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Anatoli Boukreev (1958–1997)

Forfatter af The Climb: Tragic Ambitions on Everest

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This isn't Into Thin Air. Which I guess the author would take as a compliment, since he so seem to hate Jon Krakauer, but it's not meant as one. Though of course, there's been enough praise for it that I don't think my opinion counts.

Okay, so we're talking about things that happened twenty years ago, maybe my opinion doesn't matter or isn't valid, but whatever. I don't think that Into Thin Air painted Anatoli Boukreev as a russian villian, unless the version I read was heavily edited. Yes, Krakauer criticizes Boukreevs decision to not use oxygen and to race down the mountain after summiting, but that's about it, he goes on to say that what Boukreev did when he realized what was going on was really brave, regardless of whether he managed to save everyone or not.

Then again, I guess the media at the time might have been very hard on him (and I hav enot read Krakauer's original Outside Magazine article) so it's possible that even mild accusations from Krakauer might have sounded a lot worse to Boukreev at the time. Anyway, my point is, I expected something worse, especially when an entire book was written to disprove what Krakauer said.

And my problem with this book is that it's not - as one critic said on the back blurb - essential reading for anyone who's read Into Thin Air, but rather it is Into Thin Air that is essential reading to read this one. There are so many things that would be confusing if you hadn't read ITA first, and maybe that could partly be because it focus heavily on Anatoli Boukreev's story, but no ... there are things missing.

Also, the copy I have is 378 pages long, and the last chapter ends on page 224. It is followed by and afterword, an epilogue, a postscript, an in memorian, a chapter with the alternate title "fuck you Jon Krakauer", a book review and the transcript from the Mountain Madness debriefing that took place a few days after the disaster. Of those, the In Memorian is obviously important (as it deals with Anatoli's death in December 1997), and I feel that the epilogue, about Boukreevs return to Everest in 1997 where he buried Scott Fischer and Yasuko Namba, should have been the last chapter (written differently than it is in the book) ... I didn't even read the "fuck you Jon Krakauer" chapter because it was forty pages long and the book was already about everything that was wrong about Into Thin Air, why would you need 40 extra pages for that? Especially since it was written after Anatoli Boukreevs death, so it couldn't exactly have been new insights given by him.

And I'm not even going to explain why including a review of your own book at the end is like the weirdest thing ever. I enjoyed the transcript of the debriefing though, especially since that was one of few times in the book that DeWalt actually accounted for the sources of his claims.

Buut, to sum up, it's no Into Thin Air, but it was interesting of getting the Mountain Madness side of the story. Next up: Beck Weather's Left for dead.
… (mere)
upontheforemostship | 29 andre anmeldelser | Feb 22, 2023 |
Good mountaineering book. Also a response to Krakauer's book.
kslade | 1 anden anmeldelse | Dec 8, 2022 |
Non-fiction about the tragedy on Mt. Everest in May, 1996. It focuses on two expeditions and the elements that led to death on the South face. I had previously read Into Thin Air, Jon Krakauer’s account of the disaster, which implicates Anatoli Boukreev’s actions as a contributing factor to the fatalities. Krakauer was a client-climber on the Adventure Consultants expedition and Boukreev was a guide on the Mountain Madness team. At the time I made a mental note to read The Climb to find out Boukreev’s side of the story.

Mountaineering seems to attract strong personalities, and each of these two believes he is correct. In the end, like many tragedies where numerous people have taken part, each person has a different experience, and each remembers what happened differently. This book clearly states Boukreev’s philosophy and cites evidence to back up his position, refuting Krakauer’s assertions.

The Climb tells a riveting story. It highlights the importance of preparedness, leadership, and communication in the extremely hazardous environment of high altitude climbing. I felt it occasionally slipped into repetition and a bit of defensiveness, but I can understand the reasons for it. There are several appendices included, and I found it very informative to read the transcript of the Mountain Madness team’s debriefing made a few days afterward.

In the end, I was glad to have read both accounts and now feel I have a more complete understanding of the tragedy. Recommended to anyone who has read Into Thin Air or is interested in extreme sports, especially mountaineering.
… (mere)
Castlelass | 29 andre anmeldelser | Oct 30, 2022 |
I found the narrative to be fairly hard to follow, especially in comparison to Krakauer's work. It was mostly written to salvage Boukreev's good name. It's quite likely that Krakauer was unfair in his portrayal of Boukreev—it wouldn't be Krakauer's last time. But, not having a stake in the dispute myself, it was hard for me to care much. The writing is awkward, with DeWalt pasting together his own descriptions with short segments from Boukreev. While he does admit a few foibles and mistakes, I still found myself annoyed a few times that Boukreev is nearly always right. This doesn't help his case.

> For some reason I cannot explain I did not share Rob Hall’s optimism, and I thought it highly unlikely the weather would stabilize. My intuitions continued to bother me, and I fully expected that we would not climb the next day.
… (mere)
breic | 29 andre anmeldelser | Aug 2, 2021 |



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