In the Zone: Epic Survival Stories from the Mountaineering World


In the Zone: Epic Survival Stories from the Mountaineering World
Page Type Gear Review
Object Title In the Zone: Epic Survival Stories from the Mountaineering World
Manufacturer The Mountaineers/ Potterfield
Page By Augie Medina
Page Type Aug 5, 2008 / Aug 5, 2008
Object ID 5510
Hits 4311

Product Description

Journalist and climber Potterfield offer three stories of incredible survival in the mountain environment: (1) Colby Coombs’ disastrous episode on Alaska’s Mt. Foraker where he lost his partner in an avalanche and received grievous injuries himself; his 5-day descent of the mountain crippled with injuries and without food or water was a milestone in sheer will to survive and luck; (2) Story number two was that of Scott Fischer's and Ed Viesturs' successful 1992 ascent of K2’s Abruzzi Ridge after a 52-day ordeal battling brutal weather and injuries. On their descent, still battling treacherous weather and exhaustion, they stopped to rescue fellow climbers, managing to save the life of a New Zealand climber who was with Rob Hall; and (3) the author’s own epic on Chimney Rock in the North Cascades where he fell from a rock face breaking several bones and becoming stranded on a narrow ledge for 30 hours before a dramatic rescue was effected.

Product Detail

Price: $22. 95
Hardback: 270 pages with 10 B&W photos

Author: Peter Potterfield

Publisher: The Mountaineers

Year of Publication: 1996

Language: English

ISBN: 0-89886-482-8



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Augie Medina - Aug 5, 2008 4:12 am - Hasn't voted

Rich Detail
This was an excellent book which I’m glad I stumbled upon. Unlike many other compilations of “epics” this one limits itself to three stories. Thus, each story is rich in detail providing background, the ordeal, and post-ordeal. Each of the three narratives was gripping. Truth to tell, the accounts of the Foraker epic and the author’s climbing fall in the North Cascades were more dramatic than the account of Viesturs’ and Fisher’s first ascent of K2’s Abruzzi Ridge by Americans. It was interesting that both Fischer and New Zealander Rob Hall, who both would die in the infamous May 1996 tragedy on Mt. Everest, were both on K2 at the same time. In fact, Viesturs and Fischer saved the life of a climber on Hall’s team.

Coombs’ survival after an avalanche killed his partner on Mt. Foraker and horribly injured him was absolutely incredible. What stands out in Coombs’ and Potterfield’s own brush with death climbing in the Cascades is the meticulous approach they took to saving themselves. If they had focused on the “big picture” of what had to happen in order for them to live, they might have succumbed to total despair. Instead, they each took things one step at a time and each individual action, plus some luck, especially in Coombs’ case, added up to living to see another day.

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