Fatal Mountaineer: The High-Altitude Life and Death of Willi Unsoeld, American Himalayan Legend
A gripping account of the triumphs and tragedies of Willi Unsoeld, a professor of philosophy who came to international recognition in the mountaineering world for his 1963 ascent of Everest via the West Ridge. In 1979, at the age of 52, he was killed in an avalanche leading 21 college students down Mt. Ranier after an unsuccessful winter summit attempt.
This book gives substantial coverage to Unsoeld’s 1976 expedition to climb Nandi Devi, the tallest peak in India, with a team that included his 22-year old daughter. His daughter, Devi, was named after the mountain. The turmoil that emerged within the team owing to various circumstances, and flamed by the strong egos of certain team members, makes for great psychological drama. The crucial event on the climb is the death of Unsoeld’s daughter on the very mountain she was named after. On this occasion, anguish came with the mountaineers’ ambition and the author of this book knows how to explore those themes convincingly.
:306 pages with color and black and white photos
:St. Martin's Griffin
Year of Publication
:2003 (first publication 2002)