Ascent is a story about the exciting early days of the Peace Corps, the drama of Outward Bound, and about educational experimentation as well. It is a story of an unforgettable family and their own moral quest. But more than anything, Ascent is the story of a man and his ideas and where they lead him and at what cost.

Some will find in Willi one of the authentic heroes of our age. Others will read Ascent as a story of obsession, of an aging Ahab driven until death pulls him down. Willi's story, as told by Laurence Leamer, is a dramatic saga of bravery and daring in the face of physical odds. It is a story of our time, a search for spiritual victory and oneness with nature.


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