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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 Audiobook, 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: November 2006 ISBN: 9781415934357
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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.”

    Booklist

  • 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 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 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 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 Osvaldur | 2/14/2014

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

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Amanda | 2/10/2014

    " Possibly the best American mountaineer out there, Ed Viesturs is my new hero. He's climbed all 14 of the highest peaks in the world without supplemental oxygen. Although most people won't aspire to these goals, his philosophies as a climber can also be applied to anyone's life. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 pseudotsuga | 2/1/2014

    " The best parts about the book was the discussion of how altitude affects the human body as well as the nuts and bolts of becoming a professional mountaineer. I grew tired of hearing so many stories of how great Ed Viesturs is. None of his claims seem exaggerated (he did climb all of the 8000+ peaks without oxygen with no serious injury) but it's boring to read how great he was at this or that summit attempt with hardly any variation. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Janna Leach | 1/19/2014

    " This book is really interesting while also boring at times if that is possible while taking about climbing 8000meter peaks. He seems to jump around a lot and I got confused sometimes. All in all very cool stuff, but not the best writing. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 T | 1/18/2014

    " Awesome. You have not lived until you've made a run to a glaciated summit! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Brian | 1/17/2014

    " As a mountaineer, it is really enjoyable to read my mountaineering hero's autobiography. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Umachan Lovchik | 1/13/2014

    " Ed Viesturs is an amazing mountaineer. Unfortunately, he's not a very good writer. His account of his attempt and eventual success in climbing the world's 14 highest peaks reads a lot like a very, very long resume. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Kiera | 11/24/2013

    " As a memoir, this book was not too bad, but it lacked the majestic language of Into Thin Air. Viesturs is a courageous guy, no doubt about it. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Ariel | 4/12/2013

    " Great perspective from Ed Viesturs, but choppy and he struggles with linking climbs together vs telling story in chronological order. Worth reading for any outdoor enthusiast. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Ben | 3/24/2013

    " Good mountaineering book about a legend-in-the-making. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jay | 3/18/2013

    " I love survival stories. Viesturs is America's greatest mountaineer. I'm blown away by the details of what it takes to climb all the world's 8000 meter peaks without the help of supplemental oxygen. Truly unreal. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Mike | 12/24/2012

    " My palms sweat reading this, as I pondered how safe and predictable my life is. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kari | 6/28/2012

    " Really enjoyed it. Read it after seeing the IMAX film "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Utahbrown | 8/15/2011

    " A fun inspiring account of a climbing legend following his dreams with prudence and conviction. A motto to live by, "the summit is optional, getting down is mandatory" articulates his philosophy on life very well. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Hans | 7/13/2011

    " Remarkable accomplishment, but this book lacks feeling. It is a judgmental travelogue of his own success and commentary on others'. This was a disappointment because I really thought this book had the potential to inspire, but the author didn't seize it. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Caroline Gregan | 6/13/2011

    " Love this book. Love this man. True American hero. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Derek | 5/18/2011

    " An inspiring account of a man who never let his obsession for mountain climbing override the welfare of other climbers. Ed Viesturs demonstrates that through hard work, patience, common sense and humanity one can achieve almost anything. Not the best written book, but a joy to read nonetheless. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Cindy | 5/5/2011

    " I enjoyed this book--I liked reading about someone who loves climbing but is also very careful in what he does. It was also sobering to read about all of the climbers who died... "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jennifer | 3/27/2011

    " It didn't flow quite as well as K2, but still an interesting look into high-altitude mountaineering. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jim | 3/7/2011

    " An honest look at world class mountain climbing. He talks a lot of technical talk and a lot about his failures. The amount of effort it takes does not make me want to climb an 8,000 meter mountain, but I did gain an appreciation for what he does. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jamie | 3/3/2011

    " I will never be a mountain climber, but I have read a lot of books by and about climbers. "Getting to the top is optional, getting down is mandatory." Co-written with Dave Roberts, a well-written book about a master climber who hasn't let success go to his head. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Denis | 2/5/2011

    " One of the best, most sensible climbing accounts. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Megan | 1/24/2011

    " Love Ed Viesturs, love this book. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Brandon | 1/19/2011

    " In a sport that can go dangerous or careless in moments I like Viesturs approach. I love these climbing stories, and this one is so well done. Inspirational. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Amy | 11/7/2010

    " really liked this book... amazing story of perseverance. very interesting and you feel like you are on his journey and climbing with him. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Amanda | 11/5/2010

    " Possibly the best American mountaineer out there, Ed Viesturs is my new hero. He's climbed all 14 of the highest peaks in the world without supplemental oxygen. Although most people won't aspire to these goals, his philosophies as a climber can also be applied to anyone's life. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Umachan | 9/23/2010

    " Ed Viesturs is an amazing mountaineer. Unfortunately, he's not a very good writer. His account of his attempt and eventual success in climbing the world's 14 highest peaks reads a lot like a very, very long resume. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 CJMG | 9/9/2010

    " Love this book. Love this man. True American hero. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Henry | 8/18/2010

    " Straightforward account of a remarkable feat, the simple writing style, understatement and slightly unself-aware tone actually help the book be both enjoyable and moving. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Ellis | 8/9/2010

    " I love these mountaineering books. I can't stop thinking about them after reading. "

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About the Author
Author Ed ViestursIn May 2005 ED VIESTURS became the first American to ascend all fourteen of the world's 8,000-meter peaks. He lives in Bainbridge Island, Washington, with his wife and three children.
About the Narrator

Stephen Hoye has worked as a professional actor in London and Los Angeles for more than thirty years. Trained at Boston University and the Guildhall in London, he has acted in television series and six feature films and has appeared in London’s West End. His audiobook narration has won him fifteen AudioFile Earphones Awards.