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Item #: BK378A-801
THE OTHER SIDE OF EVEREST: CLIMBING THE NORTH FACE IN THE KILLER STORM Matt Dickinson 1999 1st US ed Hardcover DJ Fine
By Dickinson, Matt
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New York, 1999, 1st US edition. 233 pp, color photos. Hardcover with dust jacket. Fine.

First published in UK under the title The Death Zone. In 1996 filmmaker and writer Matt Dickinson, with foremost British mountaineer Alan Hinkes, successfully scaled Mount Everest's North Face despite hurricane force winds and brutal temperatures. Dickson is the first British filmmaker to film on the summit and return alive. His film, Summit Fever, is highly acclaimed. A gripping and refreshing account.

Dickinson and Alan Hinkes summitted Everest in May 1996, at the same time the events in Into Thin Air were happening. They witnessed climbers leaving desperate parties to die. This book adds insight into the ethical questions now raging through climbing.

On May 10, 1996, a paralyzing storm killed 12 climbers on Mt. Everest, disfigured many others, and put the peak back on its lofty throne. While the disaster on the South Face has received nearly all of the publicity, most notably in Jon Krakauer's Into Thin Air and Anatoli Boukreev's The Climb, The Other Side of Everest details a novice's remarkable ascent through that same storm on the colder and more difficult North Face. With alarming details, author and cameraman Matt Dickinson describes the horror of the extreme altitude and crippling storm: the hunger, pain, fear, and exhaustion. At one point, the party comes face to face with failure: "As we stepped over the legs of the corpse to continue along the Ridge, we crossed an invisible line in the snow - and an invisible line of commitment in our own minds."

For most of the journey, it must be said, Dickinson is uncomfortable with himself and his surroundings. But his honesty is refreshing. Through his travails, he develops a reverence for a mountain that demands respect, and as a result, the occasional moments of epiphany so central to the genre still retain a ring of truthfulness. Adventure buffs will welcome this addition to the Everest library. Dickinson, who was hired by a high-adventure company to produce a movie about an ascent of Everest by Brian Blessed, a major British film star, is not a professional high-altitude climber.

However, he is a fine writer with a style somewhere between the tight and intense passages of Jon Krakauer's Into Thin Air and the ponderous, technical treatment in Anatoli Boukreev's much longer The Climb. He writes of actually making it to the summit up the North Face with a simplicity and wonder lacking in Everest accounts written by those who spend their lives climbing the world's highest peaks. As a filmmaker, he gives the book visual power. This title will hold readers in its icy grip from beginning to end.


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