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Download No Shortcuts to the Top: Climbing the World's 14 Highest Peaks Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample No Shortcuts to the Top: Climbing the Worlds 14 Highest Peaks, by Ed Viesturs Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (2,327 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Ed Viesturs, David Roberts Narrator: Stephen Hoye Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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This gripping and triumphant memoir from the author of The Mountain follows a living legend of extreme mountaineering as he makes his assault on history, one 8,000-meter summit at a time. For eighteen years Ed Viesturs pursued climbing’s holy grail: to stand atop the world’s fourteen 8,000-meter peaks, without the aid of bottled oxygen. But No Shortcuts to the Top is as much about the man who would become the first American to achieve that goal as it is about his stunning quest. As Viesturs recounts the stories of his most harrowing climbs, he reveals a man torn between the flat, safe world he and his loved ones share and the majestic and deadly places where only he can go.

A preternaturally cautious climber who once turned back three hundred feet from the top of Everest but who would not shrink from a peak (Annapurna) known to claim the life of one climber for every two who reached its summit, Viesturs lives by an unyielding motto, “Reaching the summit is optional. Getting down is mandatory.” It is with this philosophy that he vividly describes fatal errors in judgment made by his fellow climbers as well as a few of his own close calls and gallant rescues. And, for the first time, he details his own pivotal and heroic role in the 1996 Everest disaster made famous in Jon Krakauer’s Into Thin Air. In addition to the raw excitement of Viesturs’s odyssey, No Shortcuts to the Top is leavened with many funny moments revealing the camaraderie between climbers. It is more than the first full account of one of the staggering accomplishments of our time; it is a portrait of a brave and devoted family man and his beliefs that shaped this most perilous and magnificent pursuit.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “From his earliest climbs on the peaks of the Pacific Northwest to his final climb up the Himalayan mountain of Annapurna, Viesturs offers testimony to the sacrifices (personal and professional) in giving your life over to a dream, as well as the thrill of seeing it through.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • “A compelling story of dedication, desperation, danger, derring-do, and devotion (physical and spiritual). Fans of extreme-sport books, especially tales of high adventure, will want to add this one to their collections.”


  • Ed Viesturs is not merely one of our strongest mountaineers; he’s also one of the most remarkable. He’s demonstrated that it’s possible to climb the world’s highest peaks without taking reckless chances, and without sacrificing one’s honor or integrity. He has never hesitated to help other climbers in need, even when it meant putting himself in danger or sacrificing his own opportunity to achieve a summit. Ed, simply put, is a genuine American hero. Jon Krakauer
  • From the drama of the peaks, to the struggle of making a living as a professional climber, to the basic how-tos of life at 26,000 feet, No Shortcuts to the Top is fascinating reading. Aron Ralston, author of Between a Rock and a Hard Place
  • Ed Viesturs—the first American to climb all fourteen 8,000 meter peaks without bottled oxygen—is an animal. A human animal blessed with enormous strength balanced by intelligence, honesty, and a heart of gold. And besides, HE IS A NICE GUY.
    This is a great read for those of us who climb, those who want to learn to climb and live to tell about it, and those who like great adventures.
    Jim Whittaker, first American to climb Mount Everest
  • Ed Viesturs was an inspiration to me personally and to the Seahawks team in 2005. I highly recommend reading this account of one of America’s heroes. Mike Holmgren, coach of the Seattle Seahawks

Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Brycep | 2/18/2014

    " Gripping story of one man's quest to climb the 14, but also an interesting perspective on mountain madness/summit fever. Shocking to realize that nearly half of this man's friends died in the pursuit. Yet nothing can hold them back. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Michaelchan | 2/18/2014

    " This is the story of Ed Viesturs, on how he had lived his own dream as a professional mountaineer. Balancing such a life with a family is already a feat in itself no less than the physical and mental perseverance to summit all 14 of the 8000ers peaks in the world. I wish I have the courage to pursue my own dreams like him. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Bari | 2/16/2014

    " If you've read "Into Thin Air" and are looking for more hiking and backpacking thrill than literature, definitely pick this up. Ignoring Viestur's (and his ghostwriter's) literary stumblings, I absolutely loved this book. It's more memoir and narrative than ITA is, and I particularly enjoyed the span of time and experiences it covered. I don't think it pretends to be anything more lofty or search for more meaning than it does, it's a great, quick read and you'll be torn between either packing up a backpack as soon as you close the book or never leaving your home again. Viestur's is smart and courageous and importantly a responsible climber and hiker, and for what he was able to accomplish in writing, it was gratifying to get to relive his climbs with him. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Osvaldur | 2/14/2014

    " Very interesting book on Viesturs amazing feat - he was the first American to climb all 14 +8000 meter peaks. "

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