[Reading] ➶ Master of Thin Air ➽ Andrew Lock – Alwaysonltd.co.uk

Master of Thin Air Australian mountaineer Andrew Lock, the 18th person to have climbed all 14 peaks higher than 8,000 meters about 26,000 feet , describes his quest in Master of Thin Air Life and Death on the World s Highest Peaks The margin between life and death is extremely narrow at the altitude of a jet airliner, and his stories are gripping.All too often, his stories are sad as the Death Zone at that altitude leads to a myriad of dangers hypoxia, exposure, and altitude sickness take their toll, along with natural dangers from avalanches to crevasses to weather Most chapters end with an epilogue that tells the fates of some of the participants, and this is a grim reminder of the high stakes of the world s tallest summits.Lock s conversational tone makes for a readable account, and he s fairly even keeled and ego free, with a humility learned from understanding his limitations in the face of serious danger His style of climbing is that of conquering personal challenges rather than completing a checklist, preferring alpine style self sufficient ascents with minimal equipment, no porters, and not using supplemental oxygen when possible over siege style setting up a series of fixed camps to make repeated tries for the summit.Often the difference between survival and statistic is knowing when to turn back and try again another day, even with the summit in sight Lock both wise and canny, and chronicles his failed attempts clearly as well, attributing his survival to keen observational skills of the mountain, listening to his intuition about when to continue and when to take a calculated risk, and simple luck.One of the strange things about Master of Thin Air is that the successful attempts sometimes run together, where the failed attempts each stand out large Shishapangma is usually regarded as one of the easier 8,000 meter peaks, yet conditions forced him to make repeated tries to gain summit and when he does summit it, he does so with a hair raising exposed sequence.Andrew Lock s story is great reading for climbers and explorers of both the real and armchair variety, and one of the best books on modern day mountaineering. I m reviewing an ARC I received via a Goodreads first reads giveaway A 4.I hope when they say this is uncorrected it means that they are going to actually correct the glaring editing errors in the book Paragraphs that show up than once on a page, misspelled words, repetitive usages, etcAs such, the rating I m giving ignores all of that.To be a mountaineer you need a certain amount of hubris and narcissism balanced with respect for the mountains and the sport Andrew Lock embodies all of this He s the first Australian to complete all 14 eight thousanders, the 18th person in the world to complete this feat, as well as having the first Australian ascents for 6 of them For people who don t know much about mountaineering, that s an amazing accomplishment The man climbed the highest peaks on Earth with summits in the Death Zone and kept all his limbs to boot.The book chronicles every single one of his attempts and subsequent summits As well with some backstory on his life and the mountains themselves.Andrew Lock is a phenomenal story teller However that does not mean he is a good book writer The way he writes the stories of each attempt, you can imagine someone telling you over a beer at a campsite or a bar in town It s enthralling You re fascinated You just want to hear Funny anecdotes Quips at the right time A vague sense of the scenery and the people there The sense of danger The mood It s all there If you heard him tell a story you d hear one or two at a time, three at most You d leave and come back wanting And every time he tells you a new story, he d tailor his story telling to be personalized.Reading the book in three sittings is a different story You re still interested, but it gets repetitive He talks about every instance of acclimatizing even when it isn t strictly necessary I don t know how many times I read him going from Camp 1 to Camp 2 to Base Camp etc etc etc but he did it a lot And sometimes if you zone out, you might forget which mountain he s on that doesn t happen for the big ones in the story, but for some minor ones , it flew by How many times did he explain why there are old Soviet helicopters in Nepal The same exact way each time Around three times I think it was For a book that s about 300 pages, that s two times too many The book seemed to lack real emotion or insight into his mind It pops up once in awhile but goes away just as quickly He put in some parts of his diaries and those were fantastic reads But they were brief and were far too