"The Will to Climb: Obsession and Commitment and the Quest to Climb Annapurna — the World's Deadliest Peak" (Crown Publishers), by Ed Viesturs with David Roberts: Hard work, danger — even the possibility of death — doesn't chill climbers' passion for some peaks.
Veteran climber Ed Viesturs and David Roberts, the author of 20 books on mountaineering, adventure and history, don't explain what motivates people to risk it all on the world's tallest frozen mountains. But they do a good job of telling about those who attempted to climb Annapurna, the world's 10th highest peak, in "The Will to Climb," and illustrating the particular danger that Annapurna poses.
The mountain makes up in danger what it lacks in height, although 26,545 feet above sea level is challenging.
As a teenager in the "flatlands of Rockford, Illinois," Viesturs became fascinated with the story of the first expedition to climb Annapurna in 1950, led by French climber Maurice Herzog. He read and reread Herzog's account of the climb.
Viesturs made it his goal to climb the world's 14 highest peaks. He made two attempts to summit Annapurna, the only one of the 14 mountains he hadn't conquered, but found conditions too dangerous. Should he skip it, or finish his goal of climbing them all?
His successful summit in 2005 was added to the tales of Annapurna.
Viesturs and Roberts have written a book that will appeal to both climbers and armchair adventurers.