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A history of those who have scaled Mount Everest—and the advances in mountaineering over a century.
At one time, the summits of the world’s highest peaks—Everest included—were beyond reach. Pioneering attempts to overcome the dangers of climbing at extremely high altitudes ended in failure, sometimes with disastrous consequences. Yet today, high-altitude ascents are frequent, almost commonplace. Everest can be conquered by relatively inexperienced mountaineers, and their exploits barely merit media attention—unless they go fatally wrong.
This dramatic history of Everest climbs describes in vivid detail the struggle to conquer the mountain and the advances in scientific knowledge that made the conquest possible. It also offers compelling insight into the science of mountaineering—as well as the physical and psychological challenges faced by individuals who choose to test themselves in some of the harshest conditions on earth.