sparse in between The moments of self reflection came by pretty quickly as well There are some views hidden in the book that you can see if you know where to look and I appreciated those The most opinionated he was seemed to be in the Epilogue when he was discussing the Sherpa accident 2014 and the issues he had with how Nepal was running their climbing guiding industry He mentioned at one point another climber he had teamed up with who ended up writing a book that left him Lock out completely and made himself into the hero of the trip Lock took offense to that and cleared it up in this book I did find it interesting, however, how Lock seemed to be the hero in almost every story in this book If Lock had a shitty experience with someone, he called them out On the flip side, Lock went out of his way to name everyone he enjoyed going out with as well The post scripts at the end of each chapter of all the people from that chapter who had died in later subsequent climbs was pretty sobering As far as a memoir goes, I felt that this was cold Even as far as detailing the summit attempts and writing, I thought it was lacking something Go read Mark Jenkins National Geographic write up about his teams attempt up Hkakabo Razi When reading a write up of an expedition of any sort, that s kind of what I d expect And in fact, was similar in style to Lock s own diary entries that we briefly saw However, reading it while imagining someone telling the story in the backcountry or in a bar is a different story It s a fun write up that s pretty unoffensive unless you re someone the author hated and filled with interesting facts and historical information about the peaks If you like mountaineering stories, definitely go for it. I think after reading this book, my conclusion is that these mountains are unforgiving It s great to see the author conquering all the 8000s but at the same time with each success there were other climbers who didn t make it Nevertheless, I did enjoy reading this book and the author s description of the different mountains and the challenges he faced As much as there s Mount Everest and K2, there s many mountains that provide different challenges. Very entertaining book about climbing the 8000s Andrew Lock tells entertaining and exciting stories that are accessible to the armchair climbing aficionado. Named One Of The Five Adventure Books You Need To Read This Summer By Backpacker MagazineFor Readers Of Into Thin Air, Riveting High Altitude Drama And The Passion And Drive That Inspire Outsized Mountaineering Achievements Master Of Thin Air Opens With A Fall That The Author Very Nearly Could Not Stop Down An Almost Vertical Rock Ramp Leading To A Three Thousand Foot Drop The Qualities That Saved Him Then On K In Addition To His Mountaineering Know How And Sheer Good Luck Drove His Sixteen Year Journey To Summit All Of The World S Eight Thousanders, The Fourteen Peaks That Exceed , Meters , Plus Feet And Take Climbers Into The Death Zone Incredibly, He Accomplished That Feat Without The Aid Of Bottled Oxygen For Every Mountain But One By Preference, He Climbed Solo Or In Small Teams, Without Sherpas During Twenty Three Expeditions, He Spent A Total Of Three Years Clinging To The Sides Of Dangerous Mountains He Lost Than Twenty Climbing Friends And, In April , Witnessed Everest S Deadliest AvalancheHis Book Is A Riveting, Often Thrilling Account Of What It Takes To Challenge The Earth S Highest Peaks And Survive It Tells Of Death Defying Ascents And Even Riskier Descents, The Gut Dropping Consequences Of The Smallest Mistakes Or Even Just Bad Luck, The Camaraderie And Human Drama Of Expeditions, The Exhilaration Of Altitude It Is Also The Inspiring Story Of What Motivates A Person To Achieve An Extraordinary Dream, A Story Of Passion, Resourcefulness, Self Motivation, And Hope Even In The Most Dire MomentsSkyhorse Publishing, As Well As Our Sports Publishing Imprint, Is Proud To Publish A Broad Range Of Books For Readers Interested In Sports Books About Baseball, Pro Football, College Football, Pro And College Basketball, Hockey, Or Soccer, We Have A Book About Your Sport Or Your TeamIn Addition To Books On Popular Team Sports, We Also Publish Books For A Wide Variety Of Athletes And Sports Enthusiasts, Including Books On Running, Cycling, Horseback Riding, Swimming, Tennis, Martial Arts, Golf, Camping, Hiking, Aviation, Boating, And So Much While Not Every Title We Publish Becomes A New York Times Bestseller Or A National Bestseller, We Are Committed To Publishing Books On Subjects That Are Sometimes Overlooked By Other Publishers And To Authors Whose Work Might Not Otherwise Find A Home

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