"When the author was nine years old, his father, an experienced climber, tackled one of the world's most treacherous mountains, the Eiger, in the Swiss Alps. It was the first attempt to reach the summit via the "direct" route (Harlin senior had already climbed the North Face), and it ended in tragedy, with a 4,000-foot fall. Forty years after his father's death, at the age of 49, the author succeeded where his father failed: beating the mountain. Published to coincide with the release of the Imax film chronicling the climb, the book combines biography (memories of Harlin's father) with a you-are-there account of the climb ("The cold Eiger rock feels good against my bare hands"). Thankfully, Harlin avoids most of the climbing-as-life-metaphor cliches that mar so many mountaineering books. At once a tribute to a legendary climber and a celebration of a very personal triumph, this book will captivate the imagination of anyone who reads it." - from Booklist.
About the Author
John Harlin III is editor of the American Alpine Journal and contributing editor for Backpacker. A former host of PBS's Anything Wild, Harlin is a frequent contributor to numerous publications, including Outside magazine. He lives in Oregon with his wife and daughter.
Praise for a Previous Edition
In his gripping, graceful account . . . Harlin elegantly combines a frank biography of his frequently absent parent . . . with a vivid memoir of his own childhood. . . . His agility as a writer makes his final ascent of the mountain as compelling as his account of living in his father’s shadow.”
Sunday Times (United Kingdom)
As close to being a page turner’ as any climbing-related book I’ve read since Touching the Void.”
Stephen Goodwin, Alpine Journal
It’s the differences between the father and the son, not the similarities, that infuse this book with such poignant force.”