Book: No Shortcuts to the Top

For me, how I reach the top is more important than whether I do.
– Ed Viesturs

A very inspiring book about a man who has a true respect for the awesome forces of nature and the insignificance of man in comparison. Viesturs lives by an unyielding motto, “Reaching the summit is optional. Getting down is mandatory.” He once turned back 300 feet from the top of Everest in a storm, only to returned a few laters to the conquer its peak. Everest claims the life of one climber for every two who reached its summit.

In this day of sophisticated gadgetry and scientific advancement, what is particularly interesting about Viesturs is that he climbs without the use of supplemental oxygen. Viesturs maintains that his goal is not only to reach the summit — but do it well. Mountain climbing, he maintains, should be about personal goals, to challenge how one can perform, to experience the mountain as it is without reducing it man’s level.

This book is in essence Ed Viesturs’ biography on his quest to become the first U.S. climber to reach the top of all fourteen 8,000 meter peaks without oxygen.

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