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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 (2,323 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Ed Viesturs, David Roberts Narrator: Ed Viesturs Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Abridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: October 2006 ISBN: 9780739339909
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This gripping and triumphant memoir 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 300 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. Download and start listening now!

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Quotes & Awards

  • 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

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Daniel Otto | 2/19/2014

    " I read this book immediately after reading Krakeuer's Into Thin Air. It took me about 30-40 pages to realize that this would be a completely different kind of book-- Viesturs doesn't have the literary knack for prose and storytelling that Krakeuer is blessed with, but once I got over that, it ended up being a very worthy read. This book has certainly impacted how I intend to climb mountains, and I'm thankful that I read this before going on my first 14-er ascent late this summer. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Charlene Armstrong | 2/17/2014

    " While this book is inspiring, there was something about his writing style that just didn't grab me. I found myself getting annoyed with him! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Brycep | 2/16/2014

    " 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. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Nellie | 2/15/2014

    " if you liked "Into Thin Air" you might enjoy this one "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Ellen | 2/12/2014

    " This was a wonderful book. Anyone who enjoys mountaineering or adventures would really appreciate this story. What really stood our to me was on page 317 where Ed shares, " Every perosn has his or her own Annapurna....but the trick is to find a way of converting adversity into soemthing positive, a challenge to look forward to." What an amazing mountaineer! I would love to hear him talk sometime. He has incredbile instinct, skill, and yet in his book seems humble and like someone that would be fun to talk to. Excellent! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Brandon Hobbs | 2/11/2014

    " 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. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Caroline Gregan | 2/9/2014

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

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Utahbrown | 2/1/2014

    " 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. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 T | 1/14/2014

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

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Nathan Caress | 10/22/2013

    " Some really captivating stories here. Too bad the same can't be said for the prose. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jeremy Jensen | 9/25/2013

    " Gotta admire Ed as a climber. Sensible. Controlled risk. Shares credit. Inspiring book that made me want to do my best in all aspects of my life. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Mike | 8/28/2013

    " 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 Michelle Corley | 11/13/2012

    " Visiting Denali National Park gave me a new appreciation for this book as well "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Umachan Lovchik | 10/7/2012

    " 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. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Sarah | 8/21/2012

    " The writing style is a little plain and matter-of-fact, but I enjoyed reading about his quest to climb all the 8000 meter peaks in the world without oxygen. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Dave Brillhart | 8/16/2012

    " Thrilling account of his journey to climb every (14 of them) 8,000 meter (26,252 feet!) peak in the world. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Liz | 7/10/2012

    " some amazing climbing/training stories on his way to reaching his goal. cheesy at times. a good fun read (i used this book as a study break last spring!) "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Suman | 6/15/2012

    " Interesting memoir about Ed Viestur's climbing career, but not as interesting as his K2 book. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Cynthia | 2/14/2012

    " Great book written by a respected climber, Ed Viesturs. So inspiring....follow your dreams, go with your gut, never give up. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Neil Corriston | 9/29/2011

    " One of the best mountaineers, I really liked how Ed keeps climbing in perspective. He says something like "you fail 100% of the climbs that you don't come back from" He is a very discplined climber and several times turned around meters short of the summitt. Some really cool stories about his climbs "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kenzie | 8/31/2011

    " Interesting read so far... And it's pretty sweet to hear from one of Eddie Bauer's First Ascent Team members... "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Patrick Dugan | 8/1/2011

    " Ed Viesturs is an animal. Pure and simple. A business-savvy, inspirational, safety-minded, fitness crazed mountain climbing machine. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Wade | 7/18/2011

    " I really enjoyed a different perspective from a seemingly less egomaniacal mountaineer "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Derek | 6/15/2011

    " 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.