Grasping for Heaven

Interviews with North American Mountaineers

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About the Book

Operating in some of the most challenging and dangerous conditions on earth, mountain climbers are uniquely driven men and women. In these interviews, 15 well-known climbers and three leading historians of the sport, all native to or living in North America, recount experiences shared by only a tiny portion of humanity. They discuss all aspects of international climbing, including physical conditioning, high-summit ascension, the ethics and environmental concerns of the sport, the risks and rewards of mountaineering, and a number of their famed expeditions and first ascents.

About the Author(s)

Frederic V. Hartemann is a physicist in San Ramon, California.

Robert Hauptman is professor emeritus of St. Cloud State University and editor of the Journal of Information Ethics.

Bibliographic Details

Frederic V. Hartemann and Robert Hauptman

Foreword by Jan Reynolds

Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 264
Bibliographic Info: 59 photos (10 in color), glossary, bibliographies, index
Copyright Date: 2010
pISBN: 978-0-7864-4202-7
eISBN: 978-0-7864-6174-5
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Foreword by Jan Reynolds      1

Preface      5

Introduction      7

Part I. Mountaineers      9

Stacy Allison      10

Peter (Pete) Athans      29

Brent Bishop      41

Christine Boskoff      50

Carlos Buhler      61

Charlotte Fox      72

Charles S. Houston      79

Kenneth Kamler      85

Jamling Tenzing Norgay      97

Rick Ridgeway      108

John Roskelley      127

Barbara Washburn      145


Between pages 152 and 153 are eight color plates containing 10 images

Erik Weihenmayer      153

Jim Wickwire      161

Sharon Wood      176

Part II. Historians      181

Elizabeth Hawley      183

Maurice Isserman      190

Audrey Salkeld      198

Conclusion      209

Glossary      211

Index      219

Book Reviews & Awards

  • “A good job fleshing out the lives of 15 significant mountaineers and three historians”—The Alpine Journal
  • “The conversations are interesting”—The American Alpine Journal