By Laurence Leamer
Willi Unsoeld, a legend between mountaineers--a guy whom invoice Moyers calls one of many few giants he has ever met--fearlessly challenged the world's optimum peaks and encouraged a new release of climbers along with his legacy.
Ascent is the tale of his life--a exciting story of actual and religious event that captures the hypnotic strength at the back of this impressive character. From his positive conquest of Everest's forbidding West Ridge to the tragic lack of his daughter at the treacherous slopes of Nanda Devi to his ultimate, deadly try at Mount Rainier, we see Willi as guru and consultant, lover of risk and thinker of risk--a guy whose indomitable spirit prompted such devotion that individuals him fearlessly to remarkable heights and, occasionally, even to their deaths. A dramatic saga of bravery, bold, and the hunt for religious fact, Ascent brilliantly captures the mythic determine of Willi Unsoeld.
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Extra info for Ascent: The Spiritual And Physical Quest Of Legendary Mountaineer Willi Unsoeld
They had no sleeping bags, mattresses, or stove. That night they lay freezing in their tent looking out on a full moon that washed Nilkanta in silver, the silence punctuated by the roar of distant avalanches. In the morning the two climbers headed back down. They moved rapidly. The day before, a great avalanche had crossed this path only two hours after they had. ” Three days later Bill and French tried one last time to push the route further up the mountain. They were beaten. They turned their backs on the unclimbed summit of Nilkanta and headed down.
He had practically worshiped Willi and the family. For two and a half years he had been consumed with the Unsoelds. He had left his job to write a book about Devi. He had helped develop a Hollywood movie project about Willi’s dead daughter. Now he had nothing—no book, no movie, no job, nothing—and he felt unwanted here today. Terres finally introduced other members of Willi’s family. “Both of Dad’s sisters are here, Beryl and Isabel and his mother, Granny, who came up from California,” Terres said, her voice charged with impish delight.
Climbing Bill felt things he had never felt before. He had a strong body. Climbing was a physical challenge beyond anything he had ever known. Tied to a rope with other boys, he felt a profound kinship. He was part of these boys and they were part of him, like a whole new family. Bill had always been a leader, up here even more so. He knew nothing about climbing, but he helped the weak and the fearful. Bill felt God in the mountains too. The higher he climbed the closer he felt to God. “I remember as a small Episcopalian boy being so shaken by the power and mystery of the communion,” Willi said, years later when he had become one of America’s greatest mountaineers.