Where the Mountain Casts Its Shadow, The Dark Side of Extreme Adventure
Maria Coffey examines the other side of climbing; that is, the lives of those who are left behind either temporarily or in many cases forever by those they loved. Interspersed with examples of her years with climber, Joe Tasker she also examines in great detail the reasons why men and women choose to climb even when they suffer debilitating injuries and are torn between their love for adventure and love for their families. She gives vivid examples of the thrill of planning the next expedition, meeting up with colleagues who share your excitement and dreams, suffer with you for months on end, build to success or painful defeat and then it all ends abruptly. You have the sudden shock of "re-entry" into the real world of bills, phones ringing, mundane errands and you don't fit in or far worse, your family will receive a phone call they never want to answer.
Husbands, wives, children, mothers and fathers of climbers such as Joe Simpson, Alison Hargreaves, and John Harlin were interviewed with great compassion. The pain and hurt is evident years after a death but so is the tremendous love and understanding of why people want to climb to the extreme. No cliches here, no quick answers; just glimpses into the hearts of those who go farther than the human mind of most can grasp.
St. Martin's Press