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Eiger Dreams: Ventures Among Men and Mountains

1 rating: 3.0
A book by Jon Krakauer

No matter what the actual temperature may be, several pages intoEiger Dreamsyou will begin to shiver. Halfway through you will acquire a new appreciation for your fingers, toes, and the fact that you still have a nose. And by the end of this collection, … see full wiki

Author: Jon Krakauer
Publisher: Anchor
1 review about Eiger Dreams: Ventures Among Men and Mountains

Eiger Dreams - tales of the mountains

  • Mar 31, 2001
  • by
Pros: A nice compilation of stories

Cons: none

The Bottom Line: Teaches you the ideal of goals and the skills needed to meet those goals, no matter what they may be.

Having heard many stories about the quality of this book, and after reading Into the Wild and Into Thin Air by Krakauer, I finally decided to read Eiger Dreams. I cannot say I was disappointed with the book, but I cannot say I was particularly taken with it either.

It is a compilation of many short stories of encounters of man/woman against the mountains. But it isn't necessarily a story about scaling those mountains but of scaling their dreams and sense of self-worth. It is the story of people setting goals for themselves and striving to reach those goals. Often they didn't summit their mountains, but the fact that they tried, the fact that they set their sights on something and attempted it, made the summit a conquered one, even if only in their own minds.

Some stories give the background of how and why the person became involved in their love, some tell the story of what took them away from their love. Some are filled with happiness and hope, some with tears and despair.

After the author's introduction, Krakauer tells 12 short stories combining both his own experiences and those of his fellow friends and climbers in this sport that often separates family and friends, marriages and lovers. A sport where you are never really in control but are being controlled by your environment.

I particularly enjoyed the glimpses into these peoples lives. The desire of each individual to become one with their spirit, to reach their goal, to find peace, sometimes to find failure. But they continue. Some stories aren't necessarily devoted to the lofty peaks known as Everest, K2 or Denali but are of the alternative sports of bouldering and canyoneerning.

Previously I had always assumed they were all the same but was surprised to learn the differences and the unique requirements for each phase of these sports. I can't fathom how, as John Gill does, an individual can climb a relatively smooth looking precipice by clinging to pebbles smaller than a dime embedded in the stone.

Gill, a retired mathematician often stands back and views these unknown territories as a problem to be solved. Before one climb, he trained a year at an Air Force gym by climbing the gymnasium walls using the nuts and bolts embedded in the wood holding the walls together. Amazing! But John Gill and his skills are just one of the stories and people featured in this book.

To quote Clint Eastwood from the movie Eiger Sanction ....... "I tried to climb it twice, it tried to kill me twice" ........****

Many have tried to summit not only a mountain but also their dreams. Some have succeeded, some have failed. Some never stop dreaming.

****Page 1, Eiger Dreams written by Jon Krakauer

Thank you
Susi :)


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