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Item #: OP679A-8732
EVEREST THE WEST RIDGE Tom Hornbein 1980-81 Hardcover DJ Fine SIGNED & Dated May 22, 1963 by Tom Hornbein 2 Copies Available
By Hornbein, Tom
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Detailed Product Description

Seattle, The Mountaineers,  1980 or 1981. 181 pp, color photos. Navy cloth hardcover with gilt titles and dust jacket. Fine. 


This copy is SIGNED  and DATED by Tom Hornbein on the Half Title Page. Tom wrote the date May 22, 1963, as that was the day he and Willie Unsoeld reached the summit after their legendary climb of the west ridge. This was the first ascent of Everest by a route other than the South Col route, by which it was first climbed, and to this day 90% of all ascents are made. They did descend via the South Col route. By pre-arrangement they met Barry Bishop and Lute Jerstad on the descent and bivouacked together at 8600 meters. The weather was not windy so they all survived, but lost some toes and fingers. 

The ascent of the West Ridge of Everest by Hornbein and Unsoeld was one of the most daring and elegant routes ever done in the Himalaya. This book has become a classic. 

* Forty-eight pages of color photos not in the first edition

* Features dialogues and radio conversations recorded during the expedition 

* Includes a chronology of events and expedition member list. 

In one of mountaineering's greatest adventure stories, Tom Hornbein tells of his and Willi Unsoeld's dramatic first ascent of Everest's West Ridge - a route that had been dismissed as hopeless by all previous expeditions. Part of the first successful American expedition, Hornbein and Unsoeld ascended beyond the point of no return to make the summit, and were then forced to bivouac at 28,000 feet without food, shelter, or oxygen.

The story of their climb and survival is unforgettably told in Everest: The West Ridge. The accomplishment has taken its place in the history of Himalayan mountaineering and this account is now among the classics of mountaineering literature. In this third edition, Hornbein's sensitive text is accented by 48 pages of superb photos, a foreword by Everest veteran Doug Scott, and introduction by Will Siri, with a new preface by the author.

'If we can pull it off,' said Norman Dyhrenfurth of Everest's West Ridge, 'it would be the biggest possible thing still to be accomplished in Himalayan mountaineering.' The man making this judgment was leader of the American Mount Everest Expedition of 1963, an effort which put the first Americans on the summit, via the South Col route. When, on the same expedition, author Thomas Hornbein and Willi Unsoeld reached the summit via the West Ridge -- a route which had been dismissed as hopeless by all previous expeditions -- their unique ascent and traverse of Everest was indeed a milestone in mountaineering. With no possible way of retracing their steps once committed to the West Ridge, Hornbein and Unsoeld pushed on to gain the summit, then were forced to bivouac at 28,000 feet with no food, shelter or oxygen. Their incredible climb and survival -- a story of man versus rock and ice and his own weakness - is unforgettably told in Everest: The West Ridge. 

In this edition, Hornbein's sensitive text is accented by many of the beautiful photos which first won acclaim for the book, plus additional high-altitude climbing photos from the expedition never before seen in book form. A foreword by Everest veteran Doug Scott places the West Ridge in its spot on the continuum of mountaineering style. This is a classic story, not just for climbers but also for those to whom Everest remains, as William Siri writes in the Introduction, '...a universal symbol of human courage and endurance; an ultimate test of man's body and spirit.'

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