Reaching 20,320 feet into and above the clouds, the peak of Denali is the highest and coldest summit in North America. In this novel of adventure, adversity, and ambition by renowned mountaineer and writer Nicholas O’Connell, four men set out to conquer it. Among the sharply drawn team members is narrator John Walker, a family man trying to choose between domestic stability and mountaineering’s uncertain glory. In the course of their ascent the group battles avalanches, fierce winds, and mind-numbing cold before their bond begins to splinter, leading inexorably to tragedy.
Throughout the book, the author’s first-hand experience lends vivid reality to the formidable challenges of the mountain and to the bonds formed and broken in the pursuit of its summit. Beyond the physical tolls, O’Connell presents in stark relief the internal debate about the price of success—all the more urgent at the earth’s extremes.
Nick O’Connell is the author of several books, including Beyond Risk: Conversations with Climbers and On Sacred Ground: The Spirit of Place in Pacific Northwest Literature. His writing has appeared in Newsweek, Outside, National Geographic Adventure, Condé Nast Traveler, the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, Sierra, and many other publications.
Hardcover: 295 pages
Publisher: University of Alaska Press (July 15, 2012)
Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.9 x 9 inches