August 16, 2003 - Personal Web Site: Everest: Mountain without Mercy by Nepal RPCV Broughton Coburn

Peace Corps Online: Directory: Nepal: Peace Corps Nepal : The Peace Corps in Nepal: August 16, 2003 - Personal Web Site: Everest: Mountain without Mercy by Nepal RPCV Broughton Coburn

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Everest: Mountain without Mercy by Nepal RPCV Broughton Coburn

Everest: Mountain without Mercy by Nepal RPCV Broughton Coburn

Everest: Mountain without Mercy
by Broughton Coburn (Author)

A story that you'll read into the night..., October 22, 1997
Reviewer: (Jerry Kratochvil) from Omaha, Nebraska, USA
"Everest: Mountain without mercy", the story of the IMAX team who filmed the climbing of Mt. Everest and the tragedy that ensued, made me want to get out and climb. Right now. I'd stop reading for the evening around 1 a.m. (as I couldn't put it down) and want to strap on the crampons and venture up the nearest ravine -- or at least a big staircase. Then as it went on, the author, Coburn, through his group of climbers brought the reality home to me of the exhaustion involved in a high altitude climb such as Chomolunga (the ancient name for Everest).

The photos accompanying the story also conveyed the feeling for the immenseness of the undertaking. However, it is good that this story will be put in the IMAX format, as the photos, as brilliant as they are, cannot convey the size and surroundings that the Himalayas require.

I would have given this book my highest rating, as I could barely drop it, except for two problems: First, the author threw out quite a few technical phrases concerning climbing, Buddhism or the mountain itself, that left me reaching for a dictionary, when I just wanted to find out what happened next. Sometimes I could figure out something from the context, sometimes I couldn't (it wasn't until the middle of the book that I discovered Cwm was a Welsh word, pronounced "koom").

My second beef is about the layout, though I'm not sure of another way to approach it. In the middle of a story, the author would mix in seperate "articles" from various authors about the climate, or geology, or religion, or filming, that while interesting, forced me to choose between continuing the page or the chapter or sentence and reading the article. I can understand the placement, but it broke my chain of thought such that it made me chop up a story that compelled me.

But these small problems were made up for by a story of courage, insight, history, and drama. By the end I realized that while Everest isn't for me, the lessons learned on the mountain can be passed on without the use of bottled oxygen or climbing gear. I highly suggest the read.

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful:

Beautiful book, from all angles, July 9, 1998
Reviewer: zaga from San Jose, California
This book has incredible pictures, and an incredible story. I was deeply taken by the humanity and bravery of the subjects of the book. I cannot wait to see the IMAX movie that they were involved in making. I also read Into Thin Air, which was great also, but told the story from a different angle. Mountain Without Mercy is aptly named, emphasizing the deep respect the local culture has for the mountains and the gods that they believe inhabit them. This book emphasizes how humans are subject to the will of nature, and that not all areas of the world are so easily conquered. I know I will never attempt to summit Everest, but I would love to see the views from Base Camp!!!

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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful:

1996 IMAX Expedition, December 19, 2002
Reviewer: An Customer from RICHMOND, VA USA
This is a beautiful, large coffee table sized book. The photography is sharp, clear and the colors are beautiful. What is most impressive is the range of the text. It takes up the culture of the Sherpas, Buddhism, some geological and physiological findings as well as the climbing and filming of the Everest IMAX movie.

Sponsored by the National Geographic, and led by David Breashears, a highly respected leader and photographer, this was a dream team in operation. Lead climber was Ed Viesturs, brilliant U.S. climber who has attained 12 of the 14 highest peaks in the world, all without supplemental oxygen. I am happy to report he is not just a myth; his favorite meal on the mountain is Spam, yes Spam. Also this grueling trip was his "honeymoon." His bride accompanied him to Base Camp (about 17,000 feet) and got to worry about him for a solid month. I enjoyed reading about sparkling Aracali Segarra, attempting to be the first Spanish woman to summit Everest (she made it!) She is living proof that female mountaineers can be pretty and vivacious as well as awesome athletes.

The IMAX team was of enormous assistance to the beleaguered Hall/Fisher teams. They supplied oxygen, helped rescue and support the injured climbers on the South Face. Some of the pictures are brutal of the rescue attempts. The pictures of the mountain are splendid. The viewer will get an excellent sense of Everest's brooding size. To me, Everest is a Godzilla of a mountain. It does not have the proportioned beauty of K-2; it is one enormous hulk. But this does not take away from its majesty and awe. To the Sherpas, climbing Mt. Everest is a spiritual experience, something that is done with many prayers and much reverence.

Everest: Mountain Without Mercy will give you hours of enjoyment. It covers so many aspects of the area, and is beautifully printed and bound. I recommend it for your own reading or an excellent gift.
-sweetmolly-Amazon Reviewer

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great photos, November 5, 2002
Reviewer: jane andraka (see more about me) from crownsville, maryland United States
great phots and more scientific indepth articles but for interesting reading buy high exposure by d. breashears or climb by anatoli b. instead

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Story Source: Amazon Books

This story has been posted in the following forums: : Headlines; COS - Nepal; Mountaineeering; Writing - Nepal



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