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Item #: BK1905-274
ASCENT: THE QUEST OF WILLI UNSOELD Laurence Leamer 1999 Paperback Near Fine
By Leamer, Laurence
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New York, 1999. 392 pp, ills. Used paperback. Near Fine. 

Willi Unsoeld, a charismatic climber who was on the ascent of the Everest West Ridge in 1963 with Tom Hornbein and made the first ascent of Masherbrum. Willi Unsoeld, a legend among mountaineers - a man whom Bill Moyers calls one of the few giants he has ever met - fearlessly challenged the world's highest peaks and inspired a generation of climbers with his legacy.

Ascent is the story of his life - a thrilling tale of physical and spiritual adventure that captures the hypnotic force behind this extraordinary personality. From his triumphant conquest of Everest's forbidding West Ridge to the tragic loss of his daughter on the treacherous slopes of Nanda Devi to his final, fatal attempt at Mount Rainier, we see Willi as guru and guide, lover of danger and philosopher of risk - a man whose indomitable spirit triggered such devotion that people followed him fearlessly to extraordinary heights and, sometimes, even to their deaths. A dramatic saga of bravery, daring, and the search for spiritual truth, Ascent brilliantly captures the mythic figure of Willi Unsoeld.  

Willi Unsoeld. Legendary 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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