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Addicted to Danger: A Memoir About Affirming Life in the Face of Death.

Mountaineering] Wickwire, Jim and Dorothy Bullitt.

Published by Pocket Books, New York, 1998
ISBN 10: 0671019902 / ISBN 13: 9780671019907
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Title: Addicted to Danger: A Memoir About Affirming...

Publisher: Pocket Books, New York

Publication Date: 1998

Edition: First Printing of the First Edition.


A Fine tight copy in a Fine bright unclipped dust jacket. Jim Wickwire is considered "one of America's most extraordinary and accomplished high-altitude mountaineers". He was one of the first two Americans to reach the summit of the 28,250 foot K2 and completed the first alpine-style ascent of Alaska's Mt. McKinley. On his various climbs, Wickwire has broken bones, witnessed the deaths of fellow climbers and experienced a personal threat to his faith in himself and hope for the future. This is a compelling memoir of adventure and self-assessment. This copy is signed by Wickwire. Catalog Garnet. Bookseller Inventory # 22941

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Synopsis: Adventurist Jim Wickwire has lived life on the edge -- literally. An eyewitness to glory, terror, and tragedy above 20,000 feet, he has braved bitter cold, blinding storms, and avalanches to become what the Los Angeles Times calls "one of America's most extraordinary and accomplished high-altitude mountaineers." Although his incredible exploits have inspired a feature on 60 Minutes, an award-winning PBS documentary, a Broadway play, and a full-length film, he hasn't told his remarkable story in his own words -- until now.

Among the world's most intrepid and fearless climbers, Jim Wickwire has traveled the globe, from Alaska to the Alps, from the Andes to the Himalayas, in search of fresh challenges and new heights to conquer. Along the way he accumulated an extraordinary roster of historic achievements. He was one of the first two Americans to reach the summit of the 28,250-foot K2, the world's second highest peak, acknowledged as the toughest and most dangerous to climb. He completed the first alpine-style ascent of Alaska's forbidding Mt. McKinley, spending several nights without tents in snowcaves, crevasses, and open bivouacs. But with the triumphs came harrowing incidents of suffering and loss that haunt him still. On one climb, his shoulder broken by a fall, he watched helplessly as a friend slowly froze to death, trapped in an ice crevasse. Buffeted by storms, Wickwire spent two weeks utterly alone on a remote glacier before his rescue. On two other expeditions he witnessed three fellow climbers plunge thousands of feet, vanishing into the mountain mist.

A successful Seattle attorney, Wickwire climbed his first mountain in 1960 and discovered the wonder of leaving behind the complexities of the civilized world for the pure life-and-death logic of granite, glacier, and snow. Deeply compelled by the allure of nature and the thrill of risk, he pushed himself to the limits of physical and mental endurance for thirty-five years, ultimately climbing into legend.

After more than three decades of uncommon challenges, Wickwire faced a crisis of heart -- a turning point that threatened his faith in himself and his hope in the future. How he reassessed his priorities and rededicated his life -- to his family and to his community -- completes a unique and moving portrait of one man's courage, commitment , and grace under pressure. Addicted to Danger is a tale of adventure in its truest sense.

Review: In 1978 Jim Wickwire became the first American to top 28,250-foot K2, the second highest peak after Mt. Everest (for some, his solo bivouac near the summit the same night is an even greater feat). But it is a previous expedition to K2 three years earlier--and the author's unflinching assessment of that trip--which sets the tone for the book. "K2, the mountain that would one day represent my greatest success," he writes, "was in 1975 the scene of my greatest failure. It was a failure not because someone died or suffered a serious injury, but because my obsession to reach the summit helped doom our expedition to disappointment, discord, and, for a time, disgrace." Wickwire's memoir of a climbing life is riveting when he sticks to the mountains--including attempts on Everest, Denali, and Aconcagua--and particularly fascinating for its candid look at the internal machinations of big-time climbing expeditions: the planning, logistics, and training as well as the egos and rivalries that can derail an expedition. The lugubrious details are also here. More than one climbing partner doesn't escape from a crevasse, but it is a price exacted by the mountains, and Wickwire treats both his lost friends and the terrain with due respect.

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