Climbing Everest: A Meditation on Mountaineering and the Spirit of Adventure

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9780071364454: Climbing Everest: A Meditation on Mountaineering and the Spirit of Adventure

This vividly imagined reflection on climbing provides an entirely new perspective on mountaineering. "It is not with skill that I wish to climb Everest," writes master climber, author, and poet Pat Ament. "I wish to climb it with curiosity and appreciation, with an artist's love . . . I want to be sunburned by the dream of life whose more diamond parts lie hidden in the rocks and in us."

Ament's ten playful keys to climbing Everest all contain the same underlying message--that it is not an important thing to do. For those who believe that reaching the pinnacle of Everest will prove something, he says flatly that mediocre climbers have succeeded where expert climbers have failed. Everest is a metaphor for life, in his view, and life's power and meaning should be derived from seeking and valuing the sacred and the beautiful rather than from illusions of grandeur and fame.

Inventive, whimsical, and peppered with hilarious cartoons, "Climbing Everest explores the ways in which physical adventure teaches us how to live our lives, appreciate the miracle of existence, and experience the wonder of life to the fullest.

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From the Back Cover:

"I've read most of the book about Everest, and Ament's is one of the finest. I enjoyed this remarkable book immensely. It belongs on the shelf of every armchair and active mountaineer alike." David Breashears

"Definitely one of the best things I've read about Everest. Great work. . . . Very philosophical, thought provoking, and almost mystical." Gary Neptune, Everest & Himalaya veteran

"Poetic spoof, metaphysical romp, and volcano of intriguing reflection." Royal Robbins, legendary rock climber

"To your mountaineering library now add a title sure to be the most original work on your shelves, by an original himself. Expert climber from his earliest teens, Pat Ament has mellowed: from fearless young Turk and maverick to poet-philospher. At our house his every book has long been admired, but this his latest and best surprise reveals new elevation and depth." Reg Saner, award-winning author and poet

"This beautiful book is Pat Ament's best work to date. His poetic descriptions of Everest . . . leave an indelible imprint in the mind. . . . I am given a glimpse of something unknowable ultimately, that is concealed in the swirling snows and icy bastions of Everest. . . . This is a marvelous book. I love it. Everest is truly a metaphor for life." John Gill, bouldering champion

"This is Ament at his best; poetic, philosphical, and witty. His years of reflection and meditation on why we climb and what we gain from our efforts, and the risks we take, are finally, and with great insight, brought to focus on the Everest experience. . . . The irreverent, satirical cartoons had me laughing out loud and alone are worth the price of the book. Climbing Everest is a treasure I will pick up over and over again." David Breashears, four-time summiter of Everest, and chief photographer for the IMAX film, Everest

"I am utterly amazed at the mind that conceives such language. Pat treads a thin line between delicate, moving prose and sheer comic genius." Tim Shultz, climber, writer

"No Everest collection is complete without it." Climbing

About the Author:

Pat Ament is a well-known and internationally respected rock climber and boulderer. In 1965 and 1966, in Colorado, he pioneered the first climbs of a 5.11 grade, and he did Yosemite's first 5.11 route in 1967. For over thirty years he has been a creative, eloquent, and prolific writer in the climbing world, publishing some thirty books and many articles and essays. Eight of his essays are included in international anthologies of the best climbing writing.

A graduate of the University of Colorado Creative Writing Program, Pat is also a poet, filmmaker, photographer, illustrator, artist, pianist, songwriter, chess expert, and karate black belt. In 1999, after forty-two years in the Boulder, Colorado, area, he moved with his wife, Robin, to a quiet corner of Idaho Falls, Idaho.

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