Monday, May 12, 2014

Blind Descent - A Review


A Review

I did not want to read this book.  But was trapped.  Apparently, unbeknownst to me, I had agreed to read and review this book and would not be allowed to review another until this book’s review was completed.

On the other hand, I am not sorry for having read it.  This true life and death story was as exciting as any fictional thriller that I have ever picked up and read.  The author’s training in military search and rescue and his interest and experience in mountain climbing had prepared him for an adventure of a lifetime - the ascent of the North Face of Mt. Everest.  

As expected from an experienced climber, he had done his preparation - physical and  emotional.  He and his family had discussed the risks involved and had decided to allow Brian to tackle the world’s highest mountain in the spring of 2011.  
The trip had its share of thrills and question marks - but the big question came as Brian discovered that his Sherpa was too ill to continue on the very day he was to ascend to the summit of Mt. Everest.  Would he continue alone to the top?  There was no way to know that the answer to that question might challenge the author’s very life as he experienced snow blindness as he descended from the top of the mountain.  

Blind Descent is the story of preparing to climb, climbing, and descending from Mt. Everest.  It must be noted that each step of the journey had its questions and problems.  The story is full of rich cultural insight from the Sherpas that provided guidance for the trip up the mountain - culture that was as challenging to live in (e.g. eating)  as it was to meet.  I knew little of the history of this majestic peak, but through my reading of the book and my continued reading on the INTERNET, I learned to appreciate the challenges that faced those who chose to climb this mountain.  

As he writes, the author intentionally interweaves the spiritual lessons that he learned and saw being worked out in his life as he made his way to Nepal and up Mt. Everest.  The book is a lesson in patience, preparation, and courage - a lesson we all must learn to some extent.  

This review is based on a free electronic copy provided by the publisher for the purpose of creating this review.  The opinions expressed are my own.

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