Sunday, March 18, 2012

Book # 17 - Above the Clouds

Above the Clouds
Anatoli Boukreev
collected and edited by Linda Wylie

Returning to the Everest region always brings me a feeling of relief, for I love the mountains...Such majesty is humbling, and one is reminded of how small humans are in the scheme of things.

This book inspires me for its honesty and its passion. Anatoli Boukreev shared his life as a world-class high-altitude mountaineer. He grappled with the loss of national identity as the USSR collapses in the late 1980's. His love for mountaineering continued, and in his notes and journals, he longed for the "peaks that prop the Tibetan sky." This was especially true after the controversy surrounding the disastrous climb to Mount Everest in 1996, which claimed the life of his American friend Scott Fischer. In these pages, Anatoli searched his soul, and instead of seeing the evil Russian villain presented in Jon Krakauer's book, Into Thin Air, we witness a gentle giant who literally died for the mountains that he loved.

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