Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Peak, by Roland Smith

Everest! What would lead a 14-year-old to Everest by surprise? Smith's story follows Peak Marcello, the son of two "rock rats" from his illegal skyscraper climbing in New York City to Everest. Most of the story is about the attempt at Everest, but there are also several other story lines with in the book including: political relations between China and Nepal, the relationships of climbers and sherpas, family dynamics, sensationalism in the news business and coming of age.

Smith always tells a good story and this one is particularly strong. It kept me up well past my bed-time to finish reading and I had trouble sleeping afterward. (Or it may have just been my biorhythms--who knows.) Although I am not a rock climber I have plenty of exposure to them (my daughter works at REI and there are many climbers in the area where I live). I've also read Into Thin Air, by Jon Krakauer another book about the various factors around the current craze of guided trips to Everest. I believe both have significant questions about the wisdom of continuing to allow this sort of activity.

Smith's webpage is a great resource, but I am having trouble accessing its content today. I had hoped to gather some information about his research for this book. I know Smith has been around the world and experienced many of the situations (or at least nuggets of them) that he writes about. I wanted to know more about how he researched this book. I'll try his site again later.

This will be a great read for any

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