"Mountaineer Scott Fischer and outdoors expert Birkby were friends and trekking companions from their 1982 meeting until Fischer's tragic, controversial death on a 1996 expedition up Everest, leading a tour group from his Mountain Madness adventure travel business (from which his clients all descended safely). Combining his memories with those of Fischer's family, friends, fellow mountaineers and other alumni of the National Outdoor Leadership School in Lander, Wyo., where Fischer worked, Birkby chronicles Fischer from his New Jersey childhood through his years teaching with NOLS, his drive to perfect his skills and reach the highest peaks, and the struggles to establish his travel company.
The obsession indicated by the title is what Birkby most wrestles with, attempting to understand the passion that drove Fischer higher and higher; especially in his climbing scenes, Birkby succeeds in illuminating the power mountains can exert over the human soul. He's also adept at capturing powerful ties of love and friendship, of which Fischer had plenty; his charisma, charm and open embrace of adventure suffuse the narrative." Publishers Weekly.
Paperback: 342 pages
Author: Robert Birkby
Publisher: Citadel Press
Year Published: 2009