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THE INSIDE SCOOP
* American Alpine Literary Award
* Boardman-Tasker Award for Mountain Literature
The treacherous “dark side” of Everest, its remote north face, is the setting for this high-stakes literary adventure, pitting eleven men and two women against the Ultimate Summit. The expedition takes place in the Forbidden Kingdom of Tibet, where high in the ruins of rock-bound monasteries, the remnants of a shattered culture struggle to survive in the face of Chinese genocide.
The ascent is the supreme test of physical and emotional discipline in which miscalculation can spell a plunge to certain death. In the camps, rivalries simmer to the point of mutiny, stoked and calmed by the female climbers, Gus and Kelly, with their different brands of love. Yet the ascent offers two of the expedition’s members – Abe, a young medic, and Daniel, a famed high-altitude mountaineer, feared and revered for his legendary feats – the promise of liberation from a haunting past.
Counter-weighting the climbers’ battle with the mountain is the real-life struggle of the Tibetan people, brutalized by the occupying Chinese. Ultimately, it is a young Tibetan monk, seeking refuge in their camps, who lights the climbers’ path to personal redemption.
The Ascent is a thrilling, muscular, and richly authentic story that can stand alongside the classics of literary adventure fiction.